Jen Wittman: Thyroid Health, PTSD & Medicinal Cannabis
By: Dave Asprey
March 10, 2015
Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert & Coach specializing in practical solutions for those suffering from thyroid and autoimmune conditions. She provides one-of-a-kind, long-lasting health overhauls at her sites, Thyroid Loving Care, The Healthy Plate, and Your Best Thyroid Life. She is author of the book: Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally and the popular guides: The Super-Mom’s Guide to Managing Thyroid Disease and The Partner’s Guide to Thyroid & Autoimmune.
Why you should listen
Jen comes on Bulletproof Radio to discuss the relationship between PTSD and food, how to manage Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the misdiagnosis of autoimmune diseases, and the therapeutic use of CBD oil and cannabis. Enjoy the show!
What You Will Hear
- 0:14 – Cool Fact of the Day!
- 0:43 – Welcome Jen Wittman
- 3:23 – How a run-in with a truck triggered autoimmunity
- 7:32 – Is PTSD a real thing?
- 13:50 – The relationship between PTSD and food
- 16:55 – Cranio-sacral therapy
- 21:41 – Lead the People documentary project
- 24:00 – Treating autoimmunity & thyroid disease with cannabis
- 26:45 – The human body’s natural production of THC
- 31:55 – Are we at a tipping point for medicinal cannabis?
- 35:26 – Therapeutic use of CBD oil
- 38:55 – Managing Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- 43:10 – Misdiagnosis of autoimmunity
- 44:43 – Top three recommendations for kicking more ass and being Bulletproof!
Questions for the podcast?
Leave your questions and responses in the comments section below. If you want your question to be featured on the next Q&A episode, submit it in the Podcast Question form!
Dave: Hey everyone, it’s Dave Asprey with Bulletproof Radio. Today’s cool factor today is that George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, and even their dog Millie were all diagnosed with autoimmune conditions during a 16-month period of living in the White House. They actually had Graves’ disease which attacks the thyroid. It’s interesting that their thyroid did and it does raise the question can something in your environment trigger autoimmune things that might be related to your thyroid. Sneak preview I think the answer is yes. Today’s guest on the show might have something to do with thyroid as you could have guessed because I kind of made it easy for you.
Today’s guest is Jen Wittman. She’s a certified holistic health expert and coach who looks at practical solutions for thyroid and autoimmune conditions. If you are a Bulletproof fan, you’ve been listening full out, you know that I’ve got all kinds of autoimmunity myself growing up weighing 300 pounds. I have reversed my Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an autoimmune condition so I don’t have any antibodies to my own thyroid anymore. Things like that. It’s interesting because you could be listening in your car right now going, “Hmm thyroid shmyroid what do I care? I’m perfectly healthy.”
Well actually you’re probably not perfectly healthy. Few of us are perfectly healthy. There’s room for improvement for just about all of us but more importantly if you have an autoimmune condition, you probably don’t know it and that’s why this kind of podcast is important because if you hear things like, “Gee, I’m a little bit more tired than I should be” other things like that this gives you an awareness and says, “Pay attention” because this might be worthy of exploration for me or someone that I care about or may be you’re rocking it and you have tons of energy and your thyroid’s just fine.
I think pretty much most people living in the west today can benefit from paying attention to autoimmunity and thyroid which is why Jen is here. Jen’s also written a book called Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally and she’s written things like this “Supermom’s Guide to Managing Thyroid Disease” and has written a ton of other things about thyroid. She’s hosted Thyroid Radio and pretty much if it says thyroid in it, it’s got her name on it somewhere. Is that right Jen?
Jen: I wish I could take all the credit for that but that’s naïve.
Dave: Is it true that you and Al Gore invented the thyroid gland?
Jen: Yes we did, we did. Absolutely.
Dave: Nice. Welcome to the show and thanks for coming on it.
Jen: Thank you for having me. It’s a real honor actually.
Dave: Now if you’re listening in your car you can just ignore me for a second but if you’re watching this on YouTube or on the iTunes video channel you might have noticed that we’ve upgraded the equipment quite a bit. You’re getting HD video that’s not just Skype. We’re actually doing professional video editing with professional video cameras on these now. This is a huge amount of time and effort and not a small amount of money either in order to make this happen but I feel like you get more value when you can see what I’m doing, you can see what Jen’s doing and so you can expect better video quality. If this thing rocks in your car, go home and check it out online. You might see even more. Jen thanks for being our guinea pig with the new cameras.
Jen: All right. That was cool.
Dave: You have an interesting background. You’ve sort of had a tangle with the big truck PTSD, traumatic brain injury. What happened? Walk me through that story.
Jen: It really starts with a thousand little things that you don’t even realize you’re doing that ended with this big semi-truck accident but basically what happened was I was a kid of the 70’s and at the convenience food age and a latchkey kid and so I ate a lot of foods that weren’t very nourishing or weren’t even really food because everything was coming out with Denty Moore beef stew and those frozen dinners that you heat in the microwave with plastic on them.
Dave: I used to eat those too.
Jen: They were delicious and they were filled with sodium and all kinds of chemicals and stuff and Twinkies and things like that made up the majority of my diet. I went into my 20s not really noticing that these symptoms were popping up because I just thought it was part of being in your 20’s having fun and partying and all that stuff. I thought “Well yeah, I’m tired because I was out all night” or “I can’t sleep because I’ve had so much caffeine or this or that.” I was eating poorly and then a semi-truck comes and hits us. It hits my husband and I in our car.
Dave: While you were eating food.
Jen: While I was eating, exactly.
Dave: Like Taco Bell on your face kind of thing.
Jen: There have been days but not exactly then. I was actually holding a cup of peach tea but in my life basically these things I wasn’t noticing were starting to add up and then what happened was we were hit by the semi-truck and that kind of changed the trajectory of my entire life because all those little symptoms that I had really came to the forefront and so from the accident there was the PTSD and also pretty severe body injury on my right side which had me disabled for a period of time.
Dave: How long did that disable you?
Jen: About 6 months.
Jen: Then I had to work out of it. I guess I should have mentioned, I was a chef before that so I had learned how to make food from whole food ingredients but I wasn’t actually eating that way because that’s not how I was really trained to eat. Being a chef and always being on the go, you’re eating the worst things, you’re eating leftover from the kitchen or whatever you find in your house on your way to working in an 80-hour, 100-hour work week. All of that stuff with the disability was I basically couldn’t be a chef anymore and I had to work my way into even being able to stand for a certain period of time everyday or being able to sit for too long. That injury really affected me both my hips, with standing and sitting. All of that brought to the forefront the insomnia I was having and just how I didn’t feel great in my body.
Flash forward a couple of years, I’m feeling better but I have a baby and that like hormonal swing kicked me into Hashimoto’s and it was all due to this stress around the accident, the stress around the law suit that ensued after the accident and then having a baby. It’s a really convoluted long story. There’s all these little things that added up to an autoimmune disease.
Dave: You think it was basically physical stress and environmental stress that triggered the autoimmunity?
Jen: And emotional stress, all of that. Yeah. Definitely the physical stress, the brain injury I had. Now the research is coming out that brain injuries connect straight to your gut I believe that was the beginning of the leaky gut and that may be have been the beginning of that whole kind of multisystem breakdown between your thyroid and your adrenals and your gut and that is just perfect soup for Hashimoto’s
Dave: Do you mind if I ask you a little more about PTSD. I’ve had PTSD. I’ve hacked it. I don’t have it anymore. Are you comfortable talking about it?
Jen: Oh totally.
Dave: There are a sizeable number of people who think PTSD is like made up fairy dust and it doesn’t exist. Tell me exactly what PTSD was like for you.
Jen: In the beginning it was just reliving over and over and over again the accident to the point of where I was constantly. I couldn’t even, I couldn’t function because I was just having this memory triggered over and over and over again that was putting me in panic mode. Then what happens a lot of time with PTSD is that you get this sick brain fog and you just cannot focus anymore, think clearly and I became overwhelmed so easily. Here I was a chef prior to this accident, a chef working, my last job before the accident, I was working 115 hours a week. Okay. That’s an insane amount of work.
I was able to stand and focus and I was actually the boss so I had to organize a lot of different people and staff and then now after the accident, I can’t handle. The tiniest bit of stress completely overwhelmed me. This PTSD it kept me out of the car. I was afraid to drive. I was basically Miss Daisy for 5 years and had every one of my friends and my husband just drive me around everywhere. PTSD has a real disaffection on so many different levels and obviously it affected me physically as I think it was kind of the trigger to the autoimmune disease.
Dave: There are some interesting theories out there and PTSD in my understanding, my visceral understanding of it, your body identifies something as a threat to your existence. It’s something that it thinks will kill you and anything that might remind you of that makes you feel like you’re about die. Literally the same as if there was a tiger in midair. Your body sees something that’s not a tiger as a tiger and then you experience the physical things you should experience when there’s a tiger about to land on you which is like “I’m going to die. I have to curl up into a ball. I have to get away.” It’s a survival thing. We know what happens when you’re in survival mode. Your body is like “I don’t care about adjusting. Are you kidding me? I care about running away right now. You can throw up if you want to, I don’t care but this food isn’t going anywhere because you’re moving ”
All the inner stuff shuts down and your parasympathetic nervous system, the part of you that’s the relapse and recover and absorb food part of you never gets to do its thing for very much time because the get ready to run part is just over engaged. I pretty much had that for 30 years because I was born with the cord wrapped around my neck which funny enough triggers PTSD. Everything might be choking you so your body is just always ready to fight. May be that was related to some of the autoimmunity that I have experienced. I have no idea but it’s a very interesting thing because I think at this point given what we’re seeing war veterans returning that PTSD is now considered a real thing and it’s just like an honorable thing to have versus 5 years ago or 10 years ago, it was like obviously you were a total wuss. You should just man up. You don’t man up when a tiger is about to land on you. That’s not how it works right?
Jen: I have a background in psychology and so there was this period of time where that was like an eye-rolling diagnosis. “Oh yeah, he’s got PTSD, you know.” It is good that it has … because it is so real that it now is more accepted as a real diagnosis.
Dave: You dealt with that somehow and I want to understand how you got rid of your PTSD because we have veterans, I have veterans working on the Bulletproof team who have PTSD and use different ways to get around it and also I want to understand how you then connected that to your autoimmunity and then share what could other people do to know if they have small bits of PTSD affecting their behavior in a way they don’t know or what they could do to figure out their autoimmunity. Let’s start with the PTSD. How did you unlock that?
Jen: First I started with my diet because that was just something I was doing anyway because I didn’t realize at the time how all of it was connected but I knew that the way I was eating probably wasn’t the best, so I started with my diet and then I said some of that brain fog from the PTSD lessened a little bit. It didn’t go away at the time because the PTSD was so strong but then what I did is I started seeking out energy healers so Reiki, craniosacral workers, people to help with my nervous system. I did a lot of acupuncture at that time and it really helped to calm nervous system down and that was allowing me to be relaxed when we would be driving and then there’s a semi-truck right next to us and I was just sure it was going to hit us.
It allowed me to be relaxed in that kind of situation and the craniosacral therapy really seemed to relieve tension that was just like almost physical tension around my brain. That’s how I felt after the accident was that there was constant physical tension here but nothing was showing up in the testing because actually the doctors refused to test for the first year after my accident and I kept saying, “there’s something wrong with my brain. I can’t play piano, I can’t type well right now but there’s something going on here.” They’re like “Oh that’s stress from the accident. Don’t worry about it” and I kept saying, “I need to get tested” and finally after a year after that they did testing.
Well apparently your brain will heal well which is a good thing and so it won’t show the damage necessarily a year after but then on tests, it did show that there was quite a bit of damage that had happened. During the craniosacral therapy that just relieved that tension in my head and then the Reiki really, really helped and that plus the diet really helped to move that PTSD away.
Dave: What’s the relationship between PTSD and food?
Jen: I think anything that affects the gut and now they know that mild traumatic brain injuries which often lead to PTSD will affect what’s going on in your gut and so it will create those gaps as we talk about leaky gut. It’s something commonly spoken about now, it creates a leaky gut. Food if you don’t know you have a leaky gut and then you’re just throwing in every protein, that is going to seep through that into the blood stream and it will start to mount an autoimmune attack. You’re just really exacerbating the condition because food triggers all of that.
That’s really the connection between your PTSD, the stress of it. Let me back up for a second. The thyroid, your adrenal system and your gut are just intercurrently linked. There’s not really one problem. It’s 3 problems. When you find out that you have a thyroid imbalance, you really have to address all 3. Addressing 1 is not going to cut it. If you’re just looking at your diet but you’re not doing things to mitigate the stress, you’re going to still find that you have a thyroid condition or if you just try to mitigate the stress and you don’t do the diet, you’re going to find that too.
Some people who need thyroid hormones, if they’re not getting supplemented or any medicine correctly, then that’s also going to continue your cycle. They’re all connected. I forgot what your original question was.
Dave: A little bit of that mild brain fog? The question was what happens between PTSD and food and you answered it really well and one of the things that I noticed and one of the things that’s actually built into the Bulletproof diet is that if you eat food that you’re sensitive to, your heart rate goes up by 16 beats per minute within 90 minutes of your meal and that’s why there’s that free app called Food Detective as part of the diet. Otherwise you can download it if you haven’t already and are listening to this. It’s called Food Detective on the iPhone store.
Yes, if you have an android you’re basically a second class citizen. We don’t have an android app. We’re still working on it. It will probably come out whenever it’s ready but that’s just life and I apologize and you could always get a real phone. Darn do I say that a lot. I’m just kidding. I’m not an iPhone biggie but here’s the deal. 16 beats per minute. If you’re already on the age of fight or flight mode and you eat something that triggers your body, that trigger that can set your heart rate like that it can be enough to help with PTSD. That’s not the only reason. I think all things you said are there but that one thing now all of a sudden I was feeling on the edge but now I’m really feeling happy and you have no idea it’s because you ate gluten or because nitrate in vegetables trigger you whatever the thing is.
You’ve got to find your own kryptonite but your level of kryptonite and your tolerance for it will be lower if you have PTSD or if you have traumatic brain injury. Your craniosacral therapy which is another thing that is even amongst the chiropractic profession is often looked down up. There are still chiropractic schools who will tell you that you cannot move the plates in the head that they’re completely fixed and locked and stoned. Yet there are other people who I’ve worked with who say, “No you can do it. As a matter a fact, if you don’t believe me, here move your own and then they show you how to move them.”
I used to have this weird twitch on one side of my face and literally the guy was like “Okay grab your head and just like tweak it,” and I did and funny enough I could make that thing go away and you can actually feel the things shift in there. Yeah, even though I’m crazy you can see that the bones in the head can move a little bit but as a therapy it’s so may be less accepted than PTSD. However it worked for you.
Jen: Yeah well and I think a lot of times it’s because it’s hard to describe. When I would tell my friends what this craniosacral was I was like “It’s magic. That’s all I know.” I walked into the office. My hip was … in fact craniosacral therapy was the first thing that actually fixed my hip physically. My hips and my legs were like this after the accident. I don’t know if you can put that in the camera and then after 1 session, after 5 years of pain and 1 session of craniosacral therapy, my legs went back into alignment and how do you describe that to somebody when you say somebody is lightly touching your head or lightly touching your body and then all of a sudden everything thing in your body falls back into alignment. It’s really hard to describe to somebody and I think that’s a lot of times why these things get disregarded that this is just not a real thing. This is voodoo or magic.
Dave: You get stuck in this argument and a lot of you have this where it comes down to that didn’t happen because it can happen which is entirely unscientific because if it did happen the scientists without a set dogmatic point of view would feel like that shouldn’t have happened. I really want to understand why and see if it’s repeatable. If it appears that it is repeatable and if it’s texted therefore it probably wasn’t placebo, then may be our core assumption about the way things work was wrong and if your core assumption is that when someone touches your head or someone does something, it can’t work but it does, you have to then adjust your world view and that adjustment for the world view can trigger PTSD which is why you see this online huge crazy arguments where people are screaming about something as simple as what you should eat to be optimal or what kind of exercise is right.
It’s really funny but it comes down to these visceral things because it’s questioning the world view and if less exercise works better than a lot of exercise and you were doing a lot, “Oh my God, you were wrong.” So I’m happy you mentioned craniosacral. I’ve seen it work. Doesn’t always work but should we throw it out as being absolute quackery? No! That’d be ridiculous because of what you just said. After 5 years of trying everything this one thing worked for me and that alone is a very valuable data point and I don’t know how many … other hundreds of thousands people who’ve used it over the years.
Jen: Well and I’m a big skeptic. I am scientist at heart and the proof has to be in the pudding for me. I went in there not expecting it’s going to work. It was just like the last thing that needed to happen so I tried it and then it worked and then I was sold. I feel that energy medicine is the future of medicine and that once you really start researching energetic bodies and how that works, there’s going to be a lot more healing to come.
Dave: There is and this whole idea of energy medicine, it’s not even well defined for people but we know for instance the stuff of that heart rate variability which I’ve been talking about for a long time. I’m a certified trainer in the HeartMath methodology. You can measure what your heart does electromagnetically 5 feet out from your body and we know that what my heart is doing, yours will pick up and vice versa and our fields start to match. This isn’t like voodoo stuff. This is physics. Very, very delicate physics detectors that can detect subtle changes in magnetic fields that we couldn’t do 50 years ago but now we can measure them, we can see them. Wow that’s just is all kinds of new science but it does provide a logical basis for saying we shouldn’t ignore energy medicine.
We also probably all don’t want to say everything is energy so all you have to do is just want it and it happens because that doesn’t match my reality but if you don’t want it, it’s probably not going to happen, almost matches my reality. You were doing some other course after autoimmunity and something that I thought was pretty exciting I wanted to ask you about was, you were working with Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein on a documentary. Can you tell me something about that?
Jen: Yeah, so actually I’m not working on the documentary. I was working with them as a health coach.
Dave: Oh as a health coach okay.
Jen: They invited me, that was back in 2013. They invited me to go behind scenes one of the days that they were filming their documentary. It’s called Weed The People. It hasn’t come out yet. It’s on its way out but basically they are documenting how CBD and THC works with terminally ill children. There are so many parents out there who want to save their children and the current medical model isn’t working and they are doing anything they can to get their hands on CBD or THC when it might be even illegal for them if they’re in a state that doesn’t … that have laws protecting them for that and Ricki and Abby are documenting their experience and what is happening to these children who get this medicine.
They took me behind scenes one day and my mind was blown when I was listening to the doctors being interviewed and the patients who were being interviewed and what their stories were and I started to think, “Well, what kind of effect did it … ” A lot of this is around cancer and children with terminally ill cancers in a sense what would the effect be on people with autoimmune disease or thyroid imbalance.
Dave: This is in fact just to make sure to people listening, CBD is basically an oil extracted from marijuana.
Jen: From cannabis specifically.
Dave: Fair point but just that everyone listening here doesn’t the difference between cannabis and marijuana and everything else so if you’re tuning into Bulletproof Radio, we’re talking about something that comes from considered an illegal drug in at least some backwater parts of the US.
Jen: Right, which is a lot of the US sometimes. There are some states that are just not passing this to make it available to people really need this help but it is a combination of CBD and THC that usually works and we can get into that but basically I started to think about well how will this work on autoimmunity and thyroid disease and realized there hasn’t really been any research done around it. I talked to Ricki and Abby and said who could I reach out to if I wanted to create a study? I have all these patients here who work with these doctors here and they’re not getting the relief they need, at least the symptom relief for sure and the real cause forget about that, they haven’t even gotten there yet.
How could we help people alleviate some symptoms and could we reverse the autoimmune response? This is what I wanted to know. So Ricki and Abby put me in touch with the woman they’re featuring in the documentary, Mara Gordon, who is providing, she is basically a compound pharmacist and she is providing these high levels of CBD/THC ratio almost like syrups to these terminally ill children and so they put me in touch with her and now we are working with some doctors and creating a study right now to see what can we do to assess the symptoms in people with thyroid imbalance and can we shut off the autoimmune response. So we’ll see.
Dave: It’s interesting, the number of ways you can potentially fight autoimmunity. I’ve tried some very high end CBD oils. They’re commonly used in the autism community and one of the things that I do is I do work to help autistic kids and to help prevent autism from even happening in the first place by knowing more about autoimmunity and this is an area of interest for me for a very long time. I’ve had a chance to try some of these things, various extracts and some of them are really expensive, some aren’t. In my cases a moderate reduction in autoimmune symptoms but not major ones but it’s so individual it’s also how we request how is the CBD oil made. It seems like we’re just starting out. There’s a lot of stuff to happen but is it a requirement that it have THC in it because so many people who don’t want THC, that’s the bad part, I don’t know how if chemical can be good or bad but that’s somehow worse than the CBD part. Do you have to have that?
Jen: Actually Mara and I were just talking about this the other day and it really is up to the individuals make up. We each respond to any medicine or supplement or food even completely differently. Some people may derive total benefit from CBD only. Some will require a CBD THC combination. Some people and I know this is used a lot of times for adrenal fatigue just THC only can work but what people often understand is our body naturally creates THC. We have something in our body called the endocannabinoid system and it’s actually the system residing behind even the thyroid gland and the endocrine system.
The thyroid gland is really considered to be the control center but behind that is actually the endocannabinoid system and that system is where it’s always trying to get us back to homeostasis and so what it does sometimes is create our own natural occurring THC. When people think about CBD or THC, one thing that they should think about is that it’s really just supplementing, just like you would take extra vitamin D if your vitamin D levels are low or extra vitamin C if you need more vitamin C. When people are using CBD oil or THC oil or a combination of both, it’s really just supplementing what is going on in the body to help boost it so that you can get back to that homeostasis.
Dave: It all depends on the dose and the usage. You might need it for auto-immunity you also might have it at a party and just take more of it but it’s the same with another hormone that you can take oxytocin. Your body makes oxytocin. I’ve actually had a prescription for oxytocin, not OxyContin which is a very different drug but you can take sublingual or even injectable oxytocin if you are low and you can … for some people it affects autoimmunity as well, just to bring the oxytocin back up and may be it’s low even if you’re having sex 5 times a day which generally also raises oxytocin. It’s just so individualized but we have the data and then you’re like, “Oh my body is low in this thing.”
I am amused at the idea of bio-identical THC because that would just cause problems and also sorts of marketing but the whole point here is that just because something is “good or bad” it’s probably also a question of level. The same thing goes for copper. Too much copper, you die. None of copper, you die and same is true for cortisol. It’s not the death hormone. You don’t have enough cortisol, your life sucks. If you have too much cortisol, your life sucks. Keeping things in levels and using natural compounds or using chemicals, things like drugs or electricity, or lasers I don’t care but it’s my right to keep my own neurochemistry where I want it to be for me to feel and act and be the person that I want to be. I get irritated when anyone says, “You can’t have access to whatever that is.” “Really? That’s not okay.”
Jen: That’s the problem that they are really following and the documentary is these parents are committing felonies. Its technically a felony to get this medication because they’re having to get it across state lines or however. They’re really following the problems that these parents face when there is this viable healing method, even cure in some of the childrens’ cases that is there and could be readily available but different laws are keeping people from healing. That really stinks and then there was something else he mentioned that I wanted to bring up is that I think some people, THC gets such a bad name but it’s when you heat it up that it has these psychoactive properties.
A lot of times, in the oils it’s not heated to a point that is going to release what creates a psychoactive nature in your brain. It’s just … when I take in THC oil, it’s 2 drops on my tongue and all it does is relaxes my nervous system so I’m not in fight or flight all the time and when you’re dealing with an autoimmune disease especially Hashimoto’s and you’re going back and forth between hypo and hyperthyroidism, often times you get super anxious. Two drops of that, I can focus on everything. My body is relaxed. I’m not high. I’m not out there. I’m no incapable of operating heavy machinery which I don’t generally but the point is people should know that there is a difference between what is just smoked marijuana and then what are these therapeutic CBD and THC oils.
Dave: It’s sort of like the older day of hemp versus pot. There’s industrially useful things you can do with hemp and it’s probably better than cotton for the environment. In fact I would go beyond probably but we can’t do that even though we’ve printed a big constitution on it. We just oversimplify in our zeal for marketing and we get to the point where THC must be bad and what you’re saying is that the temperature of the THC matters. It absolutely does. Funny it’s the same thing with egg yolks. They’re just different things and the fact that they came from the same thing at the beginning, it just requires a nuanced approach and usually using the legal system for nuances. It doesn’t work that well historically.
Jen: Right, it’s challenging.
Dave: Do you see the CBC therapeutics other things, do you see that becoming more widely available in the US or is this only like Washington and Colorado at this point?
Jen: No, I think the tide is turning. I think we’re heading to tipping point for sure. It’s hard because I live in California. I see it from this really progressive angle and so I don’t always know what’s going on outside of California but I do know because Mara and I talked about it last week is that we’re at the tipping point and it looks like a lot research is coming out. The research is supporting this as a viable healing modality for people especially those are with terminal illness especially those with Alzheimer’s, with autism, with when you have those … Parkinson’s, and there’s another one.
Jen: Im assuming it would work for that but I don’t know. It’s when you have the convulsions, there’s a word for that.
Jen: Yes, thank you. Epilepsy, and that is for sure. As the research is supporting this and the government itself has a patent on CBD oil used for certain medical conditions. The government has a patent on it.
Jen: As the research proves more, we’re going to see the states and the laws making more that in that direction to allowing people to have that medication.
Dave: Couldn’t the government sell that patent to China like they did most of the countries freeway systems?
Jen: I don’t know that. It could.
Dave: Just kidding government but it all seriousness if you cant get it you might know that there’s an application there and people like me would like to use it and probably like it so many others. It’s one of those things where the Internet and the Cloud and social media has changed people’s awareness of things like this so it’s harder to just sort of keep them underground and also the people I know who work in government actually want to help people. They’re not like dark evil goblins although there might be a few of those in some corners, who knows but for the most part okay the intent to help will make keep this away it’s bad and then realize, “Oh may be it’s not so bad as nuance” so then people want to do it.
I’m encouraged to see that the feedback cycle is getting faster and faster. It might only take 10 years whereas if you had thought few years back, it might have taken a whole generation. All the people who believe that also have to die before you’re allowed to do it and now the people who believe it are looking at polls and data and they’re like “my God, everyone in the country wants something. Even if they don’t want it for themselves, they want it for someone they know.”
We’re just going to chill because we want to get re-elected. Good things are happening and they are happening faster and that’s cool.
Jen: Yeah and people are starting to speak up because I wrote a very simple article on it on CBD oil for thyroid conditions and I was inundated with people saying, “I’ve tried everything else. I really want to try this. Can I be a part of the study” or that they’re already using it and it’s helping them with their insomnia or this or this but if they start speaking to their local legislator they can really effect change and I’m hoping that this is what this documentary will do too. Just bring awareness and have people rise up and say, “We want this. This is a real healing modality.”
Dave: What is it specifically about thyroid, there is generalized autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s is one type of autoimmunity. There’s rheumatoid arthritis, there is many other kinds. Is CBD oil like a general autoimmunity suppressant that people with any kind of autoimmunity can consider or is there a specific thyroid story here that I don’t know about?
Jen: CBD in particular is amazing for inflammation. It will decrease that inflammation and that will give your body the opportunity to heal itself. It’s always kind of like a precursor thing. It’s not actually the thing that it is doing it, it is allowing your body to repair. In cancer it’s different actually. Cancer, CBD oil would go in there. It can actually enter those cancer cells where other things can’t and kill it from the inside out.
Dave: Interesting. That sounds cool. Any time you mentioned cancer, immediately the drug companies get really interested because it’s such a big problem area. Are there attempts that you know of to take a natural compound like CBD and turn into a patentable drug so you can charge like $1000 a gram for it?
Jen: This was a recent discussion, I heard a panel speak on this and so there’s both the fear and the hope that these drug companies will take this over. The fear is the drug companies will take it over, it might not have the same high level quality. It will become expensive. The hope is if the drug companies do start doing this then people can start getting healing that way. I don’t know of any specific companies doing it but what the panel is saying is that they are researching it. Tests are being done. Things are being created.
Dave: Let’s hope that they don’t do one of those nasty things like they did with GHB which is one of the most potent sleep drugs to man but it’s a natural compound. There’s a carefully orchestrated smear campaign to take GHB off the market which resulted in great sales for drugs like Ambien that are much more harmful to the body and don’t cause a release of growth hormone and then magically now you can buy GHB with a very careful prescription and it’s terribly expensive and now a natural compound is sold as a drug. That’s kind of the business model these guys have. I don’t want to see that happen with CBD.
It comes from a plant. It’s in our food already or it’s already in the body like drug companies hands off. See here how it works, makes artificial drugs like maybe ill buy them from you if they really work or something but don’t mess with my biochemistry. It’s mine. I got myself off.
Jen: Did you see The Sacred Science. I just watched that documentary and the statistics that popped out was something like 40% of what goes into these pharmaceuticals are derivatives of plants from the Amazon.
Dave: Yeah, that is a lot of natural medicine that goes into these things.
Jen: And so they’re always looking.
Dave: Yeah and not a ghost drug. Lot of people are like “I only take natural compounds.” I take what works best, has the best safety profile, the best risk benefit and I’m very agnostic about that. It’s just that quite often going at it from a system’s perspective is actually for autoimmunity it’s better than taking immunosuppressive drugs which you can take but they’re quite expensive and you have high risk of cancer and other things. It’s complex but how did your Hashimoto’s end up? Is it still there? Are you still actively managing it? How effective have all of your interventions been?
Jen: It is really effective. I do still manage it so when I don’t treat my body well, if I start eating poorly or if I have levels of stress and I’m not managing them well I see the antibodies get back in and then I can reverse them fairly quickly following the protocol that I found for myself that works. It’s just a matter of me managing it. That’s why I’m really looking for something that will turn it off and then I’m hoping that there’s something to the CBD or the THC or something else out there. I’m just always experimenting and always on the look out and following the breadcrumbs and trying to figure out how can we turn off the autoimmune response.
For the most part I live symptom free. I only really notice it in the blood work if I’ve been really stressed. There’ll be like “Oh there are some antibodies. Great!” Now I know … but then it’s also my wake up call to say start taking care of yourself. Stop overworking and start relaxing and carve out time. Anytime I see that my blood work is out of whack, I post that up and tell everybody, “Oh I got to take care of myself,” and so I do it.
Dave: That’s how we have a little bit of community involvement. I’ve noticed with my own Hashimoto’s, clearly there are food triggers, gluten being the worst, whole grains but also mold toxins. Environmental mold toxins are shown in dozens and dozens of studies to trigger different kinds of autoimmunity specifically to the thyroid, specifically to the adrenal and then medulla and to the pituitary gland which controls the thyroid gland. All of these different things can be turned on and something in the environment or in your food throws a switch and then your immune system’s like “Oh look, I’ll attack that.” There’s several ways to suppress the autoimmune response.
There’s relaxation things like heart rate variability training, like the energy medicine that you’ve done, like reducing stress from craniosacral things, getting more sleep and so what you found is you found that you manage your stress levels and if the stress gets out of hand, the immune system starts to attack itself. Your stress goes down, the immune system goes down. Right?
Jen: Yes, absolutely.
Dave: That’s awesome. This is why managing your stress, including things like exercise, what do would happen if you ran 10 miles a day every day for a month?
Jen: For me personally my immune system would start attacking me.
Dave: Because your stress would be really too much stress. That’s over training, it is a stressor right?
Dave: Do you know how many people in the US have autoimmune conditions?
Jen: It’s something like 69, 55. There’s a variety of statistics out there but I see in between 50 and 80 million for autoimmune diseases and something like 309 worldwide, something huge.
Dave: Yeah, I think it’s more than 300 worldwide but it depends because the rates are different and your diagnosis is different in different countries but it’s like a lot. 10’s of millions of people and more people are at risk of it and the rate of them is increasing because of the things we are doing to our environment, to our soil, and the chemicals we’re using and things like that. That’s why if you’re listening to this and you’re saying, “Well that was interesting but I don’t use CBD oil and my immune system is great.” Well do the things that keep it great because you don’t want to walk into a buzzsaw. If you’ve not had autoimmunity and then you get in a car accident and your stress levels go up in the middle of a divorce, when you have the flu and may be that’s what triggers it
Then all of a sudden you’re on this something wrong and nobody knows what and you’ve seen 10 doctors and all of them say something different and mostly they said, “You’re crazy and here have some Prozac.” There’s millions of people who’ve had this sort of thing happen and autoimmunity is often times one of the things there and what triggered it may be different for you and may be different for someone else but if you don’t understand that cycle you don’t know to look out for it. When it may happen to you and when it does happen to you, you want to just understand it because then it’s easy to fix if you capture earlier but if you just blind your health down because nobody knew, then it’s a bigger challenge.
That’s why in this podcast here why I want to have on is to talk about it and what does it do to you.
Jen: Yeah and misdiagnosis I think is the bigger problem and you’re right that that’s probably way high a number of people with autoimmunity because it is often misdiagnosed, undiagnosed. I know I went to 13 doctors 2 ER visits and was never diagnosed even though I was told over and over again I was getting full blood panels and everything. People really do need to work at your food source, environment. I was next to LAX for 15 years. That could definitely have contributed with all that jet fuel I was breathing in and out and being so close to the ocean there was a lot of mold in the air so you have your molds, you have the environmental toxins and then our culture is just a high stress culture based on overwork and overwhelm and that’s in … and even over fitness, just like you were saying with the exercise. We overdo it a lot in our culture and that can be a trigger too.
I like what you said because if you don’t have … if your immune system isn’t off now, protect it. Protect it because there are so many things actually assaulting it that could trigger autoimmunity.
Dave: Very well said. That’s an amazing piece of advice and that leads into our final question, one I had asked everyone on the show and it’s what are your top 3 recommendations for people who just want to perform better, and not as athletes but just everything you know in your life not just about thyroid and autoimmunity but the 3 most important pieces of advice?
Jen: Here’s what I do. I would say I love energy work, energy medicine, energy healing whether that comes from working with a craniosacral person. Often times they are DO’s. They have a medical background and they have extra education. Something like craniosacral therapy, Reiki, acupuncture. There are all types of healers out there that there isn’t really a term for but you’ll know them if you find them so definitely that. I just think that that can do a world of good that a lot of people haven’t tried yet and haven’t experienced.
Coffee enemas, I love them
Dave: In your top 3 things?
Jen: May be it’s not for everybody but it’s so great when it’s done carefully and I’ve done it under my doctor’s supervision. He told me how many times he wanted to see me try this and it’s not like “Oh I just started doing coffee enemas and I was doing them everyday.” You want to talk to a professional about that.
Dave: Can I share one quick tip about coffee enemas? Here’s the most important thing, you cool the coffee off first.
Jen: Oh yeah! It’s never super hot but I really found with myself and my clients and maybe its cause Im so embedded in this thyroid and autoimmune world and that is my world right now is that it just seems to help everybody. Just process things that are feel better and dine regularly and carefully is just a great part of any sort of health protocol.
Dave: And done in the morning or you won’t sleep all night.
Jen: For me and I’m really sensitive to caffeine, I’ve done it in the afternoon. It actually absorbs in your body completely differently. It was one of the reasons why I didn’t want to try it for so long. So many years that I had heard from many people who had reversed their autoimmunity that the coffee enemas was with and that actually stopped the autoimmune response for them and I refused to do it because I was so sensitive to caffeine. My adrenals were all messed up and then finally my doctor said, “You’ve got to try it. You really do” and I found that I don’t have any jitters and it doesn’t keep me up. I’ve never tried it past 4 PM so I can’t say that. Morning is probably the best that when I usually do it.
Dave: It’s pretty ampy, there I admit it I’ve done coffee enema. I’m a coffee guy but yeah I hear pretty similar things.
Jen: I think are you really using roasted coffee? The key is it has to be unroasted.
Dave: You mean green coffee?
Jen: I don’t know exactly okay. I’m talking to you, the coffee expert but I don’t know.
Dave: You can’t even grind green coffee. The grinders don’t ..,
Jen: It’s a golden coffee. It’s not …
Dave: Use a light roast. You get what’s chlorogenic acid that way. Interesting.
Jen: Yeah, that’s …
Dave: It’s interesting because green coffee…
Jen: It’s roasted? Okay.
Jen: But it’s like a light toast versus a full like an Italian roast.
Dave: That’s what I’m saying because you get less of the main compound that causes glutathione in the liver when it’s light roasted like that. There’s a response curve with the roast cycle and not to get in the grade of the best coffee for that but you’re the first person I’ve heard say that. That’s interesting.
Jen: This is what I’ve learnt just from following the Gerson method.
Dave: Gerson, okay?
Jen: Yes. That’s the … at least coffee enema method I’ve been following and then this is a little bit more abstract but I would say to take life from more of a feminine approach so my third thing is really our society is all about pushing through, not dealing with your emotions and not taking time out for yourself and not caring for yourself. You’ve got to accomplish a million things, you’ve got to be the best at everything. My approach is to take a breath, take it deep, use your gentle power and your lovable strength to address everything in your world. Make sure you nourish yourself and I think that is nothing typical. It can be a real feminine quality to be nurturing. You need to turn that on yourself. That would be my 3rd thing.
Dave: Awesome. That’s why I wore my paisley shirt if your watching the video to my feminine side. I did think you’re going to say that so I just addressed it. Jen Wittman thank you for being on Bulletproof Radio today. Would you tell people where they can find you, give us your urls, social media, handovers and all that kind of stuff?
Jen: Sure. You can find me at thyroidlovingcare.com and thehealthplate.org and right now we have an event going on and actually will be going on for perpetuity, yourbestthyroidlife.com and am at Thyroid Love and at Thyroid Love everywhere else. That’s how you can find me.
Dave: Thanks again for being on the show and have an awesome day.
Jen: Thank you. It was a real pleasure.
Dave: If you’re watching on YouTube or on iTunes video or you’re just listening in your car and you’ve got something about you from this episode, I would love it if you would think about picking up a copy of The Bulletproof Diet book because when people buy them now, it really helps other people find them because we’re still working on the New York Times list and it’s an amazing effort to try and show millions of people, “Hey if you take control of how you eat and how you feel, then you can tune your food for your own personal biochemistry and you’re going to feel different and when you feel different, the first thing that happens is your brain turns back on.”
So if you would do me the favor, if this is helpful for you, pick up a copy of The Bulletproof Diet where we like to buy books and if you don’t do that, head on over to Facebook and click like or go to iTunes and just say “This was useful.” That’s all I’m asking. You don’t have to buy my copy. If you do that too, “Hey, I love you.” It works and that said, have an awesome day and enjoy the rest of your drive home.