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The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri
32 minutes | a year ago
Neurodegenerative Disorders with Dr. Greg Eckel
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Greg Eckel explains his FAN-C Approach to Parkinson’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. The combination of Naturopathic and Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and botanical medicine) has provided Dr. Eckel with a variety of tools to treat both acute and chronic illness while valuing the principles of prevention and wellness. He has developed a deep and personal knowledge of chronic neurological conditions, including regenerative medicine and the development of a brain regenerative program. Dr. Eckel is trained in family practice and maintains a particular interest in neurodegenerative disorders – including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, headaches, migraines, palsies, and post stroke recovery. Main Questions Asked About Neurodegenerative Disorders: What can you tell us about your FAN-C approach to Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders? What more can you tell us about the brain regeneration aspect? So how often are these procedures done? What’s the long-term effect? What about the Brain Degeneration Summit you’re hosting? Key Points made by Dr. Eckel on Neurodegenerative Disorders: The FAN-C approach is a process I’ve put together over the last two decades of practice. It comes out of research into the neurodegenerative field as a result my wife’s terminal illness, The “F” stands for functional – treating the whole dynamic, heart-centered people, really listening to people, and addressing them as the whole dynamic being. The “A” stands for assessment – a lot of time when you get a diagnosis in the neuro realm, there’s no definitive test or imaging, it’s a clinical diagnosis, but a lot of things can mimic central nervous system and brain neurodegeneration whether it be dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or M.S, A big component that I see with brain disorders and nervous system issues is heavy metals. We all have heavy metals in us, but in a neurological condition we must rule those in or out. There’s a lot of fat in your brain, and we store these toxins and metals in our fat. Once they are removed treatment can work, The second component is molecular mimicry, for Parkinson’s it’s Epstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Also, other chronic infections can mimic neurodegenerative conditions; so you need to do a proper workup on viruses and infection. Thirdly, we do hormone balancing. The fourth area I look at is the microbiome to make sure that the flora and fauna of the gut is what is should be with no imbalances. Then the “N” stands for nerve, particularly nerve health. Here we’re looking at the specific nutrients for nerve health. Then the “dash C” is for cellular regeneration, exosomes and stem cell therapy. Just getting into the research, you realize that there is a lot showing that this is a safe and effective therapy. That’s how I codified the FAN-C approach to neurodegenerative disorders and Parkinson’s in particular, Honestly, the biggest lever in the whole approach is the regenerative medicine component. It’s controversial, but only because there’s an “unknowingness.” I use mesenchymal stem cells from cord blood. These cells secrete exosomes with growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines. My analogy is, when you have a condition/a disease process occurring, your symphony is playing the wrong tune, it’s become disorganized. When you introduce the cells to the body, they help reorganize the innate healing ability of the body – it’s like a new conductor coming in and getting your symphony playing the right tune. Additionally, these cells can differentiate into neurons in your brain, cartilage in your knee, osteocytes for your bone, muscle cells, epithelial cells, heart tissue, One of our practices is to do an intra-nasal procedure to bypass the blood-brain barrier. A lot of the procedures we do in regenerative medicine is more in the orthopedic realm; and I’m employing these cells mor in the neuro-generative space. I have people flying in from around the world for our Camp Nature Cures. We don’t’ just use the cells; we use the FAN-C approach – a functional, comprehensive program for all areas of the body. We do hyperbaric therapy and some IV therapy and acupuncture, and we tailor Chinese herbs for people to take home with them. Basically, this is regenerative medicine. It doesn’t wear off. It’s actually your body healing itself. We definitely do follow-ups by phone or Skype. Occasionally, we try to partner the patient with practitioners in their locale that can help with hormonal imbalances, viral loads or heavy metals, as we really want to address these things. During the upcoming Brain Degeneration Summit, I will be interviewing world experts on brain health on a full range of neurodegenerative disorders, including dementia or Alzheimer’s, M.S., Parkinson’s, and ALS, and the general mindset on healing the brain. Unfortunately, when we’re talking about our brain and our central nervous system, it’s so multifactorial. The environment we’re living in influences us; the food we eat influences us; our mindset and our thought processes influence us. On top of that, there are viruses and stresses and traumas and the whole slew of what physicians do. I think there is a misunderstanding when you get these diagnoses and it becomes just “watch and wait” and get monitored. There are a lot of things we can do for our brain health, to either prevent or treat these things. Resources Mentioned for Neurodegenerative Disorders: Book – Shake it Off: An Integrative Approach to Parkinson’s Solutions Dr. Eckel’s website Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Neurodegenerative Disorders with Dr. Greg Eckel appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
27 minutes | a year ago
The Wahls Protocol for Autoimmune Disorders with Dr. Terry Wahls
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Terry Wahls explains her updated version of the Wahls Protocol for MS, autoimmune disease, and a number of other health issues. Dr. Wahls is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she conducts clinical trials. In 2018 she was awarded the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Linus Pauling Award for her contributions in research, clinical care and patient advocacy. She is also a patient with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which confined her to a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. Dr. Wahls restored her health using a diet and lifestyle program she designed specifically for her brain and now pedals her bike to work each day. She is the author of The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine, The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles, and the cookbook The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life: The Revolutionary Modern Paleo Plan to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions. Main Questions Asked about the Wahls Protocol: Can you tell us your story of beating MS? So, can you give us the basic principles of your plan for your brain health and mitochondrial health (the Wahls Protocol)? You still use these principles in your clinics to help patients? So, it’s not just for MS and autoimmune disease? And, it’s not expensive? I would think within your group classes, there’s a certain amount of support from everybody? Thinking about the different parts of the Wahls Protocol, what are the three things listeners could do right now to start helping themselves? Are you still doing research? Key Points made by Dr. Wahls about the Wahls Protocol: I’m a conventional internal medicine doctor who was diagnosed, in 2000, with multiple sclerosis. Of course, I wanted to treat my disease aggressively but, despite the best people and newest drugs, I went relentlessly downhill. In 2002, I was introduced to the Paleo Diet, but I continued to go downhill. But I’d been reading the basic science, ancestral health principles, functional medicine, and integrating all that I was reading. I designed a diet and lifestyle protocol for my mitochondria, for my brain cells, to slow my decline. And to my amazement, my brain fog went away, my pain was stopped, and then I began getting stronger. The first thing I’d been adding were supplements targeting my mitochondria, then I though of using the nutrients in my supplements as a guide for how I should design my nutrition plan. So, I created a very structured Paleo diet. Once I redesigned my diet, the speed of change was breathtaking. So much so that I started focusing on diet in my clinics, the primary care clinic, the traumatic brain injury clinic, and I had remarkable results. Remarkable success at getting people to make these big changes. I began seeing people from the pain clinic, people from primary care and psychiatry clinics with complicated medical problems; and we’re helping them. We’re turning off brain fog, we’re stabilizing their mood, we’re dramatically improving their blood sugars; people with severe obesity are beginning to lose weight. It was remarkable the variety of people that would come. We had so many people coming that we had to figure out how to do all this in group classes. I ended up having to give quarterly reports to the chief of staff and director of the hospital with our progress – the number of people we saw, how we changed their overall blood pressure, their blood sugars, their lipid values, their use of pain meds, their use of blood sugar meds, the use of meds overall because we were so successful. I also want people to understand that many of the people we were serving at my clinic had severe financial restraints, so I’m teaching people how to make these changes while living on a fixed income. I did all this doing basic primary care lab work and using basic supplements. I’m now teaching at the Institute for Functional Medicine and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine that we can have success without a lot of labs, without lots of supplements – we did this through classes, group efforts, teaching people how to cook, various meditative practices, movement practices and creating the group bond. There’s a huge level of support, they inspire one another. That peer to peer conversation bout real experience is so powerful. It’s actually a much more complex process of behaviour change. I managed to create a more detailed, step-by-step, process that we go through in a very intentional way to support changing behaviour. This is discussed in my book, and I’ve started a training program to train other practitioners to have this more detailed approach to help people be successful. So, in addition to talking more about behavioural changes in the new book; we talk more about food addictions, and how to personalize the diet if you’ve got oxalate issues or FODMAP or histamine issues. I think that the discussion about behaviour change is very powerful, for both practitioners and patients. I think understanding what you want your health for is very important, because doing change is work. The next thing to work on is adding more non-starchy vegetable to your diet. The third thing is, if you’re not comfortable cooking from scratch (without having to go to boxes and cans), I’d sure like you to get a cooking class that can help you learn to improvise and cook with the ingredients you have on hand. Of course, our goals, hopes and dreams will evolve and change as our circumstances change, but they fuel the desire to do the work. I also encourage having a physical goal. I’m in the process of comparing a low-fat diet, known as the Swank diet, to the modified Paleo diet (the Wahls diet); we’re just analyzing that data now. I’m in the process of getting approval to start a new study – we’ll compare two cohorts, one group being trained on basically the Wahls Protocol, diet and lifestyle, the Wahls diet, a stress reducing practice and exercise program. We’ll compare that cohort to a cohort that’s getting the standard conventional approach (drugs) in the MS clinic at the university. We’ll compare the cohorts to see how they do. If I can show that these two groups are equivalent, that will be incredibly powerful. If you go to my website, you’ll see links to a seminar that we have, it’s a live event every year where hundreds of people come from all over the globe. The new book will be available as of March 17th, 2020. Resources Mentioned for the Wahls Protocol: Interview – The Wahls Protocol – How I Beat Multiple Sclerosis (2014) Interview – The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life (2017) Book – The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine Book – The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles Book – The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life: The Revolutionary Modern Paleo Plan to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Dr. Wahls’s website Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post The Wahls Protocol for Autoimmune Disorders with Dr. Terry Wahls appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
31 minutes | a year ago
The Environment and Your Health with Jon Mitchell
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Jon Mitchell talks about the relationship between the environment and your health. Jon Mitchell is a certified Physician Assistant turned Functional Medicine Health Consultant who shows driven professionals how to get abundant and sustained energy, mental clarity, and resolve their chronic health issues. Main Questions Asked about the Environment and Your Health: How does the external environment impact our health? When it comes to the environment and your health, is there one area that you typically get the most bang for your buck? Can you talk about the use of light boxes? What about blue light? What about water and the minerals? How do you test water? What about air quality? What about noise pollution? Key Points made by Jon about the Environment and Your Health: The framework that I work people through begins with working on their environment, and then we start moving onto those other things like the gut, hormones, etc. Things like your air, water, light, sound, EMFs and food are all going to influence a lot of the different functions within your body and at very basic level. A lot of times once you correct those things, everything else downstream works itself out. When it comes to the environment and your health, everybody is a little bit different in what is affecting them most and what they need to work on. One thing I like to work on is light. In our technology-driven life, we’re constantly being bathed in artificial light and it’s not normal, it’s just common. It has biological effects that we don’t realize. Our cellphones, laptops, TVs, even LED lights all produce blue light. Blue light is stimulatory, it suppresses melatonin. Melatonin helps us get to sleep and helps set our circadian rhythms. It is also an important anabolic hormone and a very powerful antioxidant. I try to get my clients to think about their exposure to light and try to mitigate that exposure, put on some glasses that block the blue light. We do want to get out in the sun (just don’t burn). The first thing when you wake up, get outside in the sun, show as much skin as possible; then throughout the day you want to get some sun. It’s tough in the winter, especially up in Canada, because you’re typically not going to get the UVB light that will help with vitamin D production. However, getting outside or getting sunlight through the window is going to help entrain the circadian rhythm, which is going to be helpful in a lot of ways, e.g., serotonin is converted via UVA light, so light from the sun is actually going to make us happier. Light boxes can be very useful, especially people dealing with depression and seasonal affective disorder. It’s important to understand that there is no wavelength of light that is inherently bad, it depends on how much you’re getting and the full spectrum of light. Light boxes can be very useful for that type of thing. Using glasses at night will change the way everything looks; everything will look red and orange which is what you want to emphasize at nighttime. I usually want clients to avoid the blue light for two to three hours, minimum. It takes that long for your body to calibrate. Sleep is also triggered by a drop in temperature, so another tip for improving sleep is to drop the temperature in your home a little bit before getting ready for bed. There are apps that you can use to change the background light, I like them, but I think we tend to forget about all the other types of light that we’re getting. I think using the glasses makes the most sense because it’s very easy to do and you can still go about the evening without worrying too much about it. The reason I focus on all these different environmental factors, the air, the water, the light, is because these are things we’re exposed to day in and day out. On average, we should be drinking about three litres of water a day, but the question is, “What’s in your water?” In general, people don’t realize that there are a lot of contaminants in the water. We trust our municipalities, but when I actually test the water supply of my clients, it gives a whole different picture of what’s going on. It’s important to understand that just because you don’t notice something in your environment; it doesn’t mean that it’s not wearing you down. Just because you think your government is regulating these things, they usually aren’t doing a very good job. If we’re talking about filtering water, I like reverse osmosis, but it’s important that you have a remineralizer because reverse osmosis will take up all the minerals too, and we need minerals to maintain our body and our health. I also like a shower filter because shower water gets hot, it will be aerosolized, and you will breath in anything that is in the water and it will be absorbed into your skin. I tend, at this point, not to test water because once I say, get the filter, it’s actually cheaper to just get a filter than to test. What I want people to understand is that there is always a reason why you are developing some symptoms that are put in the name of a disease state. What we’re interested in is to get to the root of it and say, what are all the things that could be contributing to your disease state? When it comes to the environment and your health, people need to understand that they’re unique. They have unique genetics and upbringing, lifestyle, environment, that shapes how they are feeling. A cookie cutter protocol is not typically going to get the results, particularly for a complex case. When it comes to thinking about air quality, most people think about outdoor air – emissions from cars, industrial plants, There’s no question that it affects us, it accumulates in our bodies and takes energy, minerals, enzymes to detoxify that could be used towards other things. The other important thing to realize is that your indoor air can be just as toxic, if not worse. Most people don’t realize this. The home is a confined environment with little to no air circulation. If you’re using cleaning chemicals, if you have furniture with flame retardants on it, certain paints give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs), all these things are gassing off into your environment and you’re breathing them in daily. Again, you can test, but I just like to go with a high-quality air filter or high quality HEPA filter to really make sure your house is clean; and working on changing out the different things we can. The bedroom is a huge place that we tend to have to do a lot of work. Old homes are sick homes, old buildings are sick buildings. It seems like almost everyday I’m hearing about some building that still has asbestos in it. If you’re in that type of environment, the first thing to do is, if you can, get out. If not, bring in your own filter or air filtering plants like an aloe or peace lily. Noise can be a big issue, especially if you live in a city or near a highway. Noise will disrupt your sleep, it can increase your risk for heart disease, it can increase your anxiety. We need to be cognizant of the sound we’re exposed to; even if we don’t recognize it on a conscious level, our body is picking it up and it does have physiological effects. I like people to work getting some quiet time throughout the day, whether it’s a walk in the park or a quiet room. You just want to make sure that you are getting some time where it’s nice and quiet and you can relax. The most important time is bedtime. The most important time is bedtime. You want your bedroom to be as quiet as possible. One last thing I like people to think about is how they breathe. You want to be nose breathing and you want to make sure that it’s nice and calm. If you work on that, you can actually increase your oxygenation and improve your sleep quality. Resources Mentioned for the Environment and Your Health: Jon’s website Jon’s facebook page Jon’s Instagram page Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post The Environment and Your Health with Jon Mitchell appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
35 minutes | a year ago
Mental Illness – A Different Approach – with Dr. Kelly Brogan
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Kelly Brogan talks about a different approach to treating mental illness. Kelly Brogan, M.D., is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the New York Times bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, and the children’s book, A Time for Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. Her latest book is Own Your Self. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is board-certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Main Questions Asked about Mental Illness: Why is that you see mental illness as a symptom not a diagnosis? What are the five reversible drivers of mental illness that you speak of in your book? What recommendations do you make to patients presenting with symptoms of mental illness? Can you tell us more about the adverse effects of medication? Why don’t’ more doctors prescribe thyroid medications for patients with mood disorders? What else is important for us to understand? Key Points made by Dr Brogan about Mental Illness: Many people are walking around with an idea that we’ve worked out the taxonomy, so to speak, of psychiatry and mental health, and that we have all these discrete disease entities that are largely permanent but can be managed through lifetime prescription compliance. It’s simply not true. Remember, we don’t have any form of objective testing in psychiatry. For several decades there’s been research that largely comes under the umbrella of psychoneuroimmunology (mind-brain-immune system), sometimes it’s called psychoneuroendocrinology (mind-brain-hormonal system). Essentially, it’s a field of research that puts mental illness in the same category as other lifestyle conditions, e.g., heart disease, diabetes or autoimmune conditions. All of them, chronic illnesses, representative of a kind of mismatch between our native biology, our genomes’ expectations and the exposures we have daily. So, this is the concept that your symptoms are essentially messengers that allow you to learn the language of your own biology and begin to take control or the process of healing. Think of the parable of eight blind men feeling an elephant. It’s this idea that if you are focused in a cordoned off, segmented area of exploration without an awareness of its connectedness to the whole you could get a really wrong impression; like thinking that you’re just feeling a rope when you feel the elephant’s tail. So, it’s the same concept with psychoneuroimmunology, for a number of years they been studying the role of inflammation as a messenger system in the emergent phenomenon of psychiatric symptoms, whether that’s hearing voices or seeing things, whether it’s insomnia, poor concentrations, agitation or irritability. The list of mood, behavioural and cognitive symptoms that can attend an imbalance is very long. I found five drivers that are the most common reversible causes of what we’re calling psychiatric symptoms. I call them psychiatric pretenders. The first is blood sugar imbalance. Most, if not all of us to some extent, because of our stress exposures, the nature of processed food and the way we use food for our convenience rather than developing a more conscious relationship to the act of eating, are on a blood sugar roller coaster. The relationship of blood sugar dips to fight or flight chemistry is such that you can end up having something as severe as a panic attack. I had one patient who was on three psychiatric medications, on her way to electroconvulsive therapy and was totally symptom-free within four weeks of basic dietary change. Another one is thyroid imbalance. When you look at the symptoms of hypothyroidism and those of a major depressive disorder, they line up so completely that they’re virtually identical. You wouldn’t want to treat a thyroid imbalance with Zoloft or Prozac but if you don’t have access to the information that can help you interpret labs you wouldn’t know to connect the dots. Another big one is related to the adverse effects of commonly prescribed medications, including cholesterol medications, antibiotics, and birth control pills, and some very common over the counter medications, like Tylenol and Aleve. Not only can they have effects on systems that affect mood, cognition, gut integrity and nutrient deficiencies, but some have been directed to have a direct effect on mood. That Tylenol you take for your pain, is affecting a whole lot more. Then, there’s the realm of nutrient deficiency. While there are many deficiencies relevant to psychiatry, the one with the most jaw-dropping data is B12. I read one case on a 27-year vegetarian diagnosed with catatonic depression. She was unresponsive to multiple medications, when finally transferred to an outside hospital she was found to have a low B12 level (still technically in the range). Two B12 shots later, she was symptom free. Regarding the thyroid issue, we’re not trained to look beyond the TSH reference ranges and understand the relevance of antibodies. In psychiatry, even if you have “normal” lab values for your thyroid hormone levels and the presence of autoimmune markers like thyroid peroxidase antibody, it’s relevant. There’s already an immune-inflammatory process at work that could be the real reason you’re presenting with symptoms like anxiety, brain fog or depression. I was shocked by what I learned about psychiatric medications, because I had been such a die-hard believer in them. I’ve since learned that the efficacy of these medications is grossly over-represented; and then I learned that the adverse effects can be jaw-dropping. So, I started researching the other medications that I been a believer in, like statins. I found no evidence to defend the fact that any woman would ever take a statin. So many of my female patients taking statins had undiagnosed hypothyroidism, which is a document reason for elevated levels of cholesterol. So, when you don’t understand all these relationships, it seems to make sense to take medication, why not? But when you learn about the innate intelligence of the body, it begins to make less and less sense to reach for a pharmaceutical fix. What I’ve found is that once you engage basic lifestyle changes, it self-ameliorates and -remediates all the issues we’ve just discussed. You can heal, and if you know that, then you can set your sights on that goal and you can achieve it. I believe that. That’s the most important ingredient, knowing it’s possible and wanting it because the success is nearly guaranteed. I think we can get into this kind of self-critical place that is very paralyzing when we feel like we’ve made choices that weren’t good though you thought they were the best idea. Or you get into this place where what you’re doing is never good enough. So, I think there’s a practice and collection of exercises that are a really important accompaniment to the healing path. They involve developing a relationship with the more tender parts of yourself, the more vulnerable aspects of your being. It is possible to do through relatively simple attention to the habitual ways we relate to ourselves. That’s a lot of what I’ve tried to focus on in my most recent work and book. Resources Mentioned for Mental Illness: Book – A Mind of Your Own Book – A Time for Rain Book – Own Your Self Interview with Dr. Carri – Heal Your Body (Heal Your Mind) Dr. Brogan’s website Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Mental Illness – A Different Approach – with Dr. Kelly Brogan appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
30 minutes | a year ago
Mold Toxicity and Exposure with Dr. Ann Shippy
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr Ann Shippy explains the symptoms of mold toxicity and mold exposure. Dr. Ann Shippy, MD, is on a mission to help create extraordinary wellness by using cutting-edge science, testing, and the latest genetic research to find and treat root causes—and not just the symptoms—of illness. As a former IBM engineer, Dr. Shippy became frustrated that traditional medicine couldn’t find answers to her own health ailments, so she left a decade in engineering to adapt her skill set to the world of medicine. She is board certified in internal medicine and certified in functional medicine. She is on a tireless mission to help create a world of wellness … “because every life matters”. She is the author of two books, Shippy Paleo Essentials and Mold Toxicity Workbook: Assess Your Environment & Create a Recovery Plan. Main Questions Asked about Mold Toxicity: Why is mold exposure dangerous? What are the symptoms of mold exposure and mold toxicity? How fast do these symptoms occur? What about susceptibility? What is the difference between a mold allergy and mold toxicity? Where are some of the common places you might find mold? If somebody thinks they might have mold, what’s the best way to remediate that? What about at-home testing? Key Points made by about Mold Toxicity by Ann Shippy: Mold, in its growth process, makes chemicals called mycotoxins or mVOCs (microbial Volatile Organic Compounds). There are hundreds of types of mold and thousands of chemicals being made. The mycotoxins, when we study them, can cause cancer, can suppress the immune system, can flare up autoimmunity, can directly damage genes; because there are so many chemicals, they have a lot of different effects on the body. You need to remember, when you’re handling the sandbags or pulling up old moldy carpet, is that some of these chemicals are the types of things binge used for biological warfare. Some are really significant carcinogens. We need to be handling these with caution – a Hazmat suit is not going too far. Just like any other environmental toxin, you won’t really have symptoms until your barrel fills up. Our bodies are constantly exposed to environmental toxins, but until you get to the point where the toxins are building up and interfering with the biochemistry and physiology, you’ll usually feel fine. What I see a lot with families is that each person has their own weak link where the toxicity has the biggest impact. Furthermore, this can occur in different timeframes, where one member of the household is suffering while the rest of the household feels “normal”. It’s hard for them to understand. When I hear symptoms that are really suspicious for mold toxicity – e.g., brain fog, OCD, anxiety, insomnia, hair loss, skin rashes, new onset asthma or worsening allergies – I ask myself “do I try these other things, that are less upsetting to their lifestyle, to get them better, or do I go straight to the issue of an environmental toxin like mold”? I think it’s really important to be proactive – if you had a water leak in your house and it wasn’t dried up within 24-48 hours, it makes sense to get an expert to come in and see if there is hidden mold, or to do your own testing. It’s necessary to be clear on the difference between a mold allergy and mold toxicity. The former is an allergy to the spore, the organism itself which unless you have severe asthma is not life threatening. The actual toxins themselves, however, is like getting poisoned, even a very small amount can make people very sick. Also note, that lack of an odour is not an indication that you don’t have mold. Mold toxicity is a big factor for cognitive decline, many patients with cognitive decline have some mold exposure in their history. Mold can result from, be hidden in simple things – the carpet you shampooed that didn’t dry properly, plumbing leaks (even pinhole leaks in dishwashers and ice makers), improperly sealed showers, flashing around chimneys and windows, air conditioning systems – there may not be enough water to be visible but there’s enough water to feed a mold colony. That 24-48 hours to clean up and dry up water is key. One of the clues for mold toxicity is when patients tell you they feel better at home than at the office; or feel better on vacation and worse when they get back. Mold is not always the case, but it is a red flag. If you think you have mold, you want to approach it very carefully. Professionals may be the way to go – someone who is very careful. You want to protect what you can by wrapping it in plastic; then you need to build plastic walls around the area to be remediated and use air scrubbers so that the air is cleaned. Keep in mind that some of these chemicals released are carcinogens, and/or used for biological warfare. There are at home tests for mold; the two I like are RealTime Labs and BlackMoldScan.com. You collect as much dust as you can from the area and send it in and they’ll analyze it for the mycotoxins and and DNA. Neither one will get 100% of the molds but it gives us a good starting point. You really want to get the mold eliminated. There’s some stuff you can do to alleviate symptoms while living in the mold but why not eliminate the cause. Then you need to detoxify the body, and do the rebuilding of the mitochondria, cell membranes, and organ systems, , that have been affected. The key thing I want people to know is that you can heal and get better. Resources Mentioned for Mold Toxicity: Book – Shippy Paleo Essentials Book – Mold Toxicity Workbook: Assess Your Environment & Create a Recovery Plan Dr. Shippy’s website Dr. Shippy’s mold handout Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Mold Toxicity and Exposure with Dr. Ann Shippy appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
36 minutes | a year ago
Vagus Nerve Activation with Dr. Navaz Habib
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Navaz Habib explains the importance of the vagus nerve to our overall health. Dr. Habib’s book “Activate Your Vagus Nerve” is a simple to follow guide to help you identify and address a major missing piece in patients dealing with chronic health concerns. By activating the Vagus nerve, we can optimize our productivity, focus and energy levels, allowing us to feel the positive effects of upgraded health. Main Questions Asked about the Vagus Nerve: What is the vagus nerve and why is it so important? How do we know if our vagus nerve is working properly or not? Are there specific signs to look for? Are there tests? What about treatment? How do we fix this? Are there exercises to help rehabilitate the vagus nerve? What else do we need to know about the vagus nerve? Key Points made by Dr. Habib about the Vagus Nerve: The vagus nerve is one of the most important nerves in our body. This nerve is the only one that leaves from the cranium, which is where our brain is located, and goes to the other organs. It goes to many different organs in our body; essentially, you name the organ and the vagus nerve goes to and innervates that organ. The vagus nerve not only sends information to the organs from the brain, but also from the organs back to the brain. Most of us have heard of the brain gut connection and the physical connection is the vagus nerve. It is the fastest and clearest direct path between the brain and the gut. An easy way to check if the gut brain connection is working, and that the vagus nerve can transfer the information between the gut and the brain, is to see if our gut is working the way it should be. Digestive dysfunction is one of the most important, most common signs of vagus nerve dysfunction that we see. There is one test that I feel is a great way for anyone to just check to see how well their gut is functioning. It’s called the sesame seed bowel transit time test. Pick up a small bag of white sesame seeds, put a spoonful of these in a glass of water and drink it down, without chewing the seeds. Our body cannot digest the covering so they will show up in the stool. What we are looking for is the time it takes to see the first seeds in our stool and then when we see the last seeds to come out in our stool. Anywhere between 12 and 24 hours is good. Anything more or less than that is a sign that our vagus nerve isn’t working properly. There are other signs, as well. The vagus nerve has four different functions. One being a parasympathetic function, which is our rest and digest function – so one thing I look for is how well people handle stress. Inability to handle stress and/or recover from a stressful event means that their bodies are not very well adapted. 15% of the information passing through the autonomic nervous system (which is the system that controls all the things we don’t think about, g., digestion, heartbeat and breathing) is parasympathetic. If these things don’t function well and don’t allow for recovery, it means the vagus is not working well. This is where a lot of issues with inflammation occur. If we’re not able to control our levels of inflammation, it’s because our vagus is not able to do its job. We have a system called the blood brain barrier, which is supposed to keep inflammatory products, viruses, , out of the brain; but the vagus is a direct bypass. If we start to have leakiness in the gut because our function is compromised, it’s easy for the inflammation to get through the gut blood barrier into the vagus nerve and bypass the blood brain barrier leading to the brain fogginess incidents where you are dealing with memory loss, walking into a room and forgetting why, and forgetting where you parked the car, for example. This is a direct sign of inflammatory processes in the brain, especially when one had a good memory before. Thus treating the gut issues are not always enough to resolve issues. Travel is one of one of those things where our body is put under a lot of stress and that stress can be because we’re crossing time zones, for example, and our body is don’t know what time it is, and so we throw off our melatonin responses and our hormones get thrown off. And in doing so, when we change our schedules, our bodies don’t know whether they’re in a state of being awake or going to sleep. The vagus nerve does a lot of its work is during that sleep time to help the recovery of the stressors that have occurred throughout the day. What happens then, is the inflammatory processes are up-regulated, thus putting our bodies under higher stress, our parasympathetic system is down-regulated meaning we’re not able to control inflammation or digestive function, leading to all the symptoms people have when they travel or have a stressful event in their life. I said earlier that there were four specific functions to the vagus nerve. Parasympathetic being one of them, afferent, which is where the information being brought from all the organs to the brain. That is our second function. Our third function is motor function, and that motor function is to signal the muscles of the back of the throat and the muscles of the larynx to do their job. Vagus nerve function allows us to have pitch variability in our voice; and regulates our gag reflex. An inability to swallow pills is strongly associated with the latter. There a few things we can do and several tools we can use, based on the four functions of the vagus, to regulate the problem. The number one thing to do is to learn how to breath properly again. What we need to do is get into a good posture and get our chest raised forward, make sure that our head is aligned, that our ears are aligned without shoulders, and learn to breathe using our diaphragm – using that balloon filling feeling of our gut and actually have the rise and fall of our gut occurring. Motion of the diaphragm allows not only for positive movement in the lungs, but in the digestive organs as well. So, the breath is where I have most people begin. When we talked of motor function, I talked of the muscles of the back of the throat, the larynx and pharynx – this is where we train our gag reflex and train our humming and chanting and vocal cord muscles. To help stimulate these muscles, I’ll have my patients activate their gag reflex. I’ll also get them to gargle with salt water, which can have a great effect on breaking up the bacterial biofilm that likes to sit at the back of our throats. I also like to have patients do some humming or chanting to get them into a calm state, especially before meals. It’s a great way to stimulate vagus function, There are some other ways to test vagus nerve function that do cost, for example, heart rate variability. Our heart rate varies depending upon the level of stress we’re experiencing. The parasympathetic system (vagus) calms heart rate. The heart rate will tell us whether we are in a state of sympathetic (running from that saber-toothed tiger) or parasympathetic (relaxing on the beach). The lower Resources Mentioned for the Vagus Nerve: Book – Activate Your Vagus Nerve Dr. Habib’s website Dr. Habib’s book website Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Vagus Nerve Activation with Dr. Navaz Habib appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
28 minutes | 2 years ago
Fermented Foods and Gut Health with Dr. Carolyn Griffin
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Carolyn Griffin explains the link between fermented foods and gut health. Dr. Carolyn Griffin is a chiropractor and Certified Fermentationist. She created My Cultured Life which is a learning source to teach people how to make fermented foods and beverages on their own. This is where she shares what’s brewing in her kitchen and easy ways for you to do the same. Fermented foods and beverages are the best way to get your daily dose of a variety of healthy probiotics. Main Questions Asked about Fermented Foods: What is fermentation? Why is it making a comeback? Why should we be eating fermented foods? What’s the difference between probiotic supplements and fermented foods? What are some examples of fermented food? What’s the difference between making your own and buying it at the store? How do you make your own kefir or kombucha? Key Points made by Dr. Griffin about Fermented Foods: Fermentation has been around for thousands of years and is only recently making a comeback. It’s a natural process of preserving food. When food is exposed to bacteria and yeast, the microorganisms convert the sugars to lactic acid creating an acidic environment in which fools will not rot or spoil. I think people are reaching for more information and realizing that they need to be their own health advocate. And, fermentation is a healthy way of getting probiotics into your system, which is going to help your gut heal. We already know that 70% of your immune system is in your gut, so if you’re eating foods that are going to healthier for you, and you start to heal that, a lot of other conditions that people may be suffering with are going to resolve. I’m not 100% against probiotic supplements. I just think there is a difference between them and fermented foods. Probiotics are live bacteria. A lot of time in the process of isolating the bacteria to put them in a capsule, a lot die. Because they’re live organisms, the best source is going to be from fermented foods that you create. Sauerkraut for example is loaded with probiotics, bacteria, enzymes, vitamins, all kinds of things. When you’re talking about a supplement, a lot can go wrong. You really need to learn to read labels. So, there’s more of a question mark about a probiotic supplement versus a fermented food. Research is now showing that the more diverse the bacteria that live in us, the better. We’re finding that people in third world countries don’t have the same health issues that we do; for example, there’s not a lot of auto-immune disease. One of the reasons is the diversity. We, in Western civilization, tend to live in a very sterilized environment. Dirt, dust and dander are our friends, but we tend to eliminate all of this, and it’s causing a lot of issues for us. We take 50% of the medications on the market, yet we’re the 37th healthiest country, at least in the U.S. so we’re not very healthy; a lot of it has to do with our lifestyle and what we’re doing to our gut. Kefir is one example of a fermented food. It’s a fermented milk product that has the consistency of drinkable yogurt. It’s loaded with probiotics, 36-50 different strains compared to the 7-10 strains you might find in yogurt. The main difference between yogurt and kefir, is where we know yogurt will feed the good bacteria that’s already in your gut, kefir will actually colonize the gut. It’s 99% lactose-free, so people who are lactose intolerant can actually benefit from it. Kombucha is another, it’s a fermented tea. What’s really cool about kombucha is that it contains a yeast that is antibiotic-resistant. If you were in the hospital and given antibiotics you would be given a probiotic that contains this yeast found in kombucha. And, of course, fermented foods like sauerkraut and other cultured foods that you make by creating a brine and/or immersing it in water. Buying fermented food versus making it at home has the same issues as store bought probiotics – it’s manufactured in a plant, it travels to the store, it sits on the shelf, who knows how long it will sit, it’s going to lose some of its effectiveness. Also, a lot of time store-bought kefir is flavoured because the plain is quite tart but you’re not in control of the sugar content – you could be getting more than you bargained for. Kefir is easy to make at home; it’s the best way to start. You need kefir grains and cow’s milk or sheep’s milk or goat milk – it must have lactose, so it has to come from an animal. You leave it on the countertop for 24 hours, and it will ferment; strain out the grains and you have fresh kefir that you can flavour however you want. People with a lactose intolerance should be able to tolerate kefir; if, however, you have a casein sensitivity you might not be able to do milk kefir. You can use nut milk and get some of the benefits in that instance. There are only two ways to hill kefir grains – heat and starvation – so you need a routine to continually re-feed the grains, e., change out the milk. Kombucha is only slightly more complicated because of the bottling process. All you need is sweet black tea. You can use other types of tea, but black tea is traditional. You put black tea with sugar in a glass bottle, no metal, you put in a scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), and a little bit of starter fluid. Then let it sit for seven to 14 days. You can now bottle it as it is, or you can flavour it; then refrigerate and enjoy. It’s very cost-effective, I usually get about two gallons per batch that can last my family a week or two. Another thing to note is, that depending on how long it ferments, it will have alcohol in it. How much alcohol really depends on how long it brews. So, with young children or pregnant women you might want to err on the side of caution and avoid the kombucha and stick to kefir. Use your discretion. I think fermented vegetables are the best way to take your vegetables. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. Sauerkraut is one of the best – two ingredients, cabbage and salt, and a little bit of elbow grease to massage the cabbage to the point where it makes its own brine. Let it sit for six days and you have an amazing food. I also love fermenting garlic, turmeric and ginger; not only are they healthy in and of themselves but when you ferment them it’s 10x better the way I see it. You can add these things to food or salads. One thing I want to say is, even though it’s fermentation, and fermented foods are one of the best things you can do if you have gut issues; you want to be very cautious about incorporating them right away because if you have SIBO you can actually cause a flare-up. I’ve created a course called The Five R’s of Healing Leaky Gut – it talks about the exact ways and process of how to heal your gut if you do have any issues and fermentation is actually the last phase. Resources Mentioned for Fermented Foods Dr. Griffin’s website Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Fermented Foods and Gut Health with Dr. Carolyn Griffin appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
30 minutes | 2 years ago
The Downside to Modern Skin Care with Dr. Sandy Skotnicki
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Sandy Skotnicki talks about the downside to modern skin care. Dr. Sandy Skotnicki is the founding director of the Bay Dermatology Centre and is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Medicine in the Divisions of Dermatology and Occupational and Environmental Health. Dr. Skotnicki is a consultant Dermatologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and is an expert in Allergic Skin Disease. She is also the author of Beyond Soap: The Real Truth About What You Are Doing To Your Skin And How To Fix It For A Beautiful, Healthy Glow, which details her “product-elimination diet”. Main Questions Asked about Skin Care: Why is there such an epidemic of skin issues these days? How does the alkaline nature of soap affect the bacteria on our skin? Can you explain your product elimination diet? What do you see as the future of skin care? Key Points made by Dr. Skotnicki about Skin Care: My interest is allergic reactions and just reactions to skin care and other things that touch the skin. It’s part of the reason I wrote the book. It’s been shown both in the US and in Europe that reactions to skin care products and skin care ingredients, both natural and synthetic, have increased. A lot of it has to do with how we take care of our skin, which is we do too much to our skin. One of the most fun chapters to write was chapter two, where I kind of look at the history of cleanliness. How did we get to the point where we have a shower every day or sometimes twice a day? We use shampoo every day, even when our hair’s not dirty; and that’s to make a distinction between what it means to be clean and what it means to be hygienic. Your hands are the thing that you really want to keep clean, because they’re the tools for transmission of disease; and most people don’t do it properly. You have to do it for two Happy Birthdays. The other thing is that it’s more about pH. The pH of the skin is acidic, so that’s key to everything the skin needs to function, and if it isn’t acidic, it doesn’t work properly. The first soaps that came along in the 40’s and 50’s were alkaline. We feel that the high pH cleaning of the skin has damaged our barrier and maybe led to the increase in eczema and allergies. Then, there’s a further issue of just the sheer number of ingredients in skin care products, and the lack of regulation in North America in particular. We don’t really know what the use of alkaline soaps for the last 50 to 60 years has done, we don’t have the science, but a lot of people are asking if we haven’t done something to our skin microbiomes over these decades. If you think about your skin as a brick wall, where the cells are the bricks and your lipids are the mortar, and even just water and soap diminish that mortar so that you end up with a leaky wall; so, what have we done? Shortly after my book was published, I found a link between food allergies and the skin barriers. There was a study that looked at mice who were sensitized to peanut allergy through the skin, once their skin barrier was disrupted with soap and water. One of the really important parts of the book is where I write that the reason we’re so clean has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with advertising. We’ve been told that we need to wash every day to be healthy and beautiful, and I’m trying to show the opposite. If you look at the evolution of humans, and homo sapiens has been around bout 200,000 years, and it’s only in the last 150 that we’ve been cleaning up. So, we clean up, we’re damaging our microbiome; so, the marketing machine of beauty will latch on to this and say now we need products to repair the microbiome. There’s already a company that has a spray of bacteria that you can put on your skin. There was study published in about 2012 showing that kids growing up on farms had less asthma. There’re also studies showing that kids that have animals have less allergies. You’d think it would be the other way. Furthermore, the studies indicate that by adulthood your microbiome is stable and doesn’t change, which makes how we wash the kids in infancy and childhood critical. Another reason I wrote the book is that I was frustrated with patients coming in with persistent reactions and saying, “I think I’m reacting to something I’m using. I’m not sure.” A lot of people when they get rashes or rosacea decide they’re going to go natural because they want to use something “natural”. But when it comes to rashes, eczema, itchy skin, red, scaly stuff, whatever, you want to us things that aren’t going to give you reactions, either allergic or irritant. It’s got nothing to do with plant-based or synthetic. There’s a difference between what is toxic and what can give you a rash. Poison ivy can give you the worst rash imaginable, but it’s a plant. Right? It’s natural. There’s a big disconnect in the public. Part of the reason for the product elimination diet was to give patients a list of products that don’t have ingredients that will give them rashes. Some of my products have parabens, but parabens don’t give rashes. My product elimination diet isn’t about toxicity; it’s about having a list of products you can use if you’re having chronic eruptions. The other reason is because marketing and labelling are not regulated; consumers are at a disadvantage. The diet is a play on words. It doesn’t have the most common things in skin care that give reactions, that includes fragrances, both synthetic and natural, preservatives, and other kinds of organic ingredients associated with both allergy and irritation. Patients basically follow this product elimination diet from head to toe, including shampoo and detergents and everything that touches the body. Hopefully they improve within a month. Once they’re better, they can reintroduce products that they miss, one per week. The other thing about this diet is that products have to play together. If you look at the average woman, and you look at how many products she puts on her face, she could have as many as 500 ingredients. It’s the accumulation of all of them; it’s not one thing causing the problem, and that’s why you have to eliminate all of them and start over. But there’s still a percentage of people who have actual disease. If you have eczema, your mom or dad had eczema or asthma (which are somewhat genetically related), and you cut out everything and see a 60-70% improvement, you’ll still need medicine because you have a genetic disease. I was seeing a lot of people on medication who weren’t getting better because they were still using products that aggravated their condition. It’s like having asthma and smoking, no amount of medication is going to stop flare-ups because the smoke is aggravating the condition. I think we’re so oversaturated in this market of beauty and skin care that the pendulum, at some point, has to swing backward. If you talk to any chemist who makes products, you really only need six to ten ingredients to make something that works properly. Everything else that’s added is for marketing purposes. There is a Canadian brand, The Ordinary, for example – some of their products have only two ingredients. This is where skin care needs to go. It’s going to be hard; it’s a billion-dollar industry that needs to change. I think we’re starting to see some of it – less is more: fewer ingredients, no fragrance. Be careful of plants. Plants can give you rashes. There was a study published last year that showed young boys using tea tree oil and lavender oil had hormone disruption and breast development. Just because it’s plant based doesn’t mean it’s safe; just because it’s synthetic doesn’t mean it’s bad. There are good synthetics, bad synthetics, good plants, bad plants. It’s not black and white. I think it’s very important to get this message out to young people. They’re the ones that are so touched by the advertising. Resources Mentioned about Skin Care: Book – Beyond Soap: The Real Truth About What You Are Doing To Your Skin And How To Fix It For A Beautiful, Healthy Glow Dr. Skotnicki’s website Product Elimination Diet Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post The Downside to Modern Skin Care with Dr. Sandy Skotnicki appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
34 minutes | 2 years ago
Alzheimer’s Treatment with Julie Gregory
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Julie Gregory talks about Alzheimer’s treatment, the ApoE4 gene, known as the Alzheimer’s gene, and her personal story. Julie Gregory is a founder and president of ApoE4.Info, a non-profit focused on learning about the ApoE4 gene. This vibrant online community is disrupting mainstream medicine by connecting carriers of the gene with Alzheimer’s researchers from all over the world to identify strategies to prevent, and even mitigate, symptoms of cognitive decline. Julie has also partnered with Dr. Dale Bredesen to help write a follow-up to The End of Alzheimer’s which will feature survivor’s stories as well as a detailed handbook for how to apply Dr. Bredesen’s protocol, available March 2020. Main Questions Asked about Alzheimer’s treatment: Would you mind sharing your personal story and how ApoE4.Info got started? How did you eventually connect with Dr. Dale Bredesen? How long have you been on this journey? What can you tell us about the follow-up book you’re working on with Dr. Bredesen? Key Points made by Julie Gregory about Alzheimer’s treatment: About seven years ago, I decided to take part in genetic testing with 23andMe. I was having some health issues and thought genetic testing would help me better understand what was going on. When I got my results, they were pretty benign with one exception – I learned I carry two copies of the ApoE4 gene. I am referring to the apolipoprotein gene. Everyone has two copies but there are three common epsilon versions. The E2 version, which is rare, is considered to be protective against Alzheimer’s. The E3 version, which is very common, is considered neutral with regards to Alzheimer’s. Then there’s the E4 version, which is closely associated with the most common form of Alzheimer’s. ApoE4 heterozygotes, who carry only one copy, comprise between 20-25% of the world’s population, have a mildly increased risk of Alzheimer’s. ApoE4 homozygotes, like me, have a greatly increased risk. The risk, in both cases, is higher for women than for men. Although less than 2% of the population carries two copies of the gene, it’s still a lot of people (75 million in the US alone). Learning that I was at a very high risk for Alzheimer’s was frightening. At that time, I was already exhibiting symptoms of cognitive decline. I was having frequent senior moments, and I wasn’t a senior. When I finally revealed to my husband that I thought I might be exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s, he blew me away by saying “that explains a lot.” I did online cognitive testing and found I was in the mid-30th percentile for my age group. I’d always learned and remembered easily; I was getting a lot of evidence that something was going on. I dove into Alzheimer’s. 23andMe provided online forums where people learning of their ApoE4 status could gather. Once we developed a sense of community and support, we dove into the science, we solicited help from everyone we could, and we read and analyze medical research studies and paper. Our primary focus was to find strategies that could protect our brains. As I began to learn about the strategies for treating Alzheimer’s, I began to apply them – tracking and tweaking biomarkers, changing my diet, exercising differently, reducing my stress load, optimizing my sleep, taking targeted supplements and doing online brain training. My world opened up again. I repeated the online cognitive testing and, a year later, I was in the high 90th percentile for my age group. In October 2013, two other ApoE4 carriers and I decided to move away from 23andMe and create our own independent online community – ApoE4.Info. Several months later we attained non-profit status Our primary focus is to learn all we can about the Apoe4 gene and how it impacts health. Our ultimate goal is to try to find strategies that we can use to mitigate all high risk not only for dementia but also for heart disease. I was already several years into my healing journey when I stumbled upon his paper: Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program. He applied a protocol with 10 people exhibiting cognitive decline, and nine of the ten reversed their cognition. When I got to Therapeutic Systems 1.0, a table where he lists the Alzheimer’s treatment strategies that he used to reverse cognitive decline, I had been using the same strategies with similar results. Reading this paper was like an amazing confirmation of my journey. I sent him an email to which he replied the same day. He wanted all the details of my prior symptoms, my prior health issues, and all the strategies I was using. He was also thrilled with the whole ApoE4.Info project and has been a big supporter of our work ever since. Bredesen has also helped me in my recovery. A few years ago, I felt like I was plateauing, and he was pushing me to get all these biomarkers tested. I finally relented, mostly to prove to him that he was wrong. The test results were devastating. I learned that I was overwhelmingly positive for chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) that he correlates with the Type 3 Alzheimer’s. My other numbers too were off the charts. I did additional testing to figure out what might be driving the inflammation, my testing showed I was susceptible to chronic Lyme disease. Further testing showed it wasn’t Lyme disease but a co-related disease which is now completely gone. I’ve been on this healing journey for 7 years since the first genetic testing and I have tremendous hope for the future; not just for me but for anyone willing to use this approach. It’s not a straightforward process, it’s like peeling the layers of an onion. It takes time. It’s a constant battle. It takes time to implement all the changes and to see the results. If you’re not seeing changes, there’s something being missed. One of the hardest aspects, was the idea of using this higher fat diet, particularly as I was already at risk for heart disease with the ApoE4 gene. I have to say, for me, getting into ketosis was one of the most healing things for my body. ApoE4 carriers have a reduced cerebral glucose utilization in the brain that starts as early as age 20 and is exacerbated with the onset of menopause which is when I was having my symptoms. The follow-up to The End of Alzheimer’s is a bit of a struggle as we need to be technical enough to convince the scientists that are reading the book, but the language needs to be simple enough that lay people can understand it. I’m helping with the handbook portion of the book. We’re basically going to provide detailed instructions for all his recommended Alzheimer’s treatment strategies – diet, exercise, stress reduction, optimizing sleep – all the many ways you can enhance your cognition. Mainstream medicine has nothing to offer other than two or three medications that might temporarily improve symptoms but do nothing to change the trajectory of the disease process. But it is possible, at ApoE4.Info they can see lots of people that are having success with the protocols. We are a non-profit because we know the obstacles faced by people when they go to visit their physicians The lack of an effective Alzheimer’s treatment is the greatest failure of modern medicine by far. We’re trying to create partnerships between researchers and our community to conduct our own self-organized trials. We should be making some announcements about these shortly. As a final word, I want to encourage people to give this approach a try. As Dr. Bredesen always points out, you don’t have to be perfect. I’m far from perfect, but I do enough that I get results that are self-perpetuating. I want to follow the protocol because it makes me feel so much better. Resources Mentioned for Alzheimer’s treatment: Julie Gregory’s website Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Alzheimer’s Treatment with Julie Gregory appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
34 minutes | 2 years ago
Mental Health with Dr. Christina Bjorndal
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Christina Bjorndal talks about mental health. Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders. Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and writer who has helped many patients achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. She has completed three books on mental health as well as a 10-week course and in-person retreat on mental health. Main Questions Asked Mental Health: Can you talk about your story of regaining your mental health? What are some of the underlying factors that you look for when a patient comes in struggling with some kind of mental health issue? What can you tell us about the hormonal system? How do you look at neurotransmitters? Now what about detoxification? How do you address the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of health? Key Points made by Dr. Chris about Mental Health My story started with an eating disorder in high school (just as a side note, I was taking antibiotics the year prior). At the time there was no mention of the relationship between the gut microbiome and mental health. I was an overachiever which served me well until my third year of university when I found myself paralyzed by anxiety and debilitated by depression. I was treated with some success with antidepressants but a few months later I suffered a full-blown delusional psychotic manic episode. I was given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I basically pushed the diagnosis into a corner, ignored the whole thing, and went back to being the overachiever who had it all together. But I didn’t, this all culminated in a suicide attempt that left me in a coma with kidney failure. While on dialysis I was given a book to read by Marianne Williamson called A Return to Love. In it there’s a quote about surrender, which impacted me greatly because what I realized is that I didn’t love and accept myself, so I began to look for other ways and to find answers to what was going on with me. I went to a public forum and listened to a lecture by Dr. Abram Hoffer. I became his patient and started on a nutritional protocol, and shortly thereafter I began to feel relief from depression and anxiety which I hadn’t in the 15 prior years. I made a career change to naturopathic medicine to help others. First, I explain that there are four aspects to people: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual; and that western medicine is focused on the physical. I also explain that there are three macro-systems comprising the physical: neurotransmitters, the neuro-endocrine system, and organs of detoxification. With respect to the hormonal system, we need to understand that every hormone, when out of balance, can have symptoms like mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, mood swings, etc. Most times, people are adjusting the neurotransmitters, but I find that in most cases we have to look at the three macro-systems to find the root cause. When we talk about hormones, we’re talking about sex hormones, stress hormones, thyroid, insulin, al.; which are often overlooked, especially in mental health. This was the case for me. In addition to the patient’s symptoms, I will assess them using an objective questionnaire to give me a sense of the degree to which they are experiencing symptoms of, for example, depression. From the perspective of neurotransmitters, diet is a big piece. For example, serotonin, one of the main transmitters implicated in mental health, is derived in the body from tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid meaning we can’t make it ourselves. There are certain nutrients that are essential building blocks for these neurotransmitters. If you’re not getting them through your diet, there’s no ability for you to make them on your own. I think from a root cause perspective we always have to ensure that we’re eating the right foods, although supplementation is often required. I don’t prescribe tryptophan because serotonin production is not its primary object; in fact, if we’re under stress, then tryptophan goes to make quinolinic acid which can be considered a neurotoxin. Thus, managing stress is another big part of the mental health puzzle. The environmental piece, and the connection with the organs of detoxification is extremely important. People mostly think of mental health conditions resulting from a deficiency. Something to consider is that perhaps there’s something from the environment that is blocking a receptor so that the hormone or neurotransmitter cannot get into the cell to do its job. We talk about the gut, or our digestive system, as our second brain; its health is a very important piece of the puzzle. The relationship, or balance, of bacteria in your gut is really important in our overall health and helps our organs of detoxification. It helps to have regular bowel movements. If not, what can happen is that the liver works diligently to get toxins out of your body, which can now be eliminated through the bowel or the urine; if the stool sits in the large colon and there’s an imbalance in bacteria, there are bacteria that end up breaking up the chemicals that the liver worked to get rid of, and these end up being reabsorbed giving you another toxic hit. This in turn contributes to inflammation and to leaky gut syndrome. All these factors play a role, and it relates back to our prior use of medications, to our levels of stress, to the level of stomach acid that we have. We always want to look at what’s happening from a digestive perspective as well as the liver and the colon. So, for me, it started with the physical piece, but I still had to work on my thoughts and emotions. I teach people how to manage their mind so they’re not at the mercy of it. It’s important to understand that there is something called psychoneuroimmunology which means, basically, that your thoughts create neuropeptides, which then affect the hormones being produced in the body, which in turn can affect how you feel. It’s been a really important piece of my healing to learn how to manage my thoughts. I teach a Four R Process. The first R is to recognize the nature of the conversation going on in your head. The second step to refrain from following these thoughts any further. You refrain by relaxing into the present moment with your breath. The last R is to resolve to repeat this process. Learning to move ourselves from a sympathetic, or stressed, state into a parasympathetic, or relaxed, state is extremely important. So many functions in the body require you to be in a parasympathetic state to benefit fully, digestion is one of them. You could be eating the most pristine, organic food but if you’re in a sympathetic state you may not be getting the full benefit of the nutrition. Another important thing I want people to know is that ultimately learning to love and accept yourself is a really important part of this puzzle. Resources Mentioned for Mental Health Book – Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine Book – The Essential Diet: Eating for Mental Health Dr. Bjorndal’s website Dr. Bjorndal on Facebook Dr. Bjorndal on Instagram Dr. Bjorndal on Twitter Dr. Carri’s interview with Kelly Brogan : Heal Your Body (Heal Your Mind) Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Mental Health with Dr. Christina Bjorndal appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
34 minutes | 2 years ago
Pain with Dr. Ann-Marie Barter
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Ann-Marie Barter explains the links between functional medicine and some of the surprising causes of pain. Dr. Ann-Marie Barter is on the cutting edge of holistic healthcare. As a chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner, she helps people get out of pain and reach their maximum potential through her unique approach she has developed after studying under some of the finest minds in her field. She now specializes in difficult functional medicine cases, helping people with issues concerning their thyroid, blood sugar, gut health and hormone dysfunction as well as other metabolic conditions. Main Questions Asked about Pain: What are some of the things we can think about as the root underlying causes of chronic pain? What about the thyroid? How can the gut microbiome impact people with pain? What else do you think about for patients with pain? Key Points made by Dr. Barter about Pain: My first approach is lab work, but I also like to lay my hands on the patient just to see what is going on. If this indicates systemic inflammation, I look at their labs to see if there’s some kind of underlying infection. A lot of times chronic infections are low grade until a stressful event triggers them and, suddenly, you have this systemic chronic pain that won’t go away no matter what they try. I recently had a case with severe shoulder, neck and upper back pain that flared up when she was moving into a new home. In looking at the labs, it turned out she had autoimmune thyroid and ultimately had a chronic low grade viral infection, after we started treating the viral infection, suddenly all her pain cleared up. So you see those simple cases, just may not be. Because inflammation can present as pain, but doing structural work is not what we need to do to address the main cause. When we’re looking at reference ranges, it’s a standard deviation of the population – meaning that whoever had lab work done at that lab that year is compared. So if your population is sick or average, you’re put into that normal group, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have symptoms. But 90% of the time, the CBC is completely ignored. These patients end up on anti-depressants, and pain medications that aren’t working. And, infections are a huge, huge cause of overall chronic pain. And vitamin D levels for most people are chronically low. And very low levels lead to an increased risk of autoimmune disease; and increased symptoms of fatigue, pain, anxiety, etc. Everyone presents differently with autoimmune disease We also see a lot of thyroid cases in my office, the big reason being that so many patients with autoimmune thyroids present with pain – they have depression, they have anxiety, they have just chronic headaches and chronic pain. Ultimately when you start to drill down in their particular labs, you see very high levels of inflammation and also that they have autoimmune thyroid; we’ve also made connections to some viral infections that seem to be high as well in any sort of Hashimoto’s case or autoimmune thyroid. Another issue is an under-conversion problem, primarily in the liver, wherein T4 is not being converted to the active T3 form of your thyroid hormones. So if TSH is the only thing that they’re checking, something is being missed. I also think about environmental exposures to chemicals; most of my patients are exposed to about 70,000 chemicals per day. When we look at the labs we see a little bit of functional fatty liver, so they’re not processing the toxins the way they should. If you have a low functioning thyroid, everything in the system slows down; every enzyme reaction is slower; you can even see the gallbladder contracting slower on ultrasound. So we actually have a detox issue; and one thing I’ve found very interesting is that most of these patients don’t sweat. I believe it’s really important to get somebody sweating, because one of their main detoxification pathways is not working. The gut microbiome is a big issue; it’s influenced by what we eat. Has our meat or dairy been exposed to antibiotics, have our grain products been exposed to pesticides? This affects our gut and creates a leaky gut syndrome. And when the foods we eat are going where they’re not supposed to go, we can have chronic problems every time we eat that food. I find that doing a very strict elimination diet for about a month and then slowly incorporating foods is effective. It’s an intuitive way to say “How do I feel when I eat this food?” and determine food sensitivities. I also find in my practice that many people are stressed out – they’re exhausted – they’re burning through neurotransmitters. And the microbiome influences how many and even, if we can make the neurotransmitters themselves. What I’ve found is that sometimes repopulating the neurotransmitters helps the patient stick to an elimination diet short-term, when they’ve been too overwhelmed at the idea. Lifestyle changes are pretty big and we want to set patients up for success. We also have a lot of pathogens in the gut, so a lot of times that has a potential to create pain or chronic pain. Another big one is dental infections. A lot of time you have sinus pain, referral headaches, and sometimes neck pain. Then there is exposure to mold, and, last but not least, some women have problems when their hormones are low. I don’t address the hormones first, because I find that if I can get the rest of the body back into alignment, then a lot of times the hormones will follow. One of the last points I really want to drive home is that this is a process. Pain is not something that needs to be totally blotted out. The question is why do you have pain, and it’s generally not due to one thing. When your body is saying “Cannot continue,” there tends to be more going on. Resources Mentioned for Chronic Pain: Dr. Barter’s website: https://altfammed.com/ Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Pain with Dr. Ann-Marie Barter appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
38 minutes | 2 years ago
EMF Radiation (electromagnetic field radiation) with Daniel DeBaun
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Daniel DeBaun talks about EMF radiation (electromagnetic field radiation), and its effect on health. Daniel DeBaun is an internationally recognized expert in EMF radiation, EMF shielding, and EMF-related health issues with special focus on the effect of exposure from mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Daniel’s concern regarding the health impact of EMF emissions grew from over thirty years of engineering experience in the telecommunication industry, where he held a variety of executive positions at SAIC, Telcordia, AT&T, and Bell Labs. He is the co-author of Radiation Nation: The Fallout of Modern Technology. Main Questions Asked about EMF radiation: What is EMF radiation? Where does EMF radiation come from? How does EMF radiation damage our bodies? How can we protect ourselves? Key Points made by Daniel DeBaun on EMF radiation: 100 years ago, electromagnetic radiation didn’t exist in our lives. Nature doesn’t generate emissions that can potentially be dangerous to our bodies. One major source of EMF radiation is all the devices we use to communicate with – cell phones, Wi-Fi, Blue-tooth, Another is when you have an electric motor – e.g., refrigerator, hair dryer, etc. – as a byproduct it releases emissions into the air. As little as 6-7 years ago, I didn’t think that the low level signals from a laptop could be harmful to the body; but I looked into it and found that there was a lot of research as to how these signals were interrupting our body’s behavior. To be more specific, when you have a cell phone to your head or when you have a laptop in your lap, the emissions are touching the cells of the body. With the constant aggressive radio frequency signal touching the body like that, the cell becomes diminished in its capacity to defend itself. At the same time, there’s an immune suppression effect from these devices, which can significantly worsen an already compromised immune system. You can have mutated cells, you can have DNA damage, you can all kinds of potentially longer lasting health problems. For a bit of context, a microwave oven is around 2.3 gigahertz which is transmitted into the water in your meat, it oscillates the cells and, all of a sudden, your meat is cooked. It turns out that cell phone emissions are around two gigahertz. Just like the microwave it is a thermal-emitting signal. The standard for cell phones is that the cell phone is allowed to increase the temperature of the head around the cell phone by two degrees and the signal is allowed to penetrate one inch into the skull. Fast forward 30 years and you have children using cell phones, not the six-foot males that the standard was based on. The same signal is going completely through a six-year old child. Children are three times more vulnerable than adults. Over the last ten years, research says that frontal lobe cancer has increased by two percent per year, compounding every year; this being the primary cancer for cell phone exposure. With children, however, we’re also looking at neurological impacts – e.g., ADHD, and child behavioral problems – we’re talking about all kinds of disruption of brain patterns. We’re looking at a lifetime of exposure. EMF radiation symptoms are somewhat non-specific. You have a headache today, is it because you have blue light, i.e., visible light exposure to the retina? Or is it because you have a radio signal from your router that’s two foot away from you bothering your brain and the panels of the brain? There are just so many symptoms that rear their ugly head, and it’s hard to prove. Furthermore, blue light is a component of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum that actually is visible. And it turns out; its strength is really, really strong. So what you want to avoid is exposure before going to bed, as this disrupts creation of melatonin which disrupts your circadian rhythm which can lead to a whole raft of problems. One of the best ways to protect yourself, is to know where the EMF radiation is coming from – when a cell phone is on it’s constantly transmitting to the tower, your Wi-Fi is constantly transmitting to the router, – then, ask yourself if you need all those transmitters. Reduce the number of transmitters in a room, and you begin reducing your exposure. The worst case of potential danger is if you have a device against your body. Moving the device one foot away reduces the potential danger almost 80 percent; four feet away, almost 98 percent. Eliminating the wireless component of cell phones, tablets and laptops also reduces the potential danger. Your environment is probably the source of 80 percent of all health concerns, and one of the new concerns in our environment is EMF radiation sources. The only standard is 30 years old and based on a temporary thermal effect. They never considered the biological impacts. The standards have not been updated, and the technologies are evolving with the potential for even more danger to the body, based on the speed of the technologies which is ever increasing. There is so much research – really sound work done by wonderful researchers, doing controlled studies, and making conclusions solely based on the data –clearly showing statistically significant evidence of danger. Resources Mentioned for EMF radiation: Book – Radiation Nation: The Fallout of Modern Technology Environmental Health Trust – Dr. Davis Daniel’s website Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post EMF Radiation (electromagnetic field radiation) with Daniel DeBaun appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) with Dr. Jordan Robertson
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Jordan Robertson explains PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – which is a very common cause for sporadic or no menstrual cycles.. Dr. Jordan Robertson is a naturopathic doctor and women’s health author. Through her experience in medical literature review, critical appraisal and research, Dr. Robertson has published over 12 literature reviews on women’s health, and has worked closely with McMaster University, writing and facilitating courses on integrative medicine for the last 10 years, speaking for their medical school and working off-site for the Endometriosis Clinic at McMaster Hospital. Dr. Robertson has most recently lectured for the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors convention on PCOS, PMS, PMDD and Endometriosis, and has published a book for women, Carrying to Term, on reducing miscarriage risk. In her clinical practice she focuses on women’s health issues including PMS, PCOS, infertility, menopause and breast cancer recovery. Main Questions Asked about PCOS: What is PCOS? What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS? Why is making the diagnosis for PCOS so hard? What are the treatment options available? Key Points made by Dr. Robertson about PCOS: PCOS is essentially a metabolic disease that shows up as a hormonal disease in women where the crux of the issue is centered around insulin impacting ovulation and influencing testosterone and the expression or regulation of normal female hormones. Symptoms include cycles where women don’t ovulate so they may not get a period for some time or have sporadic periods. It may also show up as elevated testosterone, so for women that shows up often as unwanted hair growth, as acne, and may have almost a male pattern hair loss on their head. We often find that women, even if they sort of appear as if they have a normal body weight, they actually carry higher fat mass than women without POCS and so they may actually have elevated BMI or they may be a normal body weight. I think that if women are seeing those changes to their cycle or they’re maybe looking back thinking, “you know what, my cycle was never really regular ever,” they should approach their physician to be assessed because there is such a delay in making an accurate diagnosis for women. Women with PCOS are at risk for more cardio metabolic disease, they’re at risk for unique cancers like endometrial cancer, and so if they’re not well treated and not well identified, we’re really missing an opportunity for preventative medicine for the future. Even the name, Polycystic Ovaries, is slightly misleading because we used to only make that diagnosis if women had cysts on their ovaries, and what we’ve found over time is that’s not a necessary feature to struggle with the metabolic disturbances of PCOS. Diagnosing PCOS involves looking for a collection of symptoms,versus a definitive list of symptoms, so we struggle to either put people in that category or not , when truthfully, we shouldn’t really be declining treatment for women just because they don’t quite fit the diagnosis. Even women who half fit the diagnosis for PCOS would benefit from some of the diet, lifestyle, and supplement interventions that we use. Some symptoms of PCOS get dramatically worse during that perimenopausal period, so certainly if women noticed a rapid change in any of those symptoms, that would maybe lead to an assessment. We have even studies that show that depending on how we apply the diagnostic criteria, we get different answers. So, some studies show eight percent of women have PCOS, some show as high as 15 or 17 percent, and it depends on which diagnostic criteria we use. Metformin or oral contraceptives are conventional treatments which do have good evidence for reducing cancer risk in women with PCOS. The greatest clinical benefit comes from diet and weight loss. Only a few supplements have been shown to have dramatic clinical benefit in PCOS, fish oil being one of them. It improves insulin sensitivity, lowers inflammation, and improves mood in women with PCOS. Inositol is probably one of the best studied nutritional supplements out there. Inositol improves insulin sensitivity and actually helps encourage better ovulation rates. The third most important supplement would be vitamin D Birth control pills induce a withdrawal bleed, or at least prevent women from having endometrial growth which does give them a reduction of risk of endometrial cancer over their lifetime. It also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer over their lifetime, which is also higher in women with PCOS. But, oral contraceptives are not addressing the underlying cause and they worsen insulin sensitivity, so often these women gain weight on this treatment, or it’s worsening their triglycerides and some of their cardio metabolic risk. There is no easy way to diagnosis PCOS and there is no easy to treatment for PCOS, either. Be patient. My biggest take home is if you think you have PCOS, you might. It’s easier for us to rule out a diagnosis of PCOS than it is to rule it in, and if you’re curious about your symptoms, it really warrants being well assessed by someone who’s experienced in hormonals. Resources Mentioned for PCOS: Book – Carrying to Term Dr. Jordan’s website Dr. Jordan on facebook Dr. Jordan on Instagram Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) with Dr. Jordan Robertson appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
42 minutes | 2 years ago
Histamine Intolerance and SIBO with Dr. Norm Robillard
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Norm Robillard explains histamine intolerance and SIBO. Norm Robillard, Ph.D., Founder of the Digestive Health Institute is a leading gut health expert. He specializes in functional gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, LPR, IBS, etc.), SIBO and dysbiosis helping his clients transition from drug and antibiotic based treatments to the Fast Tract Diet and other holistic solutions. The Fast Tract Diet was presented at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in 2014 to give gastroenterologists another treatment option for SIBO and related conditions. His award-winning Fast Tract Diet mobile app and Fast Tract Digestion book series make it easy to try the approach. Main Questions Asked about Histamine Intolerance and SIBO: Can you give a general overview of SIBO? How do you go about the process of figuring out difficult SIBO cases? What are some of the symptoms of histamine intolerance? Key Points made by Dr. Norm about Histamine Intolerance and SIBO: If we have too many bacteria in the small intestine and the cut off is loosely defined as more than 100,000 bacteria per mil in the small intestine, that’s technically considered SIBO. When you do get a pathological number of bacteria in the small intestine, they really can impact our digestion. They produce proteases that can damage the enzymes that our own body is releasing at the tips of our microvilli. They can cause a lot of inflammation and basically wreak havoc. Potential underlying causes include motility issues. We also hear about stomach acidity, any kind of liver or pancreas problems, Celiac, Crohn’s, diabetes. Another that I focus on is just consuming more fermentable carbohydrates than your body can process. Past surgeries, especially abdominal surgeries, can cause SIBO because you’ve got a real possibility of having some scarring or adhesions. Histamine intolerance can be due to gut bacteria producing histamine. So when you have a bacterial overgrowth, you will be producing more histamine. A lot of people come in thinking they have histamine intolerance but they’re complaining about the GI symptoms: gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, vomiting, cramps. And those as we both know from our discussions are also symptoms of IBS and SIBO. Do they have IBS and just think they have histamine intolerance, or do they have IBS and SIBO and all these bacteria are producing more histamine? Histamine intolerance can be due to a deficiency of the enzymes needed to break down histamine, excessive histamine in the diet, or histamine producing bacteria in your gut. One thing to look for is if you have symptoms consistent with histamine intolerance, that’s the first clue. And then the other big one a lot of people talk about is an improvement of symptoms on a histamine restricted diet. I’ve moved ahead creating an approach that is both low FP (fermentation potential) and low histamine. At the same time, I have questions about how histamine is being measured in these foods. Resources Mentioned for Histamine Intolerance and SIBO: Book – Fast Tract Digestion Heartburn Book – Fast Tract Digestion IBS Podcast interview – The Cure for Acid Reflux? with Dr. Norman Robillard Podcast interview – Fast Tract Diet for SIBO with Dr. Norm Robillard Dr. Norm’s website Join Dr. Norm’s FB Group Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Histamine Intolerance and SIBO with Dr. Norm Robillard appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
33 minutes | 2 years ago
Endometriosis with Dr. Jordan Robertson
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Jordan explains endometriosis – causes and natural treatments. Dr. Jordan Robertson is a naturopathic doctor and women’s health author. Through her experience in medical literature review, critical appraisal and research, Dr. Robertson has published over 12 literature reviews on women’s health, and has worked closely with McMaster University, writing and facilitating courses on integrative medicine for the last 10 years, speaking for their medical school and working off-site for the Endometriosis Clinic at McMaster Hospital. Dr. Robertson has most recently lectured for the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors convention on PCOS, PMS, PMDD and Endometriosis, and has published a book for women, Carrying to Term, on reducing miscarriage risk. In her clinical practice she focuses on women’s health issues including PMS, PCOS, infertility, menopause and breast cancer recovery. Main Questions Asked about Endometriosis: What is endometriosis? What causes it? How would you assess and treat the various aspects of endometriosis in patients? How long should it take to see improvements? Key Points made by Dr. Jordan about Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a gynecological concern, where women have abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside of their uterus. Unlike the normal menstrual experience, where the endometrial lining is shed every month, these satellite lesions create chronic inflammation, chronic pain, and a chronic immune response, given that they are growing and bleeding, but with nowhere to go. 2002-2003 was sort of the first glimpse we had at endometriosis being an immune-triggered condition, we were starting to realize that the immune system in those women was not behaving normally, and almost more like an autoimmune-like tendency, where the immune system, rather than helping these women, was actually perpetuating inflammation, and that their T cells, and the cells related to what would typically be related to a sort of cleaning up cells that are where they don’t belong in these women weren’t behaving properly. There’s some evidence that these women may metabolize hormones differently, that they may metabolize environmental estrogens and hormones differently than other women, and so, they have, say, a more difficult time of clearing environmental estrogens from their body than women without endometriosis. The one that they’ve spent the most time on in the research are the dioxin family of toxins; and we also know that those women differ in their progesterone reception. I think we underestimate how many women suffer with endometriosis, because the gold standard for diagnosis is laparoscopic surgery. Some of the advances in research and assessment is identifying that there is a blood test that can rule in endometriosis for women. It’s called CA 125, which was typically a cancer marker for ovarian cancer. It actually does run positive in many women with endometriosis, and so, just as a starting point, women can have that blood test, and rule in endometriosis. We know that vitamin D is really concentrated in the decidua, which is the uterine lining, and really influences the immune system. Best example of this is the impact that vitamin D has on miscarriage reduction, the same thing happens with endometriosis, and we know that the lower their vitamin D status, the greater their pain, the greater their use of analgesic drugs. So that from an assessment perspective, I think that’s sort of the best sort of surrogate marker for immune function. The hormonal stuff is interesting, because we generally, conventionally treat endometriosis just by suppressing all hormonal function, which from a fertility perspective, is not really an option for women to have their cycles suppressed like that, ongoing. At some point, they need to come off the drug therapy. But those women actually do benefit from additional progesterone supplementation, especially around cycles where they’re attempting to get pregnant, because their progesterone receptors are lowered in their endometrial lining, and they’re not as sensitive or responsive to their own progesterone. When it comes to environmental toxins, I would say I just usually treat it empirically. We have collected data on thousands and thousands of women, we know that they eat more saturated fat, they eat more high fat dairy, they eat less polyunsaturated fats in their diet, they eat more refined carbohydrates, they eat less antioxidants, and they drink more alcohol. Their diets naturally, even if we just watch women with endometriosis, are higher exposure to dioxin compounds, or estrogen-like compounds through their food. So, I coach my women to decrease the frequency of consuming foods that we know have a high dioxin content, and then try and reverse what we see observationally in women with endometriosis, and so, higher vegetarian protein, higher flax, higher polyunsaturated fats, higher olive oil, higher antioxidants. The last thing I’ll say is my primary role with most women is looking at analgesic reduction, and there’s two great studies that I want to point out, that are looking specifically at reducing the need for analgesics, and I track this in my patients. Both those anti-inflammatory/ antioxidants (ginger and melatonin) have pretty significant data for reducing the number of painkillers women use in a given month; and that’s a very sort of tangible outcome we can have with patients that really change their quality of life, and their ability to function from month to month. I think just using supplements alone is probably gong to have some limitation in how much improvement patients can expect, but if patients are willing to comply with the diet, and add in the supplementation, my expectation is that we should have some pretty significant improvement by the 12 to 16 week mark, and then it starts to build on itself. Resources Mentioned for Endometriosis: Book – Carrying to Term: A Practical Guide to Reducing your Miscarriage Risk Dr. Jordan’s website Dr. Jordan on facebook Dr Jordan on Instagram Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Endometriosis with Dr. Jordan Robertson appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
The Bi-Phasic SIBO Diet with Dr. Nirala Jacobi
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Nirala Jacobi explains the bi-phasic SIBO diet and its relevance to difficult cases of SIBO. Dr. Nirala Jacobi is a naturopathic doctor and is considered one of Australia’s leading experts in the treatment of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a common cause of IBS. She lectures nationally and internationally about the assessment and treatment of SIBO and is the host of the popular podcast The SIBO Doctor podcast for practitioners. She is the medical director and senior naturopathic physician at The Biome Clinic, center for functional digestive disorders in New South Wales. Main Questions Asked about the bi-phasic SIBO diet: What is the bi-phasic SIBO diet? What makes you suspicious that a patient might be in the group with histamine issues? How is the histamine bi-phasic SIBO diet different from the original bi-phasic diet? What about hydrogen sulfide SIBO? What are some of the things you can do to restore the microbiome? Key Points made by Dr. Nirala Jacobi about the bi-phasic SIBO diet: I put the bi-phasic SIBO diet together for practitioners to really organize their treatment approach for their SIBO cases. So, it’s a diet that’s based on the low fermentable carbohydrate diet know as FODMAP diet. I wanted to offer something to patients and practitioners that made it a bit more streamlined. We get very good feedback with it. Of course, there’s always exceptions and difficult cases as you mentioned, where we may have to make further adjustments to it. But out of that really came also my experience that I mean, the kind of patients that I see now, is not your simple SIBO case anymore. I see pretty advanced and difficult, and failed cases. And so I saw more and more histamine intolerance, which can actually occur with long standing SIBO and for lots of other reasons as well. And so, we I formulated the histamine bi-phasic SIBO diet. Some people just associate histamine with allergies, and you just take an anti-histamine for that. But you actually have about five different receptors for histamine in your body, in every imaginable compartment. In your brain, and in your digestive tract. And in your immune system. So, you have lots of different areas where histamine is actually really important. And serves a special function. When we start to see histamine be a problem, we don’t just see allergies. We see also headaches, we can see gas and bloating. We can see constipation or diarrhea. We see abdominal cramping. We see menstrual cramping. We see insomnia, so you can see how this can be quite confusing. The difference between the original and the histamine SIBO diets is that we the original one has phase one and phase two still within the context of FODMAPs. Or these fermentable carbohydrates. And it’s phase one is basically very restrictive. And then phase two is a bit more generous. The histamine one really focuses on foods that are high in histamine. So, and as well as fermentable carbohydrates. So, it combines the histamine foods as well as the histamine what are known as histamine liberating foods. So, phase one of the histamine bi-phasic SIBO diet eliminates both histamine and histamine liberators. As well as FODMAPs. And then phase two, you’re adding in histamine liberators again. And then when you’re done with that, and you’ve identified, or calmed that whole histamine response, you can transition onto the phase two of the regular bi-phasic SIBO diet. Now, it’s important to mention that you cannot eradicate SIBO with diet alone, we know that. You can manage symptoms with the diet, but you can’t eradicate them. The eradication really comes with antimicrobials. And that’s done usually in phase two. And these SIBO diets are really not meant for longterm treatment, because we know that longterm reduction in fermentable fibers is really starving your micro biome. I think as human beings, our ideal diet is likely to be an 80% plant based diet. And within that 80% plant based, to have a lot of variety there. Not just the same eight to ten vegetables. I actually think the goal of the practitioner is not just to identify SIBO. What I usually tell practitioners is to find the cause of SIBO. What actually happened here. Because we have normal defenses that protect us from bacterial overgrowth. Otherwise all of us would have SIBO, all the time. It’s really up to the practitioner to identify if this patient has SIBO due to some motility defect. The other area of SIBO causes, or underlying causes, is poor digestion. And then lastly, the last category is impaired outflow. Because SIBO is a natural consequence of these underlying causes. And it’s really important to find the cause. Hydrogen as we know is one of the gases that we typically test for in a breath test. And so, we typically use methane and hydrogen to check for SIBO. Methane being more of a constipation relation to SIBO. And hydrogen can be either constipation or diarrhea. So, on the breath test, we can’t really test for hydrogen sulfide yet. So, we have these two opposing ends of the spectrum. And I think what we’ll find is that it needs a different approach. These sulfur reducing bacteria are very resistant to antibiotic use typically. And that we also probably need a different dietary approach to hydrogen sulfide than to other types of SIBO. I tend to adjust the bi-phasic SIBO diet to add more things like soy protein, like soy like tofu to tempeh if they can tolerate it. Of course GMO free, because there is some evidence that soy isolates are also helpful with this. And that a low FODMAP diet might actually be the wrong diet for hydrogen sulfide. Typically when we treat hydrogen sulfide, we have a period, not long, maybe six weeks or so, where we reduce sulfur containing foods, which includes things like red meat. There’s a paucity of herbs that have been shown to be effective for hydrogen sulfide. So, what we do is bismuth in high doses, so bismuth is a binder of hydrogen sulfide. And we use oil of oregano. And what I usually do is in that case is what works really well is just reducing sulfur containing foods for a while. And microbiome restoration which I do with every patient. I really have an intense look at their microbiome. And see what I can do to basically till and fertilize their garden. I’m a big fan of prebiotics once SIBO is cleared. And prebiotics are basically food for beneficial bacteria. But really, what we’ve been teaching patients that to take a probiotic to reseed their digestive tract is really not right. It’s archaic and we shouldn’t talk about it like that anymore. Because probiotics do not replace your own native species. But it does have a regulatory effect on the rest of your garden. And I always tell people it’s either a rainforest, or a garden, whatever analogy you like. But you have to treat it like that. Which means you have to feed and give it nutrients. And that’s usually done with prebiotics. And poly phenolic foods, that means that it’s vegetables and plants that are extremely colorful, they just love that. Again, this is within the context of microbiome restoration which usually comes after SIBO treatment. Resources Mentioned about the bi-phasic SIBO diet: Original bi-phasic SIBO diet Histamine bi-phasic SIBO diet “What caused my SIBO” handout Dr. Jacobi’s website The SIBO Doctor Nirala’s Instagram tag Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post The Bi-Phasic SIBO Diet with Dr. Nirala Jacobi appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
30 minutes | 2 years ago
Oral Hygiene and Your Health with Ryan Nolan
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Ryan Nolan explains about the oral microbiome, and how our oral hygiene affects our entire health. Ryan Nolan, DMD, is a dental materials scientist who is among the nation’s leading clinicians on studying cutting edge preventative oral care. Ryan approaches dental health from a comprehensive standpoint advocating for early intervention, proper diet, custom hygiene regimens and risk factor testing to address problems before they arise. Today he continues to innovate dental materials and hygiene regimens and discover new ways to improve oral health. Main Questions Asked about Oral Hygiene: How does our oral health affect our entire health? What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease? Can you talk about the mouth being the gate keeper to the gut? Is there a test that dentists can do to see if we have biofilm in the mouth? Can you expand on proper diet and hygiene? Key Points made by Ryan Nolan about Oral Hygiene: A good place to start if you’re talking about systemic health rates and overall health is probably periodontal disease. People who have periodontal disease are going to be far more likely to have a preterm birth. They’re more likely to have increased chance of atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries. And we know that causes heart attacks. They’re five times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease Periodontal disease is the destruction of the bone, but also the destruction of the tissue; your teeth can get loose and the gums are more likely to bleed, meaning those oral junctional epithelium are not happy Gingivitis is actually the precursor stage for perio, and gingivitis is essentially just bleeding gums. If you have bleeding gums, you’re going to get bacteria from the mouth trans-locating to other places. One of those places is the gut. The other thing is that you swallow every four seconds. I’m not necessarily convinced that if you’re swallowing bacteria the acid in your stomach will kill it. These things are super resistant. The bacteria in your mouth form biofilms, which is the reason why they’re a thousand times more resistant to antibiotics than regular bacteria. These bacteria can manipulate your endocrine system in your gut and make you crave more sugar. So with the biofilm really what you’re testing for in the mouth is the various kinds of pathogens that could be there. You land on a spectrum. Either you’re going to have the decay or you’re going to have periodontal disease, right? And so, your risk for one or the other, they’re kind of like inverse to each other usually. If you have the proper diet, have the proper oral hygiene, you can keep things at a threshold level such that you don’t exhibit or develop disease. Antibiotics are not the correct method to address biofilm issues in the mouth. We developed a plant based nano silver rinse, which is very good at getting into the biofilm and resetting the pH to a higher pH, so an alkaline pH, in a much quicker timeframe than saliva can do. Proper diet is absolutely critical. Your body was never designed to have access to unlimited carbohydrates at any given time. The reason why microbiomes get out of balance is because of people’s diet. Diet will influence your risk for inflammation. And we know inflammation is the common thread for all the chronic diseases. A lot of the disease we see is very preventable. And the thing is if you’re taking care of your mouth and you have a good oral hygiene regimen and your diet’s clean, you’re just going to be an overall healthy person. Resources Mentioned about Oral Hygiene: Ryan’s website Ryan’s Instagram Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Oral Hygiene and Your Health with Ryan Nolan appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
44 minutes | 2 years ago
Alzheimer’s and its Connection to Metabolic Issues with Ralph Sanchez
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Ralph Sanchez explains the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes and other metabolic issues. Ralph Sanchez is the author of the upcoming book – The Diabetic Brain in Alzheimer’s Disease – a book that connects the dots between Type 2 Diabetes, Type 3 Diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Ralph has spent nearly two decades in study to comprehend the risk factors and related etiologies of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and has extensively reviewed the neurological complexities and metabolic underpinnings that are linked to a diabetic brain in dementia and AD. Ralph’s passion is to enlighten others and to share his insights on the AD pandemic that is drawn from his in-depth review of AD research, and how that body of science can be transformed into actionable steps for risk reduction and prevention. Main Questions Asked about Alzheimer’s Disease: How did you embark upon this Alzheimer’s journey? How does Alzheimer’s start in our 20s and 30s? What about the APOE 4 gene? What is type 3 diabetes and why is it bad? How does aging impact late-onset Alzheimer’s disease? Key Points made by Ralph Sanchez about Alzheimer’s disease: After one of Jeffrey Bland’s seminars, I was reading some notes and he referred to a genetic marker A-P-O-E-4 and the four designates the variants of ApoE gene and he mentioned that not only was it a marker for a risk for cardiovascular disease, but for Alzheimer’s disease. In 2005, I was well into my research and starting to really understand all the issues related to what goes on in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease and a research study popped up that referred to problems in the brain with insulin. They said this really looks a lot like a diabetes of the brain, so they referred to it as a type 3 diabetes. Let’s say two major issues in type 2 diabetes are insulin resistance and because you’re not able to utilize insulin appropriately, you’re not able to metabolize glucose or use glucose. Now in the brain, there also is an insulin resistance that develops. It’s different. Insulin has a different function in the brain than it does in the body. Insulin does function to some extent to facilitate the utilization of glucose. It is important in that aspect, but there is another issue related to the utilization of glucose that is separate from the insulin function, the ability to take up glucose and burn it for energy. Well, ApoE4s are not able to do that as well The fact that you’re not able to utilize glucose and metabolize it that effectively is critical. That is a really, really important component to the ApoE4 problem. We now know the research is becoming very clear that the very earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease are asymptomatic, are linked to not only glucose hypometabolism, but issues in how your mitochondria, those little energy factories in our cells, burn energy and just function overall. The research clearly shows that those two aspects, glucose hypometabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction, actually are significant events that go on very early in the Alzheimer’s disease trajectory because another thing that we’ve discovered over the past few years is that Alzheimer’s has really a longer trajectory than they knew many years ago, that it really spans 20-30 years and it could be even longer. Another fascinating component to this relates to women, because estrogen is extremely important in utilizing glucose for metabolism, in a sense, estrogen for women governs a lot of the glucose metabolism not only in their bodies, but in their brains especially. So in menopause, if you happen to be a woman that goes into a lower estrogen profile, then you’re not burning glucose that effectively and they’ve shown very clearly that women that fall into this pattern and don’t have that pattern arrested through some sort of intervention, are particularly at risk of the brain looking for something to use for energy. If your brain can’t use glucose, then it wants to use fat because that is the next best thing. So again, if you’re not utilizing and able to burn glucose or take up glucose because of estrogen issues, you start breaking down the fat (myelin) in your brain. This is a very critical factor and something that women should be really tuned into. The research is now becoming very proactive in stating that midlife is a very critical stage for people, for them to be not only aware of but to start taking control of these risk factors; and that’s the beauty of all of this – while ApoE4 and estrogen and insulin and many other factors are related to the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, my message in my book is that everybody can control this. The greatest risk factor associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is simply aging. So, the longer you live, the more likely you are to get into a dementia and Alzheimer’s problem. Diabetes and heart disease are the two most common issues that people develop as they age that will put them at risk for Alzheimer’s disease because those disease patterns will converge with a lot of other risk factors, whether it’s genetics or diet and lifestyle that go along with all of that. Heart disease and diabetes, because those two go hand in hand, can really raise your risk for vascular dementia and that is separate from Alzheimer’s disease The two most important health issues that people need to be aware of, that are easily controlled through lifestyle and dietary interventions and healthy supplementation can be a very important aspect of all of that, but it starts to really make a huge difference in curbing the major risk factors associated with brain problems as you age, e,g., metabolic disease, diabetes, and insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Resources Mentioned for Alzheimer’s Disease: Book – The Diabetic Brain in Alzheimer’s Disease Ralph’s website Ralph’s website – Functional Medicine Radio Show Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment with Dr. Dale Bredesen Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review on iTunes! The post Alzheimer’s and its Connection to Metabolic Issues with Ralph Sanchez appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
41 minutes | 2 years ago
A Leaky Gut and the Gut-Brain Connection with Dr. Vincent Pedre
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Vincent Pedre explains leaky gut and the gut-brain connection. Dr. Vincent Pedre is the Medical Director of Pedre Integrative Health and Founder of Dr. Pedre Wellness, and a Functional Medicine-Certified Practitioner in private practice in New York City since 2004. He is a Clinical Instructor in Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, also certified in yoga and Medical Acupuncture. He believes the gut is the gateway towards excellent health. For this reason, he wrote the book, Happy Gut—The Cleansing Program To Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Eliminate Pain—which helps people resolve their digestive and gut-related health issues. Main Questions Asked about Leaky Gut: Can you talk about what a leaky gut is, how can we test for it and why is it bad? Can you talk about how so many different diseases have their foundations in inflammation and immune system imbalance and that having underlying gut issues can impact the body in multiple different ways? When patients come in to see you, do you actually test for leaky gut or do you often times assume they probably have a leaky gut? Can you tell us about the mind-gut connection? What are your favorite exercises to stimulate the vagus nerve? Key Points made by Dr. Pedre for Leaky Gut: The gut is this amazing organ system that is divided into different zones and starting with of course the mouth. Everybody forgets that the mouth is part of their gut and it’s so important to chew and break down your food mechanically so that you can absorb the nutrients more easily. When we talk about leaky gut, we’re mostly talking about what’s happening in the small bowel, but also it can happen in the colon. It becomes quite significant in the colon because of the type of bacteria that exists there. Leaky gut has been a term that has been used in naturopathic medicine and alternative medicine for a long time. But, in Western medicine, really thought that this was not real and that it was made up and it didn’t exist until the science and research finally caught up. A lot of studies have been looking at the effects of endotoxin on our health and what they find is that as endotoxin levels rise, then the risk for metabolic syndrome, which is basically an intolerance to glucose or resistance to the hormone insulin that tells the body where to put the glucose into the cells so it can be used for energy. Sugar levels start to rise. Insulin levels start to rise. That leads to obesity, especially central obesity or visceral obesity, puts on more fat in the middle. It becomes this vicious cycle so basically there’s this whole interconnection between leaky gut, inflammation, insulin resistance and obesity. That goes back to genetic individuality, predispositions. Sometimes you get a lot of crossover and it could also have to do with the type of imbalance that has been created. For example, if you get yeast overgrowth as a result of having been on either several rounds of antibiotics or you can even create your own yeast overgrowth by eating a diet really high in sugar and refined carbohydrates over a period of time. You’re feeding that part of the microbiome and you can generate your own yeast imbalance. What I found over time is that not every patient that has some sort of systemic manifestation of a gut issue is coming in complaining of gut problems. I think the patient story and what their experience is is so important because sometimes it’s discordant with the test results. Then you have to decide, well, who do I trust more? The test or the patient? I feel like it’s a balance, and that’s where medicine is an art and it requires a bit of creativity and instinct. I also have really gotten into doing organic acids testing because I find that that helps fill in a piece of that puzzle that sometimes can be missed in the stool test. You really have to have a wholistic approach to a patient with gut issues and really listen to them and acknowledge their story because I think that part of it. How did they get to that point where they’re in front of you in your office telling you this story? Go back in time and look at how did all of this start? What was happening in their life at the time? Was there travel? Was there foreign travel? You have to think parasites and all sorts of things. We can start with the vagus nerve that runs from the brain all the way down and innervates starting from the bottom third of the esophagus, pretty much all the internal organs and the gut, all the way almost to the very end. The vagus controls a lot of the signaling in the gut. You really need a good vagal tone to have healthy gut digestion. What’s really fascinating about this is what they’ve seen in patients with traumatic brain injury. The patient with traumatic brain injury, within 30 minutes of the injury, their gut is becoming leaky and endotoxemia starts to go up. I think the most fascinating stuff is the metabolome and the fact that we get nerve transmitters that are produced by the gut microbiome. Like lactobacillus produces GABA so you need a healthy amount of lactobacillus bacteria in the gut to control anxiety, to feel even healed. Butyrate from butyrate-producing microorganisms in the large intestine controls our ability or influences our ability to form memory and to learn, your brain-derived neurotrophic factor. I thought that is really amazing that there is this symbiosis where a healthy gut microbiome influences neuroplasticity in our ability to learn and form memory. Once you get a leaky gut, it affects the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, so you get a leaky blood-brain barrier. Now the brain is not protected from toxins that could be in circulation from the leaky gut. One thing that vagus nerve dysfunction can also cause is constipation. Getting the vagus to work properly again is really important for so many things: protein, digestion, constipation, gut barrier integrity. All that stuff. One of those simple things that often times I think gets forgotten about that patients can take all the digestive enzymes and bitters and hydrochloric acid and probiotics. They can do all of that stuff and the fiber and the healthy diet. But we can’t forget about exercising the vagus nerve. As you said, it can be as simple as gargling. Gargling until you get a tear in your eye and do that minimum twice a day after you wake up, before you go to bed, more if better. We’ve been constantly in fight or flight in a way that I think we’re desensitized to the fact that our bodies are overcharged in so many ways, smartphones, constantly on the computer. We’re on this very on, on, on all the time. What I find is that people become desensitized to stress, and they don’t even acknowledge it and sometimes I actually have to tell a patient, “Do you realize how much you’re carrying and how full your plate is?” That’s stressful. Whether you sense it as a mental stress, I think it’s a biophysical stress on the body to carry all of that. I love getting people out into nature because when you’re out in a forest or a park surrounded by trees, that has been shown to lower cortisol levels and helps get you more into a parasympathetic state. Taking the shoes off and walking bare foot on the grass, feeling the earth, rounding to the tremendous magnetic energy field of the earth can really help us get more into a parasympathetic state. The reason I connected yoga is because in yoga, we studied the energy centers of the body, the chakras. Three of the main chakras in the body crisscross the gut, the root chakra, the second chakra and the third chakra, which is the power center, the solar plexus. The gut encompasses some major energy centers, and it’s all about grounding and being connected to this earth, to each other, being in community. Where I look at things is the importance of how we can cross the divide and see how we can integrate everything together but always going back to root cause. I think that to me is a really important message is to not discount the role of the gut even if you don’t have any gut issues. Resources Mentioned for Leaky Gut: Book – Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain Dr. Pedre’s website Dr. Pedre’s facebook page Dr. Pedre’s instagram page Free gift from Dr. Pedre! Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review on iTunes! The post A Leaky Gut and the Gut-Brain Connection with Dr. Vincent Pedre appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
30 minutes | 2 years ago
Digestive System Health with Kristin Thomas
In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Kristen Thomas explains how to restore digestive system health. Kristen Thomas is a certified functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner and holistic health coach with additional training in digestive system health, hormone balancing, SIBO, thyroid conditions, detoxification, and stealth infectious disease. She has lived through chronic illness and reversed her own ulcerative colitis and other health challenges such as leaky gut, food sensitivities, hormone imbalance, and a half-dozen gut infections. Main Questions Asked about Digestive System Health: How did you heal your digestive system from ulcerative colitis and gut infections? What gut testing did you do and what infections were found? What are some of the signs and symptoms that can hint at a potential digestive health problem that people may not necessarily associate with the gut? What are the most common digestive issues that you see in your practice? What is the baking soda test? What are three things that listeners can start doing today to begin to improve their digestion? What are some of the things that you see most people are not doing? What are some of the things that you have people do or change in their lives so that it sets them up for success so that they are chewing their food? Key Points made by Kristen about Digestive System Health: I started to do some research in terms of how I could turn to food as medicine because, at that point, I just knew that a lot of foods weren’t working for me, and I saw a pretty direct correlation between when I ate foods and my ulcerative colitis symptoms flaring up, so I figured that was the first place that I could begin. I began to eat I guess we could call a Paleo Diet – clean meats, veggies, fruits, things like that. Within two weeks, I felt a world of difference. I started working with several functional holistic practitioners who could help me dig in even further, so I continued on the food journey, continued to fine tune my diet, ran some food sensitivity testing, ran some in-depth testing to find out what other pathogens and infections were causing this inflammation in my body. Each time I ran one of these (stool) tests, which is every six to twelve months, I found that I was peeling back the layers even deeper and really getting more into what else was going on in my digestive system. As I addressed each major pathogen, like the parasite and H. pylori and candida, I was finding less and less major things. Those were showing up on my tests and it was more so just a little bit of bacteria imbalances here and there, but I was able to even more easily address. The vast ways that digestive system issues can present themselves in the body really go well beyond just basic stomach pains and constipation and things like that. A lot of things that can also signal a potential digestive health issue are things like poor sleep, parasites, low energy, and general infections which can raise cortisol levels. Irritability and depression and anxiety, a lot of mood-based and brain-related conditions can arise out of all this. The mind-gut connection is extremely strong. If things in the gut aren’t too happy, then things up in the brain aren’t going to be happy, too. The concept of our gut being our second brain couldn’t be more true. The last one that I typically see with people that’s this kind of hidden sign of digestive health issues are skin rashes or irritation. Constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux are typically the most common things that I hear people say right off the bat that they have. We’re not sitting down as much to have meals, taking the time to chew, sitting at the table for an hour to really enjoy our food. Sit at the dining room or kitchen table with your family, friends, whoever you live with and actually focus on having great conversations, focus on the smell of your food, focus on chewing your food and just being present. Those are two of the biggest thing that people can start to do. Generally, rule of thumb is chew about 30 chews per bite, depending on what the food is. If you’re chewing meats or tougher veggies or nuts or seeds, absolutely you should be chewing about 30 bites and just making sure that that’s fully soaking your food before you swallow it and go on to your next bite. Stress has such a huge impact on our digestive system. Become present with your meal, take a couple of deep breaths before you even dive into your food to become present, leave all those stressors and all the worries on your mind behind, even if for the next 20 minutes. Smelling your food and just becoming closer with it can really help to shift your body into that rest-and-digest state so that your body can divert its resources to the digestive tract. I love the idea of gratitude. For somebody who wants to bring that to a pre-meal activity, that’s fantastic. One of the easiest and, arguably, cheapest way is to begin to go on that process is just by writing down your foods and starting to listen to your body and what is going on. Resources Mentioned for Digestive System Health: Kristin’s website Kristin’s facebook page Kristin’s Instagram page Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review on iTunes! The post Digestive System Health with Kristin Thomas appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.
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