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Episode 573
The Doctor's Farmacy

Answering Your Questions About Lyme Disease, Detoxing, And More

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

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Today, as part of my Masterclass series, I’m answering questions submitted by my community through the video app HiHo. I am joined by my good friend and podcast host, Dhru Purohit to discuss the role of the gut microbiome in OCD, my approach to treating Lyme disease, the best ways to detox, and much more. Find a link below to follow me on HiHo and we may select your question for a future episode!

This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health and InsideTracker.

Rupa Health is a place where Functional Medicine practitioners can access more than 2,000 specialty lab tests from over 20 labs like DUTCH, Vibrant America, Genova, and Great Plains. You can check out a free, live demo with a Q&A or create an account at RupaHealth.com.

InsideTracker is a personalized health and wellness platform like no other. Right now they’re offering my community 20% off at insidetracker.com/drhyman.

Follow me on HiHo here!

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dhru Purohit

Dhru Purohit is a podcast host, serial entrepreneur, and investor in the health and wellness industry. His podcast, The Dhru Purohit Podcast, is a top 50 global health podcast with over 30 million unique downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Show Notes

  1. Gut Food
  2. IFM Find a Practitioner
  3. Find a trained ozone therapy practitioner

Transcript

Speaker 1:
Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Every single thing with the brain that we get, depression, anxiety, OCD, autism, ADD, these are all inflammatory diseases of the brain. Hey, everybody. It’s Dr. Mark Hyman. Welcome to a new series on The Doctor’s Farmacy called Masterclass, where we dive deep into popular health topics, including inflammation, autoimmune disease, brain health, sleep, and lots more, and today, my friend and podcast host, Dhru Purohit and I are doing something really fun. We’re answering community questions that you guys have submitted in a new video app called HiHo.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You can follow me on HiHo and submit your questions there, and you might see them on the podcast. Welcome, Dhru.

Dhru Purohit:
Mark, great to be here. We got some fantastic questions, and the first one we’re going to tee up here is from Whitney, who has a question about OCD and the gut microbiome, so here’s our first question from Whitney.

Whitney:
Hi, Dr. Hyman. My name is Whitney, and I’m from Oregon. My question to you is, “How does OCD and your gut play a role in each other, and what can you do to help with your OCD?” Thank you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow, Dhru. That is the best question I’ve heard in a long time. Thank you, Whitney. The reason is it reminded me of a story of a patient I had years ago that blew my mind, that I wrote about in my UltraMind Solution, which is about how to fix your broken brain by fixing your body first, and this patient had severe OCD. I mean, she wouldn’t move anything off the floor in her house, she wouldn’t clean her house.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, it was a disaster. It really was a public health menace, and she was a very smart woman. You could talk to her, you think she’s totally fine, but she had some weird pathological thing going on, where she would not clean her house, and just stuff piled up and piled up, and it was the disaster, and so I said, “Look, let’s see if we can just get you healthy, and then we’ll start with looking at what’s going on with your body.” We ended up doing obviously, a stool test, and I did also test for bacterial overgrowth. We call this small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Also, she had a very high level on her stool test of something called Beta-glucuronidase. She also had something high in her urine called DHPPA. Now, these are markers of a particular bacteria called clostridia, and they are not actually good for you. There’s a bad kind that I had a few years ago that caused me to have colitis. This is not that kind, but it’s a bad kind of bacteria, and I said to her, “Just look.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
“Let’s try to just clean up your gut and reset your gut,” so I literally, I gave her an antibiotic, I gave her an anti-fungal, and it was like a miracle. Literally like a miracle, Dhru. She said, “My OCD is gone. I cleaned up my house. I don’t know what happened.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
“It’s the first time I’ve done this in 20 years,” and I was like, “Holy cow, what is going on here?” This is almost a decade and a half ago. Nobody was talking about the microbiome in the brain. Nobody barely was talking about food in the brain, so I think OCD can have many, many causes, just like any disease. In fact, the problem with traditional medicine is that we think we know what’s wrong with you when you get a diagnosis. Oh, we say you have OCD, or you have depression, or you have rheumatoid arthritis, or you have diabetes, or you have, let’s say migraines.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, those just describe the name of the problem. They don’t describe the cause. Functional medicine’s about the root cause, and you can have one disease that has many, many causes. For example, OCD might be caused by your microbiome, and I think it’s a very important step to do an elimination diet, to reset your gut, to actually look for fungal overgrowth, bacterial overgrowth, to do stool testing, urine, organics testing, to find a functional medicine doctor to do that with you, and to treat what you find. Sometimes you might need an antibiotic, you might need an antifungal, but the truth is, you kind of got to get to the root. I’ll tell you a couple other stories about OCD that it’s reminded me of, but a remarkable thing is that we actually can’t treat this, and it may not be just an emotional disorder.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It may be a biological disorder of the brain. Dhru, I don’t know if I even told you this, and I don’t know if I’ve shared this on the podcast, but I recently, and I’m going to do a podcast with this doctor from Harvard, Christopher Palmer, Dr. Christopher Palmer, he’s a Harvard Psychiatrist who works in McLean’s, which is one of the top psychiatric hospitals in the world, and he wrote a book called Brain Energy, and he asked me for a quote, and I read the book, and I was like, “Holy cow, this sounds very much like UltraMind Solution,” so I said, “Geez, I’m sure happy to help you. Why don’t you go ahead and read my book just in case you might give me some insights about things you’re interested in.” He sent me back this very sheepish email basically saying, “Look, Dr. Hyman, I’m really sorry. I promise I did not plagiarize your book,” because he found all the same kinds of things that I found about the metabolic disorder of the brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We call this metabolic encephalopathy. When the brain is not working, it doesn’t hurt. Like your joint hurts if you have arthritis, but it creates behavior problems, mood problems, attention problems, memory problems, and so it’s really quite profound. He had a patient where he discovered this by looking at a patient with schizophrenia, and this patient had severe schizophrenia, severe hallucinations, basically was in his apartment all the time, never went out, except to see his doctor, gets medication every month, and he was on this medication. Unfortunately, a lot of the psychiatric medications for schizophrenia cause inulin resistance, and diabetes, and obesity, and he gained 150 pounds on the medication, and he was kind of sick from it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
He’s like, “Doc, can you help me?” The doctor knew he was not going to go see a nutritionist, going to go see anybody. He said, “Well, I heard a ketogenic diet might be helpful to help you lose weight. You’ve got insulin resistance,” so he tried it. Not only did he lose 150 pounds, but his schizophrenia went away.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay, this is not a treatable condition or a curable condition given traditional conventional psychiatry. I mean, you’ll have to give severe psychiatric medications like Thorazine. We call the Thorazine shuffle because people are so sedated, they can barely walk, and modern versions of that drug. Another case, he just sort of will come up to realize that brain is actually dysfunctional, and most psychiatrists pay attention to the mind, but not the brain, and most neurologists pay attention to the brain, but not the mind, so they’re kind of related. In order for your mind to work, your brain has to work, and by putting this guy on a ketogenic diet, he changed the metabolic health of the brain, he changed the inflammation, he got rid of gluten and lots of other inflammatory foods, and his schizophrenia went away.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I had another case of a young boy who had severe OCD. He was a nice kid, and from kind of one day to the next, he developed really severe OCD and nobody could figure it out. It turned out he had something called PANDAS. It’s Pediatric Autoimmune Neurologic Psychiatric Disorders. It’s kind what it stands for, something like that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Essentially, what happens is you get strep, which is a bacteria, but that strep produces a toxin that affects the brain and causes OCD, and so for him, we had to treat him, and we found, in fact, he did have this problem. You can test it with laboratory testing, and we treated him with Ozone. Again, it was like a miracle, because Ozone is one of the best germicidal agents on the planet and anti-inflammatory agents, and his OCD went away, so I have treated many, many patients with OCD by using functional medicine to get to the root cause. For you, it might be your gut or your microbiome, or it might be something else, so I would encourage people to really dive deep with a good functional medicine doctor or a functional medicine psychiatrist. There’s not enough of them out there, but there’s a way to get to the answer to this, and I think it gives people hope when I tell these stories, because it’s like, “Wow, maybe my depression, anxiety, bipolar disease, OCD, schizophrenia, you name, it could be helped using an approach that deals with the root cause, it helps the body get back in balance, it takes away the bad stuff, and puts in the good stuff.”

Dhru Purohit:
Great answer, Mark, and I think the thing that you mentioned at the end of your answer is that even if the gut microbiome isn’t 100% of the story, it is still a major part of the story and-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
For sure.

Dhru Purohit:
… for many people, even it’s not the whole 100% that is the solution, a lot of individuals see a significant improvement, so don’t ignore that on your journey to get to the root of why inflammation is happening in the brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I agree. I didn’t really go into it enough. I kind of blast over it, but I think I always start whenever I’m treating anybody for any mental health issue or any issue that’s inflammatory. By the way, every single thing with the brain that we get, depression, anxiety, OCD, autism, ADD, what else is there, schizophrenia, and obviously all the memory disorders, Parkinson’s, these are all inflammatory diseases of the brain. The number one, the number two and the number three and the number four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 sources of inflammation in the body are always the gut.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Now, there are other things obviously, like Lyme disease and mold and other things, but the one, two, three things that I think of are gut, and I’m always start with the gut. I always start with elimination diet, I start with a gut reboot, I make sure I treat the SIBO, the SIFO, bacteria, fungus overgrowth, and I do a whole gut reboot, and I actually, Dhru, because my gut was such a mess of years ago, we created this product called Gut Food, which is like a multivitamin for the gut that contains five highly researched ingredients that all work in synergy, prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols to reset the gut, and it’s something that I take myself, I recommend to all my family members and my patients. In fact, we give it to our entire staff in our company because it’s so important for people to keep their gut healthy.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, Mark. Let’s tee up the next question. This one is from Tammie, who has some big picture questions that she wants to ask about Lymes disease with a family member.
Tammie:
Hey, Dr. Hyman. So my husband has Lyme disease. He’s taken antibiotics for it a couple of times, and it’s still flaring up. Just looking for some advice.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Tammie, you just opened a can of worms or maybe a can of ticks. I don’t know. This, if I could literally eliminate one condition from the planet earth, it would be tick-borne illnesses. They are awful. I’ve had them, I’ve had Lyme disease, I’ve had Babesia, I’ve been sick from them, I get it, I promise you, and I’ve seen patient after patient who’s struggled not only for years, but often decades with a chronic Lyme.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
When I say chronic Lyme, I’m including every single tick-borne disease, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, all the tick-borne diseases, and even with Lyme disease, there’s multiple strains of Lyme disease. I spent a lot of my life studying it, both from a personal interest because I was really sick from it, and from trying to help my patients and figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. If you go online, if you listen to, read books, you’re going to get a thousand different ideas, and I’m just going to share with you what I’ve come to understand is probably the best approach, but just for the caveat, that you’re going to hear a lot of other different opinions, that it might be different from mine. I’m just going to show you what I found really works for me and my patients, and what I’ve been able to call from working with this disease for a long time, looking at the scientific literature, looking at actually, often things that aren’t in the scientific literature that people are using that can work. What is Lyme disease?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Lyme disease … Again, it’s all the rubric of all these different conditions. They all manifest a little bit differently, but essentially, it’s a illness that you get from a tick bite, and the ticks carry these little spirochetes, these little nasty things, almost kind of like syphilis. Syphilis used to be the great masquerader. We called them great masquerader because it would cause all these problems, and the same thing with chronic Lyme, autoimmune diseases, memory issues.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, Kris Kristofferson had “Dementia,” but it was Lyme disease. It can cause heart disease, arthritis. It can cause all sorts of gut issues. It can cause skin problems. It can cause cognitive issues.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s just a huge problem, and essentially, it can also manifest this chronic fatigue syndrome, and people can’t figure it out. Now, let’s just talk a little bit about … I’m going to go kind of down the rabbit hole here, because you asked, and I’m going to say it because I don’t really get a chance to talk about this much, but I think it’s an important thing to talk about. Diagnostics is challenging. We have antibody tests.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You’ve heard of coronavirus antibodies, they tell you if you have the infection. They don’t necessarily tell you that you have the infection, they tell you that you’ve had the infection. That’s important to know, for sure, but the question is, “Do you have an active infection?,” so a lot of our tests on antibody tests, you go to the regular doctor, they test you, they go, “Oh, you’re fine. You don’t have Lyme disease.” They’re really not that sensitive.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sensitive test means if you have it, it’ll pick it up. In other words, if you have a bladder infection, you pee in a cup, and you look under microscope, it’s like 100%. You’re going to find it, but this kind of test, and you may not, and it’s hidden because they hide. These little sneaky ticks hide inside your cells and they’re hard to detect. There’s another level of testing called PCR testing, which is often helpful to look at fragments of the DNA you know about coronavirus.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
PCR testing, same thing, and so we can detect these tick infections through PCR testing. Now, I had a positive PCR, and I definitely had it, and when you have that, you have it, for sure. It’s active, floating around your blood, but sometimes you don’t have that. It’s like looking for a needle on a haystack. Then, you can look at your immune response to Lyme, and that’s more what I look at because these are tests that were developed in Germany and Europe.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We now have labs in the United States that do them, and essentially, it looks at, “How do your white blood cells respond in real time to some tick that they give in a laboratory?,” and that is called Lymphocyte Response Assay, and that’s very helpful. We call it an ELISpot test, and we use that a lot. I find that really helpful to detect how your immune system’s reacting. We look at your interferons, we look at all kinds of cytokines. You know about cytokines from the cytokine storm.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We can tell, like for example, natural killer cells go down. CD57, it’s one of the immune cells goes down, so we have like ways of looking at this indirectly. Sometimes you can’t really tell, for sure, even with all these tests, so you have to kind of go on a clinical diagnosis, and Dr. Horowitz, Richard Horowitz is one of the Lyme experts, written a lot of books on this, a friend of mine. He’s really quite brilliant about this, and he developed a Lyme questionnaire, which I encourage you to check it out. It’s called MSIDS.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s MSIDS, and you can download it, it’s free, and you can see if you score high on this, it’s likely you might have Lyme. Now, you might never know you got a tick bite. I don’t remember ever getting a tick bite. I don’t remember pulling a tick off me. I don’t remember having a rash.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I don’t remember having anything, but I had full-blown Lyme disease, and it’s like that for a lot of patients. They might not know. Now, if you live in the desert somewhere, in Australia, probably you don’t have Lyme disease, but pretty much everywhere in America, there’s some degree of tick-borne illness, so then, you got the diagnosis. Let’s say we find you have it, but most doctors just look for Lyme. They don’t look for Babesia, or Ehrlichia, or Bartonella, or many of the other infectious agents that come with ticks, or they don’t look for different strains, so it’s really important to cast a wide net when you suspect it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Let’s say you have it. Then, what do you do? Well, traditionally, you give three weeks of antibiotics and you’re done, but that doesn’t work unless you really have acute Lyme. If you have acute Lyme, for sure, you get a tick bite, you notice it, you have a rash, you go in the emergency room, you get a Doxycycline for three weeks, that usually knocks it out for most people, but when you have chronic Lyme, it doesn’t. I’m just going to take you through a number of different frameworks that people are using. One, which …

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m going to sort of tell you what they are, and then I’ll tell you what I generally do, what I think is the most effective and the least harmful. One is long-term chronic antibiotics. Some doctors put people on antibiotic for three months, for three years. That’s a problem because those antibiotics are not benign. They cause gut issues and many other problems.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You get a lot of secondary issues. They may control the symptoms somewhat, but they’re no magic bullet and it’s just a rough road, so I’m not a big fan of that. I’m okay sometimes with a short course, six weeks, hit them hard, and hit the different forms, because there’s a lot of different forms along. There’s a cyst form, intracellular form, so you’ve got to hit all the forms of different drugs to get them to go away, and different ticks need different drugs, so it’s not like one size fits all. Sometimes you usually have not one infection, you might have two or three.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Like I had Lyme and Babesia. Some people have Lyme and Bartonella, so you kind of have to go through all the right treatments for each one. We use a lot of herbs. That’s another category. There’s a lot of people who use herbs, Dr. Jing Herbs, Byron White herbs, there’s the Cowden Protocol, so there’s a lot of protocols or herbal protocols that often can be very effective.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I had a patient, for example, who had chronic Lyme and used the Jing Herbs, which are from a Dr. Jing, who’s a Chinese physician, Chinese medicine physician, and one of the herbs there is garlic. Now, garlic, we know is a very powerful antimicrobial. It works, but you smell pretty bad, and you won’t have many friends while you’re taking the drug. I’m taking the herb. Herbal protocols can be helpful.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I use it often as an adjunct. Then, we go down a different rabbit hole. There’s long-term antibiotics, there’s short-term antibiotic, there’s the herbs, and then there’s all the stuff that, I think actually works, which is way off the grid. Unfortunately, it’s not easily found for most people. It’s not accessible to a lot of people, and it can be expensive, but I think these are some of the most effective treatments.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
One is Ozone therapy, and Ozone therapy doesn’t have to be that expensive. You can actually do rectal ozone. You can buy a machine for $800. You can do it at home, you can do it every day, and that’s kind of a very inexpensive way to get Ozone on your own every day. For people who have Lyme, I do recommend that, and it can help, but it takes a little longer than doing the IV version.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Then, there’s intravenous Ozone. We call it Multipass or 10 Pass Ozone. I think that is one of the most important foundations of tick-borne illness treatment, and many other illnesses.

Dhru Purohit:
But that, they would have to do, just to jump in, Mark, that they would have to do with a practitioner for the IV, and even in general with Ozone, they should really be maybe trained by somebody or go through some sort of onboarding.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, for sure. For sure. For sure. You need to find a physician. You need to be a doctor. You can’t just kind of wing it, and you need to get intravenous Ozone by a trained physician, and there’s training programs out there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In Europe, it’s very widespread and very popular. Here, it’s less so, but you can still find it, and there’s … We can link in the show notes to a link of all the functional medicine docs, and also all the Ozone trained doctors in America, and you can see who’s in your state, and so that’s a good place to start. The second thing, I think that can be very helpful are peptides. Peptides are these small molecularly weight proteins that are like little mini proteins, and that your body uses to regulate all kinds of things, including your immune system, so Thymosin alpha 1, Thymosin beta 4 fragments and others can be really helpful to LL-37.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m just kind of rattling them off, but there is a number of peptides out there that are antimicrobial peptides, that are immune-boosting peptides, and that can be really helpful in helping people have their own immune systems start to fight this. It’s like immunotherapy. Think about cancer immunotherapy, where these treatments actually use your own immune system to kill the cancer. Then, there’s some things that seem maybe a little far out, like Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. That’s essentially where you go in a, like a decompression chamber, which they use for scuba diving, and you go down under two atmospheres of pressure more under 100% oxygen, and guess what? Bugs don’t like oxygen, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
One of the famous Chief Justice in the United States Supreme Court years ago said, “The best disinfectant is sunlight,” so we need to … Oxygen is a great therapy. In fact, if you just go to PubMed, which is the National Library of Medicine research studies, you should have an oxygen, intravenous oxygen, and you’ll see it’s actually been used in medical treatments for all kinds of things, including infections. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also be helpful, and that’s an adjunct. I’ll usually use herbs, I’ll use antibiotics with that, and Ozone, sometimes combinations of these therapies help.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Then, there’s kind of a last resort therapy, which we use in patients who just don’t get better, and this has often been a miracle for people who have been sick for 20 years. It’s called hyperthermia. Essentially, what it is, is give you a fever, under medical supervision with intravenous lines, under anesthesia. They heat up your body to about 107 degrees. Now, that sounds crazy, and I’ve had it done twice, and I’m still alive, and I’ve sent my patients down to Mexico, to Europe to do this, and often, it’s one of those treatments that they go, “My God, Dr. Hyman, this just stopped it.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
“This is the thing that worked. After 20 years of struggling, I got a little better from this, this and this, but this is what knocked it out.” I think there’s all kinds of therapies out there, and of course, you have to also fix your gut and get rid of heavy metals, and deal with molds, and balance your hormones, and get your mitochondria working, and get your nutritional levels right and optimized, so it’s a comprehensive functional medicine approach that has to be used to treat chronic Lyme, but it is treatable, and I’m a perfect example of someone who actually was pretty sick from it, and I’m good as new now. Better than new.

Dhru Purohit:
Mark, just a follow-up question on the Lyme, is that do you see patients that feel like they’re in great metabolic health, like their gut is working great, they workout regularly, they eat well, and they get one of these tick-borne infections, and they also get wiped out the same way that somebody who may not be as healthy or as compromised?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think that’s a great question. The answer is like any infection, the more robust your health is, the less it’s going to affect you. Like COVID. COVID kills and hospitalizes those who are chronically ill, overweight, or old, all of which affect your immune system. We know that if you’re malnourished, you’re more likely to die from diarrhea or a respiratory infection, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We do know that the host plays a big role, and so, in fact, there was a huge debate back in the 1800’s, speaking of Louis Pasteur, who came up with the Germ Theory of disease and his colleague, Claude Bernard, who argued about the host. He said the host was important, he called the biological terrain, and it is really important to keep your biological terrain healthy so you can be resistant to infections. Just like with COVID and every other infection that we see, if you’re healthy, it affects you less. Your immune can handle it, so absolutely, it’s important to have your vitamin E levels optimized, your zinc levels, your vitamin A levels all optimized to be non-inflamed from eating a sugary, processed diet, to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, all the things we talked about on the podcast and all the things I’ve done in my practice for 30 years, so yeah, absolutely, it does not affect everybody the same. The people who tend to get really sick from it are the ones who have underlying issues.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They may have gut issues, they may have heavy metal toxins, they may have mold exposure. For me, I had all of them, so I’m like an expert, even though I didn’t want to be, but unfortunately, I had it, but fortunately, I learned about it and how to fix it, and so that’s what I’ve dedicated my life to, is sharing what I’ve learned with my patients and with the world, to try to give people a little bit of hope and suffer a little bit less.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, Mark, our next question is from Marieline.
Marieline:
Hello, Dr. Hyman. My name is Marieline, and I suffer from tinnitus or tinnitus. Not sure how you pronounce it, so if you know anything about it, I would love to have more information about the gut to ear connection beyond the gut to brain connection.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thanks, Marieline. That was a great question. The truth is, I don’t know how to say it either, tinnitus, tinnitus. I have no clue, and I’m a doctor, so don’t feel bad. Maybe it’s like you say tomato, I say tomato.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I don’t know. Anyway, this is an annoying problem. It’s not a life-threatening problem, it’s not a serious problem, but it is a miserable problem to have because it essentially means ringing in your ears. It’s like having ringing in your ears all the time, and it can be very bad or it can be more mild. The truth is we don’t have a lot of understanding about what causes it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Like anything in functional medicine, I simply try to get the body in balance and see what happens. What we found is that there are certain things that actually can be really helpful. For example, acupuncture can be helpful. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be helpful, what’s that, what we were talking about a little earlier on the podcast, where you’re going to decompression chamber, and those things can be very helpful, treating your methylation pathways. Often, homocysteine can be high with tinnitus, so I think it’s important to look at all those things.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In terms of the microbiome, again, it may be partly inflammation, so if you’re thinking about anything that drives inflammation, you always have to look at your gut. You always have to start with what’s going on in the microbiome, food sensitivities, leaky gut, and reboot the gut. Again, that’s why I haven’t really created many products, but I created this product, Gut Food with my team to absolutely help everybody who has a gut, get their gut a little bit healthier, whose gut is really not working to get it really working again, because we all, in this country and increasingly around the world, have gut issues because of our processed diet, because of increasing C-sections, antibiotic use, acid blocker use, environmental toxins like glyphosate. All these things drive huge problems for us, so it’s really important to get your gut straight and to heal your gut, and that’s what I really focus on with my patients first, and that’s really why we created this product, Gut Food.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, Mark. Our next question is from Jose.
Jose:
Hey, Mark. My name is Jose. My question is, what’s a good detox and how many times a day do I do it? Do I juice three times a day for three days? I’m transitioning from a unhealthy diet to a healthy diet, plant-based. Thank you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow, Jose. There’s so many things in that question. First, you’re trying to detox. We’ll talk about that, and second, you say you’re transitioning from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet, and you close with saying plant-based, and I’m going to talk about that because that might be a little bit misguided. In terms of the approach to dealing with detoxification, there’s many ways to do it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You can do a water fast for seven days, you can do a green juice fast for seven to 10 days, you can do a 24-hour fast, a 36-hour fast. I find that often, you don’t have to go so extreme. Now, it is good to give your body a break from eating every day and eat breakfast. In other words, breaking the fast. We should not eat for at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, ideally 14, if you can stretch it out, which basically means if you eat at 6:00 at night, you can eat breakfast at 8:00 in the morning.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s not a big hardship. However, I have found that the most powerful approach to healing my patients, and this is just really creating a broad net that works for most people most of the time, it’s not what everybody needs for fixing everything, but it is going to hit the mark probably 80% of the time. I created this years ago just as part of my medical practice, and I wrote a book about it called the 10-Day Detox Diet. Now, I call it 10 days because if I call it the 10-week diet or the 10-month diet or the 10-year diet, nobody would do it, but it’s a diet that is eliminating most of the inflammatory foods from your diet. It eliminates sugar, alcohol, processed foods, grains, particularly gluten, dairy, and most sugary fruits. Stick with berries.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It includes protein, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and it’s a really optimally healthy diet, and it can be protein from animal protein like eggs or meat, grass-fed meat and so forth, pasture-raised chicken. The reason this diet works so well is it literally resets the gut, it reduces inflammation, and it helps optimize your nutritional intake of phytochemicals and phytonutrients and fiber, so it helps all the things you need to do to kind of reset the body, and it works so fast. It’s amazing, like within two or three days. I do these programs all over the world where I have people come, we spend a week doing this diet or five days doing it, and the average reduction in symptoms from all symptoms from all diseases in five days to seven days is 70%. That’s huge.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We did this with 1,000 people online as a group. Again, same results, 70% reduction of all symptoms from all diseases in 10 days. Now, I’m not saying it’s going to cure everything, but it works to kind of clean the slate, and then see what’s left over. If you have Lyme disease or mercury poisoning, it may not work, or mold toxicity, you might feel better, but it’s not going to fix the problem. You have to deal with those things, because one guy came to see me at Cleveland Clinic when I first started working there, and he said, “Dr. Hyman, I did your 10-Day Detox Diet, and my rheumatoid arthritis went away in 10 days. Is that possible?”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m like, “Yeah, it is.” We had a woman from the Saddleback Church, where we did The Daniel Plan. Same diet. It was the same basic 10-Day Detox Diet to start. She said, “I’ve been in and out of psychiatric hospitals my whole life, on medications.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
She’s overweight. She’s says, “Is it possible in three days, my depression went away, in six weeks, I lost 45 pounds and I feel like a different human being?” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s possible because food is medicine, and if you’re eating the wrong food, it’s poison, and if you’re eating the right food, it’s healing,” so absolutely, you can heal so many things using a detoxification strategy. That means upregulating all the good stuff in your body, the phytochemicals, the fiber, the right nutrients, and taking out all the bad stuff. You don’t have to go super extreme, like just two juices, and I see people who juice fast, and they might eat carrot juice, and beet juice, and apple juice.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m like, “That’s terrible because you’re basically loading your body with sugar,” so I think green juice can be fine, but be careful. For example, kale, if you just juice kale all the time, that has goitrogens, which can affect your thyroid, so you want to have celery, cucumber, parsley, cilantro, watercress, ginger, lemon. I drink green juices a lot because I do that as a sort of basic part of my wellness practice, and it’s great to include in there, but you don’t have to go so extreme. I think the main thing people have to detox from is the most addictive drug in the world, which is sugar and starch, and so that’s what the 10-Day Detox Diet is designed to do, to shift that switch in just a very short time. I had a patient, again, another patient at Cleveland Clinic who came into our group program and she had been diabetic on insulin for 10 years.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In three days, she was off for insulin. Three days, okay? Then, she was off all her medication in six weeks and had lost a ton of weight and had normalized her blood sugar, so these are not extraordinary stories. They’re run-of-the-mill stories if you know what to do. It’s like that joke.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I don’t know if I told you, Dhru, but the doctor takes out this patient’s appendix and he sends him a bill, and he’s like, “The bill was $1,000,” and the patient goes, “Man, that’s a very big bill for such a simple operation.” The doctor goes, “You know, you’re right. I’m going to send you a new bill,” so he sends him a new bill and it says, “Taking out your appendix, $1, knowing what needed to be taken out, $999,” so I think it’s just about knowing how to kind of work with the body and get it to do what it’s supposed to do.

Dhru Purohit:
Love it. Awesome, Mark. We have one or two more questions over here. This next one is from Bambi.
Bambi:
Hi, I have lupus, and I wanted to get some advice for taking anti-inflammatory vitamins.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Thank you, Bambi, and I’m sorry you have lupus. It’s a horrible condition. It’s a autoimmune disease that affects the joints, the skin, your kidneys, the lungs. I mean, it could be a very serious problem. However, again, like all autoimmune diseases, it can be treated very effectively by unloading all the things that create inflammation in your body and adding in the anti-inflammatory things.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Now, you asked about supplements. They’re called supplements for a reason. They’re not replacements, so I don’t think that you can continue, for example, if you have gluten sensitivity or you have Lyme disease, or you have mercury poisoning to take a boatload of curcumin, for example, which is an anti-inflammatory supplement and expect the result. It’s just not going to work. You have to deal with the root cause.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Supplements can be helpful in the recovery, and the repair, and the activation of your healing systems, and the renewal of your body, for sure, and I take them every day, but I don’t see them as replacements. It doesn’t mean I’m going to … I mean, I was talking to somebody this weekend, and they were on this powerful drug for cholesterol called Repatha, which is one of the new drugs. It’s an injectable drug. His wife’s like, “He just thinks he can take this drug and eat his cheeseburgers and French fries and he’s fine.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m like, “It doesn’t work like that. You can’t continue to do all the bad stuff by taking a drug or a supplement and hope that you’re going to get better.” For autoimmune disease like lupus, it’s always the same thought process in functional medicine. Look for the cause. It could be a toxin, environmental toxin, pesticide, chemicals, heavy metals.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It can be a mold toxin, it can be an allergen. It can be something like gluten, dairy allergies are the most common, eggs for some people. It can be a microbe, like we talked about, tick infections, it can be your microbiome imbalance. It can be poor diet and inflammatory diet, which is typically what we all eat in America, it can be stress, so there’s a lot of things that can be triggering it, or it can be a lack of certain things, like vitamin D. We know, for example, people who live in Northern latitudes have more MS, multiple sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disease of the nervous system and the nerves, the coating on the nerves.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, that’s because they don’t have any vitamin D because they live in Norway or they live in Canada, and we know this is true. This is not just a functional medicine concept. This is pretty standard medicine. There’s a lot of good evidence that if you don’t have the good stuff and you have too much bad stuff, that you get an autoimmune disease, so I would encourage you, Bambi, to look at that and not just focus on the supplements.

Dhru Purohit:
Great, Mark, and to that, would you add in, it’s primarily for MS, but there’s a lot of people that go through the Wahls Protocol as well, and there’s like a whole kind of support community for that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes, for sure. For sure. Sure. There’s a whole framework, we call the Autoimmune Paleo Diet. We talked about the 10-Day Detox Diet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That is essentially autoimmune paleo, except it includes nuts and seeds and eggs, and nightshades, so it’s a little more extreme. The autoimmune paleo diet takes out nuts, seeds, eggs, and nightshades. That’s not just saying those are bad foods, it’s just they might be more inflammatory for some people with autoimmune disease, so it’s not a bad place to start, and then add them back and see how you do. Like you might eat cutout tomatoes and everything else, and then you might be better, and then you might add back to the tomatoes and go, “Oh my God, my joints are killing me now,” so you go, “Oh, tomatoes. Okay, nighshades are a problem for me,” but if you’re the 80 or 90% who it’s not an issue for you, you can go back to eating tomatoes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think the Wahls Protocol is fantastic. She also talks about eating a lot of organ meats, which are, I think are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Now, people go, “Ooh, organ meats, liver, kidney, and heart,” but actually, those are the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. If you Google, just Google liver, nutrient density compared to broccoli, or think about the most nutritionally dense, plant-based food you could eat, well, the liver’s going to win out by like 20 or 30-fold. It’s pretty impressive actually.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Now, I love liver because I grew up on it, but I get people don’t like it, so you might need to do more plant sources, but actually, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right density of nutrients through these various compounds that are in these foods that can help your body heal and repair and engage, and the Wahls Protocol is a great place to start. Terry’s a good friend. She was a functional medicine doctor. In fact, she was a MS patient who became a functional medicine doctor by hearing herself of MS using functional medicine, and then started doing research on it, and now she’s really taken off and done a lot of work in this area. That’s really impressive.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, Mark. That was fantastic. Let’s go ahead and wrap up today’s episode and take us out.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay, Dhru. Thanks so much. I love these questions from HiHo. It’s like real people with real issues with real questions about real thing that they’re concerned about or they have issues with, and I’m really happy to answer them. I’ve had so much life experience with my own illnesses and using this approach with tens of thousands of patients in functional medicines, so I’m really grateful to be able to answer your questions.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s pretty much it for this week’s masterclass. I want you to submit your questions, so maybe next week you can have your question answered on our masterclass. If you would like to just, just to share this episode with your friends and family and subscribe wherever you hear podcasts, and we’ll see you next week on The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Speaker 1:
Hi, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder, that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

Speaker 1:
If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search there Find a Practitioner Database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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