Dec. 18, 2015
Gas, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, reflux. Modern allopathic medicine still does more harm than good for these common and chronic health complaints. I often think about what my life might be like now if I’d listened to my gastroenterologist and written off diet, lifestyle and infections as a potential cause of my gut issues. I wonder if by now I’d still be taking anti-inflammatory steroids or if I would have gotten to the point where I needed surgery.
A better solution was to take a deep dive into gut testing to uncover the root causes underlying my bloating and diarrhoea. Stool testing allowed me to find amoebic and pinworm infections, urinary organic acids showed yeast overgrowth. Together with some diet and lifestyle changes these problems were treatable with botanical herbs and with just one prescription medicine.
My guest today is physician, researcher, author, critical thinker, educator and health enthusiast Dr. Michael Ruscio. Michael is a functional medicine practitioner who emphasizes nutritional and lifestyle solutions to the types of problems described above. He runs a busy practice in Walnut Creek, California where he spends two days a week seeing patients and three days researching and writing. Together with a small team of researchers, Michael is in a unique position to help people through his experience both as a practitioner and researcher. Best of all, he’s willing to divulge all his trade secrets on my podcast!
This interview might not be the best place to start if you’re new to the idea of functional medicine and testing. If that’s you then I’d highly recommend listening to some of the early episodes of Michael’s podcast. In this interview, Michael and I go in some technical details of SIBO and other infections like Blastocystis hominis, Yersinia, Toxoplasmosis and Epstein-Barr.
We also talk about how some of these infections might interfere with vitamin D metabolism, either by interfering with the vitamin D receptor, or perhaps increasing conversion of 25-OH D to 1,25-OH D. As a result, we're seeing low levels of 25-OH D on a blood test, but that's because it's all been activated, which is potentially immunosuppressive. There's also some evidence that inflammation (certain inflammatory cytokines) upregulates the enzyme CYP27B1, which creates 1,25-OH D.
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