In this episode of The Dr. Hedberg Show, I interview Dr. Bruce Hoffman, who’s a board certified physician and he has a fellowship in Anti-Aging as well as a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition. He is also a certified functional medicine practitioner. Speaking with Dr. Hoffman was extremely educational, we spoke about mast cell activation syndrome and how exactly the condition is diagnosed. Dr. Hoffman covers how he first got interested in the disease and the progress that he’s made working with several other doctors working to understand the implications of mast cell activation syndrome. Dr. Hoffman explains how some conditions overlap and indicate mast cell activation syndrome; such as fatigue, brain fog, and even GERD. You should come away from this interview with a much better understanding of mast cell activation syndrome, how it’s diagnosed and what lab tests are beneficial in assisting in this diagnosis.
“All disease begins in the gut.” –Hippocrates
Was Hippocrates right over 2,000 years ago? I would have to agree with him a majority of the time when it comes to chronic diseases. A healthy digestive system begins with excellent digestion so let’s go over some tips to help you improve your digestion naturally. Firstly, I’d like to briefly cover the reason why your digestion may be out of balance.
What causes bad digestion?
Eating very quickly while on the run and not completely focusing on your meal will result in poor digestion. You must be in a parasympathetic dominant state which is your “rest and digest” branch of your nervous system. Many people are sympathetic dominant when they eat which is the “fight or flight” branch of your nervous system.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet but like anything we consume, too much or too little may be problematic. Fiber has been touted as an extremely important nutrient but is it really as beneficial as it is purported to be? When used at the right time in the right individual, fiber can be a game changer for healing the gut and improving overall health. Let’s discuss the health benefits of fiber and the best fiber supplements if supplementation is necessary.
Inflammation is at the core of most chronic illnesses including hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. But how exactly does inflammation cause hypothyroidism? Nonthyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS) is the state in which inflammation causes negative changes to thyroid hormone including low T3 and increased reverse T3 (rT3). T3 is the most active form of thyroid hormone and rT3 actually blocks T3 receptors so inflammation can really knock out thyroid function. TSH levels however stay relatively “normal” in NTIS thus leaving many patients with the symptoms of hypothyroidism but no diagnosis since no one is checking their T3 or rT3 levels.
In this article I’ll be referencing a paper entitled, “IL-6 promotes nonthyroidal illness syndrome by blocking thyroxine activation while promoting thyroid hormone inactivation in human cells.”
TSH is the current gold standard for diagnosis of hypothyroidism but are the current TSH levels optimal and how do they relate to Hashimoto’s disease? An excellent paper out of China entitled, “Using Hashimoto thyroiditis as gold standard to determine the upper limit value of thyroid stimulating hormone in a Chinese cohort” has shed some light on this important question which looked at the upper limit of TSH levels in relation to Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism.
The authors begin by stating that subclinical hypothyroidism is characterized by “normal” T4, T3, Free T4, and Free T3 with an elevated TSH. And these patients have an increased risk of cholesterol abnormalities, heart disease, mental illness, and pregnancy complications even though their symptoms are relatively mild.
Would you like to learn how to boost your immune system and stay healthy this cold and flu season? Read on to find out what simple diet and supplement strategies you can follow to beat these viruses in their tracks.
Your immune system is constantly protecting you from invading organisms at a level of complexity most of us cannot comprehend. Modern medicine focuses mainly on the invading organisms as the source of disease without an appreciation for the beauty of your immune system’s ability to protect you from harm. Two people can be exposed to the same organism but only one person may actually manifest symptoms. Why would one person get sick but not the other?
I’m excited to announce the new release of a protein supplement that I’ve been waiting for for a long time. When I first started practicing functional medicine 15 years ago, most patients could easily tolerate whey protein which was the best quality protein powder at that time. As the years went by more and more patients were reporting sensitivity to whey so I had to try and use alternate solutions like rice, hemp, and pea protein.
But after a few years of using these alternate protein sources I started to get more and more reports of sensitivities to these forms of protein just as I had with whey. All of my colleagues practicing functional medicine were confirming the same issues with protein powders leaving us with little to nothing to choose from.
This brings us to today and the excitement around the new AminoMeal Select by Moss Nutrition which isn’t based on any foods for it’s protein content but rather being a purely amino acid based formula. I’ll get into the specifics of this product shortly but first let’s answer a few questions about why a product like this is necessary.
IgY Max is a new compound designed to improve gut function with some decent research behind it which I’ll cover in this article. Thousands of studies are coming out every month on the gut microbiome and millions of people worldwide are suffering with gut issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBD), and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). We need all the tools we can get when it comes to gut health so I was excited to see the research on IgY Max and the introduction of GI Globulin Select by Moss Nutrition which contains IgY Max.
Many people have gut problems because they have dysbiosis which basically means that the bacteria in the gut are out of balance. This means that there are too many harmful bacteria and not enough beneficial bacteria. IgY Max actually targets 26 of these bad bugs and helps your body suppress their growth.
Your gut microbiota has an intimate connection with your thyroid including connections with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease. In this research review I’d like to cover a recent paper entitled, “Microbiota and Thyroid Interaction in Health and Disease” published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism by Eleonare Frohlich and Richard Wahl.
The authors begin by stating that the gut microbiota can act on thyroid function due to the region of where someones lives, their diet including iodine intake, obesity, age, sex hormones, and how autoimmunity can impact the microbiota. I was impressed to see them state that the gut microbiota is linked to autoimmune disease, estrogen, iodine, and obesity. Estrogen can be a key factor in Hashimoto’s disease and a healthy gut is required for optimal estrogen metabolism and excretion through the feces.
They also mention the connection between the gut and the liver in relation to thyroid hormone metabolism in both these organ systems. Your gut is key to properly absorbing and utilizing the thyroid medication that you’re taking and they mention this as well.
Ashwagandha is one of my favorite supplements for Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism and we have some excellent studies to support using it for these conditions.
The main study I’ll cover in this research review is entitled, “Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Subclinical Hypothyroid Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial” published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. We’re already off to a good start just by reading the title which indicates that it is a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study so we know it is of the highest standard.