🔷 Jenn is the Wholistic Health Boss, which supports busy, health-minded professionals in taking back control of their health by giving them access to the right lab tests and resources so they can find the missing pieces of their health puzzle—actually fix what is wrong, and get back to feeling like themselves again.
🔷 Using over a decade of personal training experience, training and functional diagnostic nutrition and transformational coaching, she creates personalized health building programs for clients that are realistic and sustainable for long lasting results, and empower clients to be the boss of their own health.
🔷 Jenn's whole spin on being a health boss is really to become your own advocate. Because, you know, she likes to say you know your body better than anybody does. And we have a tendency to put other health professionals on a pedestal, and sometimes ignore what our own, like intuition or inner guidance is telling us about our health. And that's what sometimes leads us down like a long path of like finding the solutions to actually feeling better.
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this is her handle in Instagram, it’s @wholistichealthboss
and then her website is wholistichealthboss.com. 👈
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Isabel: Welcome, everybody. I'm Dr. Isabel and you are at the MD and Chef Team Podcast.
Today, I have a special guest all the way from California, United States of America. Everybody knows where California is. And it's Jenn Malecha, the Wholistic Health Boss.
Jenn is the Wholistic Health Boss, which supports busy, health-minded professionals in taking back control of their health by giving them access to the right lab tests and resources so they can find the missing pieces of their health puzzle—actually fix what is wrong, and get back to feeling like themselves again. Yes!
Using over a decade of personal training experience, training and functional diagnostic nutrition and transformational coaching, she creates personalized health building programs for clients that are realistic and sustainable for long lasting results, and empower clients to be the boss of their own health.
Boom! I love that.
Isabel: And I want to let the audience know that we call each other up and ask what we were wearing, what color we were wearing so we are synched up. No, no, not really.
Jenn: I’m (unclear) coordinated. It's great.
Isabel: I just call this my uniform, because I just love these colors. You look beautiful.
Jenn: Same, they're great colors on us.
Isabel: Thank you. Yes, dark hair.
So Jen, tell me, you wanted to talk a lot about blood tests. And because I've been trained as a conventional medical doctor, I had to learn all these other different tests, which you're going to be talking about. I really want to share with everybody these different tests that regular doctors are not taught to do. So you have to be the boss and kind of help them along, or find another doctor, right? Or somebody like you.
Jenn: Yeah, exactly. Like my whole spin on being a health boss is really to become your own advocate. Because, you know, like, I like to say you know your body better than anybody does. And we have a tendency to put other health professionals on a pedestal, and sometimes ignore what our own, like intuition or inner guidance is telling us about our health. And that's what sometimes leads us down like a long path of like finding the solutions to actually feeling better.
What's very interesting is, there are a lot of options out there. There are a lot of different tools and resources and lab tests, and there is no one single lab test is going to give you all of the information that it needs.
So our goal here is not to like, you know, poo-poo, the blood test because blood tests do give us maybe some insights and clues. But depending on what's going on with you, it may not be the exact type of test that you need. There's a lot of other—what I call, you know, functional lab tests out there that are actually way more accessible, that don't require blood draws. It's easy for you to do it in your own home and give you different pieces of your health puzzle to kind of figure out what is going on, on a what we'd say like a physiological level, like a functional level, how is the body, you know, acting and interacting with the different systems internally to understand on a bigger scale or picture, what's happening with you and what kind of action you can take as a result of that.
As I like to say, and through the training that I received, we kind of call it like uncovering these hidden healing opportunities that are otherwise overlooked oftentimes.
Isabel: And what kind of tests are you specifically talking about when we talk about the thyroid test?
Jenn: So thyroid testing is definitely a one that you've got to do using blood. It’s the only way to accurately measure the thyroid. But with the thyroid, what I tend to see happen and you can I'm sure, comment and attest to this is oftentimes when people are getting their thyroid looked at, they're not getting a complete picture, right?
Isabel: No, they're not.
Jenn: Oftentimes, the number one thyroid marker that's pretty much almost always looked at by any conventionally trained medical doctor or other health practitioner is what we call TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone, which is a piece of the picture but it's not the whole entire picture. And actually TSH in some ways is a better insight about pituitary function because the pituitary gland in the brain is what produces TSH in order to signal the thyroid for the thyroid to do his job and then produce thyroid hormone.
So what's happening is that a lot of people are looking at TSH and looking at that as an insight to thyroid function because if TSH is high then that means the pituitary gland is working really hard to get the thyroid to do its job, and if it's low then that would be the opposite, right? But if TSH is out of range or sub-optimal for some reason, then we have to ask the deeper question of like, well what's going on with the thyroid? Why isn’t the thyroid doing its job? Or why is the thyroid overdoing its job potentially and then that TSH is low or high, right? So that's where we need to get some other pieces of the puzzle.
If you're lucky, oftentimes what you'll also get in the thyroid test is maybe like a total or free T4, possibly a total or free T3, which are some other bigger pieces of the puzzle because those are the larger or the majority of the type of thyroid hormone that is produced by the body which actually T4 is what's produced and then it's converted into T3’s so now we start to get bigger clues about the pathway of what's happening with thyroid hormone.
But some of the things that are really being missed is a complete picture. So when we're looking at thyroid we want TSH, we want total T4 and free T4 so we can look at the bound hormone what's already been used and then we can also look at what's bio available to the cells which is the free version. We also want total and free T3, which is helping us to understand how well T4 is being converted into T3 or not.
We also want to look at things like reverse T3 or T3 uptake, which tells us how well T3 is being utilized by the cells and then I always like to look at thyroid antibodies because that gives us an insight about a possible autoimmune process that's in place. I can't tell you how many people I've seen with thyroid antibodies that are not being looked at and when you know that there's something going on like an autoimmune process, there's a lot of other things that you can do to reverse the autoimmune process which is ultimately going to boost thyroid function as well too. Because that means when you have an autoimmune process going on, the body is essentially attacking your thyroid tissue.
So for example if you've got low thyroid hormone, that could be a result of the tissue being attacked. There's an assault happening on your thyroid. So we really want to get all of these pieces of the puzzle to understand the big picture what's happening with thyroid. But unfortunately, most often people are just maybe getting you know two or three out of the five or six that I just mentioned, right?
Isabel: If that.
Jenn: Right. If that, is another big part.
Now, those are things that are specific to thyroid but there's also other clues that we can really be looking at. This kind of goes along where we started our conversation of what are some of those other functional lab tests that I like to use and why you do typical blood test, maybe not telling you as much as you want to know and what are some of these other tests that you should be running instead, right?
So your blood test is going to give you these clues about thyroid but then if we know that something is sub-optimal about the thyroid, we want to again ask that question well why is that happening? Where is there, maybe, like something happening upstream or downstream from the thyroid that is impacting the thyroid function.
So things like, I always talk about liver and detoxification because a large majority of your T4 hormone is converted into T3 in the liver. So we want to take a look at liver. Do you have a congested liver which also means that you might have a build-up of toxins going on in the body that are then negatively impacting your thyroid function? Because those types of things can actually bind the thyroid hormone and make it inactive or—
Isabel: May I just interject here for a second about toxins and back to the liver?
Isabel: —that reverse T3. I just have been introduced to it in the last three years, and how important is that? We didn't learn about reverse T3 in medical school, just to let you know. And so a regular conventional doctor will not know to do a reverse T3. The lab that they use probably don't even know what that is. I'm just being honest here from New Zealand. And my gosh, increased T3 can be heavy toxin. So what's your toxin? Could be mold,
Isabel: As bio-toxins could be Lyme disease, could be metal. So I love that you're talking about the importance of the liver and detoxifying and know that that reverse T3 is also another test.
Jenn: Yes, exactly. And just recognizing—if we just pause for a minute—recognizing how like, the body is a complex network of systems. So whatever is going on with you and your health is not isolated to one system of the body, which is how our traditional medical system kind of approaches things, right?
Like, if you have a thyroid thing going on, you go to an endocrinologist that is specializing in the endocrine system, right? Versus an internist or gastroenterologist that's going to be looking at your gut health, which gut health is the next thing that I was going to talk about as something that you should be testing for because the intestinal lining is another area where there's a large portion of our thyroid hormone T4 is converted into T3.
So now we've got detoxification system involved with the liver health, you've got your digestive system involved with intestinal health, that all circle back and relate back to thyroid. But for some reason, our traditional medical approach has been, let's just look at one system with the body go to one specialist for that one thing. This is where we want to get that broader perspective and where some of these functional lab tests can really help us to understand some of these things in this bigger picture a lot better. That makes sense?
Isabel: Oh, absolutely. And for the audience, do not go to the GP or your family practice doctor and say, “I want my thyroid checked” and let them just give you one lab result, which is a TSH. And if it's around five, don't put up with that, because that's abnormal, right?
Isabel: So if they give you “Oh your number’s five, your sweet as, buh-bye, your thyroid’s fine” -- do not put up with that. Find Jenn wherever you are. She can help you. And I'll let everybody know where they can find you.
Jenn: Right. Because what we want to be looking at, you know, when you do go through the traditional medical system, what they're looking for are ranges of clinical diagnosis.
So to say that you are clinically diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s, for example. But the reality is, is that there's a spectrum leading up to that point. You can be on that spectrum. So for example, with the autoimmune spectrum, you guys can actually Google this and look this up the autoimmune spectrum, like the beginning stages of an autoimmune condition can be one symptom once or twice a week. That doesn't seem like a lot, right? But then it builds to the point where it's happening every single day. And when that symptom or multiple symptoms are happening every single day is usually the point when somebody reaches clinical diagnosis. But that can take years like on average, as the research kind of shows us, it can take up to five years and seven different doctors, approximately, for somebody to finally get a diagnosis of like Hashimoto’s, we're talking about thyroid here.
And the reality is, is that they could have been doing something prior to that to reverse the process, right? Because they had symptoms early on. So that's what we're really talking about is that if you are noticing a decline in your health in any capacity, that is not normal. Part of the problem like that's been going on is it we've been conditioned to think that like, as we get older, it's just normal to feel more tired or have hormone imbalances, or put weight on, or for be forgetful. And just because those things are common does not make it normal.
Isabel: Exactly. Perfectly said, Jenn.
Jenn: Right? I have to give Dr. Tom O'Brien credit for that, because he introduced me to that kind of concept a couple years back, and I was like that's so true. Like, just because something is common, we accepted as normal and that's really not the case, right? And so we've been conditioned to think that. So if anything is going on in your health, what you want to start thinking about is what can I do now and this is where this whole going back to being your own health boss and advocate comes into play is that don't wait for the clinical diagnosis. There are things that you can start doing now that can help you recoup your life, like reverse these symptoms.
You can reverse it out on the process before you're even diagnosed with one essentially. Like for myself, I know we want to talk a little bit about my story here, Dr. Isabel is that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s as a result of having toxic mold, by the way.
Isabel: Wow. Oh, we got a lot to talk about, girlfriend.
Jenn: I caught it early, and I was able to reverse my Hashimoto’s within six months. Now, being that I caught it early, my antibodies were very low. So luckily I'm trained in this, right? So I knew how to identify it for myself and I also, all of us health practitioners even need our own doctors and health practitioners, right?
So I have a wonderful naturopath that I see personally and we caught this together. I was able to reverse that Hashimoto’s within six months. Most other like conventional or traditional medical doctors would have never given me a Hashimoto’s diagnosis because my antibodies were low. They were over what we call the functional range.
So functional ranges, optimal range, your optimal functional ranges are usually much more narrow than the conventional range would be. And so I don't know what the conversion is for you guys in New Zealand, because I do think it's a little bit different.
Isabel: What numbers—we do international units per mil for the thyroid, peroxidase antibody.
Jenn: So I'm not sure off the top of my head, but are like for TPO and TGAB, it's like 20, and 40 are the limits for functional, right? So I was just over those limits. I was like at 46 and like 39, or something like that. So I was just over the functional optimal limits for antibodies. But most conventional doctors over here wouldn't have diagnosed until you're like in the hundreds, right?
Isabel: I know.
Jenn: Or even identified or acknowledged that there was a problem. So you know, going back to this whole point is that if you can catch it before it progresses. And I knew that something was not right with my body. I was searching for what was going on. I came across a mold, did some tests found out Hashimoto’s.
Isabel: Which tests did you do for the mold?
Jenn: We did… Well, for my body or for the house?
Isabel: Oh, well. Let's start with your body and then we'll do your
Jenn: So I ended up doing some of the blood markers to look at chronic inflammatory response syndrome. So looking at things like FSH, melanocytes stimulating hormone, TGF beta one, the EGF, I know these all are acronyms that probably sound foreign to some of our listeners, but these are some of the markers that we look at to see if your body's having a chronic inflammatory response to something like mold.
I also did a mycotoxins test, which is a urine test which can be helpful as well. So gleaming insights from both of these types of tests, it was very obvious that I was having an inflammatory response, and I was being exposed to mold. Aside from that, my body was on the fritz. I mean, I put on about 15 pounds over the course of two years, kind of slowly, because the mold was probably in our house for a long time before we knew we had it.
I was experiencing cystic acne, like I had never had acne my entire life, like not even in puberty as a teenager. It was like all my back and all my face and then I was having, I was on the birth control pill at the time before I transitioned off and I was having break through periods even while I was taking the pill, like I had a 12 day period. I had really inflamed and swollen breasts throughout my cycle to the point where you could feel the heat coming off on my breast through two layers of clothes, because they were (unclear).
Jenn: And that was the thing that really freaked me out because I was thinking like breast cancer, like, you know, who knows what's going on, and I wouldn't have mammograms and all things done. Nobody could tell me what was going on and like we just didn't know about the mold. It was just divine intervention one day that I opened up the guestroom closet and looked up and there was like a bunch of black mold on the ceiling.
Jenn: Yeah, Stachybotrys.
Isabel: And then what test did you use to check your house?
Jenn: So I've done a variety of tests. We actually had a professional mold inspector come into the house and do some professional testing, which then confirms things like Stachybotrys, which is really nasty black mold. We actually found mold in some other areas of the home as well too.
At that same time, I also ran what's called an ERMI. It's like a, like a dust test, littering little cloth and you wipe down surfaces in your house and then you can calculate what's called a HERTSMI score, which the HERTSMI score helps you to understand how toxic are the molds and would they be an issue for somebody that has a chronic inflammatory response syndrome like I had going on.
So once we did the initial professional testing in the HERTSMI and ERMI test, after that I just retested with the ERMI and the HERTSMI ongoing. Like I was a little paranoid because like that's the thing that when you've had mold in your house I do get a little PTSD from it. And so I had to retest the house like every you know three months or something for that first year just to make sure that it was gone because the experience that I was going through in my body was definitely something that I didn't want to go through again, like I just wanted it to be over.
Isabel: And was it gone?
Jenn: It was. We did our research, we had proper remediation done. We cleaned our air ductcs. We didn't have to go to the extent like some people get rid of their furniture and everything like that. I didn't do that but we did fogger house, which is something that you can do when you've had mold. You can actually get a solution that contains natural essential oils because essential oils are actually one of the best defenses against mold. You kind of fog your house and then it kills all the mold spores on your couches and then the air and everything and we cleaned our air vents the same way. Since then everything has been fine.
One of the things that I talk to people about too that's a little different in my case is that I don't have the gene, I guess I would say, to have a severe reaction to mold. So about 25% of the population has a genetic mutation in the HDLR gene and so it's kind of rare and those people will have a more severe reaction to mold.
So like when I was going through this process, there's a book that I was reading written by a naturopathic doctor called “Is It Mold” and she had a severe reaction to mold. In the book she tells a story about stepping off an airplane in the Portland Oregon Airport and there was mold in the airport and she instantly had a reaction the second since she stepped into the airport. That wasn't me, right? It was an accumulative process that happened over a period of time where mold is really toxic and so essentially what it did is it just weighed down on my body over the course of two years probably at least, to the point where my body just couldn't detox it anymore.
So I had estrogen dominance, like elevated estrogen as a result which triggers the Hashimoto’s. I had to do a lot of detoxing of the body, right? And so ever freezing cold scenarios are a little bit different but I'm well now and everything's good and I've totally healed from that situation.
Isabel: I'm so glad to hear and it's really good to let the audience know that mold disrupts hormones. I mean it affects the pituitary and it just affects so many systems.
Jenn: Yeah. Mold actually is the mycotoxins, like the mold toxins themselves, they convert to estrogen in the body. We actually call them, they're like a classification of toxins called xenoestrogens which are toxins that mimic estrogen in the body.
So like soy and food does the same thing, so does like BPA from plastic, thalates and parabens that are found in your makeup and your personal care products. All of these things mimic estrogen in the body fall into this xenoestrogen toxic or chemical classification.
Isabel: It's amazing.
Jenn: It is. They’re everywhere.
Isabel: It's a specialization in and of itself.
Jenn: It is. Actually a really fascinating book that I recently read that you and the audience might love to check out, it's called “Estrogeneration” and it's a scientist who wrote the book. He's actually pretty humorous for being science driven but he actually breaks down even the things that are wrong with the scientific data there but he specifically focuses on the amount of estrogen producing elements that are in our environment these days. He even talks about how the number of estrogens that were exposed to you are changing like the evolution of the male facial structure.
So if you think about it like, what kind of men do we usually find most attractive? You think of your Brad Pitt, like the guys with their really chiseled faces? Well, that's more testosterone driven. That's actually like more naturally how men are supposed to look, but now we're seeing men with much more rounded faces. And he talks about how that's a result of having so much estrogen in our environment, from plastics and all these other chemicals that it's changing that facial structure. Isn't that fascinating?
Isabel: Yes. And they also have breasts, men with breasts.
Jenn: Yes, that's a (unclear).
Isabel: I wanted to ask you… I’m writing all these notes. So the book is “Estrogeneration”, do you know the name of the scientist? That's okay.
Jenn: If you look at the book, it's like the only one that'll come up. It's in an audio format as well. I like to listen to books on like walking dog and cleaning the house and doing other things. So you can get it in that format, but it's a really interesting read, for sure.
Isabel: Very good. And I also wanted to ask you, do you remember what essential oils you used to fog your house, to get rid of the mold?
Jenn: So it's very fascinating. The naturopath that wrote this book “Is it Mold?” like is it within reach here? I forget her name also but if you just look it up, “Is It Mold?” it's a blue book with a circle in the middle, and says “Is it Mold?” She actually has done a ton of research and she references. She talks about how mold is even referenced in the Bible.
Isabel: Oh, yes. In Leviticus.
Isabel: If you've got it in the house, leave. Get out of the house.
Jenn: Yes. And how they used three thieves oil to get rid of it. So the three thieves, like that blend. So doTERRA is the brand that I use.
Isabel: Yes, I do too. So do they have a three thieves?
Jenn: It's the On Guard. On Guard is their version of a three thieves oil.
Isabel: So just On Guard?
Jenn: Yeah, so it's clove, eucalyptus, rosemary—I think those are the three of the thieves, like that can make the three thieves. I forgot Young Living what their blend is. But even like, there is a… Oh gosh, you asked me questions and I'm like, I can't remember the names.
Isabel: It's okay. It's okay. But did you use the On Guard like, all day long for 25 months? Or like, what did you do?
Jenn: No. So it's actually funny, like the whole process of fogging your house, like if you're going to have a party and you get a fogger for a Halloween party. That's literally what this thing is. So you can make a solution with water and your On Guard, three thieves oil, and you put this is by one of those little party foggers at the local party store and then you can fog your house every so often. It helps to kill the mold particles in the air.
You can also then mix it up in a spray bottle and make a spray with water and test the surface to make sure it's not going to ruin your fabric on your furniture or something first, and then you can spritz it on your furniture.
I actually just because like my husband and I work out quite a bit, we live in San Diego where it's more humid here. So our workout clothes can get a little like that moldy scent to them from being in a laundry basket. I put doTERRA essential oils in my washing machine with my detergent. That cuts the moldy, mildew kind of smell out of your workout clothes too. And then it's kind of cleaning any potential molds out of the washer as well because washers can accumulate mold inside of them also where they've got a (unclear) top loading one.
Jenn: So many things.
Isabel: Oh, well here in New Zealand, the leaky house syndrome is so bad.
Jenn: I bet. Yeah.
Isabel: It's absolutely and the mold—people think that they can just wash off the mold with some bleach and a wash cloth. And I'm like, oh no, no, no, no.
Jenn: Yeah. That's actually a really point thing that we should point out here is that actually using bleach or Clorox makes the mold multiply. So it then becomes resistant to those things and it will multiply, and it will also adapt and change. So that's actually the number one reason why using essential oils as a cleaning product for mold is much better than something like Clorox and bleach.
Isabel: Very good. Thank you. I'm so glad you're feeling better and you're healed. You no longer have Hashimoto’s.
Isabel: You no longer have mold toxicity.
Isabel: Because your urine mold toxins are negative, right? And are you still using any binders like for the rest of your life so that you—because we're constantly being exposed?
Jenn: Yeah, and I actually do. That's a really great question. I take a daily liver support supplement that has milk thistle and dandelion root in it, right now because it's spring here for us. So spring is a really good time to do like a little bit of an extra detox boost or cleanse as you come out of the winter months. And so I'm doing some burdock root tincture right now too, which is another great one.
You can get burdock tea, dandelion root tea is another good one because I kind of incorporate these things on an ongoing basis. But just for the pure and simple fact that we are exposed to toxins every single day that we can't hear, see feel or smell, I do like to regularly take like a binder. I love (unclear).
Isabel: Oh yeah, that's what I was asking, really. I should have specified, are you taking binders and which ones for the rest of your life to stay clean.
Jenn: Yeah. And I think you guys have access to this there in New Zealand. It's Bio-Botanical Research, their GI Detox. So it's a mixture of charcoal and bentonite clay. It's got a couple other binding agents in there too, like it's this proprietary blend that they've come up with.
I found it really helpful for people with mold specifically because of the ingredients that it has because it also has zeolite clay in it. It has aloe vera, it has silica in it as well, humic acid and fulvic acid. So this blend is really powerful for all different types of toxins and molds and things like that, that we just come in contact on a regular basis.
Isabel: We have something like that in Quicksilver called the Ultra Binder. But what was the other… Bio?
Jenn: So it's called Bio-Botanical Research, the brand and then it's their GI Detox.
Isabel: Okay, thanks. Because I've got just a little aside of what my husband and I are doing this week, we're working with Dr. Deborah Edison in America who wrote “The End of Alzheimer's.” So we help people reverse Alzheimer's and cognitive decline. Of course, we want to do it as soon as we want to help them starting in their 40s, which we do. But one of the things that we have realized is that 50—and not just myself, but all of the doctors around the world doing this and naturopaths—50% of the cognitive decline in Alzheimer's is biotoxins.
Jenn: Oh, I'm sure.
Isabel: Mold, lyme, bartonella, all those things. And so there's a lot, there's so much work to be done in this.
Jenn: I would say that that's probably because of the high inflammatory factors related to that, like going back to what I was sharing earlier about testing myself for that chronic inflammatory response. So there's a high inflammatory rate that happens which then there's a domino effect so that it impacts like working with the client right now that she's going through a process we discovered. Well, it affects your leptin hormone, which is your hormone that helps to balance blood sugar, hunger and satiation. So then you lead to things like insulin resistance like her, even though she eats basically like a keto style diet, like high fat, proteins, really low carbs, she's got really high fasting glucose. And it's all part of this, like perfect storm that mold has created.
So there's a lot of inflammation. We know that cognitive decline, and things like Alzheimer’s and stuff like that, dementia, is a result of inflammation, right? And so it would make sense that these underlying kind of hidden conditions or environmental factors are really creating the internal chaos. It's leading to these types of things later in life certainly.
It's like when I had come out of this, I wrote a blog about how I didn't know that I had brain fog until I was out of it. Like I've always been a high performing multitasker. It wasn't till I didn't have brain fog anymore that I was like, “Oh my god, I had brain fog.” I used to have to like, you know, write lists and notes that kind of keep myself organized. Now I just keep it all in my head and I don't need that stuff which is so fascinating to me like I'm just so much more cognitively sharp, even though I was already sharp compared to like the common person, you know, the normal person anyways. Right? So it’s just fascinating when you get that hindsight, that introspective, after you get out of it.
Isabel: You kind of like wake up.
Jenn: Yes, exactly.
Isabel: Do you have any children?
Jenn: I don't. Just fur babies, dogs.
Isabel: I remember just talking about having done more brain fog. I remember when my last child was five and I was actually sleeping the whole night. I had a whole week of sleeping great, and I remember saying, “Wow, I feel so awake.” So I know that feeling of “Wow, I'm really here.”
Isabel: “I'm not tired anymore.”
Isabel: And then you also wanted to talk about gut health?
Jenn: Yeah, so we kind of, you know, I alluded to this earlier is related to thyroid that the intestinal lining is where we convert a large majority of that T3 to T4 hormone, but the gut is the cornerstone of everything, because that's where we digest and absorb nutrients, first and foremost. So if you have an unhealthy gut, or intestinal lining, like an impaired intestinal lining, you're one, not absorbing nutrients, as well as you could be, which is then setting you up for nutrient deficiencies and health issues as a result of that. But secondly, the intestinal lining is where the majority of our immune system resides.
Isabel: Yes, it's our second brain and our immune system.
Jenn: Right. Which I actually say that it's, I think they're going to start calling it the first brain here on out. Because it is like this, this place of like, where we didn't have that. We don't have good intestinal health, like nothing else works, you know? It is in charge, practically. It's like, we also produce neurotransmitter hormones like serotonin and dopamine to keep our mood regulated in there that prevent things like anxiety and depression.
So it's really important to have a healthy intestinal system, which you know, means like eating an anti-inflammatory diet, keeping inflammation low in there. Also making sure that you're eating foods that are going to provide nutrients to heal the intestinal lining all the time. Things like bone broth are really good for that, or glutamine and fish oils, for example so that we can optimally absorb nutrients so that we can keep our immune system healthy. We need to maintain that intestinal lining for the greater good of our entire body basically.
Isabel: I just wanted to interject about glutamine, because we do use glutamate pretty willy-nilly, right? For healing the gut. This is something that I've just learned, and you probably already know this, but in the brain, glutamine is converted into glutamate and glutamate is excitatory. So if your patients, your peeps, are having anxiety or having problems with insomnia, we just know now that we need to maybe back off.
Jenn: Yeah, yeah. That is definitely possible. It's a very rare, there's like a small percentage of the population that has that conversion type of issues. So in the years that I've been working with people, I would say in the hundreds of people I've worked with, it's maybe like a handful, less than a handful that I've ever experienced that. But that definitely is something that you want to keep an eye out for, for sure.
Isabel: Just so, if anybody's out there and they're experiencing that.
Isabel: Yes, we've got to take good care of our gut.
Jenn: You have to, it's so important.
Isabel: So important. So many people's guts are not working well. It's so sad.
Jenn: It is. It really is and people just don't—they're not connected into to understand that like “oh, I have anxiety that could be because of my digestive health.” Most people are looking at it from a very literal perspective of will having an inflamed intestinal lining, or what we call leaky gut must mean that I'm going to have an upset stomach when there's actually a lot of other things that can result from having an unhealthy gut.
You can have skin issues like eczema and psoriasis we know are very commonly correlated with things like leaky gut and food sensitivity, reactions or anxiety, and depression or even hormonal issues as well to sleep issues are another really big one that can really be linked to gut health as well.
So it's not just always, stomach and digestive related, like there's a broad number of symptoms that can be clues to something's going on to your gut. The reality is that the way that most people eat, the majority of people, and the fact that we do have all these toxins in our environment that we've been talking about today, it's probably likely that unless you've been really focusing on working on your gut health, it's probably pretty safe to say that you've got some work to do there.
Isabel: I’d say 99.9% of the population does.
Jenn: I would probably agree with that.
Isabel: And that’s the beauty. As you’re helping people learn how to be the boss of their health.
Jenn: That’s exactly right. Have advocate for themselves, be educated about what’s going on because there’s so much research out there. Some of the studies show that on average it takes 17 years for new information to hit your doctor’s desk and (unclear) that’s coming every single day. So these things are really important for us to be doing some research ourselves, educating ourselves, and in a way that is also looking at validated information, not just going to Dr. Google and taking any advice that’s on there but really going to some reliable sources, seeking that information and research that’s a little bit relevant to their present day and present time to what’s going on with your body.
Isabel: Well said. And speaking of where to get reliable information, to those of you who want to continue following Jenn, you could find her at—this is her handle in Instagram, it’s @wholistichealthboss and then her website is wholistichealthboss.com.
Thank you so much, Jenn.
Jenn: Thank you for having me.
Isabel: You’re very welcome and enjoy that beautiful California spring.
Jenn: I will. I want to make it over to New Zealand. It’s on my bucket list.
Isabel: You will, you will. As soon as this pandemic ends I'm sure everything, the borders will open up and we’ll be starting a new way of living.
Jenn: That’s where (unclear) for, right?
Isabel: Yeah. Alright, thank you. God bless you.
Jenn: Thank you. You too.