#295 Evan Brand and Keith Norris on Conventional Medicine's Blind Spot


This interview was part of the health summit put on by my friend Keith Norris, the founder of PaleoFX. You can checkout the full summit interview list here:

Today We Discuss:

  1. Missing piece in the conventional, Western approach to medicine

  2. Therapeutic / symbiotic relationship between humans, parasites and worms 

  3. Why stomach acid level is vitally important!

Traditional Medicine’s Blind Spot

Guest: Evan Brand

The contents of this presentation are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This presentation does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Keith: What’s up, everybody? Keith Norris back again, co-founder of Paleo f(x) and your host for Health Hacker f(x): The Insider’s Guide to Biohacking Genetics and Personalized Medicine. And today’s episode, Mr. Evan Brand!

Evan is a podcast host, certified functional medicine practitioner, and nutritional therapist. He’s passionate about healing the chronic fatigue, obesity, and depression epidemics after solving his own IBS and depression issues. He uses at-home lab testing and customized supplement programs to find and fix the root cause of a wide range of health systems.

Evan Brand, how are you doing today, sir?!
Evan: Hey, Keith! Good morning! I’m doing awesome.

Keith: Right on! Evan and I go back a little bit, I think way back to the second Paleo f(x). It’s about that far, I think. Yeah.

Evan: It was. I put together a little stress panel, which you and your wife graciously approved. And we had Nora Gedgaudas on stage, and Ben Greenfield with us. And we had fun, man! I loved it. The room was packed. Everyone was starting to realize...This was before smartphones were as addicting as they are now. And people were still already addicted to their phones. But they were stressed. And I knew that something was going to continue to get worse, like technology. I mean, it’s good, but bad. So a lot of people resonated with that conversation. People think of stress as just emotional stress. But it’s so many other things. And I’m sure we’re going to hit on that. And I’ll make sure to tie that in to today’s conversation, too.

Keith: Right. Well, technology, social media, stress in general, like everything, there’s a yin and yang to it all. There’s a good and a bad. There’s good stress. There’s bad stress. There’s good aspects of social, bad aspects of social media. It’s funny. I was just listening to the Elon Musk interview with Joe Rogan. And he was talking about how he has issues with social media. And you tend to think of people like Elon Musk being above it all and beyond all that. And he still says that he gets sucked in to negative Twitter comments.

Evan: Right! I listened to that interview, as well. That’s part of the reason he deleted his Instagram account. He said because the people you see on there, they portray their life as if they’re so happy. But those are the most miserable people. And the people who don’t post much or don’t act like they’re happy, those could be the happiest people.

Yeah, I’m a big fan of Elon. I drive a Tesla. I love it. It’s the greatest car in the world so I highly recommend people do it if you can because one of the things that I do with my clients is I test for toxic chemicals. And most of the people I test, they’re off the charts. And I was off the charts, which is why I finally said, “I’m pulling the plug on fossil fuels.”

I test a chemical that’s called MTBE and ETBE. These are gasoline additives, which we added to gas to improve the octane ratings. And this is something we added after we removed led from gasoline. And it’s a neurotoxin. So it kills brain cells. It’s a hepatotoxin. So it can really, really affect a lot of body systems.

My levels were off the charts. I had a lawn care business when I was a teenager. So I’m sure I was breathing in more gas than the average person. But every time you go to the gas station and you’re pumping gas, you’re breathing that stuff in. And if you accidentally get a drip of it on your hand, that stuff dissolves into the bloodstream.

I’ve got a video. One day I’m going to do a YouTube video with it. I just haven’t yet. But I’ve got a video of me back in 2016, my last gas pump when I had my Honda Accord. I was like, “Okay, guys. This is it. This is the last time I’ll ever pump gas.”

So I always push people, even if you get a Nissan Leaf, those are even on the market now used for so cheap. And that’s just one less toxin in your bucket, if you can avoid gas. And I tell women, too, get your husband to pump it because women generally are smaller. And so toxins affect women generally more than men.

So the only thing I don’t like that Elon’s doing—which maybe we’ll get into today—is the wireless internet program, where he’s hoping to put 7,000 satellites up in space and beam a 5G signal down to the planet. I just feel like we should probably try to study this a bit first before we just go gung ho into it.

Keith: Right. That might bake a few people.

Evan: So I have a client up in Seattle. And as soon as the 5G is rolling out in Austin...It’s rolling out in Seattle...It’s rolling out in Chicago, L.A., New York City, a few other places, Miami. I had a lady who got one of the small cell towers, which are the new technology they have to implement usually every 3 to 4 houses for the 5G speeds so you can download a YouTube video in 1 second, and as soon as that little tower got installed, she started losing clumps of hair. She sent me a picture. She’s like, “I just lost this clump of hair. I’ve never had this happen in my entire life.”

And, now, we can’t say correlation is causation, but I’m having a lot of people in these big cities that didn’t have X, Y, Z symptom. And then all of a sudden the 5G is rolled out, and they had this new symptom. So I just feel like we want to study stuff a little bit better. There was no long-term studies on Wi-Fi even before we fully put that in every Starbucks and Whole Foods and everywhere else.

Keith: And it’s hard to place blame on any one thing because it’s all a problem: vaccines, 5G, every additive in gasoline. You could just go down the list, down the list, down the list, down the list. And it’s a cumulative issue. And finally each individual system hits that tripping point where it’s, okay, so maybe for you the 5G was the last straw, boom, on the camel’s back, and that cracked it?

And was it the 5G? Yeah, the 5G. But it was also the 50,000 other things that added up to that point to where you were right on the precipice. And that was just the final pfft.

Evan: Yeah. I think of it like a bucket, too. Everything is a drop in the bucket. It’s like, you eat one non-organic meal. You go out to a restaurant. You ate a

conventional meal. And you get some toxins. So, okay, maybe that’s not going to destroy you. But now we know even parts per billion of glyphosate can kill your good bacteria in your gut.

So I tell people it’s not that I want you to be neurotic and just be so focused on health that you become miserable because you can definitely do that. But you just want to try to uncover as many things as you can. You want to flip over as many rocks as you can. And then, “Okay, I can fix this. I’m going to go organic. I can filter this water and avoid pharmaceutical drugs. I can not pump gas or have my husband do it or try to get an electric car. Or I can buy an electric lawn mower.”

I’ve got an electric push mower. Now I’ve got quite a bit of grass. So that doesn’t cut it anymore. But I did have an electric riding mower, but then I realized it took me 5 hours to cut it. So then I just hired somebody else to do it.

Keith: Good plan. Yeah. Where was I going to go with that. I had the total question I was going to ask, and you brought up the lawn mower. And it totally slipped my mind. So I’ve got other things I’m thinking about here.

Let’s talk about your own IBS and depression issues. So when did you notice them? And when did you figure out a fix for them?

Evan: So I had issues as long as I can remember as a kid. But I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal to go into a building or a restaurant and have to figure out exactly where the bathroom was as soon as you go in in case you’ve got to go run and poop out of nowhere. I thought, Okay, everybody’s got to figure out where the bathroom is.

But for me, as a kid, that’s just what I had to do. And that even went into high school and went into college where I was in business school for a few years...A waste of time, by the way. It doesn’t teach you anything about running a business. But what I discovered is that it’s not normal to run into a building and have to figure out where the bathroom is. Nobody was doing that.

And long story short, I went to the conventional doctors. They diagnosed me with IBS, which is an idiopathic diagnosis, meaning the word idiot is kind of programmed into that, meaning, “We don’t have a clue what it is. But something’s wrong. And what we can do for you is give you antispasmodic drugs. And we can give you drugs to try to regulate the speed of your gut motility so you either slow it down or speed it up, depending on whether you’re IBS-D dominant like diarrhea, or whether you’re constipation dominant.” For me it was diarrhea dominant.

And it took many, many years of investigation. I did go paleo. That was like my first step into the health field was getting rid of gluten, getting rid of dairy. I probably got 80% better with all my symptoms across the board: mental health, physical health, my sleep, my skin. I had acne issues. My gut was better but still not perfect.

And then eventually had to seek out functional medicine and find out that I had infections in my gut. So I had H. pylori, which is a common bacterial infection. Over 50% of the population has it. Some people can live and not have many symptoms from it. But in my case, I did have symptoms: indigestion, heartburn, some bloating, skin issues, depression issues.

I’ve seen a lot of mental health issues come from the gut. I would say it’s the biggest, biggest source of issues. If I were to take someone that has an anxiety or depression, suicide type issue, look at their gut, I guarantee they’ve got infections. Tested my stool, I showed up with giardia and cryptosporidium, which I believe I got from Barton Springs because I was swimming like every weekend at Barton Springs, sucking down that water. And we know that a lot of fresh water—in fact, the majority of fresh water sources—are contaminated with parasites like giardia and crypto.

Now, I had issues long before I moved to Austin. I was there for a couple years. But I think that was, as you said, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I probably picked up so many infections that I just couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I was having insomnia. I lost 25 pounds in about 6 months without trying. And I was pretty ripped for a while. I’m 5’10”. I was about 170 pounds, pretty strong. And I got down to about 130, 135. And I did nothing. I didn’t change my diet. I didn’t change anything.

And so once I found all those infections, of course, just to quickly compare and contrast, the conventional gastro docs, if they even knew how to run or read the testing we were using, they would have prescribed anti-parasitic pharmaceuticals. But instead I chose to go the herbal route and do things like wormwood and black walnut, berberines and oregano oils and olive leaf and stuff like that to address the bacterial overgrowth and to address the parasites.

And it took a good 3 or 4 rounds of me testing and retreating, testing, retreating to finally clear out all the bugs. And the one indictor that I always tell people to look at is your fingernails. And that was one of the first signs something was off was I had these vertical lines, these vertical ridges on the fingernail. And if you’ve got malabsorption, that’s what’s going to happen. You’re not going to manufacture the nails properly. And you can even feel the ridging if it’s extreme. And if you see those vertical lines, you know something is off in the gut. That was the indicator, and then, of course, the weight loss.

So do I ever still get gut issues? Maybe if I go off the rails. Do I ever get depressed? The world’s got a lot going on. So I think there’s a lot that you could be depressed about. So I’m not going to say I’m just happy go lucky every day. I try to think of depression as a symptom rather than a disease that requires a pharmaceutical drug to treat it.

So if something is off with my gut, it would make sense that you have depression because you’re not manufacturing neurotransmitters. But from a worldview, the world depressing you, that’s completely different than a gut- induced depression.

Keith: Well, I think, too, people who have never been...And I’ve never been depressed, so this is my point of view, too—but in talking with Mikhaila Peterson, she brought up depressive issues. And she goes, “I’m not talking about being depressed like kind of bummed out, just like, ‘This sucks. That sucks. And then later today, I’ll get over it.’”

She’s like, “This is like crawl in bed. Pull the blanket over your head. Hope that the world just goes away or you go away, one.” She said it is just this impending doom and gloom and anxiousness that something horrible is going to happen, even though there’s no outward sign of something horrible going to happen.

And that’s a totally different thing than somebody being temporarily set back or bummed out about something temporarily. Everybody goes through that. And I think depression is a hard hit, man.

Evan: It is. And I wasn’t to the point where I was like wanting to crawl into a hole. But I would describe it maybe a little less severe. And it was more for me like a cloud was over my head, almost like a governor on a golf cart, how you can floor that golf cart, but it’s only going to let you get up to a certain speed. It was like I had a governor on my happiness.

So good things could happen, but I couldn’t get up to that high level of elation or bliss. It was like I had to stop 3⁄4 of the way up the happy scale. And then once you fix the gut issues, then the governor’s removed. And now I can experience peak emotions, which is great.

Keith: Now, at this time were you working with a functional medicine doc? Or were you fielding this all on your own?

Evan: I wasn’t. I was just doing this all on my own. I had a buddy named Dr. Justin Marchegiani, who I know he spoke at your events, too. He’s a good buddy of mine. He was the guy who first looked at me. He goes, “Evan, you probably need to test your gut.” And I was like, “Well, I’ve looked at my gut before.” And he’s like, “Well, look at it again.” And that’s when I got the stool test. And that’s when I saw the H. pylori and the crypto, the giardia. It was a triple whammy.

And I had a bunch of candida and bacterial overgrowth going on, too. So it was probably a good 7 or 8 different infections going on at the same time. And that was all stealing my nutrients. So people are like, “Okay, what’s the mechanism? Why?” Well, it’s because it’s robbing you of your nutrition. And H. pylori, it damages your parietal cells in your gut.

So then you don’t secrete stomach acid. So your paleo diet or your ketogenic diet doesn’t work as much because now you can’t digest your grass-fed steak. And when that happens, your marker called steatocrit goes up, which is your fecal fat marker. And I was over 20%, meaning I was hardly digesting my fats at all. So no matter how hard I pounded the fats, it didn’t matter because I couldn’t digest them. So I really had to up the gallbladders. I really had to up the acid and enzymes.

And then you had to fix the infection. Why was the gallbladder not doing what it was doing in the first place? And part of it is because parasites like giardia can actually go up into your bile ducts and affect the gallbladder. So if you just type in, just go in PubMed. Just Google giardia gallbladder, this was documented even back in the 1940s that parasites can do this.

So I actually had a gallbladder attack when I was doing my protocol because I wasn’t aware of how important it was to use bile acids to keep the bile flowing thin. I thought I was dying. I was curled up in the fetal position on the ground after using herbs to kill the infections.

And so to prevent that, you make sure you use a lot of good liver and gallbladder support. So it could be beets, like beet powder. You could do taurine, milk thistle, methionine. There’s a lot of different things you can do to support liver and gallbladder. And therefore if you are killing, you’ve got to make sure if you put the garbage to the end of the road, the garbage man has to show up. And that’s when you come in and support liver and gallbladder.

So luckily my disaster of a first protocol has been prevented with all of my clients because I learned it the hard way, which is the best way.

Keith: Right. And for healthy people, their immune systems should be able to keep these parasites mostly at bay. So it’s not just if you come in contact with it you’re going to get infected, right? And tell me if I’m wrong here. So, many people may have these parasites at a low level or such that their immune systems can keep the symptoms at bay. Does it work that way?

Evan: It depends on the level of secretory IgA. So they did some research on this with prisoners where they had a bunch of different guys drink water that was contaminated with giardia. And I don’t remember the number of guys. But let’s just say it was 40 men. And all these guys drank the giardia- contaminated water. And the scientists were trying to figure out, “Okay, who gets giardia that turns into an active infection? And who doesn’t?”

And it was the people who had lower IgA, which means leaky gut because your IgA is your mucosal barrier. So think of it as your bulletproof vest. The guys who had the lowest IgA level, those are the ones who developed an active giardia infection. People who had normal IgA levels, they were fine.

So if you’re still eating gluten, or you’re eating a bunch of dairy or grains or something that’s disturbing that IgA level, creating a permeable gut, you’re more likely to pick up an infection. So if you and I went to a sushi restaurant and maybe your IgA was better than mine and my IgA was low because I haven’t fully healed my gut yet, I may get infected and you may not.

And that’s the same thing with partners, too. Like 90% of the couples that I test, they share the same bugs between each other. But occasionally the husband or the wife has an healthier IgA level. Maybe their diet’s been dialed in, or maybe they’ve done less antibiotics over their lifetime. Or maybe they’ve avoided acid blockers where their spouse did acid blockers, something that destroyed the gut. Or maybe the spouse did a lot of aspirin or something that disturbed the gut lining and the other partner didn’t. Only 10% of the time do I find someone that doesn’t share bugs with their partner.

So most people have a leaky gut in the modern world. And I don’t really like that term because it’s so generic and kind of buzzwordy. But that’s just what people know it as. But it’s intestinal permeability. It means that the one cell tight junction in the intestines was separated by something—a toxin or a food allergy or something. And therefore, now the bacteria, parasite, yeast has access to the bloodstream. And then that’s when you get the systemic

inflammation. And then that’s when the depression, anxiety, that type of stuff occurs.

Keith: Right. And so when people find you, number one, how do they find you? And I’m imagining that they found you after they’ve been kicked around the traditional medical system for a while.

Evan: Yeah. I’d say 90% of people find me through the podcast. I’ve been doing it every single week since 2012, which is kind of a long time for health podcasts. So most people find me through there. And then YouTube videos, I do whiteboard videos where I’ll try to condense a one-hour topic like this into ten minutes. A lot of people find me on YouTube.

And then also a lot of talks, I love doing stuff like this almost even more than speaking on stage because 50,000 people may hear this, whereas 50,000 people may not hear me if I went and spoke at some stage in some city where I had to travel and leave my baby behind.

Keith: Right. So they find you. And they’ve been kicked around the traditional medical system that has pretty much, unless they’re enlightened to functional medicine, they’re just not going to even know where to look. They’re going to try to treat symptoms. But they’re not going to do any root cause analysis.

Evan: Yeah. And honestly I don’t know why it’s so revolutionary to think that there has to be a root cause to something. That’s kind of revolutionary. But even as a young kid, when I was 14, 15, 16, I knew something was up with my brain. I knew even then it wasn’t a deficiency of an anti-depressant that was my problem.

So I don’t know why that’s so revolutionary. I’m glad that it’s becoming more popular. But most of the time, it’s just symptom, drug. Or even in the naturopathic community, a lot of people even go to naturopathic doctors first. Like they start with conventional doctors. They go to the specialists like the gastro doc. Then they go to the naturopathic doc, which is generally a level better.

But even then in the naturopathic field, naturopathic doesn’t mean functional. There’s a huge difference, or integrative. Integrative doctor doesn’t mean functional because you could go in with IBS, and then the naturopath could say, “Hey, Keith, I’m going to give you this herb,” like triphala, “which can help you to poop more. Or I’m going to give you this supplement, which maybe can help regulate your nausea. I’m going to give you a ginger extract.”

But that’s still not root cause. That hasn’t addressed why is the nausea coming in the first place? Oh, it’s H. pylori. So you’ve got to just keep going a level deeper and deeper and keep asking, “Well, why? Okay, I have nausea. So I need the ginger. But why do I have the nausea?” “Well, because you have something going on.” “Okay, well, what’s that?” “It’s bacteria.” “Okay, well, what else is there?”

And then eventually, if you keep asking why, you get to the answer

Keith: Right. And it seems common sensical. I’m like you. It’s like if you’re working on your car, I’ll just bring it back to when I was a teenager working on my car, trying to keep my car running. There was just a natural why. You had to. You had to ask that to get to the root cause. Otherwise, you spent all your time replacing parts and spending more time working on your time than you were drinking beer, taking your girlfriend out. So you had incentive to go through a process of root cause analysis.

Evan: Well, I’ll take the car analogy a step further. And what do you do when you’re trying to figure out your car is generally you would hook it up to one of those OBD1 or OBD2 scanners. And you plug it up under your dashboard somewhere. And it’s going to pull up something. And it’s going to say, “Oh, it’s this.”

It’s still rudimentary. It wasn’t that good. But even with my Honda, I remember saying, “Oh, look. I’ve got this going on.” And then I knew, “Okay, now I’m not going to just replace spark plugs just because. I’m going to go straight to replacing this.” So, yeah. It sounds so simple. But for some people to get here, it could be a 10- or a 20-year journey of suffering, which is very unfortunate.

Keith: Right. Well, our society has been conditioned that doctors are the everything because they’re generally smart kids. We’ll give them that. They are usually the smartest in your local high school, goes on to become a doctor. And you just assume, well, that’s a smart guy. And he’s been given 12 years of education. He’s got to know something.

But the problem is they are taught—smart people, well-meaning people, well- intentioned—but they’re tool kit has been, if we want to say it has been purposely limited by the pharmaceutical industry, we could say that. Or accidentally limited. But that’s the tool they have. If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail.

Evan: That’s right. And I’ve got friends that are medical doctors. I love medical doctors. I think there’s definitely a place for them in society. It’s funny; a lot of them, which it blows my mind. This is not to toot my horn.

But it blows my mind that even last week, I had an ER doctor, this guy who emailed me. He said, “Evan, I’ve been listening to your podcast. In the emergency room, I see all these symptoms of heart palpitations where people think they’re having a heart attack. We run all these tests and nothing’s wrong with them. So we send them home with an anti-anxiety drug. He goes, I heard about your heart palpitations when you had gut issues. I would love to be able to say, ‘Hey, maybe you have this infection. I’m going to calm you down. But when you get home, you need to do this instead.’”

So it gives me goose bumps when I say it because it’s amazing to think that these people are realizing, “Hey, look, this stuff isn’t working.” And then you come home with a $10,000 emergency room bill. You had a panic attack. You thought you were having a heart attack, but you weren’t.

There is a place for them, for sure. Like my daughter, she’s 2 years old. She fell out of her highchair like 6 months ago. She pushed herself off of the table when she was done eating dinner. And when she kicked herself off the table, her highchair went back. And she smacked her head so hard on our hardwood floor, which was terrible. Vomiting, the whole 9 yards.

We took her to the hospital because she had a concussion. And we thought, okay, we need to figure out if her brain is bleeding or not. Had to give radiation, unfortunately, to investigate with the CT scan. Thank the Lord nothing was wrong. And then we came in and we did the CBD oil. And we did fish oil and boswelia and turmeric and all the good functional medicine tools.

And then we followed up with the pediatrician, who is a medical doc. And she has nothing to offer. She doesn’t know anything about using fish oil or CBD oil or anything about post-concussion syndrome, like nausea that my daughter was having. We took her in and said, “She doesn’t seem like she’s fully recovered.” This was like a week later. And she goes, “Oh, well, let’s test her for strep throat.” It’s like that is in left field. You’re not even taking into context what happened.

So I don’t want to stay on my soapbox too long on this topic. But I just want people to know that if you’ve been through the ringer, that’s okay. Most people have. But you can get to the end of the tunnel. And there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is an answer that you can find.

For example, I think you and I chatted about this when we talked a few weeks ago. But rheumatoid arthritis is becoming a really, really common occurrence for people, young people, 20 year olds, 30 year olds to get diagnosed with, now they call it “early onset” rheumatoid arthritis because it’s historically not supposed to happen at the ages that it’s happening.

And there’s an infection that I see every single week on stool testing called prevotella copri. And 75% of people that get diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, they show up with that bacterial infection. So imagine how many people, if we could save them and say, “Hey, you’ve got joint pain. Investigate your gut. Don’t go straight to the rheumatologist because when they give you the diagnosis, all they have to offer is a drug to manage the disease.”

But if it cured the disease, then you’d go to that doctor. They’d give you one pill. And you’d be done. And you’d never see them again. But that’s not how it works.

Keith: Yeah. So when you have people, clients come in and they go through your intake...And I know everybody’s totally different. But what are some generalities that you see? What are some paths that you go to? Do you go right to stool testing, gut testing, right off the bat for most?

Evan: 98% of the people, budget permitting, I run 3 to 4 tests on pretty much everyone. Number one is adrenal testing because we know that if your adrenals are too weak...And I don’t really like the term “adrenal fatigue” because the adrenals aren’t getting tired. It’s the brain downregulating production of cortisol. But because people know it as adrenal fatigue, we’ll call it that.

So we’ll test the adrenals to see because if the cortisol output is too low and you’re too weak from an energy output perspective, if you go straight to the gut and you start trying to kill parasites, that person is going to crash out.

So when you hear about a die off or a detox reaction or a Herxheimer reaction, generally that means a few things. That means that the protocol was either too fast, like you were trying to move too fast. You were going too hard like the dosing of the herbs was too strong. Maybe you weren’t supporting the liver or the gallbladder properly. Maybe the thyroid was too weak, like maybe the person’s detox pathways were not working. They had methylation problems, genetic problems. If all that stuff’s dialed in, you can go straight to the gut and kill the infections. But just to make sure, I always look at the adrenals. So that’s step one.

And then step two is the gut. So that’s an at-home stool test called the GI Map. It’s a one-day, one sample stool test. And it’s DNA based, meaning it’s a thousand times more sensitive than an antigen based testing, which is the old school where you’d have to poop for 3 days and collect 6 samples. That’s what I did even just a few years ago. That was the only technology that existed. And I had to collect 6 different poops to test it. Now it’s one sample. But you find more infections.

And then step 3 is usually the urine testing called organic acids. It’s kind of like measuring your tailpipe when you take your car in for emissions testing. So we can measure these breakdown products of candida, fungus, bacterial infections. And then we take that urine and we run it through the chemical test, as well.

So we can measure things like flame retardants and phthalates and BPA and pesticides. I love testing people for pesticides because it’s very interesting to see people in the valley of California where all the vegetables are grown. Even though a lot of organic stuff comes out of there, there’s still conventional farms right next door. And I’ve tested farmers, and their levels of pesticides are just insane.

And even people who aren’t farmers. Don’t think if you’re listening, hey, I’m not a farmer; I don’t care. I’ve seen stay-at-home moms who do really good with their diet, but their levels of pesticides are still really high. And we just have to encourage them to sweat and try to get that stuff out, and then of course avoid getting re-toxified by eating organic.

So that’s the go-to. That’s my go-to. And then if I need to run blood, I can only run blood in the U.S. I work all over. So the Canada people, the Europe people, I can’t do blood on them. But usually I’ll try to just create a custom panel and then just tell them to go to their doctor. And if they can get it run through health insurance, great. But if not, then in the U.S. at least, people can just pay me and then we run the blood for them.

Keith: Right, right. But mostly I would imagine you see the problem is a parasite overgrowth in the gut. Is that generally what it all boils down to in most cases?

Evan: I would say...I’ve kind of come up with this term like basically with gut I say guilty until proven innocent because I see so many bugs. Now, maybe I’ve just got a little bit hyperfocused on it because I see it and maybe there are other issues. But that’s why I try to be like a specialist in this sense of focusing so much on the gut, but not too special that I assume everyone is like that. So that’s why I run these other tests, too, just to see because if, for example, if you’re a Lyme disease guy, you’re going to look at everybody and you’re going to say everybody has Lyme disease. And that may or may not be true.

But I do see a lot of people with gut bugs. So I’d say if I had to point the finger at the biggest needle mover for someone’s health, whether it’s adrenal, thyroid issues, autoimmune diseases, it all comes from the gut because you don’t get Hashimoto’s or other autoimmune disease without a leaky gut being present. So the leaky gut is like the cascade, the first domino that falls. And then that’s when all these toxins get into bloodstream.

And the immune system is trying to fight the bad guys. I thinks that it’s going after a gluten molecule, but really it accidentally goes after the thyroid, and you get autoimmune disease. If you didn’t have a permeable gut barrier and you had that IgA level lower, you wouldn’t have autoimmune disease. So if you had to pick one place to put a lot of your eggs—not all the eggs in the basket, but a lot of your eggs—yeah, I would say make it the gut, for sure.

Keith: Right. And we live in an atmosphere and an environment that’s just chock full of toxins. But environments have been that way forever. And organisms develop abilities to get affected and they detox. And it’s just this cycle of contact, detox, contact, detox. What are some ways that some of the best ways, most effective ways that a healthy person can just continue that cycle of detox?

You’re going to come in contact with it. We can avoid it where we can, and that’s part of it is to just avoid where you can. But we can’t live in a bubble- wrapped world entirely. We have to get out and function. So what are some good detox methods?

Evan: Yeah. So the first thing I would say would be supplement with acid and enzymes, specifically hydrochloric acid. If you look at the book, which is one of my favorite books of all time...You and I were chatting about being a minimalist before the show. I’ve got a bookshelf right behind me. And I have only got literally like 10 books. I get books sent to me every week. And then I usually give them away after I read them. So I’ve only got a few left on the bookshelf. And one that remains is Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You by Dr. Jonathan Wright. It’s a game-changing book.

And what he found is using the Heidelberg test, which is where you take a capsule with a technology inside of it so you can measure the pH of the stomach. And the stomach is supposed to be very, very acidic. We’re talking

1.2 to 1.5 pH, meaning that is so acidic that if you poured your stomach acid on your shoe, it would hopefully melt it.

And this is why animals in nature, like for example the turkey vulture, they have the most acidic stomach of literally any living creature on the planet. And that’s why turkey vultures can go on the side of the road and eat a dead racoon that’s been rotting for months and not get sick. It’s because they have adequate levels of hydrochloric acid to neutralize the pathogens in it.

And so what Dr. Wright found over the years of testing thousands of patients is that after age 20, you make less and less enzymes every single year, and less stomach acid. So by the time you’re age 40, your stomach acid levels are much lower than what they were when you were 20, which is why people, when they get 40, 50, 60, they start to develop heartburn or indigestion.

Don’t blame it on the food. You could. It could be something spicy: tomatoes, peppers, a lot of your nightshades can be triggers for indigestion. But a lot of it’s just that you have too low stomach acid, and you don’t have enough stomach acid. So supplementing is key. If I have someone that’s traveling like, “Hey, Evan, I just did this gut protocol. And I’m going to go to Thailand for a month, and I don’t want to pick up bugs. What do you recommend?” I say, “Bring 3 things: hydrochloric acid and enzymes, charcoal, and oregano oil.”

So if you do get poisoned, you take your oregano oil. You take your charcoal. Those are just to be used as needed. Break open in case of emergency. But your daily dose of extra HCL and enzymes, that’s going to kill off anything. So if you and your friend eat sushi, and it’s not just sushi. I’m just using that example. If you took acid and enzymes but your friend didn’t, you may have been able to successfully kill off giardia. And now you’re not going to get that active infection.

Keith: Interesting. And what’s the dosing for HCL? So I know the old Charles Pollack when bodybuilding dosing where you would dose, dose, dose until you burp and acid taste, and then you back off a smidge. And then you’re good to go. But is that essentially how it’s done?

Evan: You could do that. Most of the people I work with, they generally have so many complaints that I don’t do the acid test with them because their gut is so inflamed. So you can measure it. It’s called calprotectin. That’s your intestinal inflammation marker. If their levels are above 50 on this specific test, that’s too high for me to do the acid test or the acid challenge.

So generally speaking, I’ve got a blend of enzymes I’ve created. It’s got 200 milligrams of betaine per capsule. So I have people work up to about 1 gram of HCL. So 1,000 milligrams. Some people can go 2,000. Some people can go 3,000, especially if they were on acid-blocking medications. Or if you’re on a natural acid blocker, H. pylori, that infection acts like an acid blocker because it lowers stomach acid.

Like me, if you previously had an H. pylori infection, you’re going to need more acid than someone else who didn’t have that. So I would say depending on your meal, like if you’re doing a soup, a salad, a smoothie, bone broth, you probably don’t need to use an enzyme. But if it’s like a nice grass-fed steak with a baked sweet potato, some broccoli and butter, that’s a good time to do enzymes.

I generally do around 600 milligrams of betaine with hose types of meals. And then I have extra enzymes, too. So that would be like your proteases, your lipases, ox bile. I generally do around 100 to 300 milligrams ox bile per meal. And that’s just to make sure that the gallbladder is releasing the stored bile. So liver’s helping to create bile. Gallbladder is the storage organ that releases the bile.

If bile is flowing good, you’re going to digest your fats good. So that way your poop doesn’t float. If your poop floats or your poop is really messy, that means you need extra fat-digesting enzymes, or you need extra ox bile. Your poop should sink. And your poop should be like a banana consistency and a banana shape. If you’ve got rabbit turds, that’s not enough fiber. So you probably need to add in some extra blueberries or some type of good organic fiber.

If it’s really messy, though, or your smell of your poop is terrible and your family’s like, “Good Lord! Why do you smell so bad?” that’s a gut infection. That’s usually dysbiosis. That’s usually some type of a gut bug. Yeah, poop is going to smell like poop. But I have a lot of moms that I work with. I work with 2-year-old, 3-year-old, 7-year-old kids. And the mom will say, “My son, we have to evacuate the house when he poops.” Okay, that’s not normal. There’s something there.

Keith: Now, is there something inherent in yucca that makes it good to take? Does it have enzymatic properties?

Evan: I think yucca does, actually, because there’s a couple products I use that has wild yucca root is. And I believe—don’t quote me on this—but I believe yucca contains fluvic acid, which can act as a mild detoxifier. There’s a formula I use. There’s a couple formulas I use that are binders to try to soak up toxins. And some of those ingredients are including yucca. So not a yucca expert. But I do think it may have fluvic acid in it.

Keith: Okay. And the other question I had was back to the HCL question. Do you think this is a reason why apple cider vinegar is a folk remedy for everything?

Evan: Absolutely. And believe it or not, apple cider vinegar helps stimulate the mitochondria, as well, which is why some people say they get an energy boost if they do apple cider vinegar. I don’t know the mechanism. I talked with Dr. Mercola a little bit about this on my podcast. I interviewed him and he kind of brought that up. And I thought whoa. Apple cider vinegar and vinegar supporting mitochondria, that’s insane.

But, yeah, it does help to act as almost like a digestive bitter where it triggers the body and the body’s like, “Oh, we’re about to start eating some food.” And then you’re going to start producing more acid and enzymes.

And let me say two more things about this whole stomach acid piece, aging, reduction of stomach acid. One is that in prehistoric times or ancestral times, we had much more of a parasympathetic dominant nervous system where we were relaxed. We were sitting in the forest together, telling stories about hunting and hanging out by the fire. And we were able to shift into sympathetic mode if we needed to go into a hunt.

Now, I may think I’m getting a text message or I’m getting an email or I’ve got this business meeting today. I may be stuck in a more sympathetic dominant state, which is your fight-or-flight response. And that’s when the blood is going to shift away from the stomach, and it’s going to go to your extremities so you can run from this bear, even though the bear is only an email or a ding notification on your cell phone, which is why I have no notifications. I have no social media apps except twitter on my phone. And I have no sounds on anything that’s buzzing or dinging me because I don’t want my nervous system thinking there’s any bears around because I want to rest and digest.

And so part of the issue with the modern world is that you take your average person who’s got a 20- or 30-minute lunch break, half the time they’re probably trying to check up on social media. I’m not judging you people. But admit it if you’re sitting there scrolling on Instagram while you’re eating your Chipotle bowl. Your body doesn’t know what to do. It’s like, “Okay, should I run from this email I just read? Or should I digest this meal?”

So part of it’s just our nervous system is screwed up because we’re too busy and we don’t slow down and we don’t chew our food. And even just chewing your food is helpful, which is why I don’t really like the bowl idea. Let’s just put the spotlight on Chipotle. It’s great. They have grass-fed steak and organic rice and such. However, it’s so soft and mushy. You could just shove that stuff down. And you finish that bowl in 3 minutes, and you’re like, “Did I even eat anything?”

So I try to chew, chew, chew, chew, chew until there’s nothing left. And it’s more work to do that. But that way you’re telling your body, “Hey, man. We’re actually digesting something here. Let’s make acid and enzymes.”

And then the one other comment I wanted to mention was there’s this, I guess, fear of supplementing with acid and enzymes. And people say, “Well, aren’t I going to mess up my own body’s production of enyzmes and acids if I supplement” like it’s a crutch like testosterone where the testicles shrink.

No, it doesn’t happen that way. You’re only adding to the fire. You’re not replacing the fire, versus with melatonin, we do know melatonin if you take that or if you take a neurotransmitter supplement like GABA, you do down regulate your production of GABA if you supplement. You do down regulate production of melatonin if you supplement. Acid and enzymes? No way. You’re just adding to the party. So supplement away.

Keith: Right. And is there a particular brand of hydrochloric acid that you prefer?

Evan: I like to go professional grade. So I’ve got my own line of products that professional healthcare companies make for me. But other ones, Pure Encapsulations, they just got bought out. But I haven’t seen any degradation of their quality yet. So Pure is good. Designs for Health is good. Biotic Research Corporation is good. Those are my top 3. And that way you know what you’re getting.

Now, could you go on Amazon and buy some random enzymes and probably get decent results? Maybe. But if you’re paying me to get you better, I’m expecting you to get a certain improvement every month. And when I do a progress report with you and you say, “Hey, I only got 5% better this month. You said I was going to get 20% better this month,” I want to know that it was something I did, not the supplement wasn’t therapeutic enough quality to work.

Keith: Right. You’ve got to control the variables where you can.

Evan: Yeah.
Keith: And is this dosed prior to each meal? Is that how you dose it? Or is there another dosing protocol?

Evan: I haven’t seen a big difference. And if you’re asking like in terms of do you take it before a meal, in the middle of a meal, after a meal?

Keith: Right.

Evan: I haven’t seen a big difference, as long as you’re doing it around the time of the meal. Now, if someone is really, really inflamed, like I had a guy. His calprotectin level was at 300, meaning his gut was really inflamed. Like a celiac disease patient, their level would be like 1,000 of calprotectin. Or ulcerative colitis, their levels very high of inflammation.

This guy wasn’t that bad. But we tried the acid and enzymes before the meal, and he had burning. We tried it right after the meal; he had burning. So we do what I call an enzyme sandwich where he takes a couple bites of food, pops the capsule, and then finishes the meal. That way the enzyme capsule’s kind of sandwiched in between layers of food. When that capsule does burst open, if the gut is inflamed, it’s not going to come out.

And in some cases, if someone’s really, really inflamed, you might not be able to do HCL. You may have to do enzymes without HCL, and then heal up their gut first. And then later you can add in HCL by itself.

Keith: Right. So let’s say you do an analysis on someone, and it does come back that they’ve got an HPA issue going on or an adrenal issue going on. What are some of the things you look at there about potential paths of healing?

Evan: Yeah. I’m going to start pretty unconventional here, getting rid of toxic people and toxic things in your life. So if you’ve got a really, really bad friend who’s supposedly your friend, but they treat you like crap and they talk down about you or they judge you for your decisions your diet and lifestyle, get rid of that friggin’ person. You’re not going to heal with them being in your ear every day. So get rid of toxic people.

If you’re in a toxic job, whether that’s an environmental toxin, like a lot of guys in Texas who work on the oil rigs or something, they’ve got to get out of there. But if it’s more of like a toxic boss or a toxic co-worker, first of all you can move your desk. Maybe you move your desk to the other side of the room. And you get away from the person.

If that’s not enough, move to a different department. If that’s not enough, move to a different sector or just move to a different company. Or if you have to just get out of the job, get out of the job. So that’s huge because you’re stuck in sympathetic dominance, like, “Uh-oh. Here comes the boss. Oh, my God.” You get sick to your stomach every time the boss walks down your little hallway, that’s bad. So that’s huge.

And then other stuff from an adrenal perspective, saying no is huge. I’m kind of a yes man. I love opportunity and I love trying to help people. So somebody may say, “Evan, I want your help on this project.” “Yes!” “Evan, I want to do this.” “Yes!” “Evan, can you help me with this?” “Yes!” “Oh, my daughter, my grandmother, she needs help with this.” “Yes! I’m going to help her.” And then I burn myself out, man. And I made myself sick trying to help others.

So now, to be honest, I think the game changer for me was making sure that I had everything on the calendar. And if it wasn’t on the calendar, don’t do it because then you lose track of how much you’re actually working. So now I know I’m working Monday through Thursday, and that’s it. Whereas before, like if somebody messaged me on Facebook about something, “Hey, my daughter is seven years old. She’s vomiting,” I used to message back and be like, “It could be this. It could be that. You need to do this. You need to do that.” Now I only do it during my “business hours.”

And I think this is more of a conversation for people that are working for themselves. Especially if you work from home like me, you’ve got to really have a clear distinction between, “Okay, I’m working. I’m not working.” Because if you blend those two, which is going to happen somewhat because I love what I do. But if you let those blend too much, then you’re going to be sick. And you’re never going to shut off.

Keith: Yeah. I have those issues, too. I think every entrepreneur has that because you wouldn’t do what you do unless you freaking loved it. It’s 24/7. And there’s times that it’s 10:00, 11:00 o’clock at night. And not just me. Michelle is better at cutting it off than I am. But she’s like, “Hey, you’ve got to put the stops on that.” And it’s almost like I’m on this roller coaster. I don’t want to get off.

Evan: It’s addicting. It’s addicting, man. I know. I know. So for other people, too, the strategies you asked about, some of it is just going to bed on time. I’ve got a little girl. So she goes to bed early. So I tend to go early because it’s like, “Okay, it’s 9 pm. It’s dark. What else am I going to do? Play on my phone? That’s a waste of time, so I’m just going to go to bed.”

So I go to bed pretty early. I candle down in the evening. So if I am going to use any screens, I’m always going to wear my Blu Blocking glasses. And not all are created equal. Some don’t block blue like they say they do. I’ve tested them with spectrometers.

Also, getting up with the sun is huge. I try to go out every single morning, even in my boxers, like before I even get dressed for the day. I’ll just go outside and get ten, fifteen minutes of bright light exposure in the first part of the day.

Cortisol, it’s a light-driven hormone. So if you’re waking up and you’ve got your blinds shut or you’ve got contact lenses or glasses or you’ve got your curtains pulled and it’s kind of dim and you’re not really doing much in the morning, think of your ancestors. They would have been in a cave. And that would have been the only dark place. Otherwise, they were outside. And they’re going to be getting massive amounts of light.

And you can measure what I’m saying and prove this with a Lux meter. It’s a measurement of brightness. On a sunny day, you’re going to get around 100,000 lux. Inside an office, you’re going to get maybe 500 lux. I wrote a book on nootropics because a publishing company reached out and said, “Hey, we’ve heard you talk about this. Can you write about it?” And I did.

But part of writing that book I didn’t enjoy because I felt like I was giving people the hats, like, “Take this nootropic. Take this nootropic,” instead of getting right light exposure. It’s like you’re freaking tired and your brain’s not working because you’re sitting in a dungeon in your basement. Get outside. That’s free.

So I kind of got annoyed while writing it because I thought, man, I hate the idea of promoting silver bullets to people. Everything we’re talking about is so simple. It really just goes back to the primal living. But it sounds so corny because you and I have been beating the drum on this for like twenty years combined total between us. You would think that there’d be some new way to explain it to people. But it’s the same stuff, and it always will be.

Keith: It’s just like weightlifting. Everybody’s got a new hack. In the training and weight training, it is just this year to year to year cycle of the same thing coming back and back and back. And at the end of the day, it’s like if you want to put on muscle, you’ve got to spend time in the gym and bust you’re a$$. I don’t know any other way around it.

Can you do it smarter? Yeah, you can do it smarter. But at the end of the day, you’ve still got to do the work.

Evan: Yeah. Then you’ll hear, “Oh, here’s a brand new liposomal creatine. It’s a magic creatine that’s going to get even more water into your muscles.” It’s like, okay, but if you’re scrolling on Facebook, that creatine is going to do nothing. You’ve got to get you’re a$$ to the gym.

Keith: Right. I guess it’s just human nature. And I get it. We probably didn’t get to where we are as a species without trying to figure out shortcuts and figuring out more efficient ways of doing it. The thing was in those times, those shortcuts, just like the available foods, were few and far between.

Evan: And you just have to do the work. That’s another book that stays on my book shelf is Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work.

Keith: Right. That’s a great book.

Evan: It’s basically like, hey, I know you want to achieve this. I know you want to achieve that. But nobody is going to give you a free handout. And that’s the same thing with the health, too. I don’t want to go too far off the rails here. But so many people are looking for someone to save them. And that’s why we give our power away to the doctors because we think if we just wait til we have a health problem, we’re just going to consult with them. They’re the doctor. They’ve got it. They’re going to take care of us.

It’s like, look, they’re going home. And they’re eating dinner. And they’re watching Breaking Bad or whatever else on their Netflix. They’re just doing their job. Your job is you. No one saved me. I wish I would have been able to be like, “Yes! This guy was the guy who saved me.” That didn’t happen. There wasn’t that miracle thing. It was just a gradual evolution. “Okay, this got me ten percent better. This got me twenty percent better. This got me forty percent better.”

And then now I’ve been able to create a lot of answers for other people. I don’t have all the answers. But I’ve got enough answers now to where I’m like, “Okay, this is some stuff that could change a lot of things for a lot of people.”

But here’s the thing, Keith, is that people are so tired. They’re so tired of being tired. They’re so busy. They’ve got kids. They’ve got financial worries. They don’t want to have to figure this stuff out. It’s too overwhelming. So maybe you only take one thing away from our conversation, and then you implement it.

If I did one thing right now for everyone, I would say, “Go test your gut. Go get a stool test. If you can’t afford or you’re not interested in testing your adrenals and other body systems right now, that’s fine. Maybe you’re still going to pump gas and maybe you don’t care about gasoline and you don’t believe me and you’re still going to keep your gas-powered lawn mower and trimmer. You’re not going to go electric. Okay, fine.

But at least test your gut because let’s just say that 60% of your health problems were attributed to your gut. That’s huge. Let’s say that you could be that much more productive at work. You could be that much of a better father, that much of a better husband, that much of a better entrepreneur because now you’re digesting your nutrients 60% better. And that grass-fed steak that you spent $12, $15 a pound on, you’re going to digest that better now.

Wouldn’t you rather get as much nutrition as you possibly can from that food? Because people say, “Oh, you are what you eat.” Well, you’re really not. You are what you eat from what you digest. And then you could even go a step further and say, “Depending on what that animal ate, too.” So if it was a grass-fed but grain-finished, I wouldn’t want that. I’d want a hundred percent grass fed. And then I’d want to make sure I’m digesting that grass fed steak.

Keith: Right. And I think the first win policy is huge because if you give someone one win, whatever that win is...And this is true in coaching sports, too. You bring a quarterback into a tight game. You need one completion. I’m going to have you throw a screen or a dump pass or something. But I’ve got to build some confidence. I’ve got to give you one win. A baseball player that’s in a slump, I’ve got to get you on base somehow. I want you to remember what it feels like to be on base again.

And it’s the same thing with healthcare. If you give people one win, whatever that win comes from, they’re like, “Oh, wow. I did that to myself? For myself, I did that. And I feel this much better. All right, what’s next? All right, you’ve got me listening now. Now what do I do?”

Evan: Yeah. I love that idea like a base hit because imagining the homerun is a little too overwhelming at first. It’s not realistic for most people to think. Let’s take an example that’s pretty relevant. For example, like thyroid antibodies. I saw a woman that had TPO—thyroid peroxidase antibodies—over 2,000. Her endocrinologist diagnosed her with Hashimoto’s, which is where the immune system attacks the thyroid. And this is 90+ percent of cases of hyperthyroidism.

So if your doctor or if you already know you’re low thyroid, if you’re hypo, you’re underfunctioning. Ninety percent of the time or more, it’s autoimmune. And this lady thought, there’s no way I’m ever, ever, ever going to be able to

get off my thyroid medication. So the base hit was we tested her gut. We found infections because remember infections create leaky gut. Leaky gut opens the door to autoimmunity. We fixed the gut bugs alone. I did nothing else for her thyroid. She’s like, “Well, aren’t you going to give me a bunch of supplements for my thyroid?” I’m like, “No. Bear with me. Hold on. Let me show you something.”

So we work on the gut for a couple of months. We retest the blood. The thyroid antibodies went from 2,000 to 300. Now, that’s amazing. That’s still not out of the woods. You still want less than 20 for TPO would be great. So she’s still way too high at 300. There’s still an autoimmune attack going on. But look how much we shut it down.

And that was the base hit enough for her to say, “You know what? I’m no longer giving my family the option of whether they’re going to eat gluten and these other foods. For me, I was just doing my autoimmune paleo diet. And my husband was making fun of me and eating pizza and ice cream in front of me and putting me down. And my kids were going to their friends’ house and saying, ‘My mom is weird. And now everybody thinks I’m crazy.’ Nope, I’m not giving them an option anymore. I’m making the whole household paleo.” Awesome. That was the base hit we needed to get her to third base and then hopefully we’re going to get this gal to home plate.

Keith: Right. And it’s so very true. And that feeds back into compliance. And you as a practitioner know—and I as a trainer know—that compliance is like the number issue that you have to contend with because if information were the answer, what the saying? “We’d all be billionaires with six-pack abs.” And stellar bloodwork. I’ll just throw that in there.

But that’s not the case. So you have to coach compliance somehow. Do you have any tricks on that?

Evan: Well, to be honest, you have to be blunt with people. And some people don’t want to be blunt. Practitioners just want to softball it like, “Okay, Keith. Dial this in for me. Dial this in for me.” And they never follow up. Add an extra avocado. Did you actually reduce the nuts? Did you actually change from this butter to that butter? Did you actually do this or that? So I have to be very detail oriented because the devil’s in the details, they say.

So I had a guy last week. I promise everyone, no matter what health symptom, I generally say, “Hey, look. I’m expecting five to ten percent improvement each month. And if I beat that, that’s great. And most of the time, I do. And I followed up with this guy. I don’t remember his name. But let’s just call him

John. And I was like, “Hey, John. What’s going on? It’s been six weeks since we started your protocol.” And this was a guy who had like seven or eight different gut bugs, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, etcetera, mitochondrial problems as identified on his urine test. He had adrenal problems. His cortisol was pretty much flatlined. So we were doing some adrenal herbs.

And he goes, “Evan, honestly, I’m not noticing much.” And in his tone of voice was like he wanted to put it back on me, like it’s my fault. And I used to get offended by that, not offended, but I used to get my fight or fligh response, like “Uh-oh. Something I did didn’t work. I hate being wrong. I hate not helping people. What am I doing wrong?”

But now I just know to investigate. And I just take it neutral. And I’m like, “Okay, John. Let’s go through everything. Let’s talk about the diet. Tell me what you ate yesterday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” He goes, “Well, honestly, man, I don’t eat anything for breakfast. I usually eat a granola bar, maybe 10 a.m.” I’m like, “What kind of granola bar?” “Oh, just whatever I found at Costco, what was on sale.”

I’m like, “Are you home right now?” He’s like, “Yeah.” I was like, “Okay, go in the pantry. I need you to get the box. I need you to pull it out.” And it ended up being like Nature Valley, high fructose corn syrup, extra added cane sugar, sunflower oil, safflower oil. It’s like, “Okay, we’ve got to change that, man. I want you to do a pastured bacon or pastured sausage for breakfast. Maybe a handful of pecans, half an avocado, a handful of blueberries.”

“Okay, what did you eat for lunch?” “Actually, I was so busy, I went out to Subway. I didn’t do the bread. But I got a Subway sandwich with no bread.” I’m like, “Okay. And then what about dinner?” He goes, “Well, my wife and I, we ended up going out. And I got some pizza. But I just didn’t do—” He said he didn’t do something. Like he didn’t do parmesan cheese on top of the pizza. I’m like, “Dude.”

And this is rare, Keith, by the way, because like I said, most people find me through the podcast. So they’ve been listening to me for like a year before they even sign up. So they’ve already addressed all the low-hanging fruit, so I don’t have to waste my breath on this crap. But this was a guy who found me from somewhere else. And he wasn’t indoctrinated, if you will, into the paleo philosophy. So this is an outlier. I don’t want to say most people are like this because they’re not. Most people, they’ve already killed it. They’ve done everything before they get to me. But this guy was just an outlier.,

And this is back to the question of compliance. I said, “Well, look, man, based on what you’ve just told me, I gave you the protocol, the diet protocol to follow. I set you up with my nutritionist. This is a compliance issue on your part. So we have to change our expectations of our progress. I told you five to ten percent improvement. To be honest with you, I don’t know if your gut symptoms and your energy’s ever going to improve with this type of diet. So right now, I have no expectation of you getting better unless we can dial this in. So I’d like to schedule a half an hour with my NTP (nutritional therapist). I want you guys to chat about your entire week. And I hate to do this because I don’t like to count and measure and stuff. But, honestly, we need to do a food journal for a week. And I need you to follow up with Megan, who’s my NTP. I need you to follow up with her in a week and show her that food journal because now we have to have more accountability from you.”

Most of the time, that conversation doesn’t happen. Most of the time, people are like, “Evan, I did your protocol to a T. Everything’s better, blah, blah, blah.” But this guy was a guy where he tried to put it back on me. But then I flipped it back on him and just put the mirror on him. And when the mirror got flashed back at him, he didn’t like it. But he had to taste it.

Keith: Yeah. And people need to realize that. And a lot of people in your situation, your clients have been vetted, so to speak. Not that you vet, but they’ve gone through the process.

Evan: Yeah, they’ve self-vetted, really, because they don’t want to waste however many hundred bucks an hour to consult with me if they’re still eating garbage. So they’ve pretty much done every single thing I’ve talked about on the podcast. And then they’re still wondering why are they not better. And that’s because just doing paleo wouldn’t cure everyone, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.

Keith: Right. I would think your issues would look more like what my issues when I was training at the time looked like. It was more, I’ve got all these hyper type A personalities. My big issue is pulling the reins back and getting you to realize that, yeah, you’re not bulletproof. You will hit a wall. And, in fact, you are hitting a wall. And you’re trying to get through the wall instead of backing off and figuring out a way to get over it. You’re just trying to ram your head through the wall. That’s what’s going on right now.

Evan: Yeah. Or they feel like, “I just need to find one more supplement. Or I’m going to listen to one more webinar or one more podcast, and I’m going to find that magic little hack that I didn’t figure out to make it work better.” And it’s like there is no magic hack.

Keith: Yeah. So this is a classic. It’s the forty-year-old female attorney who’s divorced, three kids. She’s working 80 hours a week for the firm. And she wants to drop an extra five pounds because she’s going to go to Cancun in a few weeks with her friends. And I’m going to throw intermittent fasting in the middle of all that.

Evan: Dude, oh, my God.
Keith: Right?!
Evan: That’s it. That’s very accurate.

Keith: Don’t do that. Don’t do that.

Evan: That’s highly accurate. That’s why one of the first questions on my intake form is, “How many hours do you work per week?” because that’s important. And anybody who works over forty, they get better slower. And I tell people that. I say, “Look, you’re working sixty hours a week as an accountant. I know it’s tax season. But, look, man, you’ve got to do something. Like the saying work hard, play hard. You’ve got to work hard, rest hard. If you don’t rest hard, meaning massage, float tanks, essentials oils, CBD or cannabis extract, whatever you’ve got to do to rest hard, you’ve got to do that.

And for me, I had a problem with that because I thought the answer was to just keep trying harder and push further. And it wasn’t. I literally had to take off work. I had to schedule weeks off to heal.

Keith: Yeah. And I get it. I’m as type A as they come, too. And I’m all about hard charging. But I’ve had to learn over the years that there is a yin aspect to that. You’ve got to back off. You’ve got to rest. You’ve got to chill out, recover, and do all of that. And maybe I had insight into that much earlier than a lot of people just through sports and through the martial arts training and all of that. But my base drive is still type A. It’s still, run, charge, go and do this.

So speaking of fasting or intermittent fasting or any version of that, what’s your take on that?

Evan: So it’s a case-by-case basis, which sounds like a cop-out answer. But it’s not. And the reason why is because some people with adrenal issues, they may not be able to adapt straight away to it. So, for example, I tried intermittent fasting when I had adrenal problems. I had blood sugar issues, as well, because a lot of gut issues create blood sugar issues. And that’s tied into adrenals. You’ve got the system called the PAL system, meaning pancreas, adrenals, liver. And this is why some people in the middle of the night, while trying to adapt to intermittent fasting, they may wake up in the middle of the night. And they’ve got their heart racing or their mind racing or they’re just really revved up.

And what can happen, if you’re not adapting well because of adrenal stress, because maybe you work too hard or you train too hard, is the blood sugar crashes too low while you’re sleeping. And what happens is the adrenal glands are having to pinch hit for the pancreas. And the adrenal glands will secrete a little bit of cortisol, which then elevates blood glucose. But in that process of trying to get your blood sugar back up so you don’t pass out, the cortisol and usually a little bit of adrenaline and noradrenaline comes with it—that’s when you wake up. And your heart’s racing at 2 or 3 And you’re like, “Well, what is going on?”

Intermittent fasting and fasting is a stress. And from an evolutionary perspective, it’s really smart because let’s say you hadn’t eaten a bison in a week. And you’re out in a prairie, I would hope that you’re making some adrenaline, your endorphins. I would hope you’re making some cortisol because you need to be stressed because, dude, you’re going to starve to death if you don’t get a kill.

So it’s completely normal to have an elevation of hormones to make sure that you’re a little more hyperfocused and a little more fight or flight to make sure you get that kill so you can survive. But you can mimic that with the intermittent fasting and fasting.

So if you’re a good candidate for it, there’s a ton of benefits. Like if somebody had cancer, I would absolutely say that they need to be doing fasting, at least a couple days a week doing some fasting. I personally do maybe one or two fasting days a week. But it’s not a whole day of fasting. It’s just a shortened eating window.

So let’s say my wife and I, let’s say we cook dinner at 6pm. I may just push my breakfast back til maybe 9 or 10. So 6pm to 6am, that’s already twelve hours. And then 7, 8, 9, 10, that’s a sixteen-hour fast. And it’s easy. And I don’t have to think about it. So when people try to make it super fancy and complex, I just get bored with it. It’s like, it’s not that hard. It doesn’t need to be a whole book. Just postpone breakfast. Eat dinner at six. And don’t snack before bed. And that’s sixteen hours. Rarely do people need to fast more than that unless they have a real severe metabolic issue. Then they may be a better candidate for more.

But let me just circle back to why some people can’t do it. If you’re too stressed, like you said the attorney, 60, 70 hours a week. There’s no benefits in having no nutrition in your body. So in that analogy you gave, that’s like you flooring the car all the way down the highway. You’re on E. And you’re still going to floor it.

It’s like, dude, you’ve got to either do two things. You’ve got to let off the gas pedal because you’re burning more fuel than you can. You’ve got to get to a more fuel efficient speed, aka slow down, you big dummy. Or, two, you’ve got to refill the gas tank.

So I’ll just restate it. There’s no benefit in starving. If you’re pushing too hard...Now, if you’re resting, like on a fasting day if I just do a fasting day where it’s just like bone broth or soup or something, that’s on a weekend day where I don’t have too much stress. I’m not going to pick a high, I need to be performing at the top of my A game day to just not eat anything all day because you need nutrients to fuel your mitochondria. You need nutrients to create brain chemicals. You’ve got to have amino acids from your protein, from good digestion, to make brain chemicals so your brain works.

So at the end of the day, if intermittent fasting or let’s just say fasting were the cure-all, my friend Justin, he used the analogy on a podcast we did. And then we got some flack from a couple of our mutual podcast friends like, “Oh, how dare you compare to this?” But he mentioned like the Holocaust victims. And he’s like, “Look, these people were on a starvation diet. If fasting was so therapeutic, well, then why were these people so emaciated and looked so sick?” Fasting is not a miracle. It has to be done correctly and it has to be intermittent. It can’t be, “I’m fasting all the time. I’m at a calorie deficit because I heard that’s how you lose weight.” No, that’s not the answer.

Keith: And I think it’s a very important point to what you said about establishing where you are right now. So the analogy I use for that is in military flight training, there’s a part of that where it’s survival training. So they helicopter you out into the middle of the woods, drop you off, and the point is you’ve got to get from wherever they drop you off back to camp.

Well, you can’t even begin if you can’t figure out, number one, where am I right now? Because you’ve been blindfolded. You have no freaking clue where you are. You just know you’ve been in a helicopter for a long time. And you get dropped off. Number one, you have to figure out, “Where am I? So I have to use all the navigational tricks to figure out where am I right now. And now I can begin plotting the path back to where I know I need to get.”

But if you don’t start off with knowing where you are right now, you’re never going to get anywhere. You’re just going to walk in circles or go the wrong direction even.

Evan: Yeah. And it may make me sound biased or like I just want everyone to do a consult with me when I say everyone needs a practitioner. But I do firmly believe you need a practitioner because even myself, I can’t see stuff because I’m me. So I still consult with a lot of my friends when I have issues because I’m too close to me to know that I don’t have an objective view.

I thought I already flushed out all the ideas, and then here comes my buddy Justin saying, “Well, Evan, why don’t you just recheck your stool?” How simple was that, and I didn’t even think to do it because I was in my own body. So I don’t care who you do a consult with, whether it’s me or somebody else. But I just recommend that people have somebody on their team because you miss some of this stuff.

And it could be a simple hack of, “Oh, you were too overstimulated at night. Well, let me take a look at your adrenal supplements that you took at 3pm. Oh, that actually had a little too much licorice or a little too much of B6 or B2 or B5 in it. Why don’t we switch you out? Why don’t we shift that adrenal supplement to the morning? And then let’s have you do ashwagandha reishi mushroom in the evening instead.”

Maybe your protocol is good, but maybe the timing of your nutrients is off a bit. So even just somebody to take an objective view at, “Oh, you took that too late in the day. No wonder you had trouble falling asleep.” Just the little stuff like that could be the differenc between your sanity and your insanity.

Keith: Right. Now, switching the conversation all the way back to parasitic infestation, what about worm infestation?

Evan: This is real. And this is a brand new technology. We couldn’t even test for this literally a year ago. So it’s pretty cool that we’re having this conversation now because this is brand new technology.

Now, I had people who we’d run protocols. And they would poop out stuff. And they would email me pictures: “Hey, what’s this? What’s that?” And I would try to identify worms.

Keith: That’s got to be a highlight of your day, by the way.

Evan: Oh, I tell you, man, I’ve gotten more pictures in my inbox than you would like to see. In the past month or two, I had a guy poop out a three-foot © 2018. All rights reserved. 30

worm. He had to pull it out. So he went to wipe. And he felt something when he wiped. And he’s like, “Oh, something’s there. And he just kept pulling and pulling and pulling.” I don’t want to ask how he confirmed three feet. But why would he say three feet if it’s not three feet?

And then I had a lady last week, she pooped out 36 small worms. They were little white worms. And here’s the interesting thing is that sometimes, even though we can test for it now, the testing’s not accurate in terms of all the worms. We have some species identified like whipworm, tapeworm, the beef tapeworm. There’s certain worms that come from pork, etcetera. We can identify a good 6 to 10. But we can’t identify all the worms.

So I’m trying to learn and get better at this. But sometimes I just have to tell people, “I have no idea what that is. That thing is ugly. And I’m glad you got it out of your body. I don’t know what it was, though.”

I had a guy who said he pooped out something. He’s a truck driver. So he’s a semi truck driver. So he’s on the road a lot. And when you go to public bathrooms, a lot of them have the automatic sensors. So as soon as you stand up to look at your poop, it’s already gone. He said, “But one time I got to check my poop, I saw something that had teeth.” And he said, “I don’t know what it is. But it was white. And it was a worm thing with teeth.” And I’m like, “Dude, I don’t know. But let’s just be glad that it’s gone.”

Keith: Right. And at best, these things are sucking up nutrients that you would be absorbing.

Evan: Yeah. People may have this idea like, “Well, all the people in India have H. pylori,” or, “All the people in India have worms” because there’s been a study on this. And a massive amount of people have infections in India. There has been some literature on that. And people say, “Well, why can’t we just coexist.” Maybe if you had no stress and you worked like ten hours a week and you had beautiful men or women fanning you with banana leaves, maybe you could do it. Maybe you could coexist with these bugs and leave them alone.

But in the modern world when the soil’s already depleted even if it’s organic, you’re still not getting the minerals that you would have gotten 500 years ago from the soil. So in my opinion, we have less room or less margin for error. We have to have things more dialed in by default because of the environment changing so much.

So that’s why if I see worms on the test result, I’m going to get rid of those worms. And sometimes we kill stuff, and we poop it out. And we don’t even know what it was because a lot of times I have people show negative for all the current worms we can test for, but they still see them.

I don’t want worms. Luckily, I’ve never had any. I only had parasites, which the giardia and crypto. They’re microscopic. You would never see those.

Keith: I read—and I don’t know how accurate this is—that obviously this is a symbiotic relationship, right? We get the worms in our intestinal tract. And evolutionarily we skipped a defense for them somehow. So the question is, “Well, what are they giving back in lieu of sucking up nutrients that we didn’t evolve out of this?”

And a lot of them, from what I understand, affect the opioid endocannabinoid system. And so we get a natural, feel-good release from the endocannabinoid that these critters release, or the opiate. And I may have that totally wrong. But that’s essentially what I got from this particular article, which would make sense. You kind of dumb down the system.

And this works in the animal kingdom, too, with different worms and parasites. I’m more familiar with horses than anything. But there’s lots of symbiotic worms and infections that horses will get. And they get something from it, some kind of a endocannabinoid-affecting chemical. Anyway, it’s just very interesting.

But I agree with you. I would rather not have them in my system sucking up nutrients that I could otherwise use.

Evan: Right. So the way I look at it, too, if there are symptoms there...And let’s say on the organic acid test, there’s a whole section dedicated to amino acid metabolism, which looks at how well you’re digesting your proteins. If all of your amino acids are flatlined and you have worms, I’m going to say those worms are probably not in your benefit.

Like maybe we will figure out, “Hey, maybe everyone should have this or that worm.” But if I see your amino acids are flatlined and I see that your dopamine level is flatlined and you have no energy, you have no drive, it takes tons of coffee to get you motivated, I’m probably going to go after the gut bugs and see what happens if we get rid of them and then we retest. All of a sudden, now the amino acids have shifted up the slider. And now you’ve got more aminos, meaning you’re digesting proteins better.

Now, I’m always moving multiple levers at the same time. So it’s hard to say, “This or that was the magic fix.” But as a whole body system, getting rid of worms, increasing enzymes, if that fixes it and now we see brain chemistry has been better, that’s awesome.

Now, one benefit. You and I kind of briefly chatted about this previously about benefits of worms and infections and all that. And I think one benefit—and this is not a real benefit, but we’ll say it’s a benefit—is that these rope worm colonies, rope worm is kind of a made up term, which means it’s a big ball of gunk that’s not quite feces, but it’s not quite infection. It looks like a rope. And when we do these worm protocols, people poop out this rope-looking substance.

And Dietrich Klinghardt, he’s a medical doc up in Seattle. I’ve spoken with him about this. He says, “Evan, the benefit of these rope worms is that it can act as a reservoir for heavy metals and other toxins.” So if you have mercury fillings in your mouth, you may more be susceptible to have the rope worm in your gut sucking up the metal so that it’s not actively in your bloodstream or in your brain.

And this is an interesting concept because I have seen on test results verified that when we do a gut protocol and these people start pooping out all this stuff, sometimes they’ll get a skin rash. And sometimes a detox rash pops up. And we’re like, “Whoa.” And it’s almost as if we cut this, think of a balloon full of garbage. It’s almost like we cut the balloon open. And on the way out, some of that toxic air or toxic whatever leaked into the system. They get a rash for a week or two, and then it goes away.

And then you retest heavy metals. And even though they didn’t get the silver fillings out of their mouth yet, their mercury levels are lower. And it’s like, well, how would working on the gut lower mercury? And I’m suspecting he must be right with this idea and that it is that whatever gunk is in the gut, it was the storage facility for heavy metals.

So that’s pretty cool. But I still wouldn’t encourage you to leave that in your body. I think that’s a crutch. Maybe that’s making you less toxic to have that. But it’d be good to get that out, and get the silver out of your mouth, as well.

Keith: Right. And maybe it’s just a staging issue. Again, try to get all the offending, whether it’s friends or toxins out of your life, get that taken care of, and then revert back to clearing out the sponges.

Evan: For sure.

Keith: That’s super interesting. Well, Evan, how can people get up with you?

Evan: They can just Google my name. Just type in Evan Brand. And you can find my site. It’s just my name, And they can find the podcast. By the time this is out, there’s probably going to be 300+ episodes. I’m gradually getting to that 300 number, which will be cool. And it’s all free, of course. So if there’s a topic that you heard some about today and you want to dive in deeper, I’ve probably covered it to the point that you’re going to be exhausted of hearing my voice. So just go check it out.

And if people want to reach out, then they can find information about booking a call with me there. I work with people around the world. So even in Australia. It’s more expensive because you’ve got to pay to ship your tests back to the U.S. That’s the only downside to working internationally is you’ve got a little more money to pay the postman to put the package on the donkey and bring the donkey back to the lab.

But besides that, you can pretty much fix any issue across the world, which is cool. It’s like whoa. I had a lady in Saudi Arabia a couple weeks ago. And she had tons of gut bugs. And she’s like, “All of my friends, we all drink the same dirty water. The water is not good here. We all drink the same dirty water. I’m sure all my friends have it.”

And I was like, this is amazing. She got to ship the stool test from Saudi Arabia, in the middle of the desert, back to Georgia to get the results. And then we ship everything across. It’s some weird triangulation pattern. We’ve got to ship it to here, and then she ships it to there. And then her friend ships it. Like it was weird. But somehow magically stuff ended up at her door. And then we’re able to fix it. It’s like that’s cool. That’s one benefit of technology.

Keith: Right, that’s pretty incredible that you can help somebody anywhere in the world.

Evan: Yeah. And I guess my closing message for people is don’t give up. Realize that you can do this, whatever your goal is. Everyone has a goal. Everyone wants to be a little more this, a little less of that. Those goals are probably achievable. And I would just encourage you to make sure that you sleep. Make sure that you’re grateful. Gratitude is the attitude.

Like my wife and I yesterday, we took our little girl to the zoo. It was the worst weather ever. It was like 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It was raining. It was just a little bit of a mist, just enough to get you wet, just enough to turn the windshield wipers on in the car, but not enough to soak you. And we’re like,

“This is like the worst day ever from a weather perspective. But let’s go to the zoo anyway because there’s probably nobody else that’s going to go out and do it.”

We had the best experience ever. All the animals were so active because they weren’t irritated by people. At our zoo here in Kentucky, there’s a rainforest room where there’s no cages. There’s just a bunch of birds flying over your head. Normally all those birds are freaked out and they’re hiding away. But all those birds were right there. So I got some amazing pictures. We got to hang out right next to these birds and had an experience we never would have had just because we took a situation that other people would say is not a good situation, and we took advantage of it.

I told her on the way there, I said, “Babe, there’s some people that may say, ‘Oh, the weather is too crappy. Why would we want to do anything outside today?’ And I thought, babe, there’s people in a hospital right now with cancer that are going to die today. And they would do anything, even if they were in a wheelchair or a stretcher. They would pay for someone to take their stretcher to the zoo and let them have one last good day on earth.”

So you have to take that day. Stop living like there’s going to be this magic day where everything’s going to be perfect. Today may be that day for you. You have to just suck up that day because you might not get another one. So that’s my message.

Keith: Yeah. It’s the Eastern thought idea of right now this very second is perfect no matter what’s going on. It’s exactly as it should be. It is perfect. Accept it as such.

Evan: And that’s hard. That’s hard, man. That’s hard. But continually work on that. I do this exercise every morning and every evening. It’s like a mixed gratitude visualization. I think Tony Robbins does something similar. I know I’ve heard he does something similar. I don’t know his exact protocol.

But my kind of protocol is I’ll come up with things that I’m grateful for. And then I’ll intertwine that with visualizations of things that I want to become reality. So it could be, “I’m grateful for my wife. I’m grateful for this interview with Keith. I’m grateful for this.” And then I’ll throw in something else. Let’s just make something up materialistic that’s cool. “I’m grateful for this boat.” I don’t have a boat. But that’d be cool to have a boat and go on the lake and have some fun.

And then you go back to things that are actually real. And it’s like your brain and your nervous system gets confused on what’s reality and what’s not. So then your dream...That’s why I don’t like the idea of a dream car. I had a guy pulled up into the parking lot like, “Oh, dude, Tesla is my dream car.” I said, “Don’t make it your dream car. Make it your reality car” because that’s what I did. I knew one day I was going to have that in the garage. And it’s materialistic, so people are like, “Oh, whatever. Screw you. That’s a material item. That doesn’t make you happy. Whatever.”

Even Elon in his interview, he said the idea of a Tesla is to maximize fun. And he said it’s the funnest thing you will ever buy. He’s correct! It’s a fun machine, is what it is. But the way that I got to that point was that I was grateful for something that I didn’t even have.

And therefore I wasn’t dreaming. I was just visualizing it. So if something is a dream, it’s too far out of reach, and then you might never achieve it. He’s like, “Oh, I dream one day...” It’s like, “Dude, don’t dream. Make it reality.” And I don’t know all the answers. But that’s kind of a cool little exercise that’s helped me.

Keith: Yeah. That’s a great exercise. I like that idea.

Evan: Don’t separate it. Don’t separate. Don’t make things not reality. Make them reality. It’s just a future reality. Instead of calling it a dream, call it a future reality.

Keith: Right. So instead of having a dream board, you would have a reality board with a few I-want-to-haves popped in there.

Evan: And then maybe to confuse your brain, you put something that you already have on there, like a picture of your wife. Like, “I want her in the future, too. But I’ve also got her right now, which is pretty sweet.” And then that way your brain doesn’t look at that and it’s like, “Oh, Lamborghini or this or that or that.” Your brain says, “Oh, wait a second! Oh.” And then the brain makes a connection. “Oh, there’s the wife,” or, “There’s the baby,” or, “There’s the dog,” or, “There’s the house that we already have. And my dream is already real.” You know what I mean?

I don’t know. We could do a whole hour on that. But look up the book...There’s a book called The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale, which is great, too. And in that book, he goes into some of the strategies that he used to try to basically trick his brain and his nervous system to create a reality that he wanted.

Keith: And what’s it called again?

Evan: It’s called The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale. That was like the best Amazon purchase I’ve ever made in my life. That book changed my life. That one and then Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, and then Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work, and then Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You.

And then another book I think people should have is Dr. Weatherby’s book here. This is on my desk every day. It’s called Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis. You can get this on Amazon. And what you can do is you can take your bloodwork. And you can look at your bloodwork from a functional perspective.

So a conventional doctor runs your bloodwork. “Hey, Keith, everything looks fine. Go home.” But you could look here, and you could go to the chloride page. So this is your chloride. And then you see right here, “If you’re low in chloride, a decreased level is associated with hypochlorhydria, which is low stomach acid. Chloride is one of the main elements necessary to produce stomach acid in your parietal cells.

So if you see, “Hey, my chloride is a few points low. My doctor never would have found that. But now the functional doctor saw chloride was a bit low. I need more stomach acid. And maybe that means I have an H. pylori infection. So now I need to test my gut because why is my chloride low, meaning my stomach acid’s low?” So that’s a cool book. It’s like fifty bucks. I highly recommend it.

Keith: Right on! Well, Evan, it was great talking with you, man. You dropped knowledge bombs left and right like I knew you would.

Evan: Well, I hope I did. And I hope this helped people. And take care of yourself. That way, you can take care of others. All the moms out there, all the dads out there, I know you want to take care of your wife, your husband, your kids, your parents. Your parents are aging. Maybe they’ve got some health problems. Look, to take care of them, you’ve got to take care of you. And it’s not selfish. It’s self first.

I’ve got to take care of me. Otherwise, I can’t take care of others. That’s as simple as it gets right there.

Keith: Right. And that’s the cornerstone. I know I keep going back to sports and military training, is you put team first because you will go over and beyond for others, especially those that you identify as a team member or a

tribe member, over and above than what you would do for yourself. So if you think, I’ve got to be here for them. I’ve got to be healthy for them, that puts things in a whole other perspective. And that gets back to compliance and follow through and all of the other stuff we talked about a little bit earlier.

Evan: Amen. Well, thank you for having me. It was a lot of fun.

Keith: Right on, Evan! And it was great talking with you. Health Hackers, I’ll be back in the next episode. But for now, we’re going to sign out and say adios to Evan. Take care, brother!

Evan: Take care!

#213 Evan and Dr. Justin Discuss Their Surprising Lab Results


Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk all about gut testing today. Find out about the protocols they’ve done and what additional tests and new recommendations they have in battling gut issues when you listen to this podcast. Learn how it is quite normal for a new infection to pop up after having been treated with an initial infection. Discover what steps you can take to effectively treat these parasites and other digestive issues. Find out what different parasites can cause infections and how you can get tested for them.

In this episode, topics include:

02:47 Evan’s testing and symptoms

09:19 Next steps and recommendations

14:39 Additional testing and treating new infections

19:30 Dr. Justin’s lab tests

25:40 Conventional vs functional medicine treatment

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan Brand, it’s Dr. J, man! How are things going?

Evan Brand:  Hey, things are good! Winters coming, unfortunately it’s rainy and cold here today. What about—how you doing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it’s actually about 75 and sunny and really nice today. So it couldn’t be better.

Evan Brand:  I—I do miss the weather. I do miss the Austin weather.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, It is, in general, it is quite good especially this time of year. I was actually last weekend waterskiing just before Thanksgiving and it was perfect. I mean, the temperature of the water was great. I didn’t even have to pull out my wet suit yet.

Evan Brand:  Wow, that’s—that’s awesome. I miss the weather and the food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. And it’s been a while since we chatted a bit. I’m, you know, I need my Evan Brand daily dose here.

Evan Brand:  Hey, man. I agree. It’s a pleasure talking with you as always.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. I know you been doing the Adrenal Summit with Dr. Christiansen, which is great. How did the Summit go?

Evan Brand:  Oh, man. It went good. I think we ended up with like 60 or 70,000 people registered so it was much bigger than Alan and I anticipated. I don’t know why or how it became so much more successful but put it this way, I’ve spent many hours on the phone with HostGator trying to upgrade the hosting. We ended up having to get a dedicated server because they said, “Oh, yeah. With this upgrade should handle your traffic,” and then we upgraded again and still crashed it. So we ended up having to get an insanely expensive server just to handle the traffic. So that’s a good problem to have. I’ve—I’ve not had that much success with something to continually crash and crash and crash websites so that’s cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, that’s a definitely what we call a better quality problem for sure and if anyone’s listening and wants to get access to the Summit, what’s the best way for them to do so.

Evan Brand:  They could just check out and they can check it out. There’s 34 speakers including yours which I think was definitely top three talks for sure. Your talk on conventional versus functional treatment of adrenal issues. They can get your talk, the transcripts, all that stuff if they get the—the full package.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s awesome. Very, very cool. Well, today we talked about gut testing. I know we reported on a podcast we did back I think early in the spring where we reviewed some of your lab tests and then we talked about reviewing some of mine. So today we’re going to review some of my older podcast or my older labs that we did on an earlier podcast, as well as some of yours and some of the retest, and basically the moral the story on this—on this podcast will be recurrent gut infections. Great! You’ve gone through a second, a third round, what do you do? What’s the next up? And typically, other things that happen like what if a new infection comes up that wasn’t present the first time, which happened in your case that I’m really excited to go over.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, absolutely. So where should we start? Should we start at my first symptoms when you saw me and you like—you said, “Evan, man, that looks like you got an infection.” Where should we start the journey?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think there will be a good place and then also reviewing the labs that we did back in the spring, kinda reviewing the results of those and then sliding up to present day with you and present day with myself.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I wanna hear about yours, too. So with my—with myself, you know, it took me a while maybe 3-4 months before actually got the test run, wife was busy, we were moving, you said, “Evan, get checked out.” That was like right when I was moving, you know, to—back to Kentucky.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So I the test done. I got the 401H run and that’s where we found the abundant growth of E. coli, that’s where we found the Cryptosporidium, the Giardia. Both of those are bad parasites. You do not want those and so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.

Evan Brand:  That’s when—that’s when you and I talked and crafted a protocol together about what we should do to get rid of these things and then it took me from March until August to get the retest of the same lab. The Crypto and Giardia gone. Great. Did not show up with parasites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Evan Brand:  Something that was detected that wasn’t detected before is H. Pylori. So as of August, the H. pylori showed up and then you and I chatted again about, well, what should we do now? What’s next steps for gut—got gut protocols for H. pylori. So I’m finishing up H. pylori protocol. I plan to retest probably January-February. I’ll do a retest and see—see what’s going on. See if the H. pylori’s gone. Symptoms, skin has improved massively. I’ve showed you and you’re like, “Wow.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I could see it in your videos. You—you’ve better skin tone, a little clearer and less—less redness or irritation. So I can definitely see a huge improvement on your skin.

Evan Brand:  I—I didn’t realize how inflamed my face was and having breakouts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm., Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  So I didn’t realize how profound it was until it’s gone. It’s almost like these infections have played dingdong ditch on my skin for so long that I didn’t remember what clear good skin should feel and look like. So that—that’s a massive improvement. Energy levels have gotten better. Sleep is way better. I was waking up in the middle of the night all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  When I had those parasites especially around full moons. Now I’m getting some of the best sleep. Also adding the fact that I moved away so—from those high electromagnetic fields, now I’m sleeping better than I have since I was probably 8-9 years old.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Like I feel like I’m sleeping like a little baby, like a kid again, and it’s remarkable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. So in general just kinda going back and letting the listeners know a little bit more about your history in case they’re coming into a this a little bit late. You did have a history a while back with IBS, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s what started this whole journey back 2008-2009–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  When I was in college. I mean, the first thing I had to do when I went into a building was figure out where the bathroom was because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  I may have to run to the bathroom and that was a—a life, in a lifestyle strategy that I assumed, maybe some people dealt with but it just became normal, right? I mean, I didn’t think anything of it. I knew it sucked. I knew it wasn’t fun but I didn’t know there was a way out. And I went to the conventional docs, they prescribed three drugs which I did not fill any of the prescriptions, acid blocker, anti-spasmodic and some other type of drug, did not take any of those. Removing gluten basically cured 80% of the issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  But 20% of the issue remain where I had this cyclical issue with my gut where every month or every couple months, you know, symptoms would pop up. Maybe get some loose stool and then things would go back to normal. And you think, “Oh, maybe it was just something I ate, maybe I got gluten somewhere, but no it was these infections.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and the big thing, too, some of the symptoms that you experience after you cut the gluten out even though you had these infections, you had a big improvement with some of the IBS symptoms—bloating, diarrhea, constipation, those kind of things. But you still had other symptoms, right? You are very blood sugar sensitive. You had the cold hands and cold feet, and sometimes you’d have some like some panic attacks, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anxiety, heightened anxiety.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I remember—I remember calling you when I was still in Austin. We were going to move and I said, “Dude, I cannot slow my heart down. My—my heart is beating out of my chest. This is abnormal.” Now granted there was a huge amount of lifestyle stress. I think we were moving–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  Driving cross-country in two days. I mean, there was huge–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Evan Brand:  Impending stress, but I was still adrenally fatigued where I was not able to handle it. And my adrenals showed low which I’m going to say is due to some of the malnutrition cause from the digestive issues. My fingernails had the vertical lines. The weight loss like I told you and you saw me when I moved to Austin, I was about 160 pounds and I was down to like high 130s or 140. I lost 20 pounds in a year without trying which some peeps, “Oh, Even, I want that problem.” No, you don’t. No, you don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. It’s definitely not a good type of weight loss, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, exactly. So weight has stabilized. I’m actually approaching 150 pounds. So I’ve gained back—what is that? About 12—mmm, give or take 5, 5 to 12 pounds, just depending on what my official starting point was when the weight loss stopped.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And very little diet changes because you were really on point. I think the only thing we tweaked in your diet is pulling out a little bit more dairy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, unfortunately I had to get rid of the—the organic raw, grass-fed cheeses that I love. The—they’re gone. So now I just do a little bit of butter, some ghee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you did a lot better. I remember seeing your skin really improved when we pulled out the—the dairy, that last piece there.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Yup, absolutely, man.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then tell me about that the—the cold hands and cold feet. How’s that improved since we knocked out the Crypto and the Blasto—or no, Crypto and Giardia?

Evan Brand:  Cold hands, cold feet still there like I told you. I—I’m wearing these elk moccasins with sheep skin in them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any change at all? Any change at all? 5, 10, 15%?

Evan Brand:  I—I say nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Evan Brand:  I think—I think no change at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But the bigger change you’d say would be more of the mood stuff, the anxiety, those kind of things?

Evan Brand:  Oh, for sure. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Evan Brand:  I mean mood’s much better. Brain fog, you know, if we looked at—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Brain fog, yup.

Evan Brand:  If we looked at the 02, you know, we had high candida markers on there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The fungus. Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so the yeast problem was also causing bloating which was unusual for me. I’d never have bloating before. And when you see—we see people joke about, “Oh, I feel pregnant.” No, for real like you can have massive yeast problems that can be—that can be successfully treated. So the—so the yeast gone. I have no bloating issues anymore, but the cold hands, cold feet, we gotta figure that one out. So if you help me figure that one out, I’m gonna be eternally grateful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and it could be some type of inflamed—inflammatory type of thing that’s affecting your thyroid or your adrenals. We’d have to look at your adrenals again. That’d probably be the next step and we got some—some potential test coming up soon. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Thyroid—thyroid looked good. I remember we talked about that. We looked at antibodies, looked at thyroid levels. I’d have to look back again but it checked out okay. There was no—no Hashimoto’s, nothing that looked really out of whack. So maybe we’ll have to see once this new adrenal test that I told you about the other day, once we get that run on ourselves we’ll have to see what’s—what’s changed. Maybe there’s still some lingering adrenal issues. I would say so, because any type of days where I’m really pushing it, you know, 12-16 hour days, I feel it. I’m like, “Oh, that was too much, too hard.” So I think there’s still some adrenal recovery going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And one thing we miss though during your last lab test. I have your lab test up here now. Do I have permission to—to go over it?

Evan Brand:  Sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, cool. Your TSH came back really good, 1.290.  Your T3 actually looked pretty good, 3.5. One thing I noticed though is your T4 Free was very high, 1.82. That’s off the charts. So I would be curious to see what you’re reverse T3 levels are like. I would not be–

Evan Brand:  I don’t think it was on the panel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nope.

Evan Brand:  Was it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, it was not.

Evan Brand:  Darn it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would not be surprised if your reverse T3 levels were very high because I’m seeing a very high amount of T4 and then a good amount T3. So there’s a—a spillage with that T4 to T3 conversion. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an increase in reverse T3, which you know, are the metabolic blanks that fill up the—the space for the bullets and the clip, right?

Evan Brand:  So, wouldn’t this be pointing us back to the adrenals again?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  As a major factor?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, one thing that I think we’ll have to do next–yeah, one thing I think we’ll do next is we could talk about looking at the new Biohealth Adrenal Test that’ll be coming out soon which I’m really excited about that we talked about last week.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  As well as comparing it to the Dutch. I love to see looking at both of those side-by-side what kind of Intel we get and I wouldn’t be surprised over time once we get you fully infection-free because that H. pylori, like we said, is still there. So that’s probably affecting stomach acid and enzyme levels and mineral absorption.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we gotta make sure you’re on hydrochloric acid. How’s that going with you?

Evan Brand:  Oh, I take enzymes like Skittles, so I love them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about hydrochloric acid thought?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, HCl, I’m getting about 600, 4 to 600 mg–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Per meal?

Evan Brand:  With each meal. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would say taper it up to 3000 mg per meal, so about five capsules of HCl combined. In Dr. Jonathan Wright’s book about, you know, why you need stomach acid. He finds people may need, clinically up from 1000 up to 5000 mg of betaine. So I kind of go somewhere in the middle because I don’t want you to get a peptic ulcer.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I would—I would try inching up to 4 to 5 capsules slowly in the middle of the meal and just make sure you’re not getting any warmness or irritation.

Evan Brand:  So you’re thinking about of a—a gram on the low end then?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  On the low end, you should be starting there and then working your way up. I’ll go up to at least 3 g.

Evan Brand:  Mmkay. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  300 mg, 3 g.

Evan Brand:  So what—what I’ve been using, I’ve been experimenting with the pure—I’ll—I’ll send you—I’ll send it to you about the Pure Encapsulations one where they have— I wanna say there’s 250 HCl in each capsule, and then plus—plus all the enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So what I do with patient like yourself–

Evan Brand:  So would you say add–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm., go ahead.

Evan Brand:  I was gonna say, so with these extra enzymes I’m not sure if I really need X amount of protease x 5, so I wonder–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! Yup.

Evan Brand:  H—HCl by itself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! You’re leading me.

Evan Brand:  Then would be the solution.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So when I’m dealing with patients, typically anyone that has a gut-related issue where we see digestive-related issues or digestive-related gut infections, depending on how bad their gut is, we’ll either separate the enzymes from the HCl just so we can get the pill count more reasonable for the HCl because a lot of the combo ones are about 200 mg. So you need about three times more pills to get the same HCl amount and that becomes a little, you know, convoluted when you’re taking 15 or 16 capsules per meal.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So would like the HCl like in my line, it’s HCl Supreme at anywhere between 1 to 5 capsules which that’ll—the 5 will get you about 3 g or 3000 mg on the high-end and then play with the enzymes been 1 and 3, 1 and 2 will probably be fine with the enzymes per meal.

Evan Brand:  Mmkay. I’m gonna do it. Let’s see what happens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when I say play with it, what I mean is with the HCl you have a palpable effet, right? You get the irritation or the—the warmness, right? Those—that kind of feeling with the HCl. Take in the middle the meal. With the enzymes, it’s hard to say. So get the HCl dose gonna fine-tuned first and then once you have the HCl dose, just taper up the enzymes and see if you notice an improvement with how you feel. Like it may just be lighter after a meal, better bowel movements. You just feel like there’s less bloating or less digestive issues, better regularity, start with one. See how you do and then go up to 2, and see if you notice an improvement with any of those symptoms I just mentioned. If you notice an improvement, keep it at the higher dose. If you don’t notice an improvement, you can just keep at the one capsule per meal kinda standard dose.

Evan Brand:  So how do you feel about upping the pepsin, because I’m—we’re gonna be upping in pepsin closer to a gram there for it, you know, 3 g of betaine, we may be at a gram of pepsin. How do you feel about that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s fine. No problem with that.

Evan Brand:  That’s good. Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, no problem with that. So looking at your test I would just say the thyroid, I’d like to redo it with the reverse T3 and then follow up with those 2 adrenal tests just because it’d be really great to biohack that and present it to the listeners.

Evan Brand:  I know. Were—were the antibodies on there? I couldn’t remember.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They were and they came back good, 5 on the TPO which is great, you know, anything below the teens is fine, and then below the one on the thyroglobulin antibody which look good as well.

Evan Brand:  Cool, excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, very cool. So recapping, right? You came back with Crypto-Giardia to start and some fungal issues, right? And then we retested and then we saw Crypto and Giardia gone–

Evan Brand:  H. pylori.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But H. pylori popped up. So this is kind of irritating for a lot of people that have an infection. They get it treated. We see some results with those initial infections being knocked down but a new one pops up. And typically what happens is gut infections can kind of burrow in to the gut wall, so they go, you know, more superficial, right? More distal, the proximal in relation to the gut wall. So they—they burrow deeper in. So typically what happens is the gut lining heals from inside—or I should say from the outer layer to the inner, deeper gut—gut wall layer. So outer layer to deeper gut wall and if infections are penetrating deep into the crypts or into the gut lining or gut wall, then it may take time for them to show up on a stool test. So t typically we knock out those infections, they can hide in what’s called the crypts and we can get this crypt hyperplasia phenomenon where they dive deep into the crypts, so if you look at your hand where your fingers meet your palm, that little indentation, that little U spot, that’s like the crypts. So imagine the outer gut lining, right? The outer gut lining is like the fingertips and the inner gut wall is like the palm, and it can hide in where those fingers actually meet the palm and that’s like the analogy of the crypts in relation to your hand, so you can physically see it. So that’s kinda, as we go deeper in, and we go from like the first knuckle to the second knuckle to the actual palm part where the infections burrow deeper in in relation to your gut.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and we’ve discussed that on previous podcasts about healing from the inside out or the outside in, however, you—you want to say it but this is the proof right here. I mean, here these infections are they’re gone but then something else is still there. So basically what you’re saying is with this H. pylori, you’re saying that would’ve been a deeper infection, so maybe longer-lasting or you—you’re thinking maybe H. pylori, the Crypto-Giardia, but since we’re working from the outside in and we’re working deeper now that the H. pylori has now revealed itself. Is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I think it was always there and now because the immune system has been supported by just knocking out some of these infections, and the gut has kind of healed somewhat, so we’re kinda getting down into the deeper parts of the gut where some of these infections may have been buried deep. And H. pylori is known to burrow deeper into the gut lining, too, right? So scen—two scenarios, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Number one—actually three scenarios. Number one, the infection wasn’t there and it was a new—it was reinfection over the last 2 or 3 months during treatment. Scenario number two is the infection was missed by the lab or scenario number three, the crypt hyperplasia phenomenon and you know, sometimes it can be typically two or three. The lab may have missed it. That’s why a lot of times we run 2 tests with patients that we highly suspect of gut issues and as you talked about, I’m not sure if we mentioned it, but your GI Map that we ran side-by-side the 401 missed the H. pylori. So little bit different, but the 401 also is the H. pylori antigen where the GI Map was a DNA test for the H. pylori. So the antigen’s the gold standard, right? We have a higher level of false negatives than positives. So the fact that we got a positive on the test is a really good sign we know it’s there.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So again, infections kind of burrow in to the gut lining deeper into the gut walls, so the gut’s gonna heal from the outside in and being deeper into the gut wall where those fingers meet your hands so to speak, and that’s what tends to happen we get these infections come into the surface. So with you, we have the H. pylori present but the Blasto—or the Crypto and the Giardia is clear. Is that correct?

Evan Brand:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Excellent because the Giardia and the Crypto are much more virulent infections than H. pylori.

Evan Brand:  I know. I’m glad those were gone. I was thrilled. That was a great day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so we tweaked your protocol a little bit and we’re gonna check in and see where you’re at in the next month or two.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we’ll see January, come round the time of my birthday or so. We’ll see what’s going and hopefully I’ll be sym—you know, infection-free for my birthday. That’d be a good goal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I agree. Anything else you wanna add to what we just chatted about?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I’m excited to talk about yours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. So I did some lab tests, too. Okay and I’ve been doing lab tests for years on myself, so it’s always fun to see what new stuff comes back, plus some–

Evan Brand:  So where should we start—where should we start your journey. I wanna hear what you think is your starting point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I mean right now gut-wise, I’m pretty darn good, like no real symptoms with my gut unless I eat some bad food. So I try to, you know, for the most part be 80% Autoimmune Paleo, and with the exception of, you know, some nuts and here and there and a little bit of butter here and there, but outside of that I’m pretty–

Evan Brand:  Chocolate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Pretty sure, yes, a little bit of dark chocolate. That’s kind of debatable but you know, high-quality 90% organic, you know, good dark chocolate. So that’s kinda where I live most of the time.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And typically I never cheat with gluten. If I cheat, I try to always make sure it’s a gluten-free cheat just because, you know, why not? I have options to do that and I know how good I feel being off that. So that’s where I’m at there.

Evan Brand:  I agree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have a previous history of Hashimoto’s, I mean slightly elevated antibodies, so I gotta be careful with gluten. So I’m really diligent to make sure that’s a priority to not get exposed to that kryptonite for me. That’s number one. Number two, I’ve done gut test and I’ve had relatively good success with being clear with infections. I came back I think in 2009 with the equivocal Giardia infection. I cleared that out. I had a lot of fungal stuff in the past. So I’ve really knocked out fungus, little bit of Giardia in the past. And my most recent lab test in the 401, I actually came back clean. I mean nothing. No growth, no bacterial issues, no, nothing. So I was really excited about that and then on the GI Map test, I did come back with a little bit of C. diff, a little bit of salmonella, a little bit enterococcus overgrowth, a little bit Morganella morganii, and then a little of Geotrichum fungus and–and some lower enzyme. So you know, I’ve upped my HCl, upped my enzymes, we’re knocking out some of the bacteria and that bacteria isn’t that bad. That’s kind of benign stuff, so we’re knocking that down right now, and then I also ran the DRG. So I ran the DRG, the GI Map, and the 401H, all at the same time, which is really cool. And on the DRG, I came back with a little bit elevations in fecal fat which we kinda suspect right because my enzymes were lower so we’re upping the enzymes, upping the HCl a bit, that’s—I’m confident it’s helping. E. histo came back slightly elevated. Come back—came back at 688 on the GI Map—I’m sorry, on the DRG. Anything 350 or higher is considered positive and–

Evan Brand:  So let—so say that one more time. So anything above 350 is a positive for the histolytica and you were what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was 688, so I was–

Evan Brand:  Ahh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Almost twice the limit.

Evan Brand:  Tell people—tell people what that is, just so they don’t like glaze over and glaze over and go like, “Whoa! Histolytica, what is that?” Talk us through it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so a Entamoeba histolytica, it’s an amoebic infection. The histo- means cell, -lytic means to cut, so it’s an amoebic infection the cuts through cells, right? Doesn’t sound too nice. We see it quite frequently but it’s, you know, on the nastier side. It’s a pretty bad infection. Dr. Kalish was one of his weak links that really knocked him out for a bit, infection-wise. Other people and clinicians I know have gotten it and been hurt by it, but it’s a nasty infection. It’s an amoeba. So it’s gonna be small. You’re not gonna see it in your stool. I do a lot of waterskiing in Lake Austin so it’s possible it maybe some water. I swallowed some water and I got it that way. I go to Mexico quite frequently, so it’s hard so it’s hard to say what the vector was, but we’re knocking it out. We’re knocking it out right now. I’m on a protocol, just about to be finished, and I’ll be retesting soon and we’ll report our retest results for the listeners.

Evan Brand:  Awesome, awesome. Yeah, I think—I think it’s probably—my guess is the waterskiing. Now, what makes me wonder though. Let’s just say that if—maybe you did swallow water, you probably did, but what if it went up your nose, too. So let’s say you fall off the skis, the water goes up the nose. Could you get the same level of—what would you call that? I guess you would just call it an infection. Would—can—can you get that same amount or is the same amount of susceptibility to the infection nasally as opposed to orally?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would say it’s possible for sure. I would say it’s definitely possible. I’m not a—I don’t see many nasal parasitic infections. I mean you’re gonna have a lot of IGA and immune membrane protection there that’s gonna help kind of knock things down. Plus I think–

Evan Brand:  Well, I just wonder—sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, no problem.

Evan Brand:  I was just wondering if you get it up your nose and then you feel it drain down into your throat and then go into the GI tract that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s what I would imagine what happened because your body’s gonna produce mucus and things to—to slide it down into the gut because the gut’s got a highly acidic environment where it can kinda be like bleach on that dirty picnic table and kinda clean things up. So I would imagine the body’s gonna start the immune response there, and also flush it into the stomach.

Evan Brand:  But if HCl was low due to–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Stress.

Evan Brand:  Stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, poor habits, eating gluten.

Evan Brand:  Then that could have led to the inability for that infection to become more invasive, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  So now that the enzymes are there. If you’re in the same situation again. Let’s just say maybe it was from skiing, if you’re taking enzymes now as a pre-ski supplement, then it’ll you know, that’s—that’s gonna significantly increase your protection. Wouldn’t you say? Because anything that does–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  Get down, there—there’s protection there. So maybe you did like an Epic barn and enzymes before you went skiing or something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, maybe maybe some enzymes, some probiotics, HCl, maybe a little bit of herbs. I tried to do a little bit of herbs with some probiotics just to make sure that doesn’t happen. But there’s, you know, there’s the two types of scenarios where this happens, right? There’s the opportunistic bug where you’re your immuno compromised, you’re stressed, your diet’s not good. A lot of physical, chemical, and emotional stress overload and your immune system is now weakened and then these critters kinda sneak their way to the front door, right? That’s like the first scenario. Scenario number two is you get hit with a whole bunch of infectious debris, and it’s like having a gang of people outside your door knocking it down, where you’re kinda defenseless, right? So scenario is kind of a chronic set up where you’re compromised. Scenario number two is you‘re just overwhelmed with the amount of debris coming in there and it’s harder for your immune system to respond.

Evan Brand:  Yup, could you speak on the conventional treatment for this. I think sometimes you and I we love functional medicine so much, we forget that there are conventional practices out there which are typically very inferior for this type of issue?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, for conventional parasite, the most common medication that’s gonna be prescribed is gonna be Flagyl or metronidazole that’s gonna be thrown at people. Typically 1 to 2 weeks at the most, and that may work a third of the time, and quite frequently it won’t work at least two-thirds of the time and then you have more conventional docs that have—are using more let’s say advanced type of antibiotics that may work better where it’s a paromomycin or it’s Nidazole or Alinea or Humatin, so there’s other medications that may be used. Again I like to use the herbs first because of their safety record, tend to be a little bit more selecting towards the bad critters and away from a good, and then to also working its biofilms, too, and they have synergistic effects like berberines and Artemisia work really strong together and if you add in silver, it can also make the herbs work better and then you have other herbs like clove or grapefruit seed extract that may be beneficial for fungus as well. So there’s a lot of synergy that you get with the herbs and you can do it longer term without the side effects that you get from the antibiotics.

Evan Brand:  I love it. I love it. Well, thanks for bringing that up because I know you’ve had clients and patients say the same thing they say to me which is, “Oh, Evan. I’ve done all the herbs. They don’t work.” And it’s like maybe you’ve just not done the herbs long enough. Maybe the practitioner didn’t create a protocol that was effective enough, but the herbs do work and you and I see it every single week in the clinic that it’s real and you absolutely can’t get rid of infections with functional medicine and the right type of approach.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and again it’s gonna come down to what’s the infection and then the dose, you know, we’re using much higher doses. I mean, typically, if you look on the instructions of some of the supplements we’ll use, the dose is probably 75% less recommended and then we use a lot of herbs and nutrients together synergistically. And the key is in my opinion that really helps is we’re building up the immune system by making the diet, the lifestyle changes, supporting the adrenals and/or other hormonal imbalances before we go after the infection. That’s what really supports the immune system so it makes the whole process of eradication much easier and easier to—to rebound back from both.

Evan Brand:  Well, that and the fact that you and I both use professional healthcare companies to manufacture our product. So if we’re comparing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  A consumer grade herb say from Now Foods or Gaia Herbs or something like that, which can be great. Compared to a professional healthcare product, I mean the quality is completely different, much, much higher. So when you get, say 250 mg of something, you’re actually getting that or you’re getting close as you can to that, versus with consumer grade products that you may buy at Whole Foods, you can’t say the same about absorption rates and bioavailability, things like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely and then we’re combining it, and then the real key thing is we test afterwards, right? You never wanna guess. You wanna test. So then we’ll follow up with that retest and like in your situation, we know the H. pylori came—the H. pylori was—was there, right? That was a new infection. So now that’s on our bull’s-eye. We tweak your protocol a bit and make sure everything’s dialed in and then we go back to the drawing board. So the next step for you is while we’re doing all these things with the H. pylori is get that adrenal re-tested and see where we’re at with it and then the next step would be support whatever systems are out of balance with the adrenals and the thyroid and make sure you’re infection-free.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I’m going to continue to—I took a little break from adaptogens but I’m gonna continue to add adaptogens back again. I can feel it. I got out of the sauna the other day and I was—I took a shower. I just had a real, real light breakfast, didn’t—didn’t have much at all and—and I had some shakes going on in my hand, so I knew it was a combination of maybe like a healing reaction, but some adrenal stress, too. I could feel it. I was like, “Oh, man.” It’s like Justin, he’s in my head. “Blood sugar, Evan. Blood sugar.” So you know, I had to eat something and—and felt significantly better. But I know there’s still—there’s still some work to be done on the chemical front, too. You and I—we’ll have to do another show if we haven’t already on the GPL talks and we need to get you checked out, too, because I had those insecticides on that GPL that were off the charts and those are probable carcinogens. So that’s a whole another, a whole another podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, we’re gonna have to get that done and we’ll do a whole podcast on that. So kinda wrapping things up for you, knocked out 2 infections, Crypto-Giardia, awesome, really, really good there. Myself, I just came back with the E. histo and a little bit of bacteria and a very small amount of fungus, cleaning that up, been doing that for the last two months, getting ready to retest soon, and again the key thing is doing 2 tests was helpful. I find this really helpful–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Especially when you really want to rule out gut stuff and then outside of that, following up with the retest and making sure everything else is dialed in.

Evan Brand:  Yup. Are you doing any—any oreganos for like that geotrichum or some of the other fungus.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Yeah. My line—I used the GI Clear 5 and I use that at 6-8, 6-9 capsules that I hit it up pretty hard and then I—

Evan Brand:  Wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I followed up with the GI Clear 4 in my line and then I rotate between the 1 and the 6. I went back and forth and I add a little bit of silver, you know, again, I could do a little bit more intricate things because I know I’m gonna do it, but sometimes with patients the big thing you gotta do is compliance ,right? So if you get too intricate with patients, it may create some compliance issues. So I try to keep it more simple, but for myself I—I played around with mixing some things on and off which can be helpful, but again even just going at it straightforward would probably knock the infection out. No problem.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, man, so you’re—you’re hitting it pretty darn hard then, 9 of those a day?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah, just about done though. I think I used my last GI Clear 4 this morning so I’m switching over to probiotics I think tonight and then I gotta get those tests back in and retest by the end of the year.

Evan Brand:  Yup, how long—how long was your—was your protocol. Was it—did you do 4, 6, 8 weeks?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I did about 8-10 weeks.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was off for a little bit because I was traveling. It was tough to—to bring everything but I—

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was able to maintain it pretty well. Typically if I cheat with the herbs, I’ll at least take morning and night so when I wake up–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when I go to bed, so at least can get both those in.

Evan Brand:  So if compliance is 90%. Most cases you’re gonna do well. Like you said, if the foundations are already built into place and diet, lifestyle, stress management strategies, all that’s in place, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so the key things is if I miss my afternoon dose, I make sure if I’m supposed to get 6 of 1 pill, I wanna make sure it’s 3 and 3. I don’t do 2 and 2, and then just say, well, I’ll go with a, you know, a 30% less dose. No, I keep the dose the same. We just double up.

Evan Brand:  Now, so do you believe—do you put faith in the idea or the term, a healing reaction, or do you think that’s just an overhyped term that’s kind of an excuse for someone that’s not getting supported properly, meaning someone’s hitting something too hard but the practitioner maybe is not giving them the proper liver support or if this person is not pooping enough and they’re really constipated that they’re having some of that autointoxication that way.  I mean, is there something to healing reactions or do you think that there’s maybe another part of the wheel that just hasn’t been cranked at the same time that you’re killing this stuff off?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think both. I think if someone’s having a healing reaction to start at the normal dose, it tells me that their infection is quite virulent and their immune system and lymphatic system and detox are having a difficult time. I went right up to the full dose with mine and I’d no problem, like not one symptoms.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Maybe a tiny but of lethargy or fatigue. No issue. So if a patient goes up to that full dose and they have reaction, it tells me something. It tells me there’s probably a lot of debris the body is trying to respond to and—and kinda flush out and it’s having a difficult time, so you know, our list making sure diet and blood sugar is there and making sure sleep’s there, and making sure waters there, right? Once that’s off our list, making sure we have adrenal support, digestive support, and nutrient support. Good, now that’s off our list. Then we go to the infection and if we’re still having that, during the infectious time and we’re pooping regularly and bowel movements are regular, well, the real simple thing is we cut everything down, cut it out 2-3 days, get symptom-free, add everything one at a time half dose to full dose, and if we’re really sensitive we may go quarter to half to three-quarters to full. Then add the next product in and as long as we don’t have a negative reaction, we go up to the full dose. If we have a negative reaction, we back off, go to the next product. Like so if it’s at 4 caps, the reaction happens, well, great. Back down to 3. No problem.

Evan Brand:  Move on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go to the next one. Move on. And then once you get everything back in, then you got back up to the first one again and you try inching it back to the full dose. So that’s my supplement reaction or my detox protocol, and then we’ll typically add in side-by-side that is some ginger tea, some activated charcoal, and/or bentonite clay or diatomaceous earth. I typically pick one. I’ve been going more with the charcoal in the DE these days. We’ll even throw in some fiber. It just depends with patients.

Evan Brand:  I love charcoal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Charcoal is amazing. I mean, I’m visualizing this. It’s so fun because it’s almost like being a sound mixer. You picture—you picture the guy at the concert, you know, he has this little lever over here, this little dial. He spins this dial this way, backs this dial down, pulls up this little switch, flips that level, turns that button—boop! I mean, it’s his—it’s so fun to do this stuff, man. It never gets old.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I totally agree. So regarding the healing crisis, I think it means something, but I always tell people, don’t be the tough person. Don’t try to tough it out. It means something.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Back off. Get the ginger tea in. If you want to throw in some charcoal in between meals or some extra fiber, fine, and then we’ll gradually increase at one by one. Now typically anyone that has a long history of autoimmune stuff or gut stuff, I always go slow but sometimes you get people that are doing pretty well and then you’re like, well, let’s just back right in to a full dose and they get hit by a bus.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we just go back, quarter, half, three-quarters, full or we just start at a quarter half and then increase and any negative reactions, back off to the last safest dose, or—and then move on to the next supplement.

Evan Brand:  You’re not going to win a trophy if you finish your protocol faster than somebody else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Most times if we had add the detox support and curtail the dose, it’s like throwing the lobster in the water that’s already cold. It doesn’t scream, you know, you can—you can just turn it up slowly. No problem. You throw the lobster in the hot water, man. Those things make a, you know, some nice screamy noises that aren’t too pleasant. Even though I love lobster, I hate that—that part so–

Evan Brand:  I’ve—I’ve not cooked lobster to—to experience that myself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah. I have a lot of empathy for animals but I also know it’s the circle of life, and there’s a lot nutrient density, but that’s the whole analogy is, going back, is if you slower you don’t get the—the nasty effects, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Instead of lobster screaming at your body and your tummy and your limb screaming.

Evan Brand:  So for you hopefully on retest, everything’s gone. We’re hoping nothing extra shows up for you like a deeper H. pylori infection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s the goal. Yup. I’m i’m feeling pretty good about it, man.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool, very cool. Well, anything you want to address, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this was well said and we should wrap it up. I think if we keep going then people will fall asleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  So hopefully this was entertaining and I mean, talk about a level of transparency, I don’t think there’s anything higher than what we’re doing and what we’re talking about, so I hope you all enjoyed that and—and appreciate that fact because it—it’s rare to find this level of transparency and we have nothing to lose. I mean, this is—we’re in the trenches every day. So I mean, this is what it’s all about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think people will really have a lot to learn seeing that their—their doctor or their healthcare practitioner is in the trenches, too, and doing it and still working on their health. And again, I can’t think of any people on, you know, health people on the iTunes or on the Internet world that are getting this level of transparency and exposure out to their listeners.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean, not that we have the time to go and—and research, but I feel like we would’ve known by now if somebody was revealing everything. There’s this weird perception, you know, where if you’re the practitioner, you’re the expert, you know, you’re the—the caretaker that everything is just 100% perfect and that’s not true. There’s many different exposures. I mean, you and I do as much as possible as we can to do everything right, but you still go skiing in water where there could be something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  I’m convinced that I got the Crypto and/or the Giardia from swimming in Barton Springs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  I took in a huge amount of water. So life still happens and as much as you and I can do the things to try to create these little bubbles of you know, a nutrition bubble and lifestyle, and all these great little parts of our ecosystem, we still operate in an ecosystem that is generally pretty toxic in terms of all the things that are out in the air, food, water, soil and you’re going—you’re going to come across stuff and it is just about what do you do to increase your resilience against these things once you kill them off, like you said was some of the post infection support, you know, people may hear—hear this and think oh kill, kill, kill, but eventually we’re strengthening us, too, as the host and so that’s why you and I, you know, maybe we take an extra day off or we go spend some more time in nature because that’s the stuff that’s going to heal you in the long term. You know, you can—you can continue to go through rounds of a gut killing protocol, but at the end of the day, if you’re not healthy, you’re going to continue to get reinfected because the host is weak and if the host is weak, then I mean, that—that’s something Reed Davis said to me, that I though was pretty profound. He’s like, “Kill, kill, kill.” He said, “But you gotta fix you, too.” The host has gotta be resilient. So that’s where the adaptogens and all the other fun stuff that we chat about comes in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and if you guys listening and really enjoying it, give us a nice review on iTunes. You can click the link below. We appreciate your support. Anything else, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, man. Great chat today. I look forward doing this again real soon.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You, too. Bye.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

Podcast #176 Parasites Found In Stool Test! The Functional Medicine Approach

Today we discuss My Stool Test Results. We found not one, but two parasites, cryptosporidium and giardia. I also ran an organic acids test as well that shows that I have some candida issues going on with the infections. Today Dr. Justin and I talk about why we rely on functional medicine testing as opposed to the conventional stool tests that mainstream medical doctors run to look at stool. Most of the time these conventional tests will show up negative for parasites.

If you run a functional stool test on yourself, we may discover a parasite or other type of pathogen that is causing the various symptoms in your intestinal tract. The real thing that is odd here is that my symptoms of infection were minimal. I lost weight, I have vertical ridges on my fingernails and had some fatigue, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Cold hands and feet were another symptom that I've had for as long as I can remember. Now to treat these infections, we are using an herbal protocol that will act as a natural anti-parasitic and anti-microbial.

The conventional M.D.s will use antibiotics that can treat these infections, but there can be a lot of side effects that come along with these. I have seen patients that have gone though a round of antibiotics that still have infections. So we absolutely want to follow up with the herbs after antibiotics with patients if they do use these, because there can be lasting side effects we want to resolve.

After using garlic, oregano oil along with wormwood and black walnut, among other families of herbs, we will be adding in binding support and liver support to make sure that the die off reactions are covered. I will be using activated charcoal and will be monitoring my liver enzymes throughout this protocol to keep an eye on any potential effects.

The only way that you know you're clear of these infections is to run a test. I advise you to get tested sooner than later. It's important to run tests on your body systems each year to be proactive about your health. It can save you from chronic illness later down the road.

Learn more about black walnut with Jim's great article at his site