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The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri

Updated 6 days ago

Alternative Health
Health & Fitness
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Naturopath - Chiropractor - Author - Speaker

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Naturopath - Chiropractor - Author - Speaker

iTunes Ratings

100 Ratings
Average Ratings

Great podcast!!

By puggiegee - Jul 16 2019
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Love listening to your podcast. Wish it was longer. Great topics!!

Super Informative Show

By Trevor_Hotlanta_2 - Jun 19 2019
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I love this show - great topics, easy to listen to and just plan good content

iTunes Ratings

100 Ratings
Average Ratings

Great podcast!!

By puggiegee - Jul 16 2019
Read more
Love listening to your podcast. Wish it was longer. Great topics!!

Super Informative Show

By Trevor_Hotlanta_2 - Jun 19 2019
Read more
I love this show - great topics, easy to listen to and just plan good content
Cover image of The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri

The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri

Latest release on Jan 17, 2020

All 181 episodes from oldest to newest

Mental Illness – A Different Approach – with Dr. Kelly Brogan

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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.

Jan 17 2020



Mold Toxicity and Exposure with Dr. Ann Shippy

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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 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

BookMold 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.

Dec 06 2019



Vagus Nerve Activation with Dr. Navaz Habib

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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.

Nov 15 2019



Fermented Foods and Gut Health with Dr. Carolyn Griffin

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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.

Oct 25 2019



The Downside to Modern Skin Care with Dr. Sandy Skotnicki

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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.

Oct 04 2019



Alzheimer’s Treatment with Julie Gregory

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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.

Sep 13 2019



Mental Health with Dr. Christina Bjorndal

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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.

Aug 23 2019



Pain with Dr. Ann-Marie Barter

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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:

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.

Aug 02 2019



EMF Radiation (electromagnetic field radiation) with Daniel DeBaun

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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 impactse.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.

Jul 12 2019



PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) with Dr. Jordan Robertson

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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

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The post PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) with Dr. Jordan Robertson appeared first on The Functional Medicine Radio Show With Dr. Carri.

Jun 21 2019