Gabriella Schneider transcript

Written by Christopher Kelly

Sept. 11, 2015


Christopher:    Hello, and welcome to the Nourish Balance Thrive podcast. My name is Christopher Kelly and today I'm joined by Gabriella Schneider. Hi, Gabriella.

Gabriella:    Hi.

Christopher:    Gabriella is -- How do I a describe you? A young science writer and a cook and the creator of the blog, which I highly recommend. I've just been reading through all your keto and AIP recipes this morning and you're really good at taking the pictures. I'm quite impressed by those.

Gabriella:    Thank you very much. It's a work in progress.

Christopher:    Yeah, of course, isn't everything always? And we had you on the podcast once before but I very much doubt that anybody would have heard it because it was on -- I actually have two podcasts. The other one is called the Paleo Baby Podcast. That was the podcast, the Paleo Baby Podcast was the one where Julie interviewed you. I listened to it again and the sound quality is really bad. You can hear Julie at all. I think it's because it was in our early days of podcasting. So, I thought I should really get you back on and talk about some of what you talked about before.

    So, for people that don't know, Gabriella is suffering from chronic Lyme disease. And when that original interview first went out, she was kind enough to write a guest post for my blog and I will link to that post in the show notes for this episode. I was looking at the stats in Google the other day and realized that this one article, in less than a year, has been read by 6,000 people for an average of five minutes each. And I'm like, "What the heck?"

    I mean, maybe this don't sound like big numbers to someone else listening to this that has a really successful blog but for me that's by far the most interesting and important article in my resume. So I thought I'd better get you back on and tell us about this. Why don't we start from the beginning? What don't you tell me about your chronic Lyme?

Gabriella:    Well, chronic Lyme, for me, was something that I dealt with -- I mean, we don't know exactly when I got the Lyme, the initial infection, but we think it was sometime in my earlier years like age six or something around there. But the symptoms didn't really start presenting themselves until around the age of 12, I would say. And it would come in spurt. So rotating months of one month there would be joint pain, the next month I would have really bad headaches, the next month I just have a shut immune system and I would get sinus infections or something like that.

    So we went to the doctors on and off but they could never figure out anything. They just said I was growing or having growing pains. We didn't really think too much of it, just kind of put it on the backburner until, I believe, it was -- It's been so long now it's hard to remember exact dates. But I believe it was 2011, no 2010. I believe it was December of 2010. I kept having this increase of symptoms and they just kept piling on top of each other but I just would kind of brush them off.

    In the summer of 2011, no 2010, one of those years, everything just came crashing in. I literally went for a run, came back, my blood pressure dropped significantly. I couldn't see. I was passing out. And the exhaustion just hit me and the pain all throughout my body. And since that day that I've been battling the effects of chronic Lyme disease, what we figured out to be chronic Lyme disease about six months later.

Christopher:    Wow. So, I mean, how did that affect your school life and how did that affect everything?

Gabriella:    Well, it pretty much turned my life completely upside down. Initially, that summer, I was always home schooled but I couldn't -- My brain fog got so severe in the span of three months that I couldn't think straight. So I missed about a year and a half of school, of high school but I've been able to catch up through different types of programs and testing, so I'm officially in college now.

Christopher:    Wow, congratulations. That's fantastic.

Gabriella:    Thank you.

Christopher:    So tell me about what you've been doing? First, I guess, the first question I would like to ask is how did you know it was Lyme?

Gabriella:    Well, we have a good friend whose daughter went through a very similar experience with chronic Lyme, so she kind of already been down the path at least halfway. So she knew what doctors to refer us to and based off of how similar I was to her daughter, she was like, "No, you need to see Lyme literate neurologist and then you need this functional medicine doctor in New York and then you need to see this parasite doctor."


    She kind of gave us the initial doctors to go see that would provide the right testing. So we are very lucky.

Christopher:    Okay. And then, so what have you been doing that's been helping you feel better? I mean, you sound fantastic now and you've obviously got the energy to write this incredible blog. On the surface, it looks as if absolutely there's nothing wrong with you. So what have you been doing to help you feel better?

Gabriella:    Well, I've definitely done -- I mean, I've done a lot of different things and, I think, each thing has had its place in healing my body and not just one thing has taken me all the way there. So, currently, I'm doing the PK Protocol, which I've been doing since -- It's been a little bit over a year now. I started last summer. And that's the IV and supplement and diet regimen that I've been doing through a functional medicine doctor in New York. And that's pretty much taken me out of the loop of going nowhere that's really easy to get in with Chronic Lyme disease.

Christopher:    Yeah. So that's what the guest post that you wrote for us was about, the PK Protocol. I've read the article several times and it's beautifully written and you are a really good writer. I spent some time in your site this morning. I wish I had your writing skills. I'm quite jealous.

Gabriella:    Thank you.

Christopher:    But why don't you tell us about the PK Protocol? Without getting into too many technical details, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

Gabriella:    Sure. So, I mean, the reason I got into it was because, like I said, I was in this never ending cycle of not just going anywhere. None of the supplements or treatments I've been doing, they weren't doing anything. My body just kept hitting the brick wall. So my functional medicine doctor referred me to PK Protocol because it addresses the body at a cellular level. So pretty much, I mean, it's used for a wide variety of illnesses from different, mainly for neurological diseases, I believe, and like autism, I believe, and Alzheimer's and all those different things.

    But so, I'm doing it because ultimately it addresses the body at a cellular level and through the testing that they do, through the BodyBio lab, they can tell the state of your cells and what they're deficient in and what they need to be restored properly so that the rest of your body can then function or begin to function at least.

Christopher:    Yeah, that's fantastic. I'm a huge believer in that. I think the cellular biology is super important. If you can make each and every cell happy, so that means it has the right hydration and it has the right PH, it has enough of the fat carbohydrate and protein to make energy and it has oxygen, which is kind of a big one. Then you make happy cells and you make happy tissue and when you have happy tissue you have organs. And when you have happy organs, then the whole body -- You can just start from the bottom and work your way up.

    The thing that's interesting about it is the testing. It's not in some cases that difficult to test with some of the individual things that make cells happy that I just talked about. So the PK Protocol then, you would recommend it then for anyone suffering Chronic Lyme?

Gabriella:    I would, yeah. I wouldn't say -- Well, some people have reached -- I mean, the article that I wrote for you, I get emails all the time of people asking, "Do you know a doctor here?" Or, "Can you refer me to someone?" I'm like, oh my goodness. It's crazy the amount of people. But it doesn't -- So going into this, my doctor told me -- Like I still battle different toe infections, which she was like, "We're not going to tackle those with antibiotics because that will totally take away the benefits of the protocol." So, it doesn't necessarily address -- If you have an active infection, it doesn't necessarily address the infection head on with killing it. It's more about restoring the body so that it can naturally fight it off. But I would still recommend it.

Christopher:    Okay. So it's not about killing spirochaete. You shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that's what this is. But tell me about how the autoimmune protocol has fitted into this, the autoimmune Paleo protocol. I think most people listening to this interview will know what that is. But just in case you don't, the Paleo diet where you're eliminating grains and sugars and, what else, wheat and dairy and corn.


    I guess those are grains. But the autoimmune protocol goes further and it says no nuts or seeds or nightshades or spices or eggs, which can be quite difficult for some people to implement. But it does get great results. And I've seen it a number of times now. So, how does -- I know you've been -- Most of the recipes in your blog are AIP. How does that fit into all this?

Gabriella:    So, AIP is something I came to before the PK Protocol. I've been adjusting the diet portion of everything since the beginning since GI symptoms were one of the first major things that was wrong with me. I came to Paleo and I figured out that nightshades, eggs, all those things, they severely spiked my inflammation and my gut issues. So I went on the protocol and it's something that I still do. For the most part, I've been able to reintroduce certain foods like right now I'm working on reintroducing egg yolks, which I believe is a success. But I won't speak too quickly.

    And then different things like mustard. So I added that to what I'm doing with the PK Protocol because the PK Protocol is definitely a lot lower carb and high emphasis on a lot of fat more than a typical AIP or Paleo diet. And I was hesitant to totally abandon AIP because it kept my inflammation level significantly lower. So even though it was difficult I decided to fuse both of them together because I found that that's what fit my body best. I mean, that's what I'm doing right now.

    Eventually, I don't know which one I'll lean more towards as my body heals but ultimately I'm using it to heal my gut because the PK Protocol, I have not found that it has directly influenced the state of gut. I feel like how I eat affects it more than the supplements and the IVs. So that's pretty much the main reason why I'm doing it, is to heal my gut.

Christopher:    Okay. So, I didn't realize this. So the PK Protocol is not just the intravenous infusions. It also has a diet and talks about other things that you should be doing in order to heal.

Gabriella:    Yes. So Patricia Kane, Dr. Patricia Kane, the woman doctor behind the whole protocol in the US, she -- See, there isn't a lot of information online about this. I've only learned certain stuff through the papers my doctor has given me or what she has talked to Dr. Patricia Kane about. So it's definitely -- I mean, I probably eat more ketogenic than a typical person if they were on a specific PK Protocol diet. But that's simply because before I came to the protocol I wasn't eating legumes, I wasn't eating berries because of parasites. So, different things like that.

    But the overall just is it's Paleo minus certain foods that are higher in sugar and no natural sugars like maple syrup and honey and it's just really high fat because based on your blood work they tell you what fatty acids you're deficient in and which ones you need to pretty much stock up on in food sources.

Christopher:    How interesting.

Gabriella:    Yeah. I mean, I get emails and people are like, "So, what is the PK Protocol diet. I've never really seen anything on it." Or, "My doctor hasn't even told me there's a specific diet." But if I were to, I would call it Paleo. In overall picture, it's Paleo. But then I believe certain doctors emphasize the low carb high fat aspect of it more than others.

Christopher:    Okay. When you say you saw a reduction in your inflammation when you switched on to the autoimmune protocol, did you have specific symptoms or what was this marker you saw in some of the testing that you were doing?

Gabriella:    I based it off of symptoms. Like if I eat nightshades, I get this weird pain all down the side of my legs and joints that just is like my legs are on fire. And then different things, of course, nuts and seeds and eggs, they all cause significant GI distress and distension. And different things like that. And headaches. Joint pain is another big symptom of mine. So that was one or that is still one huge marker of not eating those certain foods.


Christopher:    And then what difference did it make then? So if you saw a reduction in those symptoms, did it enable you to get back to school work or be more active? What did it enable you to do on the AIP diet?

Gabriella:    Yeah. I mean, it's enabled me to do -- It's pretty much it enabled me to cope, first of all, like just cope with my symptoms that no doctor could really address so I had to address them personally. And it's helped me become a lot stronger and give me a lot more stamina in the things I do because if I go off and eat something like that's not on AIP, it will just increase my symptoms to the point where I'm in too much pain to do something. So I might be in too much pain to like focus on my school work or go to an appointment that I need to, those sorts of things. So it's really just helped me live day to day life and be able to get the most out of it instead of adding symptoms.

Christopher:    That's pretty amazing, isn't it, when you think about it. You got to eat something. If you eat this, then you get this result. Pretty incredible. Okay. So now we're super confusing people here now. So we talked about the autoimmune protocol, which is a certain type of the Paleo diet. We talked about the PK Protocol that does have a diet component that is not well known. And then also you mentioned a high fat ketogenic intervention, which might also be helpful. So tell me about that. Have you been eating a ketogenic diet?

Gabriella:    I guess, how have I or have I done it?

Christopher:    No, have you? So you've been staying high fat ketogenic as well as AIP?

Gabriella:    Yes.

Christopher:    Yes?

Gabriella:    Yes. So I know carbs are like a big controversy.

Christopher:    Yeah. You're going to get shut down in flames for this.

Gabriella:    So one thing even while following AIP and all my different protocols, one major aspect that no one could ever figure out was weight gain. I couldn't keep a steady weight. I just continually lost weight even with all the carbs and starchy vegetables. And I'm not even talking about fat here. I'm just talking about muscle mass. I could not keep anything. I pretty much average around 100 or a little lower. So that was a major issue coming to the PK Protocol.

    And so she was like, "Oh, your fatty acids, your cells are so deficient in this certain fats. You really need to cut out sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, those kinds of foods, and just like put fat on everything." And it's funny because people are like, "Well, ketogenic, it makes you lose weight." And then there's the other people that are like, "Oh, fat will make you fat." But it's really what the ketogenic diet did for me and cutting out those starchy vegetables from AIP and adding the amount of fat is it really brought my body up to its ideal weight.

    I mean, a year later, I'm normal weight again, what I was before I got sick. It restored my fatty acid profile. And it's really -- It's worked incredibly for me. I still eat that way and unlike what some people think I'm not continuing to gain weight. I've kind of reached this spot that was my body's normal level and that's where I am.

Christopher:    That's really interesting, isn't it, because you're right most people think of a high fat ketogenic diet as the best way to lose weight. And I would agree. But in your instance, you returned to a more normal set point which was to gain weight. It's interesting.

Gabriella:    Yeah. And nothing else could ever do it before.

Christopher:    You mentioned a neurologist and I know it's neurological Lyme that you had or have. Do you think being in ketosis has been helpful for that?

Gabriella:    I think so. I mean, pretty much now I can -- Yeah, my brain just loves the fat. That's the simplest way to say it. And, I mean, my mom, everyone in my family is like getting on board with me and they'll be like, "Oh, I need my fat to fuel my brain and my body." But it definitely, I believe it definitely has helped. My neurological symptoms are, I mean, I don't even know if I have them 5% of the time anymore. So that's huge. That's been a big component in being able to go to college.

Christopher:    That's awesome. That's another life changing experience. So how do you know? Are you tracking blood ketones or using one of those breath meters or do you just think it's a ketogenic diet?

Gabriella:    So, I'm currently not tracking it, which is something my doctors are like, "Oh, Gabie, you need to track them." And I think I should as well. But I'm currently not.


Christopher:    I know. I tracked it religiously for a while and then I sort of gave up. I thought, "Oh god, it was so hard to get into ketosis. I'm sure that if I tested again now, I'd probably be nowhere near." And I was. I was in ketosis. It was--

Gabriella:    Right.

Christopher:    Yeah. I think once you establish a new normal way of eating, it's actually quite hard to get out of that rut. Unless something really crazy has changed, I don't think the blood markers will have changed much either.

Gabriella:    No. And I've made sure that I educate myself enough on it so that I understand there's this gray area, if you're feeling awful you're obviously not in ketosis and all that kind of stuff.

Christopher:    And then so tell me about the Primal Blueprint Certification. I was really excited to ask you about that. You did the certification, right?

Gabriella:    Yes, I did. I did it before I jumped into college work. So it was last fall into the spring, I think, early spring. But it was great. I loved every second of it.

Christopher:    Okay. So for the people that don't know, the Primal Blueprint Certification is Mark Sisson's training course. So what's included? I don't know anything about it really.

Gabriella:    So it's a lot of -- I mean, I liked how science oriented it was because going into it I was kind of, "Oh, am I just going to learn information that I can learn by reading articles online?" But it definitely went a lot deeper and it was pretty much -- I mean, when you say diet lifestyle and movement, not necessarily exercise but movement, it covered all those topics in about, I don't know, I think it might have been 13 chapters.

    And it also goes into -- Like if you have a practice of your own, how to implement what you learn to your clients. So I mean, it really just went through -- I mean, it went through comparing -- First it starts off with our ancestors and everything back in the day and how it's kind of like shaped us to who we are now and how -- And it just applied the diet aspect, the exercise aspect and lifestyle aspect and compared it to that, I mean, the modern world and what's changed and then really what our bodies or how they're made to live and how they're made to be fueled.

Christopher:    And has it changed anything for you personally? Did you change any of your diet and lifestyle after doing the course?

Gabriella:    It really just supported and kind of helped me realized that what I'm doing really is working and worth it in the long term. There was a chapter on sleep and how it went down to total, the process of all your hormones and just everything that happens and all those sleep cycles. So it really just helped me learn at a much deeper level and really take it seriously and I'd just be like, "Oh, yeah, I need a lot of sleep to get better." So those kinds of things really just helped me hold on to them even stronger and, I mean, and have hope really for healing.

Christopher:    Right. Of course. I guess, the purpose of the certification is to help you help others. I couldn't help wondering whether you have been able to or have any plans to help other people.

Gabriella:    So right now, I haven't really used it outside of writing articles, online blogs based off of what I learned. But it's definitely something that I'll take with me in the future because, I mean, ultimately I plan or my dream is to have my own business of some sort that has the medical aspect with the food aspect and to help other people. I'm not sure. I mean, I would love to help other people with chronic Lyme or just people in general.

    So it was kind of like I was looking at a bunch of different nutrition certification courses and I was like I don't know if I really want to do those because I don't know if it's going to really push me into what I'm going to do through college. That's why I came to it because I thought it was the perfect starting point to do a course like that to really -- First to see if it's really what I wanted to do in my future and also just, I mean, just as a starting point.


Christopher:    I'm really interested to know where you go next for this. So you mentioned that you just started an online college. What courses are you taking right now?

Gabriella:    Right now, I'm just taking general education courses but this -- So, I mean, right now it's public speaking and English literature, interpreting English, nothing too serious. I'm just getting used to -- Because I've only ever done one course at a time with being sick, so right now I'm taking two and then I'm going to continue to add more. But ultimately, once I'm well enough, I really want to go -- Well, at least I think I want to go to med school.

Christopher:    Oh, wow. How exciting.

Gabriella:    Yeah. That's kind of my goal.

Christopher:    What's it like -- So you just turned 19, am I right in thinking that?

Gabriella:    Yeah.

Christopher:    Happy birthday. It wasn't that long ago, was it? I saw it on your website.

Gabriella:    Thank you.

Christopher:    How do you think you compare to other 19-year old girls and what do you think when you see -- I live in a suburban town called Scotts Valley in California and I see the kids on the way to school with their Starbucks drink, those things that come in like a plastic cup with a plastic dome on the top. And then underneath the plastic dome, there's a thousand calories of hydrogenated fats whipped up into a frenzy with some sort of weird fructose syrup thing on the top. So, I mean, what do you think when you see people eating things like that?

Gabriella:    Well, first, I'm like, wow, I can't believe the human body is so skilled. Not everyone is as sick as I am because they can bounce back from it. When I look at other girls my age -- Actually, I try not to look. Unless they're my close friend. Which if they're my close friend, they usually are into some sort of food aspect or eat Paleo or something. When I see other girls, I don't know, I mean, at first, I guess, I was kind of comparing something that dragged me down.

    But now, I look at them and, I don't know, I don't really -- I mean, obviously, there might be a big difference in the way I eat and what I want to do with my life. And when I see a Frappuccino from Starbucks, I'm like, "Oh my gosh." It's just like everything runs through my head about what's in that, what it's going to do in their body. But then I'm just like, "Oh, well, I'll go eat my organ meat and be okay."

Christopher:    You're not really being deprived. The only thing I think eating this way is -- Look at the pictures on your blog. Like it's still fantastic food. I'm sure it tastes amazing. It's just the preparation time. You have to put so much more effort into shopping and cooking to get that end result than you do if you just into Starbucks and buy the Frappuccino. But I'm just wondering how many of your peers know about the blog and know what you've been doing and the types of results that you've been getting, what are their effect. Who do you think the average person is that read you blog that understands what you do?

Gabriella:    I'm not sure a lot of -- I mean, not a lot of kids my age read it. The ones that do, the girls who are my age, they usually reach out to me which I love hearing from them and getting to know them and all that. But I would say it's probably like people my parents' age or a little younger. And then as far as people around where I live, it's definitely just family, friends. They might not see me for a month but when they see me the next month, they're kind of like, "Wow. I see that you've made progress even if you don't feel like it at all." But I think it's kind of like -- It's not teenagers. It's kind of like in between, I feel like, is who reads my blog and makes recipes from it and kind of gets what I'm doing.

Christopher:    I worry about my daughter who I just mentioned before you went on to this call. She's two. You would be a fantastic role model for her and I wonder whether she could be influenced by that kind of blogging in the future. But I don't really know. What do you think? Is it realistic for a young girl to be influenced by blogs or do you think that people don't read blogs until they get to a certain age?

Gabriella:    I mean, depends what you're surrounded by. I knew about blogs and started reading them when I was like 11, 12. So, I mean, it seems like she's in an atmosphere where food and lifestyle is a big aspect and like I see photos of what your wife feeds her and I'm like, "This is awesome."

Christopher:    I just wondered because you have this incredibly powerful motivator in the Chronic Lyme to force you almost into this way of eating and the lifestyle that goes with it.


    And I worry that if you've never had anything wrong with you and why would you care? She's just going to get to the point where can realize that she's able to make her own choices and does not have any reason to just eat anything.

Gabriella:    I also feel like the blogging world has definitely got a lot bigger. Even in the past two years, it's really grown. I think she could be influenced in a positive way.

Christopher:    I hope so.

Gabriella:    Yes.

Christopher:    We need more people like you.

Gabriella:    Especially with all the social media. I mean, it's out there.

Christopher:    Yeah, it's so easy to reach people now. What do you think is -- With Chronic Lyme, I always wonder why is it that some people just like -- So I've got friends that ride mountain bikes and they get bitten by ticks all the time and they get a bull's eye rash, all of that. And they go to the doctor and the doctor just gives them some antibiotics and that's the end of it. They don't even think about it ever again and they don't get sick and they keep winning bike races and it's just an absolute no brainer.

    For other people, it's this completely debilitating chronic illness. You've just told me about all the diet and lifestyle interventions that you've made that's made a huge difference. What do you think might be the difference between these two groups of people?

Gabriella:    Well, first of all, that they found it right away. I mean, that makes a huge -- The fact that their immune system responded and gave them a bull's eye rash is big. Because, I mean, I never even had a rash. I know a lot of the people I know that have Chronic Lyme disease, they never have rash. And it kind of just went dormant in their body until years later when it decides to rear its ugly head. That's a big component.

    Otherwise, it still strikes me funny because I know people that will hunt and get a bunch of tick bites and they're fine. But, I mean, I can't help but wonder if it's really going to, like if it will come back in their later years in the form of some other illness or condition. So, I mean, you can't know that because it's the future. But my neurologist, he believes that it has to do with your genetic makeup. And then the type of -- Like if you get bit by a borrelia or if it's borrelia and a bunch of cone infections, just like how your body reacts. I mean, I don't really know an exact answer to that question.

Christopher:    Yeah, of course. It's ridiculously difficult question. But I just wonder whether some people, they're already immunocompromised or maybe they're sensitive to gluten or they've got three other things going on already. And then they get bitten by a tick. I've been reading this fascinating book by Stephen Buhner that's called Healing Lyme and I'll link to that on the show notes as well. Yeah, who knows? Some people, like you say, they never see the bull's eye rash. And he talks about the cone infections, which is a really interesting book. Was it just the one spirochaete that you've had trouble with or had there been other cone infections and parasites also?

Gabriella:    Parasites have been a chronic issue, which is something I'm still trying to get a hold of. And the cone infection that was -- Or it hasn't really flared up too much lately. But the main one for me is bartonella, which we never officially diagnosed through testing but I would get the rashes up my abdomen so it was kind of obvious what it was. And then, I mean, I struggled with a little bit with babesia but bartonella parasites are the main ones that I showed with.

Christopher:    Okay. And then have you taken any herbs or anything to treat those?

Gabriella:    Yes. I did. Well, currently, I'm not taking anything for the bartonella. I did an extensive herbal protocol with my functional medicine doctor about a year and a half ago. And that was really intense. I haven't gotten any treatment since then to directly address it because I went on a PK Protocol. But the parasites, I did with him also. And then it kind of got pushed to the backburner because other things I was dealing with were not being fixed. And so that's initially when I went on the PK Protocol.

    We're hoping that it would kill off or support my body enough that I could get rid of the parasites but not so much. That's actually what we're currently focusing on right now, is the parasites and getting treatment. So I'm not on any herbs now but I hope to be at least in the next month or so.


Christopher:    Interesting. And then what's the state of the testing like? I'm kind of interested to know. We do some stool testing and urine organic acid in our practice and I'm just wondering what sort of testing you've done and how helpful that's been.

Gabriella:    For the parasites?

Christopher:    Yeah. For all of it. Yeah, I'm kind of interested. Because I think one of the problems with Lyme has always been that it's not that easy to test with the spirochaete. But, I mean, also the cone infections. So what kind of testing have you done and how helpful has it been?

Gabriella:    Well, initially, I did -- I mean, of course, starting way back when I did the standard western blot, which I don't remember what my results were. That's one where it doesn't even test the bands that Lyme is known to be on in the blood and to affect. So that's like really not helpful usually unless it's a super active infection. The other tests, I really don't know the name because it's my neurologist, he created his own test for a hospital.

    I want to say in somewhere in Connecticut and in New York. I would have to pull it up to know the name. I don't want to say the wrong hospital. So that's who initially found my Lyme. And then I know that my functional medicine doctor has tested for cone infections. He never found anything through those. But as far as parasites, there's a doctor, Dr. Kazlow in New York City is who does the parasite swabbing and then he looks at the slides right there. He doesn't send it off to anyone.

    So, yeah, he's crazy awesome. He's actually who I just saw again to get a positive -- That I got positive parasite test back from. But then my functional medicine doctor, he'll do the Genova stool and parasite testing. And then recently he had me do the uBiome one. That kit, which I haven't gotten my results back yet from. But that one and I can't recall the name of the other ones but I've done a lot through Genova, it seems like.

Christopher:    Okay. Yeah, it's interesting. The Genova stool test is quite novel in that it uses PCR DNA analysis. But in my experience, I've run about 30 of them at one time in our practice and they never found any parasites at all. I think it's a bit suspect actually, the parasitology on that test. I've seen a lot more positive results on the doctor's data and then also the BioHealth stool test. They're very, very specific, these tests. So if the microbiologist has really seen giardia in the sample, then he's not lying. It's really there. There's no false positives. But there's a good chance of false negative. It's tricky but--

Gabriella:    That's very tricky.

Christopher:    Yeah. And I wonder like have you ever done any urine organic acid testing?

Gabriella:    Oh, man.

Christopher:    It would be a test you don't know?

Gabriella:    I haven't recently. It would have been something that I did back when I had super bad brain fog and I just don't remember.

Christopher:    I was just wondering because in Stephen Buhner's book he talks about quinolinic acid, which is a neurotoxin in Lyme disease. I thought, "Wait, quinolinic acid? I know that. It's on our organic acid test." And I looked and sure enough it is. It's a metabolite of the kynurenine pathway. You start off tryptophan.

Gabriella:    You know what, I'm sure my doctor, my PK Protocol doctor has done it then.

Christopher:    So I was just wondering whether you'd seen an elevation of quinolinic acid on that test.

Gabriella:    I would have to pull something up but I don't have it on my computer, but I'm sure because they test all of that. Like it's so extensive.

Christopher:    Excellent. Well, this has been fascinating conversation. Thank you so much. What would be your advice then if you had any advice for somebody that's just been diagnosed with Lyme? What would you do? Would you tell him to take probiotics or switch to a Paleo diet or maybe nothing at all? What would you say?

Gabriella:    Well, I would definitely say, now that I've gone through it all and gone through all the changes in my diet and see how it's helped me and see how far back it pushed me not eating Paleo, how it compromised my body even more and created these additional issues, I would definitely say start eating Paleo. Because not everyone is affected in the gut with Lyme. Sometimes it's only neurological. And they're like, "Well, how could this really help me because my gut is fine?" But it really does make a difference. Yeah, I would definitely say play around with the diet aspect.


    And, I mean, I always say be your own advocate. If you get a negative test, don't get discouraged. Don't stop pursuing a diagnosis.

Christopher:    That's great advice. I think that's great advice for a number of different conditions, I think. Just keep doing that investigation. Keep digging. You will get answers if you keep looking. It's only when you give up -- if you give up, it's like, okay, well, you're definitely not going to get an answer now.

Gabriella:    Right.

Christopher:    Well, this has been fantastic. So can you tell us more? So, -- I will link to that -- is your website. Is there anything else you'd like people to know about or any place they can come and find you?

Gabriella:    Well, I mean, I'm all over Instagram, Facebook.

Christopher:    Your Instagram account is great.

Gabriella:    Thank you. That is beyondthebite4life as well, the name of my website. And that's where I primarily am. They can always email me with questions if they have any. Also, I have this little tight knit community that I created, probably about less than six months ago, for those with Chronic Lyme. It's a little community where we can encourage each other or give each other resources or anything like that. That's called Beyond the Bite Community. So, if anyone was interested in that or had any questions about that.

Christopher:    Fantastic. Okay, that's brilliant. Well, thank you so much, Gabriella. I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

Gabriella:    Thank you for having me.

Christopher:    Okay. Cheers then. Bye.

Gabriella:    Bye.

[0:41:42]    End of Audio

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