About Our Guest- Dr. Heather Sandison – Detoxing & Healthy Aging
Most of us have had a disappointing interaction with the culture and approach of conventional medical care. Perhaps it was a doctor who prescribed a highly addictive medication for back pain while seeming minimally interested regarding the pain’s precise cause. Perhaps it was a doctor writing a script for an old-standby antibiotic for symptoms barely heard out let alone dynamically analyzed. Or maybe it was waiting weeks for an appointment with a specialist only to arrive on time for your appointment then wait for hours and spend 7 minutes with the doctor. Dr. Heather Sandison is not one of these doctors, and her practice is doing its part to drag approaches of yesteryear into the 21st century.
After earning her N.D. at Bastyr University outside Seattle, she took her passion for true healthcare to San Diego, CA where she is the founder and medical director of North County Natural Medicine, a pioneering clinic of integrative medicine in Encinitas, CA. Her list of expertise is impressive: bio-identical hormone therapy, integrative neurochemistry balancing, Walsh metabolic integrative psychiatry, mold and environmental exposure detoxification, Egoscue postural therapy, thyroid balancing, gut-brain axis issues and more. She mentors students at Bastyr’s San Diego campus, preparing the next generation of medical professionals to care for the body as a whole, and for the root causes of its ailments.
Full Podcast Transcription
Dr. Heather Sandison 00:01
Dementia and Alzhimers will bankrupt Medicare by 2050. Like this is not years and years and
years away. This is 30 years away. And it doesn’t look like there’s a way out unless we create it.
That’s why I do what I do. Hopefully what I can do is show that there is an alternative that there
is a solution. And if it were adopted on a wide scale, we would get back this value that our
elders have to give, we need them. Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of From
Doctor to Patient. Today, I have Dr. Heather Sandison joining us. Most of us have had a
disappointing interaction with the culture and approach of conventional medical care. Perhaps
it was a doctor who prescribed a highly addictive medication for back pain while seeming
minimally interested regarding the patient’s precise cause. Perhaps it was a doctor writing a
script for old standby antibiotic for symptoms barely heard out, but alone dynamically analyzed
or maybe it was waiting weeks for an appointment with a specialist to only arrive on time for
your appointment and wait hours and spend only seven minutes with your doctor. Dr. Heather
Sandison is not one of these doctors, and her practice is doing its part to drag approaches of
yesteryear into the 21st century. After entering her MD at Bastyr University outside Seattle, she
took her passion for true health care to San Diego, California, where she is the founder and
medical director of North County Natural Medicine, pioneering clinic of integrative medicine in
Encinitas, California. Her list of expertise is impressive bioidentical hormone therapy, and
innovative neuro chemistry balancing, Walsh metabolic integrative psychiatry, mold &
environmental exposure detoxification, you get askew postural therapy, thyroid balancing, gut
brain access issues and more. She mentored students at Bastyr’s San Diego campus, preparing
the next generation of medical professionals to care for the body as a whole. And for the root
causes of its elements. Dr. Sandison’s broad naturopathic education made her particularly
appreciative of quality as potential. The feedback from patients to whom she’s recommended
quality have been so positive that she’s helping the research team in developing future neuro
hacker collective products. Utilizing bloodwork and diagnostic to create custom stacks is
coming down the pike for NAC and with education’s as accomplished as Dr. Sanderson helming
our research, we’re more than a little pumped regarding the future product lineup. Dr.
Sandison. Welcome. And thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you so much for having
Diva Nagula 01:58
You have a very interesting story. And you’ve you’ve done so much and your expertises are so
broad, what drove your passion to be where you are today?
Dr. Heather Sandison 02:04
like many of us, you know, From Doctor to Patient, I actually started out the other way. And a lot of us have experience on both sides of that coin. So I started out as a patient and I struggled in undergrad with TMJ, I couldn’t open my mouth and I couldn’t eat. So I was losing weight, I was very frustrated, I went and saw a litany of doctors, and really wasn’t getting a lot of actual help. And I finally landed with… She’s actually an osteopathic doctor, and she ended up encouraging me to go to naturopathic school. But she helped me, I was 80% better about an hour after our first visit. So I felt like there was just so much through that experience, there was so much truth that I got at the end of that like, okay, who’s really helpful, who’s really looking at what are the causes who’s really looking at the dynamics, and I found that in an osteopath. And so that started me on the path and my, into these expertise, my partnerships with neuro hacker, the creation of Marama, the residential care facility that I own and operate. And through all of those experiences, what’s really driven me since I’ve graduated, is my patients. It’s this desire to see them better to see them interacting, fully showing up in their relationships with their spouses, with their children, with their communities, at their churches, in their work. What I was seeing was that my patients have very complex illnesses. And I didn’t have a great framework for it at first working with Daniel Schmachtenberger at NeuroHacker, he helped me to create a model to put all of these complex, complex diseases into and that has helped me make sense of things and also inspire these other projects so that we can we get patients back to work back to their communities back to their families. Right. And you were talking previously about your recent residential care facility and some exciting things that’s been going on with that, would you be able to share? So what happened was that in my practice, I was trained by Dr. Bredesen to implement his process of the Bredesen protocol for Alzheimer’s and dementia. And I was feeling you know, I bought it hook, line and sinker. There’s no cure for this. There’s no nothing you can do. The meds are out there, but they’re not great. Really, once someone has Alzheimer’s like good luck, so sorry, but there’s nothing we can do. So I went and got his training. And as soon as I came back, there were of course interested patients who were saying, Hey, I heard you’ve been trained by him. Can you help us? My first patient came in with a MOCA score of two, two out of 30. So a normal score is above 24-26 and she came back three weeks later, like it’s still it makes me a little emotional to tell them the story. Because Three weeks later, she did exactly what I asked, her husband was on it, he did, he changed, started the supplements, change their diet, they started drinking better water, they even moved out of a moldy home. And they started exercising all within three weeks. Her MOCA score was at a seven when she came back. So those changes, although they took a lot of work. They were supremely effective. And it was something that I even at that moment, I didn’t fully expect that it would work, right. And then I saw this for Linda and I thought if this is possible for her where she has a two out of 30 a MOCA , then what’s possible for the people who have an 18 or even a 12? What can we do for them? What kind of cognitive capacity can they get back? So again, that they can get back into their, into their communities, back into being productive? One of the big things that I think we are missing in our society right now is this reverence and this respect for our elders and the wisdom and experience that they bring, right? They are at the height of their wisdom and experience in their elder years. And yet so many of us are like, Alright, there’s a nursing home over here, well, we’ll Park you there. And you can watch TV and have cookies and ice cream. And not only are they no longer an asset, but they’re kind of like this drain. And it’s so sad to me because they’re so full of value. And we see that at Marama. So I saw what happened with my first patient, Linda. And then soon after that, I started getting calls from patients asking, hey, where can I send my loved one, I want them on the Bredesen protocol, I’ve heard that it works. But I don’t have the capacity to do this at home or I don’t have the capacity to implement the dietary changes for my my dad, he’s fighting back or whatever it is. And so through that, I thought, well, you know, I’ve looked around if there was nobody doing it, and I thought, how hard How hard could this be a little did I know it’s quite a process to create a residential care facility in California, but we did it. And now we’ve had our first residents moved in about six months ago. So we have three of them, all three of them have improved. We have three other residents who are there, they haven’t been there six months yet, but they are also getting better. And watching that transformation is absolutely inspiring and incredible. And I want it for everyone.
Diva Nagula 08:12
Now, it’s fascinating, because, it gives hope to people who are getting older, and if this is going to be the standard of care for the elderly, it’s going to give a lot of people hope that it’s not the end, it’s just beginning because their lives are going to dramatically improve and change and, and then as the young folks that we are we can extract their wonderful wisdom that they carry, and they can truly be functioning as an elder, you know, with their wisdom and teachings to all of us.
Dr. Heather Sandison 08:41
Precisely, and my hope is twofold. One that people start preventing cognitive decline earlier and optimizing cognitive function, you know, when you’re in your prime years, right and in 30s 40s 50s. And then so we prevent anyone from needing to move into a place like Marama, and then for baby boomers, people of the generation that are going in that direction, of course, prevention wherever that’s possible. And if somebody does have a family member or a parent that’s experiencing that, that yes, the entire industry of residential care shifts to adopting healthy diets, encouraging exercise, non toxic environments, all of the things that we see profoundly affect cognitive function, they should be incorporated into just the baseline level of care for all of our seniors.
Diva Nagula 09:30
Very good point. And that’s important to discuss. So specifically like what and how is your approach to evaluating cognitive decline in the elderly? How does that differ from the traditional medicines approach?
Dr. Heather Sandison 09:44
Yeah, so the reason that I was drawn to Dr. Bredesen is because the model that he presents overlaps with the model that Daniel Schmachtenberger and I put together. So what we’re trying to do, it’s taking a complex, complex science complex systems approach to the human body. to do, it’s taking a complex, complex science complex systems approach to the human body. It’s a complex system. Right, we can all agree on that. So we shouldn’t be having seven minute conversations about one symptom and then prescribing a medication that blocks that, right. What we should do is take that step back and say, okay, what are all of the things, the very comprehensive about our approach and see what are all of the things that could change the function of a cell, either in a good way that could optimize that function, or potentially in a bad way that inhibits or slows down or somehow damages the function of that cell. And if we’re talking about a heart cell, a brain cell, your big toenail, like, whatever it is, we want to know what is going to influence that cellular behavior. And so when we look at that, from the body’s perspective, and these are things, you know, this this complex system science, this can be applied to education, to financial systems, to government systems, any complex system you want to take, I would encourage you to take this very comprehensive approach, so that we’re not missing things. And I think that’s kind of the first point, when we come to cognitive function is that there are many factors that influence it. And if we pick our favorites, then we often leave something on the table. So when we distill that down, there’s essentially five things that need to be imbalanced, in order for there to be optimal cellular function. So toxins need to be balanced. Everyone has them, every cell creates some degree of toxin, so we have to be able to get them out, we know that they’re coming in, and then nutrients have to be balanced. So first toxin, second nutrients, third structure, and this can be thought of in kind of two components. One is molecular structure. So genetic predisposition, or also the way an orthopedist or a chiropractor might think about structure, can you get blood flow in and out of your brain. And then fourth, we want to talk about stress, we all know that stress can cause disease. And so managing stress, how can we make stress a positive thing for cellular function, and identify when it’s not a positive thing and potentially damaging cellular function. And last is infections. So we can all go to Mexico, drink the water, and get sick, right. However, a lot of the diseases, infections that we’re exposed to, in our current world, at least in the US are things that most of us should be able to fight. So I see EBV and CMV, the viruses associated with mono, they are often blamed for a lot of disease, the herpes viruses are blamed, you know, and they are connected at some level to Alzheimer’s. However, typically, what I see is with a lot of these ubiquitous infections that most people are exposed to, if you can balance, toxins, nutrients, structure and stress, then you have a functional immune system, and we don’t have to worry as much about those infections. However, take the gut, for instance, if there’s an infection in the gut, that becomes something that we want to address very quickly, because it it’s going to affect nutrient levels. So it’s about putting all of these pieces together, and looking at, okay, all of these things influence brain function, how do we optimize them for you as an individual? So in my clinical practice, we always set aside at least 90 minutes to have an initial intake so that I can assess how much are each of these components that affect cognitive function? How much are they affecting you, and in which way, and then we can create a plan together about, first off, what logistically can you accomplish? And then second, what makes the most sense considering all of these factors?
Diva Nagula 13:32
Now, with your approach, I mean, it’s very comprehensive. And it’s actually applicable to anyone, not just the elderly. But I would imagine, because it’s you’re dealing with elderly folks, that you’d have to take your foot off the gas pedal a little bit, because they are somewhat feeble, in essence, and because of their age, and when you’re talking about these folks that are going into a residential care facility, you know, it’s because they can’t do things on their own anymore like they used to. So does the process for elderly person, is that much different? Or is the process the same? Or is it going to be taking a lot longer to get out what you’re putting in to help them?
Dr. Heather Sandison 14:14
So the first patient I told you about Linda, who I saw three weeks later, she was significantly measurably better, and she was in her 70s, late 70s. This is such a wonderful question, because I also kind of came from this premise, like, oh, I need to be gentle with my elderly patients, and they’re frail and things could go wrong very easily, and there aren’t a lot of medications. And I totally get that. And yet, what’s possible has completely astounded and inspired me every day since I’ve gone down this path of supporting these patients, because they are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. And we see this over and over again at Marama. So again, the reason I created Marama is because what I saw is the people who weren’t getting better it was because It was an inability to fully execute. And some people decide, hey, I don’t want to do this, like I get it, like maybe it works, maybe I would feel better, maybe my I would think clear, but I don’t want to change my diet, or I don’t want to take the supplements or whatever it is, I’m not willing to start exercising. And that’s, that’s fair. However, it does work when you do it. And that’s what we see at Marama is that people move in. And there’s typically like, three, four weeks where it’s pretty uncomfortable. So you’re breaking habits, you’re addicted, most people are addicted to sugar, caffeine, potentially alcohol. And so when they first arrive, there is a time where there’s some transition, and it’s it’s uncomfortable. A lot of people if they’re not seeing other people’s results, other people getting better if they don’t have a caregiver there to encourage them, to help them, you know, embrace the process, not give up, then it’s really easy to give up. But that’s the incredible thing is like how resilient the humans are, and just how our bodies have this capacity to heal when they’re given the right environment. When they’re given the encouragement and the right nutrients, things turn around.
Diva Nagula 16:16
Absolutely. And interesting. What are you finding that is contributing to the turnaround? I mean, obviously, it’s a multifaceted approach in which you described earlier. But my guess is it’s probably, you know, a lot of toxins, specifically in the elderly, or anyone actually, what specific toxins can contribute to the cognitive decline?
Dr. Heather Sandison 16:40
Diva, you’re so right. So I think a lot of people get overwhelmed with like, okay, I have to get all this expensive testing done. And I need to get the right supplements and blah, blah, blah. But really, yes, that’s helpful. But the baseline The foundation is what’s so important. So a toxin free environment, good clean water, and enough of it. Good clean diet. So organic diet, keto- flex diet, as outlined by Dr. Bredesen and then the exercise the movement, those things are so essential. And when those pieces are in place, most people that’s where 80% of the benefit comes from is those foundations, and then sleep Of course, getting good sleep, making sure if they’re sleep apnea addressing those things. If they’re, they’re having a bowel movement every day. So essential. Now, the toxins, again, because the conventional world sort of ignores that piece, it has become a passion of mine, because it is so profoundly effective when we can get the toxins out when we can identify them and get them out. So at the moment, clinically, what I can test for, I think of them like flavors like ice cream, like chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, but it’s heavy metals are one thing that we look for. And so that’s flavor number one, flavor number two is the biotoxins. So these are usually mycotoxins associated with mold or exposure to a water damage building. And those can accumulate much like the heavy metals, they’re not alive, right? So we’re not it’s not that we’re trying to kill something, it’s that we’re trying to stop the exposure, not allow it into the body and two, enhance the ability for your body to get it out. So heavy metals, mycotoxins and then chemical toxins. So these are things like parabens, PCBs, styrene, benzene, acrylamide, there are about 20 that we test for routinely. Now, of course, we live in a world where there’s 90,000, some odd, we don’t test for all of them. But if we look at some of the different categories, we can get a little bit of a sense of, if you’re being exposed to a lot of petrochemicals, for example, if you live near freeway, or you work on cars, even as a hobby, or if you’re being exposed to a lot of pesticides, and herbicides, things that are associated with agriculture, because of maybe where you live, or a hobby. And so we look for patterns in those tests. And then we can use specific binders to help to get those toxins out of the system. And also, of course, enhancing the body’s natural ways of getting rid of toxins using the organs of elimination, the bowels, the liver, the kidneys, the skin and lymph and the lungs, to get those toxins out as easily and smoothly as possible, not causing any further damage, or increase in symptoms.
Diva Nagula 19:18
That’s fascinating. I mean, it’s it’s an approach that we shouldn’t be all taking. I’ve done some detox on my own. And I just remember, like the first two weeks of the detox process, I was exhausted. And I mean, granted they really pushed the gas pedal to the max on me, you know, because I was young and I could do this. But my question is, is that for the elderly, we kind of talked about this before, it’s like, did they feel that exhaustion and fatigue when you’re, when they’re heavily full of a toxic burden and you have to start detoxing them?
Dr. Heather Sandison 19:53
You have such great questions! My goal is never to make someone feel worse through detox, so I do not push that hard. I actually worry about cellular damage if we’re pushing or provoking too quickly. So Dr. Chris Shade at Quicksilver and Dr. Neil Nathan, are both people who I respect a ton, and I follow their detox protocols relatively closely. So both of them really suggests that what we need to be doing is working at the pace that the body can effectively keep up with, right, so we don’t want to provoke more from the cellular tissues, they’re going to now be in your bloodstream in your circulation, where they can wreak havoc they can be redeposited, but we want to do is pull things down… the analogy I use is it’s like you have snow capped mountains, and then all the way through this river valley to a river mouth, at the ocean, right. And if we start a flood, we’re gonna have a have destruction upstream. But if we can open the river mouth, if we can, if we can get your bowels moving, if we can get you sweating, if we can get you doing detox breathwork if we can support your liver and kidneys and have you drinking plenty of water, then now we’re using your organs of elimination to their optimal potential. And we have a little bit more room to do some provocation like maybe a little bit more sweating, or some glutathione or some more binders. But we need to go very gently and very slowly and communicate your symptoms or how our bodies communicate. And so we want to use, we want to listen, we want to use that information to make better decisions about how quickly we might be able to go. What can be painful, and what I do encourage patients and I’m around residents residents to get through, is those first couple days, well, and it can even go on for weeks. But it’s that keto flu. So as you go into ketosis, and you switch your metabolism, there is some detox that happens with that. And it can feel uncomfortable. It’s the detox from caffeine where you have a headache for a week. And you know it, it’s not that you need the caffeine, it’s that you’re addicted to the caffeine, it’s the sugar, where you keep craving sugars, I’m not getting enough to eat, I’m hungry, I constantly have cravings, until you get up and over that. It doesn’t feel great. But it’s still like, I know it’s good for you, right? So we do encourage people to get up and over the addictions. But the detox process should not make you feel worse. That’s good. And I’m imagining that you’re putting them in ketosis to actually not only preserve their brain function, but to enhance it. And I guess in that sense, does that kind of help with some of those detoxing symptoms that normally people would get? I don’t think so not directly the ketogenic diet is, is very effective for people’s brain function. We’ve seen that that’s clear. In the literature, I see that clinically, when people are able to do it. It really can enhance brain function, not for 100% of people, but for the majority, the vast majority. Now, does that hel with detox? I would say, you know, the first tenant of detoxification environmental medicine is stop the exposure. And with the ketogenic diet, at least what i what i support is an organic ketogenic diet that’s very, very high in vegetables. So lots and lots of green leafy greens, leafy green juices, lemons and limes, lots of things from the trees, absolutely non processed, and any animal products 100% of them need to be organic and grass fed or regenerative farming practices are where we get any meat or any eggs anything. That’s animal products, cheese’s as well for Marama. So, you know, and with that in mind, so much of what we eat is toxic day to day, if that isn’t your standard. And so the ketogenic diet helps with detox if it means that you are now avoiding toxic foods. And there may be some effect do you do you have a thought? Did that come from some information that you have that the ketogenic diet helps with detoxing?
Diva Nagula 24:09
No, I was just, I was just curious, because obviously, with the detoxification process, you know, it’s it can be fatiguing, it can be tiring, and it can actually, in my experience, personally I had mental fatigue. And I’m just wondering if the ketogenic aspect prevents that mental fatigue factor that is associated with the detoxification process?
Dr. Heather Sandison 24:31
That’s a fascinating point. So I think that the detox process that I use is yes, there’s an addictive piece that’s usually like two, maybe two weeks maximum. And so that detox can be painful and fatiguing. But aside from that, after that, my patients usually notice a quick increase in energy. And I do use products like Qualia that you had mentioned at the beginning that helped us in the nootropics and one version of Kalia does have some caffeine in it. And the vast majority of my patients within two, three weeks, if they’ve gotten up over the hump, now their symptoms of fatigue have maybe not 100% disappeared, but are improving.
Diva Nagula 25:12
Right, right. And I expect that and that’s just the first couple of weeks when you’re, you’re Right, right. And I expect that and that’s just the first couple of weeks when you’re, you’re making all these changes. That’s the hardest thing to do. But then after they go over that hump, it’s just smooth sailing after that. And actually, I’m curious when you put all these protocols in place, you know, do you stack them individually, and then realize that they all have a synergistic effect when you start stacking them versus doing one thing? Only or two things at a time?
Dr. Heather Sandison 25:12
Patients asked us all the time, right, like, well, maybe I shouldn’t do all of those things at once. Because then I won’t know what’s working. And half of me wants to be a really good scientist and know exactly what part of the protocol is helping you the most. And the other part of me is like, no, we’re complex system scientists. We appreciate and value the fact that all of these things work synergistically together, as you so well said. So, it isn’t about doing just the detox, and not adding more nutrients where you need them. It isn’t about just meditating isn’t about just doing one piece of this puzzle, you get the most benefit when you put them all together.
Diva Nagula 26:20
Yeah, no, I totally agree. That’s my philosophy, too. And I was just curious, I have people ask me, like, why are we doing all of this and what do you know works and what doesn’t work and it’s just over time, you just kind of see that these are the missing pieces, you have to implement all of them to optimize their function and more so in elderly because they have had, you know, there are older they’re artisan wear and tear on the body. And there are cells that have declined, and you need to really implement these strategies to really perk them up and optimize them.
Dr. Heather Sandison 26:49
Yeah, without a doubt, but it works. It does it work. So we’re saying it over and over and over
Diva Nagula 27:06
What other challenges do your patients face when you’re implementing these protocols for
improvement of cognitive function?
Dr. Heather Sandison 28:09
Yeah, one of the biggest challenges and this is why I promote prevention so much is the family dynamics, right? It’s like, Mom is interested. But the son is like no, she’s my drinking buddy. And I still want to have that. Literally this was a conversation last week in my practice; so there’s a brother and sister and they see things very differently. Mom will probably follow whoever whoever can get her ear, she’s going to do whatever they say. But the son likes to come over and have like a cognac with her at 5pm every day. And the daughter would love to see her incorporate and embrace the Bredesen protocol, which means no alcohol, and the ketogenic diet and exercise. And so the brother and sister argue about it. And one week mom is on the sisters team. And the next week she’s having cognac with the son. And that is really, I think, the most challenging having siblings that are on the same page. Or else having patients who have the wherewithal themselves there’s so many fewer dynamics and it’s so much more easeful. The other, the other nice dynamic is when there’s a spouse that’s extremely supportive, and they are also doing the protocol themselves. So you get both people or both family members, whoever’s in the house on the same plan, because it doesn’t work when one person’s keto and the other person is snacking on cookies and cake, right. And if that’s in the house, people are going to eat it, particularly if they have cognitive decline, and they forget that they’re on a special diet. So logistically, everyone needs to be on the same page in that family. Otherwise, they see that being a big problem. This does cost money. So that’s another thing that people run into right? Is it renting the lab seeing the doctors buying the supplements, buying good food, all of these things do add up. Now, we have a study going in my clinic and where we’re offering the clinical piece, essentially for free. And there are times when we can’t even give it away because people just are not making the decision to exercise, to change their diet, right? They’ve just said no. And that’s their prerogative, right. But making it so making the decision deciding to do it is one step. And sometimes that’s a hurdle that we can’t get over, the cost can be another hurdle that we can’t get over. And when that’s the case, I am working very hard to keep the cost down for my current patients. And to prove in the science that this is a really good investment, I have watched it turn people around so that they can go back to work. So they can continue generating income, so that they’re not taking as much out of their savings, because they need more and more caregivers, or they’re needing to move into a care facility that might be more costly than their current arrangement. So I do think that this is an investment in terms of the financial side and investment that pays dividends, that that you get a lot, you can get potentially lots of financial return for it, particularly if you can continue to work. And then the other hurdles we see are logistics, like I had mentioned that if you don’t have someone supporting you, and you are already suffering with cognitive decline, then remembering to take your supplements at the right time remembering that you’re on the diet when you order or when you shop. And then having the capacity to learn new things like how to get on the bike or remembering to put the violin and all of these components of the protocol that help it to work better. You have to have the capacity to implement, so and the time right, we have to make the time for it. Those are the big challenges. And yet again, like people amaze me all the time, because there are families that just make it happen. Yeah, it’s amazing. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and talk about with a lot of these specific ways of practicing medicine, functional medicine, integrative medicines, and naturopathic, we’re big on addressing the gut. And in addressing if there is a leaky gut, and in folks who are suffering from cognitive decline, there’s a leaky brain that that follows suit. Can you talk a little bit about that relationship? Leaky gut, I don’t know, I kind of stopped testing for it at this point, I do look at the comprehensive stool analysis to see if there’s a lot of inflammation or poor secretory IGA, like low immune function or overgrowth one way or another. But I just assume most of my patients have a leaky gut, because the things that cause it are so ubiquitous, the use of antibiotics, it’s stress, it’s alcohol, and it’s gluten. And so if you have a diet that has gluten and alcohol in it, if you’ve taken antibiotics in the last year or so, or if you’re under any stress, then you can assume you have a leaky gut. And I tend to just go ahead and treat and so some of my favorite things that help both the leaky gut barrier and a leaky brain barrier, things like glutamine things like aloe, and then of course, just the change in the diet. So going towards a ketogenic diet is helpful for all of those things with those membranes, right? That’s kind of back the beginning of our conversation, what helps the function of every single cell in the body? Well, it’s getting the toxins out getting the stress under control, getting the structure dialed whether it’s with a chiropractor, or an orthopedist or a PT. So there are lots of ways to approach getting that structure balance, but that will help with getting blood to the brain and and supporting a healthy blood brain barrier. And then, certainly the toxins that we talked about those affect the gut microbiome. And so all of these things are so interrelated. The the microbes in the gut affect everything from the way we think, to how much we weigh to, you know how often we have a bowel movement. So certainly really important to be modulating and supporting good healthy balance in the gut no matter what. And again, as we, as we mentioned, the gut is responsible for our nutrients. So, transporting, getting those nutrients. It’s not only what we decide to eat, but are we able to break them down, and then are we able to assimilate it and then get rid of what doesn’t serve us so that every cell in the body can function optimally, whether that’s the barrier in your gut or your brain, or an actual neuron. And a lot of people who may be listening to this show, are wondering, you know, especially if they have loved ones who are on the elderly side or approaching that elderly state, what can be done to start looking at things in a preventative measure. Yeah. So like Dr. Bredesen, I love that he talks about it. As a cognoscopy by the time you turn 40, it’s much less invasive. But there’s more tubes of blood less general anesthetic that’s used for our cognoscopy. And we basically do what I was discussing earlier, as we look at all of the toxins, we look at nutrients, we do blood panels, looking at the thyroid at hormonal balance. So we get this vague, comprehensive look at what’s going on at a physiological biochemical level in the body. And then we address that, according to what you need as an individual. So that can be done at any time that, I would recommend everybody over 40. Having that done. Genetically ApoE is one of the genetic snips that we associate with Alzheimer’s potential. And with genetics, always, the genetics set the stage, but it’s the epigenetics, it’s the environment, the toxins, the food, the exercise, the stress, that is what pulls the trigger. So if we know that we have a little bit more genetic predisposition, then we want to work a little harder a little earlier to prevent that from manifesting. So doing that early on can be very helpful and enlightening. And the other piece is the foundations. So just good healthy foundations and organic keto flex diet, plenty of sleep and assessing for sleep apnea, if you have any. If you snore, if you have any, if there’s any thought in your mind that you might have sleep apnea, get it worked to have an address that immediately because it can cause dementia. So good nutrients, good sleep, a bowel movement, at least once a day, healthy gut, and then exercise moving your body and then some form of mindfulness meditation, and then also stimulation, so taking care of your brain, so that it’s learning something new, but also managing the stress Very important. I mean, obviously stress, if you’re in a state of fight or flight all the time is going to be a wreck to your to your system overall. And it’s gonna be very hard to combat that. So yeah, I mean, that’s what I try to preach is if you start fixing your your nervous system and get more into a parasympathetic or rest or digest state, it is much better. In fact, I feel like that’s probably one of the contributing factors that actually was correlated with my cancer is that I was too much into fight or flight for a very, very long time. And I think that was my body just started to, you know, push back. And, and that’s, that was a result of years and years and years of being an in fight or flight. So yeah, I to your point. Yeah, I think it’s very important to to address that nervous system issue right away. So foundational, the literature is very clear that when we are under stress, we don’t remember. And the other thing is, is that you’re pointing out like the Cognoscopy. I mean, that’s fascinating. I also think that all these tests that you were talking about, you know, we all we do these various tests, you know, cancer screening, you know, we should be doing something like this on everyone at a specific age, you know, and like, like you said, at 40 or so, you know, all these tests should be standardized, and then maybe doing it, you know, every three to five years, you know, just to see that, you know, what, you know, is to capture your baseline and to see if there are any changes after that. And then, obviously, if they’re not within the normal range, and you can take corrective measures to address them. Precisely. And I think, you know, in the conventional world, they’re looking at a lot of things that are downstream, so they’re interested in Okay, well, what’s your TSH? What’s your CBC look like? Where are your cholesterol levels, and I like to play clinically, I like to look at, let’s look at the causal things, let’s look at the toxins. Let’s look at your diet, let’s look at your nutrients, because that is what we can control that’s what we can change. And then downstream, your thyroid will balance itself downstream, your hormones will balance out downstream, your CDC and your cholesterol will balance out. But if we, if we’re just looking at those end markers, it doesn’t give us as much control over the things that are really causal. So I try to shift my patients, instead of like having a target goal for the cholesterol, what are you eating? What are your nutrient levels look like? And then the rest will take care of itself. And since you’re really highly invested in this field, what are some therapies that are on the horizon that you’re interested about? And then and better, you’re really excited and passionate about? Thanks for asking. This is This is fun. So LiveO2 is a contrast, oxygen therapy, where basically you’re working. So you’re on a bike or a treadmill, and you’re hooked up to a mask where you go back and forth from positive oxygen or opposite concentrated oxygen to essentially being like at altitude to negative oxygen where it’s depleted, but you’re working and so what this does is it actually creates a lot of co2 in the body so you’re working in your negative oxygen, more co2 acts as a vasodilator so The diameter of our blood vessels gets larger. And then you flip to positive oxygen. And now all of a sudden, you get a flood of oxygenated blood in those larger diameter arteries and, and into the capillary system, and then of course, into the tissues. So basically, there are places like that blackouts and not ischemic places, but places that maybe aren’t getting optimal blood flow. So they’re not getting delivered oxygen, certainly, but also nutrients that they need to repair, rebuild, they’re not getting the hormones that signal to regenerate to create new tissue. And so what we do when we use level two is we send those signals, we finally get that communication going to more of the cells in the body. And that gets improvement in cellular function. Also, having this kind of stressful event, there’s a concept called hormesis, but essentially what’s going on with exercise with even fasting with hot and cold therapies. And then with this oxygen contrast, these are all examples of where you can kind of stress the body a little bit. And what you get in return, is adaptive ability. And that’s a sign of health. And so we see that when we use this adaptive contrast, oxygen therapy that LiveO2, when we us I see quick benefits in terms of certainly energy levels with detox even and with brain function with cognitive function. So that’s a fun one, we offer that at Marama. And I encourage any of my patients who are willing to invest in that, that device and use that at home. And we’ve had patients who that’s all they do, and they get benefits. So that’s fun. And then another area that I’m very interested in is peptide therapies. So things like sealink, seamax, Cerebrolison, in particular, are ones that are known to help with cognitive function, I have had patients get benefit from that, unfortunately, right now, the availability of those, they’re in kind of a gray area, where they’re their medications, but the FDA isn’t sure how to regulate them because they can’t be patented, because your body makes them. So there’s some interesting things going on with the logistics of getting them however, those I think, are very safe and profoundly effective. So I when I have the opportunity, I love using peptides, with my patients were interested These peptides that you’re speaking of, they’re all for the purpose of improving cognitive function? Well, there are lots of peptides, like insulin is a peptide, the chain of amino acids that is responsible for cell signaling, and in an unhealthy human, there isn’t enough insulin to do the cell signaling necessary for blood sugar regulation, right. So similar concept with other peptides, they’re cell signaling molecules, and they’re short chains of amino acids that trigger some sort of communication telling cells how to behave or what to do. And there are some sealink, seamax are used for cognitive functions, but there are many others for gut function for tissue regeneration for mitochondrial function for longevity, for youth, growth hormone regulation, all kinds of things. So there’s lots of different places where the peptide can be applicable. But I’m certainly excited about them for cognitive function because of my interests. And there’s really no contraindications with the use of these specific cognitive peptides for for elderly folks? No, not that I’m aware of they’re quite safe, because the body makes them. There’s less unpredictability than say, like an intervention more like a typical pharmaceutical. However, they’re to be totally clear, there’s not a ton of human data on these peptides, because they can’t be patented. There’s not a lot of money in doing these big trials on humans. So I am anxious to get more and more data out there and see what’s going on. But my clinical experiences that they have been very safe, all of the literature that we have is that they’re quite safe. Yeah, it’s quite, it’s quite a shame because there are so effective and their answer very hot item right now that we’re seeing in the integrative naturopathic and functional medicine communities, and as well as many biohackers they really enjoy these peptide therapies. But it’s just, it’s a travesty that the FDA is just they’re not really pushing forward in there. They’re actually blocking pharmacies and compounding pharmacies from producing them. And I find that it’s just, it’s ridiculous. It really needs to shift away from making money and towards health, right? Because if if health were the goal, and to keep people off of medications, if that were the goal, then peptides are a no brainer. They’re relatively inexpensive, the body makes them the signals that they send, just like insulin, right? It the signals they send are for yourselves to behave in a healthier way. And that’s the goal. If every cell can behave in a healthier way, then it doesn’t matter if it’s diabetes or Alzheimer’s or you twisted your ankle, everything is going to get better faster. And if you look at it from our perspective of the downstream savings, instead of really pushing the pharmaceutical medicines is just astounding what we could be saving, healthcare industries is just a huge chunk of our GDP. If we can save, you know, even a portion, it would be beneficial to us or being able to be used and to help other ways in our society. You make a great point, I take that back, maybe we should continue to consider the financial aspects, right, but actually do it in a comprehensive and and sensical way. Instead of making pharmaceutical industry money making pharmaceutical companies money, it should be about saving money for individuals who pay a lot in terms of health care, but also the federal government. I mean, Alzheimer’s itself, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s itself will bankrupt Medicare by 2050. Like this is not years and years and years away, this is 30 years away. They’re out of money. And just because of Alzheimer’s alone, and not to mention all the other things that are probably coming down the pike. But it, it’s terrifying to me that the incentives are so misguided, and it doesn’t look like there’s a way out unless we create it. And so that’s why that’s why I do what I do. That’s why I get up every morning and go to Marama and see my patients is because hopefully, what I can do is show that there is an alternative that there is a solution. And if it were adopted on a wide scale, we could shift society, we would get back this value that our elders have to give, we need them, right we have all of these issues, whether it’s a medicine or the environment, or whatever it is, these issues need to be solved in harnessing their wisdom, harnessing their experience using their input, along with the incentives of our youth, we’ve got to come up with these solutions. And I think together we can, it’s possible. I agree. And I applaud you for all the things that you are doing, and, oh my gosh, I mean, what you’re doing with this, it’s pioneering and when it takes hold in when you can use this as a blueprint to create, and change and transform other facilities alike. It’s a game changer, I mean, it will really truly be something that I see is going to be a huge, a different type of paradigm shift specifically for the elderly. And then you start adding in longevity, types of issues and care. No, we can extend life and not just extending the years, but quality years. That’s what we’re all looking forward as a quality of life as we get older. And I feel that this is the path and that that’s your that’s your you know, you’re basically introducing, and thank you for all you’re doing. And it’s been a pleasure to chat with you and and learn more about how you are operating. Thank you so much for having. Absolutely and for people who are interested in speaking or learning more about what you do or learning about you, or Marama. How can they find you? Yeah, so NorthCountyNaturalMedicine.com is my clinic website. And you can reach out there and then MaramaExperience.com is the website for the residential care facility. It’s been funny, because you mentioned in a changing this field, and people are always asking me, so are you gonna franchise? Or are you going to find more of these places? Like what are you going to do next? And how are you going to, like, make more money? And I’m like, I don’t I’m not even thinking about that. What I want is for every residential care facility to copy me, like if everyone would start doing adopting even just parts of it, it will move the needle, if that becomes the expectation if every child, every daughter or son that calls a residential care facility looking for options for their parent, if they ask, do you serve organic food? Do you have a ketogenic option? How often do your residents exercise? If they ask questions like that, then it would force that industry to shift a little bit. And I think even those small changes over time they will accumulate and create a big change. Thank you for your support. Thank you. And it has been a pleasure chatting with you and I look forward to meeting you soon someday.