All right, everybody. Welcome back for another episode of the barbell therapy podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Brett Scott. And I’m very excited today as I have Dr. Patricia Zubaan. So, Dr. Is up is a functional medicine doctor. She graduated from Boston University School of Medicine. She has been a professor at Harvard University. She has been a director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Mount Auburn hospital, she’s worked as a primary care physician. She’s also been an internal and functional medicine physician, as well as a Reiki Master and is fully trained in full spectrum healing. And she’s also had her 15 minutes of fame, being featured on CNN. And many of my patients and clients that have been around me in the gym or in the clinic, know, I’ve been working through a host of issues the past two years. And Dr. Zab is the physician or functional medicine doctor I finally found that has finally helped me resolve most of my issues I’ve had, so I was dealing with a host of weight gain, energy and fatigue and stress and just didn’t feel like myself. And I started having all kinds of rashes on my skin, and wasn’t sleeping well. And I just didn’t feel like myself again and go to the doctors and I was checked off as normal and kind of pushed out the door. And no one was really able to help me get to the root of all my issues. And then I met with doctors and it’s been a whole different experience for from what I’ve experienced in the traditional medical model where you go to your GP, and or your primary care physician and you meet with them for 15 minutes, they look at your labs, they tell you they’re normal, and they send you out the doors because I’m not normal. I’m a busy business owner, I compete in weightlifting, and I want to be optimal. And when I went in with doctors up i, we our first meeting, we were there for two hours, and we went through more than I could ever think of in a traditional setting where her intake form is 14 pages long, I think it took me about 90 minutes to fill out just to get a glimpse of how thorough she has been. And so that’s a little bit about me. And it’s just been such a different experience. So I wanted to get her on because I think and what I see in the clinic everyday with my patients is especially from the past few years, there has been a whole host of new health issues that people are dealing with different types of stresses in their life. And people are starting to become more aware of how important their health is yet, the world and the marketing we have and everything else that goes on, I don’t think we still have a really good understanding of what health is or what it should be or how all these different things are affect our life. So that’s my little brief intro for doctors up here. So welcome. Anything else you have to add there?
Unknown Speaker 3:04
Gee, you did such an amazing job. I’m honored to be here. And so happy to be here because I know that people need what functional medicine has to offer. And I know that once that awareness is, you know, on their radar screen, that they’re gonna see the value of that. So I’m just grateful that you had a good experience, and you’re able to share this with your audience. And hopefully you helping yourself will help other people get the help they need. Because your story is such a common. It’s a variation of a common theme where people have been to doctor after doctor, they’ve switched primary care doctors, they seem five different specialists for each body system and they have no answer. Or they’re prescribed to a medicine that they don’t want to take. They want another option. And so I’m grateful to have found my way to functional medicine because now I know how to give people that other option, which I didn’t know when I graduated medical school and internship and residency. So thank you for having me here.
Brett Scott 3:59
No problem. My pleasure. So I think a lot of people listening, I’ve told a lot of people about you and my experiences, and I see it with a lot of my patients that I’ve told a lot of my patients like yes, you know, I treat some structural stuff and some functional stuff. And we can get into the nitty gritty of how other systems, you know, we practice when the biopsychosocial model so how stress is affecting their pain, how their diet and nutrition is affecting their pain, but I can’t order labs, I can’t order imaging, I can’t do di clinical diagnostic stuff like doctors up cancer I’ve been sending or trying to send a lot of my patients her way because there’s just so much more that affects the movement system as well, even from a nutritional standpoint in the stress standpoint. So the biggest question I’ve been getting from everyone is, Are you a real doctor?
Unknown Speaker 4:48
I think so. I have a piece of paper that says so. Yeah. So I mean, you explain some of my intro I went to Boston University School of Medicine. I have a medical degree. I’m an MD I did in my I internship and residency at the Lahey clinic. You know, so high quality training programs, and I worked in a conventional allopathic medical setting for the first 15 or so years of my career as a primary care physician, seeing patients day in and day out, you know, I have all the skills that I graduated medical school and my training with. But along my journey, I’ve gained this new set of skills, but it doesn’t subtract from that that knowledge that I that I already had that serves me well, because I can understand things at a depth that I wouldn’t be able to understand if I hadn’t had that experience. But yes, I am absolutely positively a real doctor.
Brett Scott 5:41
Yeah, so a lot of people just asked, like, if you can order, you know, prescriptions and types of diagnostic testing and everything, which she absolutely can, because I’ve we’ve done it together. So, my next thing is what actually got you into functional medicine. And were there problems you saw with the traditional medicine that we currently have in our modern medical model today.
Unknown Speaker 6:06
You know, functional medicine, I think a lot of us who find our way into this arena, we have personal experiences, my mind was more of a journey of working on the front lines in primary care, when I graduated medical school, I know how to take symptoms and and make a diagnosis and just prescribe the pill. And that was important. And I knew how to do that well. And I saw patients, you know, their blood pressure would come down on the medicine I prescribed. And then, you know, over the course of the next year or so something else would happen, they need another pill and then they need another pill. And after a while I thought this is this is not how I want to help people I you know, this is just suppressing a symptom, whatever’s going on in the background is continuing to thrive. And then you get polypharmacy, you get side effects, you get drug interactions, or people simply don’t want to take another pill, and it gets expensive as well. And so I was really looking for another way. At the same time, the healthcare system was really changing and not in a good way for those of us that see patients, I was feeling like a hamster on a wheel, I you know, you had to see 20 patients a day, every 15 minutes. It was very stressful. And I became a doctor because I wanted to help people. And I felt like I could not help them at the level I wanted to, I wanted to know who the person was, who that patient was in front of me, and why they may be making the decision, you know, to not get off the couch to not choose the right foods or what was going on in their life that they were sabotaging their health. And you just all I had time to do was go through the checklist of what I had to do to check the boxes to, you know, satisfy insurance and get on to the next patient. And then they introduced electronic health records. And that was just like, you know, the straw that broke the camel’s back, I mean, that just added a massive amount of work on top of all that I was doing as a primary care doctor. So it was a kind of a combo of a number of things happening at once where it was more stressful, it wasn’t satisfying. And I could see the limitations. And I really wanted to understand why people weren’t healing, why they weren’t getting better, or how I could help them heal at a deeper level and really, you know, create health create vitality, so they can go and do whatever they feel called to do. And I just felt like a technician. So I started learning about nutrition, and I, you know, went to a program to learn about healing. And during that process, I came across the concept of functional medicine, I remember reading about it. It was you know, a book that talked about depression and how everybody was on an antidepressant to raise their serotonin levels. And, and the question was like, why why do people have low serotonin levels in the first place? Like, isn’t that the question we should be asking? And that led me to the Institute of functional medicine, I was very fortunate to find a job where I was mentored at the same time I was working, because 15 years into your career, you can’t really stop and do a residency or go. And there isn’t one right now hopefully, one day there will be. And so I had some wonderful mentorship and took the coursework at the Institute of functional medicine, and it was very eye opening and powerful and it helps me help people at a level that I never could before. And I know that a lot of doctors are frustrated because they want for I’m sure your other doctors really wanted to make you feel better, but they had to work with a broken system. You know, it’s a disease care system. It’s not a health care system. Doctors don’t know how to create health. They’re just not taught that and they don’t you know, and they don’t have time to seek it out themselves. Thankfully, I did. So it was really a process.
Brett Scott 9:54
Yeah, and I see it too is I think there’s a lot of parallels between art Access, although we are practicing in different scopes, I went into the cash base model myself too, because I, I’ve been a trainer and I had time one on one with people. And you have an hour three times a week with someone, and you don’t have to do documentation and there’s no restraints there. And then I went on my clinical rotations and you’re bootstrapped by Yeah, the documentation, the timing, the limitations, the, you know, the amount of patients, you had to see, you get burnt out really quick, because you’re seeing 22 to 24 patients a day sometimes. And you just you can’t perform at your top level there. So I definitely see that and, you know, we even see it on our end coming from our people referred to us by primary care physicians that come with these diagnoses. And that’s like how we just we just put an Instagram post about it, I ruffled some feathers with some primary care physician, friend of mine, but I’m like, you guys don’t see the other end of it. And you guys can give these diagnoses, but you can’t really diagnose and fully understand why this person is in pain. When you have 15 minutes to listen to them. Make sure everything every other body system is okay. And then tell them you have arthritis, it’s like well, do we have arthritis? Or we’re not moving enough? Do we have poor nutrition? Are we overly stressed out? Like what is our threshold for pain look like? What’s our understanding? How are we coping with this? So there’s just so much that goes into it. And so even now, on our end, like I have a couple patients, that’s, you know, they came for physical therapy, and we’re giving them like health coaching of, Hey, your issue with your chronic pain isn’t your It isn’t your knee, it’s you drink five energy drinks a day, you’re not sleeping, your nutrition is crap. You’ve been told XYZ by a doctor, you haven’t tried the right things. Let’s get these like fundamental health, health pieces in check. And then we can start doing pt. And so it’s just been having that time with people is just huge for us. And I think it’s really like this is what gets people better is having the time to do that. So it’s been really cool to go through this with you and see those parallels. But one of my big things too, is what is your definition of health.
Unknown Speaker 12:14
So for me, health is the presence of vitality, it’s the ability to have energy to wake up with energy and do whatever you feel called to do. You know, whether it be go run a business or go for a walk or go off and you know, whatever you feel called to do, that you’re able to do that in a way that that you don’t feel exhausted afterwards that you don’t feel like you can’t sustain your energy. It’s, of course, an absence of symptoms to some degree, but really the presence of energy and vitality to really live your life in the way that you want to without limitation.
Brett Scott 12:53
Yeah, and so my big thing with all these, all these things people are marketed and told and are dealing with, what are the big things that Pete? Why should people start? Or when should people start thinking about looking to find a functional medicine doctor going to see a functional medicine doctor, so I’m guessing it’s probably sooner than they think it is. Like we said, like, I see myself working with you in the future, because I want to stay optimal. I want to stay healthy. I don’t want to let things you know, yeah, I might go to the doctor and my vitamin D might be in the normal range. But maybe it’s at the very low end of normal, which is a 30 year old, active male that runs a business like I need that stuff to be optimal. And so, you know, what things should we think about there? And what what issues do you typically deal with and see that people should kind of be looking out for?
Unknown Speaker 13:54
You know, the answer is everything. You know, functional medicine, in my experience is absolutely the best primary care, primary care in preventative care, I guess that would be a more accurate way of stating it. You know, primary care is kind of a term created by the health insurance industry. And that’s a person who serves a you know, a purpose and I can’t function as a primary care, doctor in terms of you know, taking insurance and ordering mammograms and you know, doing all the the things that insurance dictates you need to do in your primary care but primary care and in really taking care of yourself and preventing problems down the road. really functional medicine is very powerful. So we see patients, they’re the minority, but they’re growing that want to be proactive. There, maybe have a few aches and pains, a couple of symptoms. We’re not that worried about it, they’d be happy for it to get them to go away, but they’re not really coming because of it. But they want to know where they’re at. They want to have testing that, you know, for whatever reason isn’t done in the allopathic setting through their primary care another provider they may be working with. And they really like yourself. They want to optimize things. They want to know where they are, so they can prevent symptoms before you know before they occur. And so functional medicine does that very well. We do do deep dive testing, it’s really individualized for each person. And so everybody is a biologically unique individual you know, you have your your, you know, you if you’re 20 may share genes with someone else. But generally, we all fall inside our genes, we have all our own life experiences, we have our own food choices and the management way we manage stress, all those different factors that affect our health, you know, are unique to you. And so the testing is unique to you. It’s not cookie cutter. So that can really help see where there may be short fallings where you need support. Or maybe perhaps there are things that don’t belong. Maybe there’s exposures to toxins or heavy metals, or there’s undiagnosed infections that are going to create a problem. And so, functional medicine does that. Well, the majority of the patients who come to me have chronic long standing complaints that just not have had not been addressed to their satisfaction. In the traditional setting. Gut symptoms are very common. So irritable bowel, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue is huge, I’d say probably 90% of patients will have fatigue as a part of their presentation. Sometimes it’s the main complaint. Oftentimes, it’s you know, up there, the top three or four, we see a lot of auto immune, functional medicine does have a paradigm for addressing autoimmunity, getting as best we can, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing in terms of trying to find out what what’s tickling the immune system, why is why is the immune system is behaving and attacking a normal body part like there’s usually something more going on. And so rather than Shut up the immune system with a powerful medication, while the underlying disease process festers, we can you know, look open, open up, your check engine light goes off on your car, you know, like put a bandaid over that and shut it up, or your dogs barking and you don’t put a muzzle on your dog to go out like with the flashlight, what’s going on? Like, what what’s what’s in the woods? Or what’s under the hood of my car? What, you know, do I need to put more oil in or what’s going on? And so we can do that. And so you know, autoimmune patients are learning more and more about that. It’s, you know, I think that’s thanks to the internet to Dr. Google for podcasts that people are coming across, like, Wow, maybe I don’t have to struggle with this or wait for my next autoimmune disease. So we do a fair amount of auto immune disease. A lot of thyroid, really, it runs the gamut, seeing a lot of women with osteoporosis coming in. So there’s an uptick in that. Really, it can be anything, though, we see a variety, but a lot of its gut.
Brett Scott 18:14
Yeah, that’s kind of the theme I get with a functional medicine is a lot of it starts with the gut. And a lot of what I see being addressed in traditional medicine is we’re putting band aids on symptoms and not getting to the root. So you know, I know that almost 90% of serotonin is made in the gut, but we’re trying to put these SSRIs and all these anti anxiety and depression meds in like, did anyone talk nutrition with you at all? Anything? Did we test anything in the gut? And even for me, you know, I have been dealing with a host of digestive issues for over two years. And I’d got st. Like you said, I’d been to three different PCPs at this point. And I’d been referred to dermatologists and I’d seen three dermatologists. And they didn’t want to refer me to a GI specialist. So then I found you. And the first end, you know, they’d run my bloodwork and do some clinical testing and say, Yeah, you’re fine. You know, keep managing this as best you can. I’m not managing it well, and I’ve tried everything at this point. So what’s going on? And then the first thing we did was, we did a stool sample. And it was in my thing was like, Why didn’t we ever do this sooner, like based on my symptoms of what was going on? To me, like I even kind of knew in my mind, like after just hearing a podcast about functional medicine. We should do this. And I’m sitting here thinking my dog gets stool samples. Every year he goes to the vet for his annual checkup. Why aren’t we doing this as preventative care for humans? So do you have any answers there of like, why has it just not caught on yet in traditional medicine? Is it because it’s potentially a moneymaker for the healthcare system to continue to boost Big Pharma? What? What? That’s a loaded question. Yeah. And then the other thing, too, was, you know, after our first visit, even just hearing my story and what I had, you put me on that adrenal support, complex, and like, within two days, I woke up, like, because I was waking up feeling like I had been hit by a train, like, like, I hadn’t slept, or like, slept, like two hours, I had worked out and everything and like, not that I ever consider myself to have clinical anxiety or clinical depression. But I started taking that and was just like, even like, driving to work was easier, and I wasn’t as tense. And I was like, Did I have anxiety? Or you know, what’s going on here? And it’s like, why are we putting people on supplements like this, like natural supplements? And why are we just throwing them on all these drugs? Because no one I see plenty of people that have anxiety and depression, and they’ve never been told to try any of these things.
Unknown Speaker 21:16
Right. Right. And, you know, quite truthfully, until the past 10 years, I wouldn’t have known about these supplements. You know, when when you’re talking about going to your primary care doctor, they just don’t have training in that. And kind of the the teaching is that supplements are good, it’s quackery, you know, the assumption is if it’s not a prescription medicine, that it’s, you know, a suspect for being just either ineffective or dangerous. And doctors are quick to quote, the problems with supplements because that’s what they learn about. But what they don’t learn about are how to use them properly and appropriately and how to choose a high quality kind of pharmaceutical grade nutraceutical, because there are a lot of bad supplements out there. So, you know, I had to self educate on nutrition, I learned very little in medical school, on nutrition. And hopefully, that’s improved, some, but doctors just don’t get that training. So they don’t have the skill set. And I didn’t have that skill set for the first part of my career. And so I think that that’s why you’re not going to get that I think there’s openness that some doctors, I hear patients, you know, they’re at least like checking vitamin D level, they’re very cautious in prescribing vitamin D. But doctors just don’t know about it. Same thing with the stool testing, when I finished my training, I you know, I would run a stool test if someone had diarrhea, you know that, you know, if you think they have like an infectious disease, then you want a stool test and separate from that it’s just not part of the education at this period in time. And it’s unfortunate, I’m hoping that will change. But change is slow. So it may be another 30 or 40 years before your primary care doctor would be ordering a stool test on you that not you know, the type that I ordered is a little different from what your GI doc or your primary care doc might order and send request labs and what I what I order is much more comprehensive and you need training in, in how to interpret and understand the results of those tests. You’ve seen them. You know, they’re they’re quite complicated. So
Brett Scott 23:34
yeah, and it’s just, it amazes me that like, I’m like, my dog gets one. I’ve had all these issues, even with all my issues, like I thought it was kind of common sense that we should do one and it took, you know, seven different doctor’s visits to over two years to finally get an answer. So when should people consider doing some type of gut testing? Or, you know, what type of symptoms would they feel? Or should we just get one anyways? Is preventative care to see where we’re at? Does it give us information that’s, we can use to make a lifestyle change for the better?
Unknown Speaker 24:08
Well, I think it’s fun to know, why wouldn’t you want to know about what’s going out on your body so you can be proactive? You know, the testing I do looks at markers of how you’re digesting and absorbing your nutrients. So you can imagine if you catch some mal digestion, so you can’t break down your proteins. You can’t You’re not making enough pancreatic enzymes. You’re eliminating too much fat and your stool you can imagine over time, that’s going to create deficiencies in the body. We can’t function optimally when we’re not digesting and absorbing our nutrition. So the stool test I use gets markers into that and it gives inflammatory markers, markers of your immune system being over activated reacting to something that we might want to look for what that is, and then it looks at the balance of the bacteria, you know that we know we have lots of beneficial bacteria that are very important for him. human health, we evolved with these bacteria, we need them, they do important things to keep us healthy. And so we want the presence of them. And so you can imagine if that they’re out of balance, and there’s a reason for that, you’d want to kind of figure out why that is, and bring it back into balance. Because there are chronic diseases like not just irritable bowel or Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic fatigue, that, you know, that are related to alterations in our gut bacteria. So we don’t have a full understanding of how to completely fix that. But certainly, it’s always, you know, good to look and see what we have. And then, you know, we find infections, and people may not have the classic infections, infectious symptoms, they may not have diarrhea, they may not know that they’ve been walking around with this critter. And we all walk around with a lot of critters, but if you’re having symptoms, and then we find, you know, overgrowth of a nasty bacteria, or the presence of a parasite that’s actionable, in, you know, inflammation, so it’s good to look, you know, absolutely, if you have gut symptoms you want to know, but even if you don’t have gut symptoms, because most chronic disease is going to start to some degree in the gut.
Brett Scott 26:15
And so do you think a lot of chronic disease and autoimmune disorders can be better managed or even potentially cured with working with a functional medicine doctor?
Unknown Speaker 26:29
Absolutely, not all of them. But you know, I’ve seen reversal of autoimmunity I’ve seen, you know, markers, you may be familiar with the blood tests that a doctor may do to look at markers of how active the immune system like for rheumatoid arthritis, where there are blood tests that show kind of antibodies against part of the joints that give the arthritis symptoms are for Hashimotos, which is a common autoimmune disease that we were seeing so much of that attacks the thyroid, I’ve seen those markers reverse, I’ve seen some of them normalize, and go away. And I’ve, you know, worked with patients where we do all the right things in terms of what we know how to do at this moment in time. And, you know, they continue to have positive markers, we don’t know the trajectory trajectory. So I don’t know if I’ve changed their trajectory by doing what we do. Maybe they still have the marker, but maybe it would have doubled, if we hadn’t done what we did. But I’ve absolutely have seen some patients where it’s gone away. You know, and that’s powerful. It’s worth trying to tell patients, it’s always worth trying, why wouldn’t we want to try there? We can’t guarantee but we should try. You deserve that?
Brett Scott 27:36
Yeah, absolutely. And the other thing, one of the thoughts I’ve had is, you know, we see it now. And it seems like it’s trending more in this direction. And you can tell me otherwise, if I’m wrong, but it seems like food sensitivities, allergies, there’s just this increasing rise of people dealing with different types of autoimmune issues. And, you know, we eat so many different foods, and there’s so many processed foods we eat, and even marketing is so good. Now people think they’re eating healthy foods. And sometimes you look at these ingredient labels, and you’re like, What is this? And so, you know, do you think we’ve been causing issues in the food industry has really changed and continues to evolve to make a profit in the most part besides like natural farming type, you know, self sustaining farming? But do you think we’re causing a lot of harm to ourselves by kind of the environment we live in, and the things we consume that that could affect us years later?
Unknown Speaker 28:46
You know, I think we always have a choice. And so I like to give power back to myself into my patients, like you always choose. And every choice you make about what you put in your body is very powerful. Now, when you’re out of the restaurant, or you’re in the grocery store, and the aisles are filled with crap and say you’re hungry, but working all day, you need a quick fix, you want to feel good, you might not go for the healthy choice, but we always have a choice and, and our choices will create health or they may create, you know, inflammation and lack of health. But it’s, you know, in some ways, it’s more difficult because our food industry is, you know, really a huge it’s a huge business and they you know, they have food scientists that designed foods to be addictive. I mean, they put a lot of money and research into making a Dorito isn’t even a real food. It’s like it was created to tantalize your taste buds and make you eat the whole bag. And so there’s a lot of food out there that once you you start eating it’s processed is devoid of nutrients. So not only does it do nothing good for us It tends to quickly break down and spike blood sugar, which raises your insulin which promotes inflammation. And then your sugar drops and you’re hungry and you eat more that suspicious cycle. And so primarily what we see in the grocery store, if you go in the center aisles are those types of foods. And so, you know, I do my best to stay out of those center aisles and tell patients that your shop the periphery, that’s where the real food is. So the more we can eat real food, I think the more health we’ll create for ourselves, but the even the way our food is grown, has changed tremendously. And so I think there’s like 40 grows left in the soil, because we haven’t tended to the soil. And so if people aren’t doing more of the sustainable farming, you know, we’re going to, we’re not going to even be able to farm anymore. And if you think about if you go when you buy, you know, the fixings for a salad, but that salad, you know, those your lettuce and your tomatoes are grown in soil that’s devoid of nutrients, you can imagine the nutritional value of the food you’re consuming isn’t what it once was. And then there’s genetically modified pesticide covered foods. And so I think there are a lot of things going against us, and we have to be really, you know, educated consumers, and, you know, also spend time and, and prep and, you know, it’s it’s real food takes time to actually cook. It’s not, you know, five minutes, you know, and then you’re, you’re ready. So I think there are a lot of factors, making it easy for people to make the wrong choices.
Brett Scott 31:34
And so do you think all these differences in farming and food, agriculture are causing some of these differences and sensitivities and allergies and symptoms and auto immune issues that we have? What do you think those were those issues coming from these days?
Unknown Speaker 31:51
I think it’s multifactorial, but I think, you know, the food that we’re putting in our body is hugely impactful. And so, you know, when you think about, you know, food that has a pesticide on it, that’s meant to kill the bugs that want to eat the fruit or vegetable, and then think of the bugs in your gut. And so, you know, it’s going to alter the bugs in the gut, some of them are toxic, think of your mitochondria, those energy producing powerhouses in your cell, some of that stuff is, you know, it’s toxic. And then we have heavy metals in our environment, you know, arsenic on Mercury, certainly, if you’re a fish eater, I, you know, test everybody for a couple of commonly, heavy metals were commonly exposed to, again, you have to be a savvy consumer, because, you know, we’ve, we’ve really, we haven’t been good stewards of our environment. And now we’re seeing the downside of that. And so we’re getting hit from all these, you know, so you’re gonna buy the salmon is good. It’s got omega threes, but oh, it’s farm raise. So it doesn’t have the Omega threes, or, you know, you eat the fish. And it’s, you know, caught in an ocean that’s full of toxins, and so you’re getting mercury toxicity. And then, you know, you’re eating the grain, but it was covered in pesticides, and it’s genetically modified, and no one’s studied how that affects your body. And then you take all those different things, and then you turn on your television, and you watch them. How toxic is that? I mean, I think that fear is is hugely impactful in our health, and we’re all being bombarded with fear the past three years, fairly non stop. And, you know, I think our thighs, the one thing I keep coming back to more and more with patients, particularly ones that don’t heal, is, you know, our thoughts, you know, a lot of people are walking around with toxic self, self inner talk. And so that’s hugely impactful. And if you don’t address that, it’s very hard to, to create health and just, you know, the stress of modern lifestyle really will interfere with our ability to create health because when we’re stressed, we’re in that fight or flight, like I, you know, I gotta flee or I’m gonna die. If we’re not in healing mode. We’re not in like, restore and come back to balance. We’re in survival mode. And so that chronic stress that people are experiencing will be another thing that plays a role on the uptick of, you know, food allergies, auto immunity, food sensitivities, you name it, any chronic disease stresses, it’s going to be huge. And it takes effort to address that. It’s not, you can’t just take a pill and make that one go away. I mean, you could but then you’d be sedated all the time.
Brett Scott 34:24
Yeah, so that’s, that’s kind of leads into my next question here to have. And we talked about this too, is, and this is kind of a thing that I think a lot of people are becoming more aware of, as well is past traumas, childhood trauma, stress and trauma from relationships, past relationships, whatever it might be, and that’s one of the things you know, many people that know me and I’m open about it like my my mother. She has been estranged for my life since I was eight years old. and I never really thought of it, I’ve become a successful person, I thought I had managed well. And for the most part I have, but part of your intake was that adverse childhood events score. And I scored a five out of 10. And I was like, Ooh, like, when you look at the facts, and reflect on it in a certain way, I was kind of like, oh, maybe this is and then I’ve just become more aware of like different things. Through just being an entrepreneur and having a business and coach, and listen to some different podcasts and stuff myself. These recurring themes keep coming up of like, you are the way you are, because partly because of your past and what has happened in your past that’s making you who you are making you respond the way you do, giving you the thoughts you now have, how much of that is from your past experiences, how you learn to cope with things. So how do you see that affecting our our wellness, and our health and even our gut health?
Unknown Speaker 36:01
I think it’s probably one of the most important things should a person choose to go there, not everybody’s willing to go there. That is, so the ACC adverse childhood events score and looks at Ask 10 questions, just in case your audience isn’t familiar with it. 10 questions about things having to do with neglect, trauma, sexual abuse, alcoholism, parents being divorced, relative being in jail 10 questions about things that if they happen before the age of 18, there’s a lot of science behind how that really increases your risk for chronic disease. And, and not just the obvious things like alcoholism, or, you know, maybe being in jail yourself, if you grew up in an environment where that’s how it is, or depression, but even things like autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, basically every chronic disease, your risk goes up. Your it’s more likely to affect you, if you score high on that on those 10 questions. Now, you know, there is this concept of resilience is sometimes even though those bad things happen, there may be good things that balance it. So it doesn’t mean it’s your destiny to have, you know, a chronic disease because you had a crappy childhood. But I will tell you, I, you know, since we instituted that, when we opened our practice in 20 2015, I am floored by how the vast majority of my patients, the patients that come to our practice, have high scores, and it just tells me how powerful that stuff is. And for most people that runs under their radar screen, it’s very unconscious, it’s deeply ingrained in the nervous system. And I think the next level of health and healing is going to be embracing modalities that helped to release that. And it doesn’t mean going to therapy and reliving it and re traumatizing yourself at that at a deeper, more energetic level gets stored in your nervous system, it gets stored in your body. And we don’t even know it’s there, it’s running the program. It’s like when I tap on your knee and make your your leg kick, it’s like a reflex, you can’t even control it, it’s running the background of your life. And so oftentimes in that two hour intake, after you filled out that 14 page, arm, those things will come up. And you know, I think when they do come up, there’s a reason for that. And for the person that’s ready to go there, I feel like they’re going to heal at a different level than the person that just wants to change their diet and take the supplements. Not everybody needs to do that. But that a score, you know, when that number is high, there’s a likelihood that someone will benefit from doing work and healing at that level. So it’s a kind of a different level of healing, a deeper level of healing and I think ultimately a more powerful and impactful level of healing for people that are willing to think about that.
Brett Scott 38:57
And so So what types of healing would you say like if someone went out to find a specialist to help them work through this stuff, like what types of treatments or approaches would you recommend?
Unknown Speaker 39:09
Well, you know, it’s really something that I get a sense when I’m talking to somebody, what might be a modality that would work for them? I think there’s no one one way of doing it I there it can be something like acupuncture, even just acupuncture you know, working on the meridians, you know the concept there’s these energy highways in the body that won the lifeforce chi that can lose some of the stuck, stuck energy that gets stored in the body when there’s inability to express emotions or traumas from childhood. So then that most people are pretty comfortable with acupuncture doesn’t sound too like out there and crazy. Reiki I think is a readily available very gentle modality for people that We’re open to that, I think that’s a really good starting point. I have a practitioner that comes into my office on Fridays, who uses a pulsed EMF technology called on demand that gets at frequencies within tissues. And not just students, you’re probably familiar with something like that for like sports injuries. But this, you know, picks up other things too, and can release whether a stored energy and whatever form in, you know, it detects. So it’s kind of some biofeedback, where there may be some stuckness, and help support the body by delivering the frequency that that part of the body needs. And so some of the that, that modality most people that have, you know, ended up there are people with things like chronic Lyme, like really difficult to shift, you know, diagnoses that conventional, even functional medicine really can’t always make better. And so that, that is a modality that I really am happy to be able to offer to our patients, because I found that spin powerful and does, you know, does something in a way that, that I don’t know any other way of helping patients with that. So, you know, cranial sacral is another modality that sometimes will help, especially for, you know, stuff in the nervous system, and it helps rebalance the nervous system and release some things. You know, I’m sure there are other things that I’m forgetting, but it’s not it’s not just one modality. And, and the most important thing is what someone is comfortable with trying. Because if you don’t think it’s going to work, or you think it’s, you know, witchcraft, then it’s not going to be it’s not going to help you. So,
Brett Scott 41:41
yeah, there, there definitely has to be buy in with anything. For any of you out there, try, you have to have some positive thought of it. And then just going back to what we’re just discussing, as far as all these, you know, types of healings go. Is there a hypothesis out there of how these pasts, you know, childhood events are affecting us? Like, what is the pathway of, you know, is this affecting our brain and our brains reaction to the gut? And then we end up you know, because I’ve always seen myself as rather mentally emotionally resilient to most things. But I found through the course of time of just my personality, and maybe it was my upbringing. I don’t I can’t answer the question. No, as it yes, no, but I find myself as a business owner taking on more and more things and more and more risk. And I just sent a business coach of mine told me he’s like, Yeah, you’re addicted distress. Like, that’s probably how you learn as a child to deal with things as you just take your mind off it, you just, you figured out that you have something positive you can do. It can be stressful, but you use it. So. And then, you know, right, as I turned 30, I realized I had, you know, lactose intolerance, and all kinds of other things going on. So maybe my body has been doing this was within other ways, that I subconsciously just haven’t been really aware of until it starts affecting you physically.
Unknown Speaker 43:11
Right, right. And I think a lot of the, you know, the adrenal piece, you know, people don’t always know what the cause of the stresses, but it can just be stressed that we’ve been, you know, things that we’ve been talking down for, for a long time. And sometimes our way of avoiding, you know, processing those things, or feeling those things, is by keeping busy and overdoing and overachieving. And it’s very, it looks really good on paper, because it makes one successful. It doesn’t always make one happy and healthy, though. And you can be you know, you can be a good achiever. And I’m not saying that’s the case for you, because there are people that do that, and it’s their calling, and they feel amazing, and they’re in the flow, and they’re in their purpose. And that’s different than someone who’s just doing because they don’t feel good enough inside. Or, you know, they have to be perfect to you know, get the attention they want or whatever the unconscious thought pattern may be leading to that behavior. And, you know, the reason why those traumas are so powerful in childhood, just because your your brain and your nervous system are still developing, and it gets wired differently. So that the nervous system of someone that went through early childhood trauma is not the same as a nervous system that did not. Now the beautiful thing is, we, you know, when I went to medical school, it was like, the nervous system was like static, like, everything once it was, like developed, it was like, that’s how it is you have a stroke, you know, you’re nothing’s going to change. We know that’s not true. You know, we know there’s this concept of neuroplasticity. And I think it’s true for you know, people who have survived traumas is you know, that that you can alter those neuronal pathways, but it takes time it takes about 90 I used to see pruning of some of the neurons that are creating a circuit, you know, it’s a circuit, and it’s just running constantly. And so every thought you have that supports that circuit makes it kind of, like healthier. And it’s got more those dendrites and it’s a good strong connection. And then when you start calling yourself out on those thoughts, or getting into therapy or doing a healing modality, and you start going there, then we see kind of that starts to go away, and then you can replace it with a positive thought. So tapping is a really good way of doing that. I don’t know if you’re familiar with tapping Emotional Freedom Technique is the other name of it, it looks kind of hokey, you kind of like tap on these acupressure points. And there’s, there’s a book called The Tapping Solution written by a man Nick Ortner. Several years ago, that really goes into the science of it, and the hippocampus in the middle and all that kind of like some of the neuroscience of it. And we probably even have better explanations now and how we can use that modality to help some of those neurons that we don’t want, you know, hitting those pathways die off and rebuild nice, healthy neurons are the pathways that promote health and, you know, it’s very, very, it’s powerful. And it’s interesting, and there science behind it is, is kind of, when I first heard about I thought that that like, that sounds crazy. But then I read about it, and it’s, you know, it’s real. So that’s another modality to help
Brett Scott 46:34
in there’s, there’s been a lot coming out recently about the, what people would call, you know, is a common name, the gut brain connection. So it’s like, one of the things I see is if we can manage our mindset and our thoughts as best we can, and even our however, well, we can tap into our subconscious mind, because there are ways even though we don’t know it, there are ways we are doing that via influencing what we’re told and what not what we believe. And then also managing the gut, like is that our, you know, best case scenario for having our own fountain of youth, per se, or getting us closer to there? And just, could you touch a little bit on those connections there of that system or connection? And how one can influence the other?
Unknown Speaker 47:24
Yeah, it’s, you know, it’s really important, it’s a two way highway, it goes in both directions. You know, and I think many people have had the experience if they’re stressed about something, you know, some people get diarrhea, like their gut gets really stimulated or some people can’t go to the bathroom and they’re having, you know, something emotional go on. In so you know, kind of intuitively that there’s, there’s some way of communicating that communication is via the vagus nerve. And the vagus nerve lines, all of our organs, including our gut, in so when, you know, there’s something going on in your gut, it can go up the vagus nerve and affect your brain. And so we know this, you know, in children with celiac disease, or even not necessarily celiac disease, there’s this phenomenon called gluten, gluten mediated ataxia, where they documented when kids ate glue, and they couldn’t walk. So you know what a taxi knows trouble walking, and that was via this mechanism. And so whenever you have a leaky gut, which is you know, not it’s a term that most people have heard of, it’s probably not the most scientifically accurate term. But I think most people have heard of that this point. But if you have leaky gut, you have leaky brain. So there is crosstalk going back and forth. So if you’re eating crappy food, and you’re inflamed, and you have, you know, sensitivities to things that you’re eating your brain, for most people, it’s not working as well. And, you know, I see, it’s so powerful. Oftentimes, when patients come with gut issues, they have some underlying anxiety and depression, or just like brain fog, difficulty concentrating, they’re just not as sharp as they used to be. And we, you know, we work on healing the gut, and those symptoms get better. And, you know, without an antidepressant, without an anxiety medicine, without you know, Ritalin, just by healing the gut, the brain is working better. And so, you know, there’s no doubt that, you know, one affects the other. And if you have head trauma, if you have had trauma, and you, you know, have, you know, blood brain barrier alterations, you’re also going to get alterations. So when you have head trauma, you have leaky brain, you get leaky gut, so it kind of goes both ways. Yeah.
Brett Scott 49:40
Yeah, I’ve seen myself included in here, because I was having my issues. When I first came to you. Before we even did the testing. I had eliminated dairy. And notice the big difference in one of the weirdest or uncommon things I not uncommon, but unsuspecting things I found was I felt less anxious And you know, there’s nothing I did differently. Like I said, like, not clinically anxious, but just that just general, my mojo was a little bit better. And my thoughts weren’t, as I found my thoughts weren’t as negative. And it’s like, you know, yeah, if our God is in distress to go, Yeah, our brain will be in distress or vice versa to speaking that I’ve had three, since dealing with you or working with you. Now, I’ve had three concussion patients that all had digestive issues, and I had them I said, you know, let’s try eliminating gluten and dairy and see what happens. And not that they’re 100% better, but it significantly made a difference in their life. Their thresholds for their triggers went up. So they, you know, they were able to last longer at work, they were able to view their screens longer. They could tolerate different physical positions longer. Some of them reported, like less brain fog, better sleep better energy. So it’s amazing what all that can do. And yeah, with the allergies and everything to like I had a patient of mine that was had had rheumatoid arthritis was on humera. You know, he’s taken all these injections, and to manage that condition. And then she decided to eliminate and she was still having symptoms. They she thought they were better. Maybe it was foreseeable, I don’t know. But she eliminated eggs, and got off her medication, all her symptoms have been completely eliminated. She went from not being able to really hold a job that was physically demanding to like she’s now a firefighter. So it’s like, that’s another thing. I’m like, why aren’t we doing food sensitivity testing, like as a first line defense for people when they’re coming in with all these chronic issues? Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 51:50
you know, the food sensitivity testing, you know, it’s not a perfect test. So, allopathic medicine really likes to poopoo it, and, you know, it doesn’t it sensitivity and specificity may not be quite what we would want it to be. But quite truthfully, there are other tests that we use in allopathic medicine that aren’t always as sensitive and specific as we’d like. But, you know, I find the food sensitivity testing, when interpreted appropriately, can really put, bring to your attention foods that you they’re not bad foods, right? You know, like eggs are bad for you. It could be broccoli, it could be kale. But if it’s if it’s a food that your immune system has been privy to, and is reacting to, and you’re eating it, you’re getting some chronic low grade inflammation. And so having awareness of that to alter your diet can be very powerful, as in the example of, you know, your your patient, eliminating the eggs. And so I think it’s good testing, it needs to be part, what I see a lot of people that have had that testing done by a provider, or now there’s a lot of direct to consumer testing, people do that. And they take the food out, and they feel better for a period of time. But then all of a sudden, their symptoms start to come back, and then they have to take away another food, and they feel better for a time and then their symptoms start to come back. And they come to me because they can only eat three foods, because they just taken foods away to feel better. And so that the missing piece is actually a way to heal whatever the issue is. So there’s a reason why you have food sensitivities. And so you need to figure out that root cause. And then you need to if it needs to be reversed, or you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or an undiagnosed infection, we need to treat that. And then he’ll kind of the aftermath of that. And then the intestinal integrity is, you know, resumed. And then you can start adding foods and eat, but when people just keep taking things away, but what was going on that made them have the food sensitivities in the first place, continues to go on, that they really get themselves in a pickle, because then they can’t eat anything. And you know, they’re really in trouble. So I think that that testing is useful, but we need to know what to do with it. And it needs to be part of a bigger program and healing. Because that’s what we want to do. We want to heal why that happened. We don’t want to, you know, we want to make you feel better in the course of it. But we want to keep you feeling better. So
Brett Scott 54:20
yeah, so So do you not then promote? Or always promote, like an elimination type diet? Are there certain foods that you always would say? Because you had mentioned them to me before? Like, there’s this these top three foods? Are there foods everyone should try to eliminate first like, Are there big ones for someone that doesn’t, you know, can’t afford to go for more testing and struggle with some of these things? Are there certain things people should try to eliminate first? Well,
Unknown Speaker 54:49
I mean, I think if they’re having symptoms, and they want to see food can be playing a role. You know, I always start with gluten and dairy. They’re the most ubiquitous. They’re the most Delicious, they’re the ones that people are eating all the time, even if they they’re not even aware of it. And there are reasons that those food proteins, you know that we have become more reacted to them. And the testing, I find the food sensitivity testing doesn’t always pick that up as well as I would like to, but the person will feel a lot better for having tried. And so even without that test, I’ll usually like I probably do with you recommend just try gluten and dairy free while we’re waiting on the testing because it doesn’t always come back on the test. But more times than not people notice some improvements. So those are the two I start with. And then I look at the testing. Eggs are in the top five soy and corn, soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy and corn are the top five foods that people react to. You know, so if one were motivated and wanted to try that whole 30, if if someone goes through and does whole 30, that’s a kind of a way of doing an elimination diet on your own. A lot of people don’t have the bandwidth to do it on their own. And they want to see that piece of paper that says this is an issue or they want to have a doctor tell them, this may be an issue before they do it. But for the highly motivated person that wants to just try it on their own whole 30 is like a great, great way of starting to eat well, and that we’ll get out some of the more common food sensitivities. You know, so that’s another way, but if you don’t want to figure it out on your own, and you want to have testing, that the food sensitivity testing is definitely helpful.
Brett Scott 56:31
Yeah, absolutely. And any other big issues, we’ve kind of talked about a lot of different people that I guess I guess the only other thing I have, that was, you know, different from my experience with traditional medicine was, you know, we talked about childhood trauma and dealing with stress. And then looking at other health factors too. A big one for me with like hormonal profiles was the environmental toxins and changing those changing our diet and our food sources and, you know, trying to eat from better sources of foods. But even you know, I got that pamphlet from you. And it was it talked about electronics, you know, our medical history, or your medical history talked about prior antibiotic use and how that affects our gut. And there any other pieces of this puzzle that people should look to manage. Because, you know, for a minute, when I when I first read it, I was like, it’s like, even though I’m doing all these things to be healthy, it almost still feels like it’s so hard to be to really be healthy these days. And the world we live in. So
Unknown Speaker 57:48
yeah, I mean, it is more difficult than it was for our parents, our grandparents.
Brett Scott 57:54
Yeah. And so I think there are people out there too, that are that type A personality, like, I need the perfection of, you know, I need to eat all organic foods, and I need to eliminate all these electronics and, and eliminate all these environmental toxins and, and try this and try that. But some of it is just we can’t avoid it these days, like, from our rain, you know, our rain, we have toxic rain. And every woman is on birth control that’s in our water supply now. And so men are getting more of those hormones and everything so not that we should get overwhelmed that these things but what can we do just from you know, is it kind of a last piece here? What what things should people consider doing to improve their health that maybe their, you know, PCP hasn’t told them about?
Unknown Speaker 58:44
You know, one thing I’ll say is that perfectionism is a really good way to make yourself sick. So having compassion for yourself, and self love will go a long way. So I think that that’s something we’re not taught and that we don’t necessarily practice. And so we’re never going to do everything perfectly. If we really try to that, that is a recipe for getting ourselves sick over time. I think, you know, just being conscious of what you put in and on your body, knowing that we’re all going to get, we’re all gonna get some exposures and that’s okay, if we care for ourselves, well, our bodies are resilient, we can manage it. We just do the best we can in any any given moment. And if we have a day where maybe we fall off track, that’s okay. Just get back on track, forgive yourself and get back on track. You know, so there’s always that that decision, and I think if you’re present, you’re going to make better decisions. So you know, before you gobble up whatever’s in front of you sit down, take a breath. And you know, set the intention that what you’re going to do is know is nourishing to you. And if it’s a piece of chocolate cake, well then you better love that piece of chocolate cake and enjoy it. And then you know your next meal is probably not going to be a piece of chocolate cake and that’s Okay, you know, so I think that goes a long way and keeping us sane and healthy. You know, in terms of part of your question about maybe what primary care doctors aren’t doing aren’t saying to you is, you know, some of the testing that we have available to us that a primary care doctor could, in theory, do, you know, like a B 12 level, like an Omega three level, you know, vitamin D, and then, you know, just the interpretation of some of the testing that you may even have had done by your primary care and told it was normal. Being in the reference range is not the same thing is having optimal health. And so, you know, looking through the lens of creating optimal health is not your vitamin D to support a good immune system is not the same level of vitamin D to prevent rickets. I mean, they’re, they’re just two different things. And so, you know, I think that we can be proactive and look at our labs and ask questions, you know, when if the, you know, your, your b 12 level is, you know, 230, and you see that reference ranges 200 to 1100. Like, then, you know, well, you know, you kind of get an A d minus, maybe you want to be a B, you know, you don’t need to be an A, but, you know, so look at the testing that you’ve had done by your other providers and ask questions, you know, that it’s okay to ask questions. And if you’re not getting the answers, that you you’re hoping to then maybe look for someone who does, you know, offers the perspective of functional medicine to create optimal health, not just to be in the reference range.
Brett Scott 1:01:32
Very good. Actually, one last thing that you touched on to supplements as a multibillion dollar industry, at this point, you had mentioned that they’re misused, they’re misunderstood. We know people are going to use them anyways, they’re gonna try to find some cure on the internet, though, people are willing to try anything with that are suffering. So what can you tell people about supplements? Because you had it in your thing to about buying supplements from Amazon, that I thought was very intriguing and interesting, and what should people look for in a supplement if they’re going to try one?
Unknown Speaker 1:02:11
Yeah, I’ve been very careful about ordering online. Unfortunately, it is a multibillion dollar industry. And there’s a lot of counterfeit, and really well done counterfeit supplements. And then there are supplements that aren’t counterfeit, but they’re just not high quality. So you know, they don’t match test, the raw material that they received to create the supplement they don’t check for like gluten or dairy or, you know, they’re they put binders and fillers and dyes. I can’t tell you how many supplements actually have like gluten, and then they have wheat as part of it. And people may be celiac and taking this vitamin they think is helping them and they’re, you know, taking some gluten everyday through their supplement and prescription medicines as well actually. So I would be really choosy and you know, the, if you have access to an apothecary like a compounding pharmacy, you know, that is a place that’s going to carry kind of pharmaceutical grade nutraceuticals. I would be very cautious about just going into like CVS or you know, GNC and buying supplements, there are a lot of them. Now, we’ll say they follow good manufacturing practices, and you can go online, their resources online to research the companies. You know, they’re kind of a, a group of supplement companies that I like to use. Many of them are just available through practitioners or through these compounding pharmacy. So if you really want to know a good quality supplement, you know, go take a stroll through some a compounding pharmacy and see what you find there. And then just you know, read about kind of their, their practices and testing and assuring that you know, if it says vitamin D 1000, I use that every single pill in that bottle has vitamin D 1000. I use because maybe one pill as 1001 pill has 5001 pill has none. And look at the binders, fillers, dyes and other ingredients that may be on there.
Brett Scott 1:04:11
Very interesting. Alright, so I think that about wraps up. Everything. Anything else you wanted to add there? No, I think we covered a lot. Yeah. So doctors up where can people find you and your practice?
Unknown Speaker 1:04:26
So my practice, you know physically is in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, we do do a fair amount of virtual visits even prior to COVID. But now with COVID. I think everybody’s very comfortable with that. If you want to learn more about my practice and what we have to offer and what we do and our background, you can go you know we’re for better health. medicine.com is our website. That’s what the number four Yep, number four. Number four, better health and medicine.com. And then you can read all about us you can look it up intake form, you know, and then you can, if you’re so inclined, fill that out and email it or fax it to us. And then we have, you know, we have really good content on Facebook and Instagram, so you can follow us, you know, like us, follow us on Facebook is for better health medicine, and we’re also on Instagram. It’s for BH functional medicine, but if you put in search for better health will come up. So those are ways to connect with us and, you know, learn about some of the teachings that we share with patients and, you know, get good, good information. We hope that’s our goal. Yeah.
Brett Scott 1:05:36
Yeah, I, like I said, you know, my experience has been nothing but very positive and well worth every nickel and dime I’ve spent. And I didn’t notice too, like you guys have quite a bit of blog content on there, that has some differing information from what people might typically be reading on the internet. And I would say they’re probably a more reliable source than where most of you are probably sourcing your information from out there. So go give that a look, if you are dealing with anything like this. So there’s so many different things that could get affected by our nutrition, our mindset, our past experiences. So if you’ve been dealing with anything, and you know, you feel like you, you’ve had a bandaid, put on it and you know, your, your physician is just telling you, well, we don’t know what’s going on. So let’s just try antibiotics, or, you know, let’s try this for let’s try that. Doctor’s up here has really been like a, you know, we came in and we tested everything first. And instead of throwing grenades at things, it felt like I was working with a sniper over here. So if you’ve been having anything like this, I highly suggest you all reach out. Because she will help us she’ll educate you. And, you know, I’m not gonna guarantee that you’ll get better because it’s a lot of work on your end too. But there’s a lot of benefit from working with these guys here. So thank you for coming on. Thank you all for listening. I had a really good time on here and maybe we’ll have you back in the future once I come up with some more questions for you. So Alright, everyone, thanks for tuning in and look out for our next episode coming up soon.