Read the Transcript Below the Questions and Highlights
Do you want to heal your whole body? The #1 doctor in Santa Cruz and a Stanford graduate, Dr. Rachel Abrams left conventional medical practice to pursue functional medicine to focus on healing the whole body for her patients. Integrative medicine that includes an older practice of medicine has paved the way for her to get a more holistic approach to connecting with patients. For this podcast, Dr. Abrams talk about the difference between conventional and integrative medicine, and then further expound on autoimmune diseases.
Here are the Key Questions answered and highlights:
1. What is Integrative Medicine? What is the difference between a conventional doctor appointment and an integrative doctor appointment? (04:25)
– Western medicine is fairly limited with how it approaches complex diseases such as chronic fatigue, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatologic disease, and other autoimmune diseases.
– Increase preventive medicine like diet, exercise, identifying emotional and physical triggers.
2. Why is it that conventional medicine looks at root causes differently than integrative medicine? How does integrative medicine look at isolating root causes? (07:47)
– 80% of the US Population is low in Vitamin D. If your Vitamin D is low, your risk of having an autoimmune disease is doubled.
– The integrative approach is to work on all foundations of a healthy digestive system, nutrition, social activity, etc.
13:34 3. The body wants to heal itself. Can you tell us more about that?
– Being able to read your symptoms, understand, and discern them is the key to healing.
4. How do you start listening to your symptoms and your body? (17:20)
– Listen to the signals your body are giving you.
– Take a breath before you eat.
– Note how you feel when you wake up in the morning.
5. How do you convince your yourself to sleep and rest, and think that restoration is important? (22:30)
6. What practices do you recommend for great health beyond rest? (26:30)
– Eat, especially fruits and vegetables.
– Sleep! Rest is different from sleep.
– Move throughout the day.
7. What do you recommend to people to take out in their life? (30:36)
– Be aware of what you’re addicted to.
8. What are you seeing rising up as chronic illness in your practice? (35:11)
9. In a case where people think there is no way out, what do you recommend for them to calm their autoimmune down? (41:56)
– Meditation and Meditators
– Little rest can help the body be in balance.
10. What do you think is causing this explosion of Crohn’s or colitis in teens? (46:56)
– We’re less exposed to bacteria.
11. Do the fruits and vegetables have to be raw? Do the probiotics die when you cook it? Is it the raw diet that increases the quality and quantity of bacteria? (56:15)
12. Where do the probiotics come from? (56:36)
13. What do you recommend women can do to heal their body naturally from the onslaught of symptoms that menopause presents? (59:33)
– For menopause, you can use herbal formulas, Chinese medicine, and other safe bioidentical hormones.
14. What do you recommend in finding a local practitioner? (1:04:31)
15. Is there any case studies you can share that can give hope? How were you able to lead them back to a healthy life? (1:05:57)
16. For the holidays, can you share a health hack works amazingly well that you haven’t shared yet? (1:10:42)
– Take a deep breath before you eat anything.
This is auto-generated and may have mistakes. Please listen to the interview for accuracy.
[00:27] Reena Jadhav: Hello, Dr Rachel, welcome to the show.
[00:30] Dr. Rachel: Hi Reena. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:33] Reena Jadhav: Oh, it’s our pleasure. You are amazing. You are Stanford educated. The number one voted doctor in Santa Cruz, which by the way is a place I’d love to retire in.
[00:45] Reena Jadhav: Lucky you. You have an amazing upcoming book. I mean you are just this bundle of love and energy and healing and and truly it is an honor to have you on our show today. Let’s get started with. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your practice.
[01:03] Dr. Rachel: Sure. So I’ve actually been in practice and I’m a family practice doc for a couple of decades and I have always been interested in healing the whole person. In fact, I was looking back. I have daughters applying to college right now and a son in college and I actually wrote my college essay. I was able to find it on mind, body spirit, which I think is hilarious because I was 18, um, but then of course went off to Stanford, went to medical school, um, and then practiced in a more conventional practice for about seven years and I really appreciate all of those years and everything that I learned from them and the huge variety of medicine. Then I got to witness a and be involved in, but at some point along the way, and mind you, I was still taking courses and going to conferences and learning about more integrated or holistic approaches to health as I was practicing.
[02:00] Dr. Rachel: And at some point I just couldn’t do it. Um, and the story behind this really is that I knew I needed to leave my conventional practice because I felt like I went to work. Somebody stuck in an ivy, left it open and just bled me. And then at the end of the day, clearly was not healing me to be there and I wanted to be in a practice that I could be in fully. So it was good for me and it was good for the patients. And I think that the most difficult thing for me being someone who’s very heart centered and compassionate, was that I’d have patients walk into the room with something going on, you know, it could have been pelvic pain or headaches and you know, 14 minutes into our 15 minute visit, they’d come out with a, you know, a story of sexual abuse or rape or some kind of trauma that they’ve never talked about.
[02:51] Dr. Rachel: And now here I am, you know, faced yet again with this choice. Am I going to listen to this person, facilitate them, help them come to terms with this thing that is clearly at the center of what’s causing them medical problems and stay overtime and be behind you late at the office. Or am I going to cut them off and move onto the next patient and try to bring them back. And it’s just a crazy way to practice medicine. I found it incredibly frustrating not to be able to use all the tools at my finger tips, which included my heart as well as my mind in my practice. And you know, I say that with huge respect for doctors who are in conventional practices who I appreciate who I refer to, who are still doing good medicine, but it’s very difficult to get at root causes of disease when you have very short periods of time with people.
[03:40] Dr. Rachel: And what I love about my current practice and I left conventional medicine in 2007 and started in integrative medicine practice. And we can talk more about what that means in a minute. But the best part is that I get to spend a lot of time with people. So what I say is that although integrative medicine sounds like this new concept, it’s really not new at all. In fact, it’s sort of like being a classic family doctor, you know, who knew the family, who went to the house, who knew the patients, who had time with him. It’s really a lot more like old school medicine and family medicine and then of course we incorporate lots of older traditions like herbal medicine or Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine and what we do.
[04:25] Reena Jadhav: Oh, fantastic. That does sound very much the way I think our grandparents were treated right. There was the family doctor who knew everybody and everything and um, and treated them holistically. So what is the difference between or what is integrative medicine and what is the difference between a conventional doctor appointment and an integrative doctor appointment?
[04:46] Dr. Rachel: Such a great question. So, um, the first thing I want to say is that there are lots of different practitioners who practice integrative medicine. So some practitioners like chiropractors for example, or acupuncturists or all your vedic practitioners are already trained to do what we consider integrated medicine. Meaning when you are in the room with the patient, you’re the connection between you matters, your emotional presence matters. You’re going to focus on health prevention and you’re going to always try to get at the root cause of disease. So those are things that a lot of traditions like Chinese medicine, like Ayurvedic Medicine already do. Integrative medicine has been an attempt to take what we have in western medicine. And by the way, I love Western medicine. It’s not that it’s perfect, but there are things about western medicine that are phenomenal. You know, if I fall and break my leg or I’m having a heart attack or my mother’s having a stroke, please take me to an emergency room.
[05:45] Dr. Rachel: You know, I’m really, I think that there are things that we can do in western medicine that are miraculous. You know, appropriate surgery is lifesaving. So I love Western medicine, but it is very limited in certain circumstances. Chronic disease does a very poor job at preventing and treating chronic disease does a very poor job at diseases that are complex like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, a rheumatologic diseases, autoimmune disease. Western medicine is fairly limited in how it approaches these and therefore a somewhat less successful. And then the medications that are used for those diseases can be quite toxic in mind. You again, life saving. So it’s not that I don’t use those medications, but I try to limit medications and increased, you know, preventative medicine, diet, exercise, um, identifying triggers, emotional triggers, physical triggers, allergies, things that we can actually shift in a person’s own ecosystem so that the body can heal and needs less intervention from a western medicine point of view.
[06:56] Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. You talked about root cause and I want to spend a couple of minutes on that. And the reason is I went through a health crisis recently and of course conventional medicine was my first stop and after nine doctors they decided that it should be either actually both. I should be on prednisone as well as antidepressants because nearly I was depressed and I was doing most of your weight loss and my 22 different symptoms, the root cause was difficult for them to find because my tests came back clear. So while I ate pretty much anything and immediately hived out on my face and had rashes that big with physically, physically them, my tests show that I was really not allergic to anything, um, skin or internal. So I had gone through all kinds of allergy tests. I was not allergic, I went to every blood test, endoscopy, colonoscopy. So let’s talk about root cause, right? So why is it that conventional medicine looks at root causes differently than integrative and and how does integrative medicine look at root cause and isolating root cause beyond just tests or are there also different tests that they do?
[08:14] Dr. Rachel: Yeah, it’s a great question. So you know, Western medicine would like to look at root cause. You don’t want to say that that would be the intention of any good western trained physician. It’s just that there, there is sort of a throwing up of the hands in lots of circumstances. Auto immune disease would be a good example of that. So you know, in autoimmune disease you’ve got basically an immune system that has gone haywire, so it has decided that instead of attacking who would it thinks it’s doing is defending you, write, attacking a virus or a bacteria or a parasite or something that’s actually threatening your house. But instead what it’s doing is making a mistake and attacking yourself. Right? So autoimmune diseases, when you make an antibody that’s reacting against, say your thyroid or your joints or your colon for example, or your skin, and when that happens, western medicine basically says we need to calm down the immune system.
[09:10] Dr. Rachel: We’re going to give you prednisone. Okay. Prednisone, it will definitely call the system, but it will do that by flattening the entire immune system. So nothing works as well. Now, you know, there are appropriate uses of prednisone. If I have somebody with an acute asthma attack in my office, they’re probably going to get pregnazone, um, short term. The, the issue is when you see that as the treatment for the disease, because that does nothing to look at. Why is this person having an autoimmune reaction in the first place? And that’s why I think that integrative medicine and more traditional forms of medicine are useful here. So, you know, in my office, for example, some of the testing that I do that is different from a western medicine doctor, and I imagine you probably did in your healing, was looking at a more detailed tests of gastrointestinal function, looking at more detailed and subtle tests of food reactions in reactivity and allergy, considering putting somebody on a specialized diet, a low allergen diet and autoimmune diet, trying to identify other triggers in the environment.
[10:18] Dr. Rachel: And those are not always physical. So if you had come to see me and you were still working at a job that was making you extremely stressed, I know that affects your immune system profoundly actually. Um, and so we would talk about the social environment. And what about relationships? I’ve had plenty of patients who are in a destructive relationships and once we get them out as them, they tend to heal, they do much better. Um, and then we’re also looking at other underlying things that support health. Nutrition is huge. Uh, if your vitamin D is Low, your risk of autoimmune disease is ad is actually double double and 80 percent of the US population is low in vitamin D. So there are simple things and nutritional test we can do that also helps the body heal. So the integrative approach is really to work on all those foundations of health, the digestive system, nutrition, activity, social activity, relationships, stressors in the environment that will all help, uh, the body come back into balance.
[11:21] Dr. Rachel: And that is absolutely no different than someone who is trained in sage, Chinese medicine or all your vedic medicine. We just have slightly different tools. So in integrative doctor md or CEO or natural path for that matter is going to use a, you know, advanced stool testing. We’re going to use more advanced in detailed hormone testing. We’re going to use a test that looks at food sensitivity or food allergy, just a different array of testing that can be helpful in coming back balance. But those tests, in my humble opinion, are far less useful than having a practitioner who is present, who has time, who’s openhearted, and who is a really good listener because the key to each patient’s illness resides in him or her. It really is in the patient. So if you don’t spend enough time trying to draw out that story, like for example, there is an, a remarkable occurrence of some kind of loss or trauma in the year or two before the onset of an autoimmune disease. And if you don’t take those kinds of things into account, it’s hard to actually have an impact on why this patient. Why does time, why this presentation of illness?
[12:50] Reena Jadhav: And you talked about the body’s ability to heal. So let’s talk about both those things, right? So balance views than I. um, and I think there’s a difference between how conventional medicine looks at it versus the holistic sciences of Irb, the acupuncture, etc. That the body wants to be imbalanced, the body wants to heal itself. And for some reason you have puT it in imbalanced because it, it doesn’t want to be an imbalance, so you’ve done something to it, whether it be to your point, a traumatic experience of some sort of loss of tragedy, relationship work, food, whatever that is, something has put your body out of balance and just giving prescription medicines will not bring it back in balance that it needs to be brought the balance through a combination of, of effort. That means that the body wants to heal. Talk a little bit about that because especially as it pertains to your upcoming book.
[13:51] Dr. Rachel: So, you know, the beautiful thing about being a health practitioner is that the body itself is so brilliant, so incredibly capable of healing that it makes you look good. You know, it makes your ability as a practitioner look far more extensive than it is because if you just, you know, help a little here, little there, the body will actually do the work for you. Um, and that is part of the point in my book, bodywise, which is all about teaching that that particular book is for women. But the concept is absolutely for everyone, but learning how to really listen to the wisdom in your body. Um, And the point I make in the book is that that body wisdom is deep in our genes and in our history. So there was a time not that long ago, a couple of hundred years ago, where if you weren’t listening to your body’s instincts when you were out the woods, say, you know, gathering food or hunting or, uh, you know, trying to provide for your family, you would be in danger.
[14:58] Dr. Rachel: You had to be listening to your, a deep instincts all the time to survive. And you had to be moving all the time you had. You were outside a lot. You were exposed to sunlight. There were lots of things about the body environment, um, that were more supportive of health as they are now. Other things, not so much. We could talk about that too. Um, but the, the ability to really listen deeply to your own intuition about your health is the foundation of wellbeing. And one of the things I try hard to do in my office is to listen well and then feed that patient story back to them so that they can start to feel inside themselves, oh, that’s why I’m not. Well, I have high blood pressure. Oh right. It makes sense that now I’m having more neck pain given what’s happened to me, the choices I’ve made, you know, the experiences I’ve had, the injuries I’ve had. So being deeply in touch with your body, being able to read your symptoms and understand them and discern them, which means putting them in the context of the story of your life is really the key to healing.
[16:08] Reena Jadhav: And that’s so hard. Having been there. I can tell you that since we’re not taught to read our symptoms at all, we’re taught the moment there’s discomfort. You call and make an appointment with the doctor, then you tell your doctor what the problem is. He gives you a pill and your problem goes away. Right? It’s sad. It’s sad because it’s a lie. It is. But that’s so when you’ve been brought up in that fashion, that’s what I did. I got up on my face, was a blown up tomato with rashes all over and I went to my doctor and I said, look at me and give me a pill to fix it, and when it didn’t go away, eventually I got really angry at the doctor. I was like, well, it’s your problem. you’re not giving me the right pill. Right? We are so wrongly raised to thinking that really the doctor owns the healing and I think you’re trying to change that equation to say it’s not the doctor that heals you. You heal yourself, and so my question to you was, I didn’t learn how to read my symptoms and start keeping a diary and look at what had happened over the last few years until of course I met the right group of holistic doctors. What are some. What are your top three recommendations for someone who’s never had to listen to their symptoms? What do you recommend? How do you start listening to your symptoms and your body?
[17:34] Dr. Rachel: Well, in bodywise I talked quite a bit about this, but the most basic piece is can you actually sense your body’s sensations? Which I know to some people sounds like ridiculous, duh. Of course I can fit my body sensations, but you’d be surprised some people can’t. Or you know, as someone who’s had young children and been a working mom, I’m one of those people to, you know, do you notice when you have to pee, for example, often not, not until you’re about to die, right? So we get really good at ignoring our body sensations and I honestly start people out with really simple things like notice when you have to go to the bathroom and go within 15 minutes. Don’t wait three hours, right? Listen to the signals your body’s giving you or like around the holidays, how do you be body intelligence around the holidays and food?
[18:25] Dr. Rachel: Like can you put your hand on your belly and take one breath before you reach for the plate or the cookie or the cake or the luck or whatever it is that you’re eating at your holiday celebration. You know, and, and just have a moment to reflect like, does my body want this? Is this how my body wants to feed itself? Is this the nourishment my body’s asking for? And if the answer is yes, then go ahead and see how you feel. But if the answer is no, you know, consider for a moment, you know, eating is a really nice place to begin to be body intelligent because often we eat for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with being hungry. And then we eat foods, not because it’s what our body would choose to be nourished, but because it’s what we choose for the feelings we’re having sadness or anxiety or anger.
[19:18] Dr. Rachel: So, uh, those are two simple things. Pew and you have to be totally take one breath before you take a bite of food or before you put the food on your plate or before you cook the food. And then the third thing I would say is just note when you wake up in the morning how you feel. so a lot of people go through life tired every time they wake up in the morning because they never actually get enough sleep. Or if they do, it’s on saturday. And then they go right back to four hours or five hours a night all week long and one night. It’s not enough to recover from that. And sleep is huge. It’s fundamental to your health. So few. And you have to be. Take a breath before you eat. Note how you feel when you wake up in the morning and if it’s tired until you get your latte down, you probably need to sleep more and asleep. I just. it’s hard for people to believe this because we have such a productivity driven culture, but if you sleep enough, you will be massively more productive, creative, capable in emotionally resilient in your life.
[20:23] Reena Jadhav: And I’m living proof that by the way, I’m living proof that everything you just said is so true around if you just leave a little more, you will be a better version of yourself. But until I got into my healing crisis, isn’t it sad? Sometimes we only learned these lessons after a deep crisis. It’s so sad. It’s sad and it’s
[20:45] Dr. Rachel: also the human way, right? I mean, I think, I think to some degree, you know, life is all about ups and downs and the downs are the places we learned a lot of really important lessons. So, you know, I think it’s important not to beat ourselves up about, um, the ways in which we struggle. It’s not so much, no, do we struggle, but what do we do when the struggle comes, you know, do we learn from it and then move on and make different choices in the future as best we can.
[21:12] Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. You know, what makes it harder though is the culture we live in, and I think you alluded to that as well. We live in a culture that really prides itself on sleeping last, working more, running harder, working out fiercer just, it’s a very type a. I’m overcommit overachieved environment. And so the concept of rest is foreign. So when the first time I started to see holistic practitioners, I was told he should rest. I was like, excuse me, I’m 45. I’ll rest when I’m 90.
[21:49] Reena Jadhav: Lying to me. Like to be told to slow down and, and I’m just, I’m in my prime, what are you saying to me? And it took a lot of different doctors, a holistic practitioners, a lot of brainwashing to get me to recognize that rest isn’t for the weak and wimpy and actually rested how you’re going to stay alive another 45 years, you know? How do you advise your patients that come in? Especially in the bay area. I mean we’re in the bay where I am in the bay area. Santa cruz is
[22:25] Reena Jadhav: I think you haven’t much nicer culture than ours for sure.
[22:31] Reena Jadhav: The one advice that you can give someone who really pride themselves on knock rusting, how do you reach shift that conversation and convince yourself that actually sleep and rest and restoration are really important?
[22:49] Dr. Rachel: Well, you know, what I would say is that most of the people I know who are gunning feel like this is a sprint and unfortunately in places like silicon valley, and it’s not unlike that in New York or Hong Kong or you know, other hard driving cities around the world that, you know, the sprint never ends. The sprint starts at 18 or even younger and it goes until you’re 60. And that’s not a, that’s not a sprint. My friends that is an ultra marathon. So the, the techniques you use do not apply. And I think that, uh, you know, you were a part of startup culture, which is perhaps the most extreme example of this, right? I’m going to build a company and I’m basically gonna lay myself out flat and everybody around me and we’re going to have a huge success and then we’re going to, you know, lay off and celebrate, right?
[23:41] Dr. Rachel: Except for that, my experience with people who are doing that is the layoff. Celebrate, gets sort of lost in the next startup, the next game. You know, we live in a kind of a twitter universe where people never let down and it’s inhuman, it’s inhuman, you know, we’re not created to be like this and you know, you have to ask yourself, what do I want with my life and what kind of quality of life do I want? How do I want to have been present for the past year? Because there’s no guarantees you’re going to get the rest of it. And when you rest, you relate better to people. You have more functional relationships, you have more functional families, you’re a better partner, you’re a better son or daughter, you’re a better parent because you have natural groundedness and you have natural, a vital energy and it makes a huge difference in the impact you can have in the world. I just think that people get mistaken and they think that the more words they can get out there, you know, the more twitter feeds they can be on, the more uh, you know, the bigger the company they can build, the more of an impact they can have. And I think it’s a mistake. I think that you can have how you are
[24:56] Dr. Rachel: is your biggest impact and it’s how you are at work. It’s how you are at home. It’s how you are when you’re at the grocery store, who you are and how you are, is your biggest impact. And that, that quality of personhood is really only enhanced by states of rest because that’s what humans are built for. States of activity followed by states of rest. You know, we have a crazy culture where we have huge bursts of activity followed by, you know, couch, potato, couch, potato. I’m not going to call rest. That’s like distraction. Um, and I don’t think tv’s evil and I think it’s fine to watch a little netflix or you know, whatever. I’m not extreme and hardly anyway, but I do think that people have a hard time unplugging from stimulation. And when you are constantly stimulated, especially if you think about this from an integrative or an ayervetic rich chinese perspective, you are depleting your vital energy. You’re depleting your kidneys and your vital energy that allows you to be life filled. and when someone, there’s so many remarkable people who have already come to this conclusion, like arianna huffington is one of them. You know, that when you have a really talented person who gets rested, what they’re capable of in terms of the quality of their words and their contributions in the world is huge. It’s much bigger and much more profound than when they were pushing, pushing, pushing, and uh, you know, more words but sleeping four hours a night.
[26:31] Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. clearly, I think one of the core foundations and Ariana absolutely talks about it as building a whole new company called thrive around that one concept. What else you recommend? So what would be your three, um, I call them weekly, monthly daily practices that you would recommend for great health beyond rest?
[26:54] Dr. Rachel: Well, you know, rest and sleep are not necessarily the same thing. So, uh, in terms of three practices, I would say, you know, the three fundamental practices of health, and I would say this is probably across the board with all practitioners, um, are, uh, how, what you put in your body eating, drinking, and it’s huge. Uh, you know, the food is medicine phrase has been popular for awhile now, but it really is the case and I didn’t really, even though it was always appreciated what a huge difference it made for people in the eight healthy food, what I did not appreciate it on a biochemical level when you’re choosing foods that they, each, each vegetable or fruit or each piece of meat has a, a complex variety of biochemical signals for your body that are turning up inflammation or turning down inflammation and some of those very person to person.
[27:47] Dr. Rachel: But you know, there’s certain generalizations that are good for most people. Um, which is an eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. Nobody’s going to argue with that. IT doesn’t matter if they’re paleo or they’re vegan or whatever, whatever dietary trend you’re in. Nobody argues with lots of fruits and vegetables because the chemical signals and fruits and vegetables are so positive in the body. Um, so I think eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is huge. And again, no one’s going to argue with that. The second thing I would say sleep, which we’ve already talked about, I just think it’s fundamental. Rest is different from sleep, right? Rest is, wow. I take a moment to sit down, to lie on the couch, to laugh with my friends, to go for a walk, to do meditation, to have some kind of spiritual practice. Rest, hugely important sleep.
[28:42] Dr. Rachel: Also hugely important because it’s where we have our deep sleep is the best antiinflammatory we have. We haven’T talked about inflammation, but you know, it’s the root cause of a lot of disease, tremendous amount of disease that we experienced in the us. And sleep is a wonderful antiinflammatory. So rest and sleep would be the second thing. And then the third thing is movement. So, you know, there’s this I find really fascinating, so there’s all kinds of studies showing that, you know, the more active you are, the healthier in general including cancer patients and all kinds of surprising people. People with arthritis, you know, they all do fibromyalgia, they all do better when they’re more active and there are new studies showing that your health has less to do with how much you move and more to do with how much you sit or how little you said, a better way to put it.
[29:30] Dr. Rachel: So if you look at people and you measure how much they sit during the day, so that includes driving or sitting at your desk or you know, however you’re sitting in your life, sitting on your couch, that the more you sit, the less healthy you are regardless of how you exercise. And I think that that’s another fascinating thing to think about because humans aren’t really meant to sit in the way we do. If you look at traditional cultures, they’re constantly walking in active or they’re squatting, right? While hanging out with each other. They’re in more active body positions. And if your body is, every you do, you’re going to be a lot healthier. So those three things, the first one, uh, eat especially fruits and vegetables. The second one didn’t sleep and the third one would be moved throughout the day and if you’re at a desk, you know, getting a treadmill desk or a standing desk or just having other options on what you can work on your computer and stay active.
[30:31] Reena Jadhav: Well, they’re calling sitting the new smoking, so more thing to, to really target, which is good, you know, I’m glad that we found the research which proved that movement is far better than just sitting on your desk. Uh, those three sound great. What would be the three things you would ask our listeners or readers to take out of their life for 2017?
[30:57] Dr. Rachel: Well, one thing that I would think about is
[31:01] Dr. Rachel: being aware of what you’re addicted to. So, you know, there are people who have true addictions, alcoholism, drug addiction. Um, if, if that is the case for you and you know, that’s the case, or you suspect that’s the case, that is going to be the number one thing that will improve your health. Um, because when we use anything addictively, um, and that includes caffeine, alcohol, sugar, um, you know, I’ve had patients who are addicted to crackers. Sounds funny, but you know, anything that you’re doing not to feel an emotion, right? Like I am, you know, eating these crackers because I’m anxious about this class, I’m taking this test I have to do or I am going to have a piece of banana cream pie because I know I have to go meet with my mother and I have a lot of trauma in that relationship and it’s hard for me.
[31:51] Dr. Rachel: Um, anything you’re doing to avoid feeling is bad for you. And I can’t tell you what that is because you know, crackers are not evil and occasional banana cream pie is not evil either. it just depends on how you’re using it. In. Coffee is a good case in point here. Coffee actually has some interesting health benefits. Antioxidants. It prevents diabetes, prevent some certain forms of cancer. But the great number of people using a coffee that I see are using it addictively, meaning they’re not sleeping enough and because they’re not sleeping enough, they’re drinking coffee to drive them during the day. That is a problem. The coffee’s not the problem. The use of the coffee is the problem. So the first thing that I would say to take out is anything you’re addicted to until you figure it sugar is another really good example of that. And sugar is it actually a very addictive food, almost like a drug.
[32:46] Dr. Rachel: And then the second thing I would say would be to really look around and again, look into your body wisdom into your innate body intelligence about the people you’re around. So there are a lot of, there are a lot of studies showing that, you know, the more people you hang out with it are overweight, the more likely you are to be overweight. Um, and there’s lots of reasons, a behavioral reasons for that, but it is the case that what you’re capable of in your life is partly dependent on the people who reflect you back to you. Meaning, we don’t exist just within our bodies, we exist in the interaction with others. So you have to think that everyone you’re choosing to be around and, you know, we don’t always have choice about everyone in our lives, like coworkers or family of origin, for example. But, um, everyone that we are around has an impact on how we are in the world.
[33:43] Dr. Rachel: So careful about those obligatory friends or you know, the neighbors you can’t stand, but you agreed to have dinner with once a week. I actually think that those are toxic relationships and you can be kind and respectful but not spend a lot of time with people who make you feel bad on the inside because there’s, there’s no reason for that. Um, so avoiding things, you’re addicted to avoiding toxic people. And then the third thing would be avoiding a toxic activities. So this could be, and maybe we’ll just say toxins. So, you know, in our environment, unfortunately we’re exposed to a lot of things that are toxic, toxic cleaning products in the home or pesticides and herbicides that we use outside of our homes or, uh, you know, we install brand new carpet with plastic backing that off gases into our house or we heat up dinner every night as a frozen dinner that’s in a plasticized cardboard box in that leeches into our food. I think that if people could reduce the number of toxins theY’re exposed to and you can never reduce it to zero, but as best they can, that everyone would feel better. So toxic addictions, toxic people in toxins in your environment.
[35:07] Reena Jadhav: I love those three. Those are really good goals for 2017. Let’s actually dive a little deeper now into your practice itself. We’ve talked about autoimmune as that, as inflammation, as being drivers of a lot of the eldest says, what are you saying rising up as chronic illnesses these days in your practice? Specifically?
[35:31] Dr. Rachel: I would say some of the more disturbing things I’m seeing are a chronic, multiple chemical sensitivity, severe depression and anxiety that is unresponsive to medications. And all of these and severe digestive diseases and allergies and all of these things really are related. I’m in bodywise. I talk quite a bit about chronic body depletion, which I see as really a, the connection between all of those things. um, and the reason I write about chronic body depletion is because I see it every day. I’m in my patients. I just had a young woman, a lovely young woman come in who had an autoimmune disease onset after years of insomnia, anxiety, um, pressure and then had pain and then had to give up something she loved and now she’s depressed and overweight and not moving and insomnia and exhausted. And that would be a common scenario in my practice.
[36:35] Dr. Rachel: And you know, the ways that I approached that are complex, but they really all come back to restoring balance. So where I started with her is sleep. So you know, any chronic disease is going to get better if you sleep enough and pretty much no chronic disease or chronic pain. Fibromyalgia, auto immune disease is going to get better if you’re not sleeping. So I always start there. I always talk a little bit about diet without being too crazy because I think, um, the, uh, the, uh, somehow practitioners lose the ability to influence their patients because they put them on really restrictive diets right off the bat. A lot of people do not want to do that or they can’t do it or it’s too frustrating and it’s not that I never do that, but I try to go slow a bit by bit and help, uh, you know, people integrate things at a pace that feels healing to them and not overwhelming.
[37:32] Dr. Rachel: And then, uh, and then I would also think quite a bit about, again, environment. And I think what I was thinking about avoiding toxic exposures is poignant here because you have to think about, you know, the, the personal environment, the people that are involved with there were. I mean, I have crazy stories. For example, there’s a woman, young woman, tessa in my office who, um, who I profile in the book, but she was a healthy, happy person, but she was getting ready to move in with her boyfriend and she wasn’t quite sure whether she should. It was having a heart she really wants. She was ready for a relationship. She wasn’t sure if this was the right one. Um, and as she was trying to move in with him, a rash began to crawl up her arms while she was loading her hanging clothes into the hanging clothes box.
[38:20] Dr. Rachel: And, you know, the more she continued to pack, the more the rash, spread upper arms and onto her chest. And then as she took a little time and went, wow, this is strange. And decided to stop the moving process and talk with her girlfriends when she finally decided, you know what, I think this is the wrong time, maybe not the right person. The rash began to recede on her body. So we think yes, and, and we think of these as miracle stories. And what I’ll tell you is I hear these stories literally everyday in my practice. So if you’re paying attention, if you’re listening and if you’re open, the body talks and all kinds of ways. I had another patient with a rashes who an ad. This is a good example. She, um, ultimately we identified some food triggers for her that had not been identified and they made a huge difference in her symptoms, but a, exacerbating her symptoms was a, again, a relationship and while she was in the relationship, her immune system was going nuts.
[39:20] Dr. Rachel: She developed asthma and severe allergies and skin rashes for the first time in her life. Um, and if you think about it, the immune system is your, are your amazon warriors, right? They are trying to fight something off. And so, you know, she wasn’t able on the outside to say, wow, this guy is really toxic for me. Um, so her immune system was going nuts trying to fight it off on the inside. It’s very interesting how the body is metaphoric and that way. And once she moved out and separated from that person and got some piece her asthma in a way, her allergies improved. And then when we identified the foods or rashes went away, um, you know, the body is incredible in that way. So the environment includes toxins in the environment. So that stuff does matter. Um, some of the things I listed before in terms of avoiding toxins and toxic people, toxic relationships, um, and then toxic work.
[40:15] Dr. Rachel: So, you know, I have another patient who, when I saw him was, he’s a wonderful man, classic, a 50 year old gentleman, but I’m working hard as hold live previous military man and was on five blood pressure medications. There really are about five categories of blood pressure medication. So he was basically on everything we could throw at him and his blood pressure was okay. It wasn’t even perfect. Um, and he was commuting to work and it was super stressful and his job was really stressful and I got to be his doctor as he transitioned out of that job and retired and I slowly took him off. Three of the five blood pressure medications. And mind you, he didn’t lose weight. He didn’t go into big exercise program. He literally just stopped, is stressful job and his blood pressure dropped tremendously. So helping, helping people identify, you know, what it is and slash or let’s say, you know, lots of people can quit their job because they need to pay their mortgage.
[41:16] Dr. Rachel: They need to pay their rent, they need to buy food, they need to provide for their families. Um, but you can learn how to moderate your stress response as well. So, you know, meditation would be a common prescription in my practice. Tends to help everybody because when the stress response is active, there’s more inflammatory mediators, pain gets worse, the immune system gets overactive, cortisol goes high, weight gain happens, sugar goes up, blood pressure goes up, you know, everything. We don’t want a, when we have extended chronic stress. So intervening in terms of stress also helps with everybody.
[41:52] Reena Jadhav: That was my followup question, which you sort of answered already, which is not everyone has the ability to walk out of a toxic relationship, toxic work, you know, work situation, toxic kids who knows, right? If you’re in a, in a situation where there is no way out. And so in that case, what do you recommend to our readers and listeners that are in that situation? And so now they finally thanks to you connected the dots and said, oh my god, holy crap. Maybe this is why I’m getting the rashes and the hive. What can they do to calm their autoimmune down to let the auto immune? No, it’s okay. You can stop defending me now on medication. And then how often do you recommend, you know, how or what have you seen from a case study perspective? How often do you need to meditate? Is it yoga? Is it walking? What are, what are your recommendations for? How long should someone do that?
[42:49] Dr. Rachel: Yeah, well, I mean, you know, what people need is specific to them. So when people can do sitting meditation, I’m really excited aboUt it because the research on a phenomenal, and you can do it as mindfulness meditation, which is nondenominational. There’s also a whole variety of buddhist meditations and yoga meditation. Um, they all are effective and they all have tremendous health benefits. For example, um, I don’t know if your listeners have ever heard of telomeres, but telomeres are the ends of your dna. they’re kinda like the little plastic things at the end of the shoelace. Um, that kind of tie it up and you can look at the quality of your telomeres as a measure of aging. So the telomeres literally begin to fray with time and don’t repair well, and meditation is one of the things that tremendously improves people’s telomeres, for example, as well as decreasing stress and depression and blood pressure and heart attacks and all kinds of other things.
[43:49] Dr. Rachel: So love meditation and not everybody’s a meditator. Lots of people can’t sit still and there I call them moving meditators, so I have them do things like yoga or tai chi or chigong or walking meditation. So there’s also a lot of research about the healing impact of nature. So if I can get a lot of my people just outside, like let’s say the work environment is really stressful and I’ve got a lot of silicon valley people in my practice. Then I really try to get them out of the building at lunchtime, preferably with a friend so that they get social interaction, which is also really good for us and they get good for vitamin d and good for mood and they get a completely different environment for a little while. That drops their cortisol down and helps their adrenals have that rest period. That recovery period.
[44:42] Dr. Rachel: We were talking about earlier, so just walking can be helpful. Um, and then anything else that really calms you down. So I was saying earlier, I don’t think tv is evil. I do think that some people are addicted to dev right there watching tv because they don’t want to deal with their family or you know, they don’t want to do other things, but I’m okay with busy people occasionally sitting down relaxing, reading a book, watching a show, you know, doing something that allows, I call it adrenal rest time. So your adrenal glands are your stress glands and they’re on the top of your kidneys, in your back, and your adrenals are there to keep you safe. So your adrenals produce your fight or flight reaction, uh, when something scary or dangerous happen. So we need that. That’s actually really important. The problem is we’re human and we have giant brains and usually something scary happens.
[45:41] Dr. Rachel: And then we think about, oh my god, you know, what if this happened and what does that have? What if, what if, what if this had happened? And we perpetuate that stress and that high cortisol, adrenal response, longterm, very dangerous for our health. So these little rest periods, you know, whatever it is for you taking a bath, a lying on the couch, reading a book, going for a walk, doing something, or being with your children, you know, small kids or you know, maybe not being with your children. I mean, I’ve Been a stay at home mom for periods of time. Oh my god, what a hard job. It was harder than any other job I ever had. um, so, you know, little breaks from the kids when you need them, but little rest periods allow the body to be in written again, you know, to be in balance in the way that we talked about.
[46:27] Reena Jadhav: Okay. It does a great tip. So you mentioned gut, all the things you shared about, you also mentioned that I am personally seeing an explosion of gut issues and teens. I mean literally at this point of my friends three have children that are quite ill with gut issues. So that really shocks me, surprises me that, um, what, what’s going on. And then of course I’ve got my own high school or who I worry about because I see how terrible her eating habits are and you really can’t tell you’re a senior in high school how to eat anymore because they’re so independent. Right. But from a government standpoint, what do you think is causing this explosion of crohn’s colitis and teams?
[47:19] Dr. Rachel: Well, I mean, a couple of things just to put into context for the listeners, we have, um, we have a crisis of global proportions in the increase in allergy and autoimmune disease, which is absolutely directly connected to gut health. And, uh, our issues are that, you know, again, two or 300 years ago, most people on the planet, we’re living in a, well maybe a little, a thousand years ago in a somewhat similar way, um, being outside a lot, being in contact with nature, with dirt, with animals. We were exposed to a lot of bacteria, a lot of parasites, some viruses, um, and our immune system’s trained to deal with that. Now we’ve got this really kind of high tech, you know, immune system that is dealing with lives that are extremely different. So our environments are for, at least in the western world, are much cleaner, um, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
[48:20] Dr. Rachel: Uh, it means that we’re exposed to much fewer bacteria and many fewer parasites and primarily kids are growing up with viral illnesses and vaccinations against viral illnesses. So that aspect of the immune system becomes overactive and that happens to be the same immune system that is responsible for allergy and a lot of autoimmune disease. So there’s the exposUre problem, like if you look at kids who grow up with cats and dogs, they are less allergic to cats and dogs when they’re older. And when you look at households where they don’t use a dishwasher that sterilizes the dishes and they hand wash slash more bacteria. The dishes, those households have better gut function and fewer immune problems. So it’s really interestIng some of what we thought. And it is true that being able to sterilize and, you know, the era of realizing the bacteria are real and cause infection.
[49:17] Dr. Rachel: And uh, made a huge difference in public health, you know, keeping our water supply clean, keeping hospitals clean, but it also had this other interesting impact which was reducing our exposure to bacteria and that has a couple of [inaudible]. Then we introduced antibiotics, right, and not just for use in the medical field but in the livestock field as well. So this combination of cleaner environments, immune system not challenged enough by bacteria and parasites and more strongly reacting to, to, uh, viruses and allergic stuff, and then depleting gut flora. So we are the recipients of gut floor up from our parents who were the recipients of gut flora from their parents. So our children get their guts or when they’re born from mom and from intimate contact with their parents. So when you look at the gut flora of a hunter gatherer in africa or south America or Alaska for that matter, they have a tremendous diversity of gut bacteria and that makes them resistant to disease on a variety of levels.
[50:26] Reena Jadhav: When you look at what we have now and our children even more so, we have a tremendously depleted supply of gut bacteria in our guts are like a rain forest. We have 10 times the amount of gut bacteria as, as we have human cells in our body. We are actually walking environments for the rainforest of gut bacteria that live in our colon. And it has profound effects on health, profound effects on health. And this used to be what weird holistic doctors like myself talked about. Um, and everyone elSe thought they were crazy. And now it is literally cutting edge medicine at every major medical institution in the country. So our children unfortunately are inheriting depleted gut bacteria, which leads to vulnerability to disease as well as a imbalance in gut bacteria. And when your immune system doesn’t have a lot of bacteria in the environment to react to, it actually trains on your gut.
[51:28] Reena Jadhav: So it actually looks at, uh, you know, we have to think of the body as a donut. Like there’s the skin on the outside and the gut is the skin on the inside. So the skin on the outside of the skin, on the inside and the gut intimately related to one another, and when the immune system, which is kind of inside that doughnut, I’m not in the hole, but inside that donut begins to sense things in the gut that are not normal like overgrown funny bacteria because of antibiotic exposure or yeast overgrowth or funny parasites. Uh, then it becomes more reactive and as soon as the immune system is more reactive in the gut, it’s more likely to react to the wrong things like food, for example, a food proteins, or to stimulate auto immune responses or allergy responses. So our children are challenged and there is a huge surge in allergy and autoimmune disease worldwide probably because of antibiotics and this change in the exposure of bacteria that we have and in our food supply.
[52:35] Reena Jadhav: So the third leg of this that’s really important is that when you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, yeah, there’s the chemicals in them that are good for you, but they also have a tremendous amount of fiber and that fiber is what the get back gut bacteria feed on. So for example, they did this really interesting study where they took a group of people, they measured their gut bacteria, the amount of it and also the diversity of it, and then they put them on a meat, egg and dairy diet and their di, their amount and diversity of bacteria nearly depleted within three days. Oh wow. And it was a crossover study. So in the other arm of the study where people now eating huge amounts of fruits and vegetables and no meat or dairy or eggs, and I’m not saying those things are evil, I’m just saying they have a different impact on the gut bacteria and the people with the high fruit and vegetable diet had substantial gut bacteria.
[53:29] Reena Jadhav: Then they switched them after a week and a half, so not very much time, a week and a half. They switched them over. The people who’d been on the meat, dairy and egg diet had a huge surge in the growth of their gut bacteria after two days on the fruit and vegetable diet. So amazing. We talk a lot about probiotics and I’m a fan of probiotics. What probiotics are literally, you know, three to five or six different species of bacteria and we could have as many as 800 in our gut. It is the tip of the iceberg. Probiotics, so probiotics in the right circumstance, very important, but you have to keep in mind fruits, vegetables and whole grains because if we’re giving our, our guts enough bacteria, we have better growth. And what is the standard american diet look like? White bread, eggs, meat, dairy, white potatoes, no fiber, no fiber. So our other problem is, you know, the lack of food for our gut bacteria, so in all these different ways, gut bacteria are taking a hit and then having an impact on our immune systems. And this is why our kids are getting sick with allergies. Food allergies hugely on the rise, um, issues with irritable bowel, which is upset belly that doctors, most doctors, conventional doctors don’t know what to do with, um, and inflammatory bowel disease, which is an autoimmune disease of the gut.
[55:01] Reena Jadhav: Interesting. You mentioned you’re not a big fan of probiotics instead of the fruit that you died. Experiment demonstrated shoot surge. I have a question on that. Is, does the, do the fruits and veggies have to be wrong? Does the probiotic die when you cook it? Is it really a raw diet that increases the quantity and quality of the bacteria or no? No, no.
[55:27] Reena Jadhav: Yes, and in fact, in that case, I’m not even talking about them eating bacteria, I’m just talking about them eating fiber. we’re just feeding were affectively feeding the gut bacteria with fiber. And I do love probiotics in the right context. So I want to be clear about that. Like my patients with inflammatory bowel disease are often on very high dose probiotics and they have a tremendous benefits from that. Um, it’s just that thinking a probiotic is gonna solve all your gut woes is, is, is simplified, it’s not actually true. Um, and then fermented foods are the other things that are important, which had been a part of healthy human cultures for millennia. Really? So you know, where whatever your favorite fermented food is, you know, temp, a miso, sauerkraut, kiefer, coconut, keifer, you know, however you like to do it for a minute. Foods or another wonderful source of healthy bacteria.
[56:21] Reena Jadhav: Got it, got it. But it is good to note that you don’t
[56:24] Reena Jadhav: have a child on raw fruits, raw veggies and fruits raw of course, but you don’t have to necessarily child on raw veggies, but even now cook chard and kale, the probiotic is going to survive and make it down downstairs. No, not the probiotics. Fiber fiber. When you cook, when you cook your vegetables to the fiber is still maintained in that vegetable and hits the belly. where does a probiotic comes from? So that, does that come just from the raw? Um, probiotics are a meet and when we say probiotics, we’re talking about healthy bacteria. Healthy bacteria from the gut are on foods and foods. I’m either really all around us really, you know, on her hands. And um, and so yes, some of them are on fresh foods, but you’re going to get a much bigger concentration in something that is fermented because when you’re in the fermentation process is bacteria at work.
[57:20] Dr. Rachel: So when you eat sourdough bread, it’s because there was a culture in that bread that was used to create the, the to break down the sugars and created this, our quality of that bread or if you drink kombucha for example, which is like the complete California hippie dream fermented tea. And I happen to like it. Some people hate it, you know, you have to eat what you like. Yeah. So kombucha is fermented tea. I’m either green tea or black tea depending on your kombucha and it is actually a mushroom ferment. So it is, it has healthy a fungal organisms, um, and it has healthy bacteria in it. And then when you eat those foods, some of them definitely get killed in the stomach acid but not all of them. And then they traveled down your digestive system and take up residence in your colon. And that’s why you need to feed them fibers to allow them to grow into.
[58:17] Dr. Rachel: Exactly, exactly. In fact, we call fiber and in some people where they have very depleted bacteria, I will actually give them fibers. Classic lens would be like chicory or insulin, um, which are pre, we call them prebiotics, meaning that they’re food for your probiotics. What about psyllium husk? Is that when you recommend as well? I like psyllium. Psyllium is great for folks who are constipated as well because it has the quality of drawing water into the bowel and helping with constipation and keep things, keeping things moving. Some people find psYllium, uh, to bloating. So some people’s guts are too sensitive to psyllium and it makes them feel uncomfortable. But for people for whom it works, I think psyllium is great. It’s a good fiber. It actually substantially reduces ldl cholesterol or the bad cholesterol. That’s right. That’s right. Good. Okay, great. So that’s, that’s approved as well. You know, early on on the skull, you mentioned understanding, but you mentioned that women, that the book
[59:22] Reena Jadhav: you’re writing is focused on women. Let’s talk menopause for a moment. So
[59:27] Dr. Rachel: let’s talk menopause. I’m 49 and a half.
[59:30] Reena Jadhav: Oh, are you? Yeah. I’m 45 and I’m there too. So list of menopause. I mean, what? There’s still money that could be a whole show by itself, but absolutely, or for this reason, and for the purpose of your book, um, what do you recommend women can do to heal their bodies naturally from the onslaught of symptoms that menopause presents?
[59:57] Dr. Rachel: Wow. I mean, the first thing I’m going to say is that there are natural hormonal disruptions with perry menopause in the forties. Some of those are decreased levels of progesterone before your period, which god can cause irregular menses, can cause heavy periods, can cause increased pms, irritability. UsuAlly, as I start listing this in my office, the women I’m talking to, you start nodding. And what we know is when you add to some of those natural changes, stress, um, in mind you, women in their forties typically have, if they have kids, I have teenage kids and they typically have aging parents and they, if they work, they typically are at the peak of their careers. So it is a rough time for stress for most women. So you marry high stress adrenal. I’m a depletion with these naturally lowering projesterone levels and it exacerbates everything. So I mean, here’s a personal story, um, I am still cycling, but a couple of years ago I was having hot flashes at night, not bad ones, but they were waking me up, it was disturbing my sleep.
[01:01:12] Dr. Rachel: I was getting very cranky as a result and I really wanted to be fixed. Right. So here you are, integrative doctor wants to be fixed, but I want to be fixed integratively, right? So I call up my girlfriend who basically leads ob gyn for the functional medicine institute. She’s wonderful and super smart and I basically am hoping she’s going to measure my hormones. It put me on something because I would magicallY like my hot flashes in my bad mood to go away and she interviews me and talks to me and she basically lectures me up and down about how I have to stop saying up with my teenagers, get to bed earlier, you know, put dark shades in my windows and meditate regularly.
[01:01:58] Dr. Rachel: oh, for god’s sakes, seriously. Right. And it turns out she was, of course a hundred percent correct. So I was perimenopausal, but the perimenopause wasn’t the problem. The problem was the stress plus the perimenopause, and as soon as I did a better job of being less stressed, I didn’t have anY symptoms because I was still at the time, I don’t know, 46 or something. And now I’m 49 and a half. And, you know, I will say I am a huge fan of just because I treat menopausal women all day long in my practice. Uh, and menopause can be absolutely brutal. So, you know, the first thing I always want to say to women who are menopausal is you’re not crazy. You’re not crazy. You can take the most effective, successful, um, insightful, spiritually mature woman and throw her into menopause and mess with her hormones and make her a crazy person.
[01:03:01] Dr. Rachel: You know, it’s, it’s incredible what hormonal disruption can do to your mood and your general wellbeing and sleep deprivation, which also seems to go with this because typically there’s sleep disruption and that there is so much that can be done. So stress reduction is the first thing, especially for perimenopause. But then secondly, wow, you know, the number of tools we have to help women in perimenopause and menopause balance are impressive, you know, and I have a huge success rate with a, you know, using herbal formulas using chinese medicine. I’m using bioidentical hormones when appropriate and safe forms and helping women really come back to themselves and you know, nobody has to live in that really challenging, difficult state that there is help to be had, but you need to get help from the right sources. So this is a good time to talk about who do I see a for these kinds of issues. And I would say certainly an integrative physician, md d o is an option. That’s what I do. A naturopathic physician, a licensed naturopathic physician would be another really good choice. A licensed acupuncturist would be another good choice. Um, and then, you know, a really skilled nutritionist can also be helpful. Sometimes
[01:04:25] Reena Jadhav: it was a great choices. How do you find the right doctor in your personal experiences? You have a list of doctors that you recommend typically, or how. How should someone who’s, again listening to this going? Sure, I’d like to try this, but dr rachel is so far away, what do you typically recommend in terms of finding a qualified local practitioner?
[01:04:50] Dr. Rachel: That’s a great question. So There are two resources that I typically refer people to. One is the academy of integrative health and medicine, a h, m, and that is a national organization for integrative physician doctors, mdd, dos, but also natural pause, acupuncturists, nurses, chiropractors, a variety of health care practitioners, and you could often find people there. And then functional medicine is a subset of integrative medicine that uses a lot of kind of in depth western medicine style testing to look at the functionality of gut hormones, et cetera. Um, and that is the institute for functional medicine, which also has a database of trained physicians.
[01:05:41] Reena Jadhav: No, those are two great references of resources. We’ll definitely make sure that that gets shared out via links as well, because I know that question always comes up, well, where do I go? I’m miserable. I’m, I am completely crazy. And menopause, what do I do in migraine? Seemed to be another big issue, right? So, so it’s good to know that you have seen case studies of success is we are almost towards the end of our interview. Um, I’d love to know, is there any one or two case studies that you can share that can give our listeners a hope, someone who came in, I’m pretty much of a lost cause for my conventional medicine standpoint and how you were able to bring them back to be able to lead a regular healthy light. Something that we can leave our listeners and readers with some, some hope.
[01:06:33] Dr. Rachel: Sure. Well, let me see. Think about, um, my patients, but actually there’s a, there’s a couple of people I’d like to share. One is my patient vonda who is this really vibrant now, I think she’s 60 year old female and she has no, most people would say lived a pretty healthy life, uh, on a farm aid, organic food. she raised her own goats at, but she ate a lot of food, didn’t work out a lot, has kind of a crappy family history. And by the time I saw her, she was very close to diabetes. She had high blood pressure and she has horrible cholesterol and you know, this would be a classic patient in my practice and if I were just practicing conventional medicine, she would have left that appointment with a staton, a blood pressure medication and a diabetes medication. Um, but because Of what I do, I spent a lot of time talking to her.
[01:07:29] Dr. Rachel: She’s seeing me because she doesn’t like doctors, like a lot of people and she didn’t want to take any medication and we did a bunch of things with her. So we shifted her diet a bit. We definitely put her on a low carb diet because of the prediabetes. I finally got her to be a little more active and she started walking with a girlfriend who lived next door and she dropped a little bit of weight, you know, bit by bit. But over about a year and a half, her prediabetes went from literally on the edge of diabetes to normal because of changing what she ate because of exercise. Because a little bit of Weight loss and her mood improved. Along with this, not surprisingly, and her cholesterol came down to almost normal and we added a few things for the cholesterol, like psyllium for example, which by itself brings down ldl by 10 points.
[01:08:23] Dr. Rachel: We added red yeast rice extract, which is a traditional chinese formula that reduces ldl cholesterol quite effectively with oftentimes fewer side effects than statens. Though there is a very small amount of levis staten in it. It’s actually the original formula from which the statens were taken. Um, and then, uh, in terms of her blood pressure, we ended up starting a small amount of a prescription blood pressure medication and that’s all she ever needed. So she went from being literally a walking heart attack ready to happen to being pretty vigorous. And I have a feeling she’s going to live a long life. And then the other classic person I want to mention is the menopaUse in my practice. So I just, this week I saw a woman who is lovely. She’s 49 and she is up three or four times a night with hot flashes. She is irritable, exhausted, yelling at her kids.
[01:09:23] Dr. Rachel: She has a lot of family stress going on in a variety of ways. Uh, she is having irregular periods, but when they come they’re super, super heavy bleeding through her tampons and is anemic to boot. So, you know, the workup with her included hormone testing, it included adrenal testing which was looking at her stress levels in included a blood count, you know, because I was concerned about anemia given the degree of her bleeding and her treatment has been iron, a little bit of progesterone in the last half of her cycle and that is bioidentical oral progesterone a and some life adjustment, a little bit of stress reduction. And then I’ve been using some herbs for sleep with her and I love valerian root, which is extremely effective for a lot of people. Um, and passion flower. She’s on both of those in a combo formula with lemon balm and hops as well. And her sleep has been tremendously better. And because of that she’s less irritable and the progesterone is helping with her mood. And her bleeding is less than. She’s taking iron and now she’s not as tired because she’s sleeping and she’s no longer anemic, so this is a, it’s a good example of how the whole web of everything fits together, but when you address it in that way you get real improvements. So she feels like herself again and she hadn’t for about five years prior.
[01:10:45] Reena Jadhav: Very happy ending. and I know there’s a lot of our listeners and viewers that are going through similar. Happy ending. So two last questions. The first one for the holidays, can you share one health heck, either from your book or I’m outside of your book, something that, uh, you have found to work amazingly well then you haven’t already shared with us today.
[01:11:11] Dr. Rachel: I want to share what I’ve already with you, but maybe in a holiday context, which is the take a deep breath before you eat something. Because most of the people I know, I mean today I just saw my beloved a pilates instructor for example, who went to a work party and you know, she’s got a beautiful diet. Ninety nine percent of the time she went to a work party. She had, you know, two or three drinks she ate, you know, a couple of cookies and nothing terrible, but just you know, outside of her usual habits, and then the next day she went to workout and she felt absolutely horrible because her body was not happy with her, right? It’s not that she woke up feeling hung over, but she went to do a workout and she could only work out at half the pace that she usually can because what she ate and consumed took energy away from her body, wasn’t good for her body, and if she had taken that deep breath before, putting her hand on the cookie or the alcohol.
[01:12:06] Dr. Rachel: And again, I’m not extreme. I think you know, occasional sugar, alcohol, totally fine, but you really want to, during the holiday season, pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. The average american gains, five pounds over the holidays. that is not necessary. You don’t have to deal with that extra toxic load if you just pay enough attention before you eat it too. What does my body really wants? If I reach out for it and I take a deep breath and go, is this what’s going to nourish my body right now? Is my body going to be really happy with this? And the answer is no. No. Move onto the next plate, right. Find something else to eat at the party and just that like a little less alcohol, a little less sugar. People feel remarkably better by the time they get to the new year.
[01:12:52] Dr. Rachel: That’s a great trip tip. Thank you so much for sharing. And then lastly, tell us how someone can make an appointment with you.
[01:13:02] Dr. Rachel: Well, you would call my office, so I have my website is doctorrachel.com and it’s spelled out doctorrachel.com. And you just click on the clinic link there and you’ll go to my clinic website which is santa cruz, integrative medicine.com. And uh, you know, call and make an appointment on my regular doctor.
[01:13:25] Reena Jadhav: That sounds great. Dr rachel. Thank you. This has been amazing.
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