Weekly Podcast: It All Begins in the Gut

Podcast Highlights:

It All Begins in The Gut

  • Importance of getting the liver to function properly.
  • In Chinese Medicine, the Liver is the General in the body.
  • Looking at depression, anger, irritability, frustration and the role the Liver plays.
  • Importance of reducing inflammation in the gut.
  • Wheat and leaky gut connection
  • 10-Day coaching and educational group starting April 16th for gut health.
  • Preview Webinar, this Tuesday, April 6 at 9am (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87598206689)

Podcast Notes:

Kathryn Black: Hello and welcome to TheBalancingPoint, I’m Kathryn, here with Dr. John Nieters for another episode. So you’ve been quite busy the past couple of weeks. You’ve had the lymphatic group cleanse and a liver flush. Has that been going?

Dr John Nieters L.Ac, DAOM: You know, you always make plans and you have an expectation of how things are going to work out. And sometimes you get there, sometimes you don’t. And occasionally it just blows the doors off and it’s way beyond anything that you imagined. Now, this isn’t quite beyond what I could have imagined, but it’s been incredibly successful. So, as you know, we did a couple of week-long lymphatic drainage cleanse to open up the lymphatic system, which is very clogged, to prepare for a liver flush. A liver flush is not the same as a liver detox protocol. We do lots of liver detoxes and there are lots of other names for it, but a liver flush, we are actually working to soften the gallstones and also the stones that are in the liver, which were called intra-hepatic stones. In all my time in being in medicine, talking to doctors, 60,000 patient visits, I have never heard any of them mention intra-hepatic stones.

And you can go online, you can see articles on intra hepatic stones, way more fun. You can see videos from, there’s one fellow in particular who is a radiologist and now basically just has a website with all these cool radiological pictures. And you can see pictures of the stones actually blocking the ducts, the arteries, etc., and the veins in the liver. That’s amazing. Yeah. And when you consider that the liver does weigh over 400 different processes, that controls your blood sugars, it clears toxins out of your system, but hundreds of things.

02:09   And in Chinese medicine, it’s called the General and it’s really in charge of things. And yet very little attention is paid to it. So basically it’s, ‘oh, your liver is fine’ or ‘you’re really, really sick, we need to do something.’ And there’s this huge land in between where most Americans are, which is your liver is not really fine. You’re just not having symptoms that are going to put you in the hospital. So when we start doing these intra-hepatic flushes, we did this over a course of 10 days.

You can do it in a shorter period. But the advantage of 10 days is that that gives a lot of time to clear things out of the system and prepare for the flush. For example, many of the stones in the gallbladder and liver are soft enough that if you give them a week to 10 days of additional treatment, you can flush them very easily. So we did that. Plus, it’s a training. You know, it’s like the old give a person a fish, you know, or teach them to fish.

It’s the same kind of thing. So although we are giving them the fish, we’re also training them to go fishing at the same time. So they can now repeat this. They’ve had handholding, daily opportunity to ask questions. A lot of education, tons of education. The I mean, their PowerPoint presentations. And they know more about their liver now than 90 probably 80% of the population, at least on a functional level. And you know, in doing a program like that, generally the dropout rate is very, very high, like I said on a Saturday.

OK, I want you guys to get ready for a liver flush and next Saturday we will do it way over 50% of people will drop out. It’s kind of like having a trainer to work out with, versus reading a book on working out. The book is great, but it’s not the same as having a trainer. It’s not even close to the same as having a trainer or a coach. And so we coach them through this process. And it’s been mind blowing. The emails that we get thanking us for this and talking about how life changing it is for them.

04:21    One of the things to remember is that in Chinese medicine, this is also true in Western medicine, but it’s not really talked about is that the liver really is intimately involved in depression, irritability, frustration, et cetera. And when the liver is moving freely and the energy of the liver is moving freely, then there’s less anger, there’s less frustration, less irritability. And so people were sending us emails saying, ‘oh, my God, this is amazing.’ Yeah. And, you know, at first they were asking them to do some things that are a little different, changing their diet a bit, although the programs are very flexible.

And we’re having them do castor oil packs over their liver. And people love that. They are relaxing. Yeah, they immediately if you know, they’ll go, “oh, God, this is kind of lame” and come out going, “can I do this 24 hours a day?” And then we recommend it’s not required. We recommend that people do coffee enemas at certain times. And a lot of people are really uncomfortable with that. And a lot of people it’s like you want me to do what? Where?  It’s like, “yeah, there’s no way.” But a lot of them were getting so much value from the rest of the program that they started actually doing this thing that they didn’t think they’d ever do.

05:38      And of course, they noticed an immediate, immediate difference. This isn’t like days. It’s like you get up and it’s like, “oh, my God, I feel totally different.” And so it went. We still got two more days, but it has been going phenomenally well. Really, really happy with it. And so we’ve been gearing up for ah this has gone so well, this format. And again, I have to thank the bureaucratic shutdowns around the pandemic. I would never have gone this avenue.

I was doing a lot of… In fact, every Saturday I did a talk and had people come in. But again, it was just an hour to two hour talk. And so it’s not a coaching thing. And my background is essentially 40 years of mentoring and coaching adults in a whole range of different things, from martial arts to contemplation to business, et cetera. And that’s really one of my loves and I wasn’t doing it. So now once a month, we’re setting up programs for people to do this concentrated coaching program on a topic.

06:48   And so we’re really excited about next month, which is coming up so soon in about three weeks. By the way, if you have brain fog, there is a medical term for that. It’s called hepatic encephalopathy . Hepatic for the liver and encephalopathy meaning it’s creating inflammation condition in your brain. So it’s from the liver being congested. And this is a recognized medical condition.

In fact, I was totally, totally tripped out. I looked on Wikipedia for something completely different and there they were, “hepatic encephalopathy.” So it’s you know how things just start showing up once you notice it. Well it’s definitely happening there. And basically one of the most common things that patients report when they come into my clinic, it may or may not be their primary reason for coming in, but one of the most common things they report is brain fog.

07:50     And brain fog is hepatic encephalopathy, so unless you reduce the inflammation in your gut and open up your liver, you’re going to have brain fog and there aren’t really any supplements that just clear brain fog. I mean I can do it for a day or two with Chinese herbs and we do, particularly someone has an important exam like the bar exam or something. So we can do it short term.

However, you really have to go to the root, which is getting the liver functioning properly and reducing inflammation in the gut. So we’re talking about the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, etc., that whole gut system, because pretty much everybody agrees that’s in the know. Anybody who’s doing any reading, any research on inflammation and autoimmunity immune dysfunction, will say that it starts in the gut. Almost all of it starts in the gut, maybe all of it. One of my favorites is Doctor Alessio Fasano. That’s Fasano. First name is Alessio. I highly recommend you check out some of this stuff. Brilliant guy. He founded the Center for Celiac Research in 1996.

09:14    So he was actually ahead of the curve there for sure. He has taught at the Maryland School of Medicine. He teaches at the Harvard School of Medicine. He’s the head of pediatrics at Massachusetts General. And of course, when he started his work in 1996, people laughed at him, literally. I’ve been laughed at, by the way, so many times for things that later became apparent to everybody talking about the microbiome and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut, etc..

Well, he was talking about gluten sensitivities in 1996 and set up again, a center to study that tons and tons of skepticism, but eventually it led to his publication of a groundbreaking study. In 2003, that at that time established the rate of autoimmune disorders, one in 133 Americans.

10:18    We now know, of course, in those years that have ensued up until now, that the rate of autoimmunity is much higher and will continue to get higher until we change multiple facets of our lives. I mean, you look at reports, the trend line for autism is that one child out of every two will be considered on the autism spectrum within just a few decades. And there are very clear reasons for that. Nobody really wants to look at those on a larger level.

There are lots of parents and there are lots of researchers speaking out. And so we see the same thing with autoimmunity and with autoimmunity. It’s important to remember that the core of that is immune. And so it’s not an accident to start with. It’s that our system is responding with an appropriate immune response over time. The problem is ongoing. So the immune response continues and continues and continues until finally you get some confusion with the immune system and you get an autoimmune response where the body starts destroying its own tissues.

11:29    Now, there are lots of debates. You know, everything we know about it will probably change in the next 10 years. Chinese medicine doesn’t really change at all because it’s really based on some very simple principles. Western medicine, whatever the prevailing theory is today, there’ll be something new in 15 – 20 years. So we have to keep that in mind. And as we look at this. And so there are debates about the autoimmune issues. Is there still a pathogen that is present that is mixed up in the tissues or inside the cells, such as the immune system is still trying to kill that original pathogen? Or is it a system that has run amuck and is continuing when there’s no pathogen present anywhere? There are dozens of arguments like that.

12:19   But the thing that there’s really no significant argument about now, is that it all starts in your gut. Now, I remembered I mentioned Dr. Alessio Fasano a couple of minutes ago, and he has published some brilliant papers, brilliant papers looking at the response to wheat and gluten and gliadins these small particles that are the primary proteins in the wheat. We now have a test called the Wheat Zoomer where they identify over 20 different problems that can occur in the gut from eating wheat, for example. And the Western medical system, the front line docs just stay concentrated on celiac disease. It’s very serious. It can be life threatening. It can cause death. It causes a lot of other problems. But it’s a fraction, a tiny fraction of the problem. In Alessio’s papers, in one of them, he makes the statement that every time, not occasionally, every single time a human being eats the wheat that we now have in the United States, they develop transient, leaky gut.

So that means that for some period of time, the gut lining is compromised in such a way that the immune system is hyper activated. So you get a protein that comes in contact with the immune system. The immune system doesn’t know what that protein is, all they recognize is I or other, and this is other, so it attacks it. And then the determination, whether it’s transient or permanent, is based upon the underlying condition of the gut.

14:07   Now, simple things. One study showed that in a test group that did not use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, about 10% of that population had testable levels of leaky gut. If people did a actually very small amount, but regular amount of Advil, ibuprofen, 70% had leaky gut as a permanent condition, as an ongoing condition. And so every time they eat and then between meals, they’re creating a massive immune response in their gut that is causing the release of these very inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which then just further this problem.

Well, in addition to that, Fasano, in that paper, said that not only do people get transient Leaky gut, they also get transient, leaky brain. He considers it the primary cause of Alzheimer’s. Many people have moved to the position that gut inflammation is at least a primary mover in Alzheimer’s and dementia. So this is a huge, huge problem. And so in my work for the last 20 years, if I were going to consider myself a specialist on something, I mean, I’ve done massive amounts of fertility training.

I do lots of fertility, I do lots of stuff. But I would consider myself primarily a gut specialist. I started teaching leaky gut classes 20 years ago, and I still believe it’s at the core of our problem. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a 10-Day coaching and treatment program that we’re again going to do on Zoom. It works so well for the liver that, you know, people couldn’t afford to come see me 10 days in a row and pay me for a visit. Or at least it wouldn’t be very reasonable to get this amount of training. But with Zoom, with the leverage of having a lot of people, we can keep it very reasonably priced and people still get the value and the education.

16:15    So what we do is we’ll have a preview for that and then people will have an opportunity to sign up for it. When they sign up for it, we’ll do a little screening and then suggest supplements that they take during that 10 day period depending on on their symptomology. And so I think it’s going to be really exciting. It’s really the core of everything, everything to do with inflammation. So someone’s the number two thing that my patients worry about consistently is dementia.

If I were to ask most women, what’s your number one fear, it’s breast cancer, what’s your number two fear is dementia. If I ask my male patients, they’re kind of looking at it a little differently. Their number one fear is erectile dysfunction and number two is dementia. But right up there is dementia. And if you don’t change your diet, you’re in trouble. It’s really that simple. The studies are quite clear. So what we’re going to do is train people day by day for 10 days. We’re going to teach them about an hour a day, 45 minutes to an hour.

17:20     I find that’s really as much as people can take in. I used to teach eight hour day classes and after two hours, it’s like, it’s worthless, right? I’m just throwing words out. So we’re going to do that. We’re going to cover leaky gut. We’re going to cover what’s now called SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which is a really new term. And that term is now doctors don’t laugh at me as much when I talk about imbalance in the intestinal microbiome because they now have a drug to treat it.

It’s Rifaximin. It’s a very ineffective drug, but they now have the drugs and now there’s a condition, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, not a very accurate name I Because you have 100 trillion, 100 trillion bacteria in a healthy gut. So this isn’t a problem of overgrowth per say. It’s a problem of balance. There are too many bacteria that give off certain chemicals and too few bacteria to compensate for that.

18:24    So that’s SIBO. Now, there’s a new another term we’re just seeing as SIFO, which is a small intestinal fungal overgrowth. And so very similar idea. If there is leaking gut and trust me, most of the people listening have leaky gut. If you’ve ever done antibiotics, if you have done nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory for any significant period of time, if you’ve been on the birth control pill, the odds are you have leaky gut, it’s pretty straightforward.

18:54   And if you have leaking gut you will have bacterial overgrowth and fungus candidate is almost always present if you have the damage terrain that is caused by the leaky gut. So we’re going to address all of those issues. They’ll all be handled with supplements and with training, and we expect people to completely turn their life around. So to me, that’s pretty hot stuff.

Yeah, just education alone.

19:21    So, we’re going to be starting that in a few weeks. If you’re interested, contact us and we’ll send you out a date for our preview or I’ll go into the specifics again. I didn’t go into specifics here, but just one thing. Patients that go on Xifaxin, which is a brand name for Rifaximin, which is the antibiotic typically used for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. So after a course of treatment, six weeks after the course, 50% of people have SIBO again, if you do the right blend of probiotics with sufficient numbers of probiotics, and that’s a big problem, most people don’t. The rate of reinfection with SIBO was only 20%. So it’s really dramatic. And so we’re going to look at all of these natural, simple, easy ways you can completely turn their health around. So it’s going to be fun. And then stay tuned because we’re going to do another one of my favorite things in May, which is a Vision workshop, which I find to be the most effective way to do planning, goal setting and move your life forward.

So we’ll have more about that later. So very excited. All right. Take care. Be happy. Be healthy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Western Perspective, Integrative and Functional Medicine. 

The Balancing Point health radio talk show about Traditional Chinese Medicine, supplements, nutrition, and more.  Host Dr. John Nieters, acupuncturist and health educator.  http://www.thebalancingpoint.net

Inspired by this podcast to take action in your life? Visit Alameda Acupuncture.

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