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Fix your autoimmune disease with brilliant insights from Dr. Thomas O’Bryan for HealthBootcamps.
Dr. Thomas O’Bryan is an internationally recognized and sought-after speaker and workshop leader specializing in wheat, its impact on health, and the development of autoimmune diseases as they occur inside and outside of the intestines. In November 2016, Dr. O’Bryan released Betrayal: The Autoimmune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You, an investigation into the global effects of issues underlying the autoimmune system and chronic disease. Over 500,000 people worldwide have watched the docuseries.
Dr. O’Bryan is considered a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ for chronic disease and metabolic disorders, teaching that the underlying mechanisms that trigger the development of chronic disease are the key to health. He holds teaching faculty positions with The Institute for Functional Medicine and the National University of Health Sciences. He has trained and certified tens of thousands of practitioners around the world in an advanced understanding of the impact of wheat sensitivity and the development of individual autoimmune diseases.
His 2016 groundbreaking book, The Autoimmune Fix, won the National Book Award and ranked first in several categories on Amazon. The book outlines the step-by-step development of degenerative diseases and gives us the tools to identify our disease process years before the symptoms are obvious.
Dr. O’Bryan is the founder of TheDr.com and the visionary behind The Gluten Summit: A Grain of Truth, which brings together 29 of the world’s experts on the gluten connection to diseases, disorders, and a wide range of symptoms. You can find out more at TheGlutenSummit.com.
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[00:01] REENA JADHAV: Hey everyone, it’s Reena Jadhav with the live longer podcast and health boot camps and this is the beginning of our multipart series on the autoimmune fix and here is the amazing world leading Dr. Tom O’Bryan. Welcome Tom.
[00:20] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: Thank you so much. It’s really a pleasure to be with you. Thank you.
[00:24] REENA JADHAV: This is truly an honor and for everyone out there that’s listening, my God, you are in for a treat. Dr. THOMAS is such a fountain of Wisdom, brilliant insights and true understanding of health that you are actually in amazing hand over the next four to five series. So make sure you watch every single one of those. Okay, let’s get started. So this is part one and today we’re going to talk about what the heck is an auto immune disease anyway and what are all the different names it goes by, Dr. Tom, What’s autoimmune?
[00:57] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: The word autoimmune means that your immune system is attacking your own tissue, like your thyroid or your brain or your bones or your muscles, and it’s always been considered to be a mistake of the immune system or the immune system gone wild, but we now know that’s not true. Mrs. Patient, your immune system is the armed forces in your body. It’s there to protect you. There’s an army and navy and air force and Marines, a Coast Guard, IGA, IGG, IGE, IGM all these technical parts of the immune system. They’re all there to protect you, so when you understand that the immune system is protecting you when it gets activated; the question is what’s it trying to protect you from?
So when you go see a doctor and you’ve got symptoms and let’s say that you’re diagnosed with diabetes or with Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, it’s like you’ve fallen over a waterfall into the pond below, you know, and you swim up to the surface and you’re trying to stay afloat in this pond of diabetes or this pond of recurrent miscarriages or this pond of Hashimoto’s thyroid. You’re trying to stay afloat in the midst of all these symptoms so everybody’s looking for the life jacket so they could be a float because the water is so turbulent because the waterfall keeps falling into the water. You’re still living the life that created the problems you’ve got you and you’re in this turbulent pond the waterfall keeps coming in.
So you want a life jacket with the least side effects possible, so a natural approach at first if you can, you always try and natural approach. If it doesn’t work, you take the drugs. Don’t be silly about this, you take the drugs so that you can stay afloat in the pond, but then you swim over to the side of the pond, you get out of the water, you walk up the hill, you walk back up river and find out what fell in the river that carried you down stream and eventually took you over the waterfall into the pond below. That’s called functional medicine and I’m on the Faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine and we teach doctors how to do this, how to go back upstream. It’s called going upstream to figure out what happened to this person and I’d. I’d like to give you just one example if I can. Let’s say a woman comes in in her early thirties and she’s got lots of gut symptoms and she’s diagnosed with an autoimmune disease like colitis and Colitis is an inflammation in itis of your colon, like bursitis, Conjunctivitis is an inflammation in the eye, arthritis is an inflammation in your joints. Colitis is an inflammation of your colon, so she comes in and she’s fallen into the pond of colitis with lots of gut symptoms and they do the test and the doctor says, Oh, you’ve got colitis to take this drug, or we have to do some surgery or so you try for the life jacket with the least effects possible, but when you go back upstream you have to go back and you take a look, and this is true for any health condition, any health condition. You go back and in the questionnaires if you do the right kind of questionnaires. How was your mother’s pregnancy with you? Was she on any medications? How was childbirth? Were you born by natural childbirth or by cesarean section? Because here’s an example; we know in the last month of pregnancy, moms reproductive track, the vaginal track the, the bacteria in the vaginal track completely change and there’s a whole lot of a bacteria called Prevotella, which is really hard to even find any other time in the reproductive track, but in the last month of pregnancy, it’s dominant. There’s a whole lot of it. Why? Because Prevotella carries the DNA messages of the mammal that’s going to be feeding that baby, so when baby is born by natural childbirth and comes down the canal, baby has smothered in Prevotella and other good bacteria in the eyes and the nose and the mouth and the ears of the all of the film the babies come covered with. That’s all really good bacteria and that bacteria gets into baby’s digestive track and migrates down the stairs. Okay, and it turns on the genes that says, okay baby, here’s the, here’s the formula of the milk from the mammal that’s going to be feeding you; so let’s get these cells starting to make these digestive enzymes and let’s get these cells over here ready to go. Now, every baby at birth, it has severe intestinal permeability. It’s normal to have intestinal permeability at birth because when they’re inside the womb, they’re swimming in this soup of mom’s amniotic fluid, you know, it’s just all this suit so there’s no border, so I mean from the mouth and it goes into the bloodstream, everything, but at birth that natural childbirth bacteria will give the message to turn the genes on in the baby’s gut that says, closed down those tight junctions now you don’t need to have a leaky gut anymore; it’s time to have a normal gut because food’s going to start coming down in a few months verse here’s the recipe for mom’s milk is coming so you can digest the milk, but let’s close those tight junctions no more intestinal permeability here. So when baby is born by C-section and doesn’t get that with so many obstetricians known now, because there have been many, many studies on this over the years, the obstetricians will take a sponge and kind of insert a sponge in the reproductive tract so that a baby has to be born by c-section for some reason, then takes a sponge and just smothers baby with the sponge as much of that good bacteria as possible. So that’s one of the questions for the 34 year old woman that has come in. How was your birth? Was it a natural childbirth? Was it a cesarean section? Did you have any antibiotics in the early part of life and you find so many kids that had recurrent ear infections and they had multiple doses of antibiotics which alters the gut of the microbiome. The good bacteria gut completely gets altered. So that baby then after birth is colicky baby was born by C-section. They’re much more likely to be colicky and just crying in pain, crying when they’re fed, and then they get, they’re much more vulnerable to ear infections and asthma and in the early teenage years, acne. And then they get constipation, um, uh, which progresses through their late teenage years. And if it’s a woman, a menstrual irregularities, their cycles are not regular because the microbiome is out of balance, has been for years. And then they go into their twenties, they’ve got severe menstrual cramps with their cycles.
[08:51] REENA JADHAV: You are actually describing my life.
[08:52] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: This is a mechanism that’s so very, very common. And then they come to you at 34 and they’ve been diagnosed with colitis. Am I going to treat the colitis? Of course you want to give the safest life jacket possible so a person can function calm down the inflammation as much as you can, but you have to change the environment that this body has developed from. You have to rebuild the microbiome, help build stronger thyroids or adrenals or whatever tissue didn’t have a chance to develop properly.
[09:27] REENA JADHAV: Oh my goodness. You just answered the question dominant in most people’s minds when they fall sick, which is why me.
[09:36] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: Exactly. Exactly. You just have to go back upstream and you almost always can find out what it is
[09:43] REENA JADHAV: That is literally all the way to birth, huh?
[09:45] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: Yeah. Even before now. We now know that it’s generations. It goes back generations sometimes, and that the DNA in the microbiome gets passed on by the mother to the baby and a mother carries forward from generations beforehand; some of the health problems that grandparents and great grandparents had.
[10:09] REENA JADHAV: Let’s take a look at what are all the different auto immune diseases today. So for those of our listeners that are trying to understand, you know, is this theory something that I want to keep watching. You mentioned diabetes; you mentioned colitis; go ahead and give us the list of the dominator.
[10:24] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: Sure. There are over 80 of them now that we know for sure. Multiple Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, which is systemic Lupus Erythematosus a Scleroderma, Psoriasis, Alzheimer’s is autoimmune, Parkinson’s is autoimmune, Cardiovascular disease begins as an auto immune mechanism. There are over 80 of them now, so there’s no tissue in the body that may not have an autoimmune mechanism going on. Hepatitis is autoimmune.
[11:01] REENA JADHAV: What about cancer, is cancer autoimmune to?
[11:03] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: Cancer has an autoimmune contribution to it. There’s more going on in cancer than just the immune system attacking self, but there is that component to it there also,
[11:14] REENA JADHAV: I think it might be easier for you just to tell us what is excluded from the auto immune list at this point. Like what’s not auto immune.
[11:21] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: Oh my goodness. Um, let’s see. Happiness,
[11:29] REENA JADHAV: If happiness was autoimmune disease and we could all just, you know, be infected with happiness. How wonderful is that!
[11:34] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: That’d be great. That would be great. No, but actually happiness is something that you have to develop like a nice garden, a beautiful garden. You slowly have to make room for the beautiful plants to grow and flower and the weeds not to grow so much.
[11:50] REENA JADHAV: So true! So in terms of just helping people understand, yes, there is autoimmune. It’s probably coming from something that happened way back when. What else are the symptoms? You’re talked about spectrum in your book autoimmune fix. So for someone who hasn’t yet been diagnosed, what are some of the symptoms that maybe giving an early indication of something more serious growing down the road? Because as we know, disease doesn’t happen overnight; you know, you don’t get cancer overnight or you don’t get ms overnight, colitis overnight; its taken years. So how do you know what those symptoms are so you can take the right steps to prevent getting colitis or getting MS?
[12:31] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: It’s really a good question and unfortunately there’s no simple answer. You know what’s happened is that we have grown up in a society and we believe it’s our birth right that some other person is in charge of our health. We go see them when we’re sick. You’d never see them when you’re well, right? We treat our cars better than we treat our bodies because there’s an owner’s manual for the car and so you go in every 5,000 or 10,000 miles, they changed the oil, they do whatever they do. When’s the last time you went in for a tune-up on your body? Right? But this thing, this thing has to run for 80, 90, a hundred years, 24/7. There is no machine that’s ever been built that could do that, but we expect this body to do that without giving it maintenance. So we have to reframe how we think about our bodies. They’re not like addendums to think about only when they’re acting up.
Then when we start learning how to appreciate how these bodies run and what’s good fuel to put in them and how do you help them to rest when they need to rest and how do you work them out in a way that, uh, uh, encourages stronger tissue, a healthier function. And when you learn these things, your whole life changes; People are just happy and they’re, and I’m not talking about being blissfully ignorant about what’s going on in life, but they feel happy, they wake up in the mornings and they’re ready to go to, to embrace and tackle whatever it is that they have to tackle you know, but it takes a while to get there. This is a concept that I want to introduce right now and it comes from a Tibetan word called I’m not sure I’m pronouncing it correctly, but I think it’s maître – means loving kindness and an unconditional friendship with one self; that when your best friend is you, you treat yourself in a way better than you hope that somebody else would treat you. You know, because if you don’t treat yourself well, how can anyone else treat you well? What does that mean? I just read a paper last week that people that eat a French fries and potato chips three times or more a week, have a fivefold increase risk of early death compared to people that don’t eat French fries and potato chips three times or more a week. You know that when you eat those bad fats, they’re just bad for you; bad means bad. Well, I could have a little. Well, no, you can’t. You know when, when you eat those bad fats, those, the remnants of those fats stay in your bloodstream for 57 days. That’s how long you can find the residue of bad fats in your blood and your immune system trying to protect you, has to fight these things that are not supposed to be there.
[15:51] REENA JADHAV: So you activated your immune system for 57 days in essence.
[15:55] DR. THOMAS O’BRYAN: That’s right. Just to fight the French fries that you ate. I mean, I love French fries. I love truffle flavored French fries, right? I’m a sucker for those, but I had them once every three months. It’s really a treat. It’s really a treat. You know, you just don’t want to do that very often. Let me give you an example and then you start thinking about all of the fats that we eat in our life that aren’t so good for us. Forty percent of the cell wall of your brain cells, the wall, it’s called the membrane. That’s the wall around the cell is made up of fat. Forty percent of that fat is DHA that comes from fish. There are two major components in the fats of fish, EPA and DHA that DHA is really good for your brain.
When you don’t get enough DHA, your body is still going to make new cells and if you don’t have enough of the correct raw material to make the cells, your body will use whatever it can. You know, you build your house out of Straw instead of brick. Right? So what does that mean for brain cells? I’m going to date myself here. You know, we used to go to the doctor and you go into the bathroom to leave a urine sample and you put the Cup on the Lazy Susan in the wall and the Lazy Susan, it rotates around to the other side of the wall and the nurses is over there and she runs all the tests on it that’s a lazy Susan. The way your brain works and the way your nerves work is that they’re lazy Susan’s in the cell walls, in the membranes of the cells, and one cell makes a chemical that goes through the cell wall to the Lazy Susan to the next brain cell, it takes that chemical and tweaks a little bit, then goes to the next brain cell, to the next brain cell, and there’s a line and that that line of cells makes your nerves and they communicate through the Lazy Susan’s, but if you’ve made your house out of Straw instead of brick, you’re lazy Susan’s are all rusty and they don’t turn very easily. They don’t communicate very well. That’s why the studies show when you take kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and you give them the good fats from fish oils; especially DHA in six months to a year, their IQ goes up.
It’s because their brains are functioning better because the lazy Susan’s that now they’ve pushed out the bad fats and you now have good fats in there and their IQ goes up, they think better, they’re more coordinated, muscular wise or more athletic and they’re processing is quicker and more accurate. You see the studies again and again and again, like that, so that’s just one example of putting the right raw materials in there, and that’s true for your skin, it’s true for your bones, for your thyroid. So autoimmune diseases are when your immune system says, we’ve got a problem here and the immune system is trying to fight something, so where does that come from? Why does your immune system try to protect you and it’s attacking your own tissue?
Dr. Thomas O’Bryan
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