Reversing Autoimmune Thyroid Disease in 90 Days – Dr. Izabella Wentz – #400
By: Bulletproof Staff
Why you should listen –
From Hashimoto’s to Health in 90-days. That’s the premise behind Dr. Izabella Wentz’s blockbuster new book “Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back.” Dr. Wentz has distilled years of her own research into the debilitating disease that took a deep toll on her own body, and has built a series of protocols that focus on hormone optimization, overcoming traumatic stress, eradicating chronic infections, optimizing nutrition and clearing toxins. These protocols are part of a 90-day-plan to help people beat autoimmune thyroid disease and live a rich and healthy life.
Enjoy the show!
Follow Along with the Transcript!
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Speaker 2: Bullet Proof Radio. A state of high performance.
Dave: You’re listening to Bulletproof radio with Dave Asprey. Today’s cool fact of the day is that selenium is a mineral with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that you probably haven’t heard about. One of the things that selenium does is that it can reduce the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease, but it also can reduce your risk of mercury poisoning if you eat a lot of sushi, like I do. But before you stock up on selenium, researchers have found that people who naturally already have adequate or even a high selenium can get negative effects from taking more selenium and the form of selenium matters as well. So selenium is one of those things that’s a double-edged sword.
Before we get into today’s episode, about a quarter of Americans don’t get enough vitamin A in their diet. Vitamin A is essential for the human body and it’s been show to help with inflammation, immune system, maintaining strength and integrity in your bones. And it’s part of having a healthy sex life. One of the best sources of vitamin A is a type of cod liver oil that Daria imports called Dropi. Dropiis one of the purest cod liver oils on the market today. It’s made exclusively from wild cod that’s caught and processed in the oldest fishing village in Iceland. And it’s cold processed, which preserves its natural fatty acids including omega 3 and vitamins A and vitamin D. And it also, because of the way it’s processed, qualifies as a raw food instead of a processed food.
The people over at Daria are really passionate about wellness and peak performance. And one of their guys, Ash, is now working on becoming a Bulletproof coach, they’re so passionate about being Bulletproof. So you might want to check out the new cod liver oil called Dropi. And just a celebration of Ash’s hard work becoming a coach, my friends over at Daria are giving Bulletproof listeners 20% off any order. Head on over to dariaimports.com/bulletproof and check out all the cool products they’ve got in the cod liver oil space and you’ll save 20%. Don’t wait, this is a limited time only offer. Just go to dariaimports.com/bulletproof.
Bulletproof just launched several new supplements that are totally totally cool. These are things that I take everyday and I’m always concerned about sourcing and delivery systems and just quality at every step of the process. One of the new supplements that just came out is called “Methyl B-12”. And this is a form of vitamin B-12 that is absorbable by almost everyone. It goes in under your tongue, a lot of people can’t absorb the normal form that’s in multivitamins when you take it orally, and you just swallow it. So this is a way to get healthy brain cells, healthy nerve tissue, to keep you sharp. I take one of these every single morning and I don’t use [inaudible 00:04:25] form usually because it’s less absorbable than the Methyl form. Either you have to convert the original form in your liver into the form your body can use or you just take the form your body can already use. So that’s Bulletproof Methyl B-12 on bulletproof.com. So it’s kind of a no-brainer to take this stuff.
And before we get into the interview today, which is with one of my favorite people … Take 5 seconds, go to iTunes, and click “5-star review! This is the best radio show on the planet!” Or something similar to that. When you give a 5-star review on iTunes, it helps Bulletproof radio reach more people. We are just about at fifteen hundred 5-star reviews which I’m totally honored by. So if you’ve enjoyed these three hundred and fifty episodes, which is a huge amount of work and all, just say thanks by doing that 5-star feedback and that’s all it takes.
If you want to go real heavy you could also say thanks by checking out “Headstrong”, my brand new book. We just launched out pre-order campaign and you can go to your favorite online book-seller, order it, or just go to orderheadstrong.com and I’ll actually give you a coupon on the Bulletproof website that just about pays for the book right upfront. So go to orderheadstrong.com and check it out. It’s all about how you can increase the performance of the mitochondria in your head which actually makes you a better person, ’cause it makes everything you do easier, even being nice to the people you don’t like very much.
And speaking of that, today’s guest is … Okay, that was the worst introduction ever, I wouldn’t really do that to her. Today’s guest is one of my favorite people. This is Izabella Wentz who is a … She calls herself a “health nerd” which is entirely accurate. She’s also a doctor of pharmacy and a clinical pharmacist and my go-to resource for hacking Hashimoto’s disease. She had Hashimoto’s and decided to really dig in and hack it. I also had Hashimoto’s and I resolved my Hashimoto’s and I know a thing or two about it. And when I first sat down with Isabella at one of J.J. Virgin’s conferences, we had like this most fantastic dinner because she knew like four thousand more things about Hashimoto’s than I know, and I’m not exactly a spring chicken on this stuff, given that I hacked mine. So she really does spend thousands of hours in research.
And if you’re listening to this going, “What the hell is Hashimoto’s? I think I ordered that at the sushi restaurant last night”. Hashimoto’s is a incredibly common disfunction of thyroid where your immune system attacks your thyroid gland. So Izabella’s basically really the person I would send any celebrity or CEO or any Bulletproof follower to who’s like, “I need to know about my thyroid, who’s the best on earth?”. I’d send them to Izabella. And Izabella, just because she had to hack her own thing, knows things that are not well-known, not well understood, and you absolutely should listen to what she has to say.
Your thyroid controls the amount of energy your mitochondria make. If your thyroid is off even a little bit, you will not be as strong as you are capable of being. So what you’re going to learn in this episode applies to you even if you don’t directly have Hashimoto’s.
So Izabella, that was a long interview. The one thing I didn’t say that I’m supposed to say is that I have here, in my hot little hands, and if you’re watching on youtube you’ll actually see this, go to bulletproof.com/youtube to find the channel, this is uncorrected proof, not for sale. See, I’m so special that Izabella sent me a copy of her book before it officially came out and in response I sent her a copy of mine. So you can measure your coolness by the number of unreleased books you have. So I’ve had a chance to read the new Izabella Wentz “Hashimoto’s Protocol” book and it is totally legit. So you can check that out at thyroidpharmacist.com/gift. Did I remember that?
Izabella: Mm-hmm (affirmative), that’s right. And you were actually the first person to get that advance copy.
Dave: Was I really? I noticed you didn’t sign it. My feelings were hurt.
Izabella: I can sign it like three times in the next one.
Dave: That’s a good plan. No, it’s totally cool. And I’ll see you in person anyways so you can sign it next time we meet. But the reason I’m bringing that up is, one of the things people like Izabella, or that you and I do, is we spend thousands of hours doing research and then we spend thousands of more hours boiling the research down into 4 hours of reading. Which is just an incredible labor of love but it’s also an active service because it allows someone to take advantage of all the research without having to actually go do it. Like the worst thing you could ever do is be like, “Here’s a million words on Hashimoto’s” and people are like “I’m never gonna read this”. So the old Mark Twain, “If I’d had more time I’d have written less” quote really applies to best-selling authors, like you. And you already hit the New York Times but just for readers, Izabella’s totally legit. And your book, Izabella, it’s well worth reading for everyone.
So let’s jump in on Hashimoto’s. And I want to talk about why you decided a second book was worth writing, I want to talk about your definition of it, and just your theories about why this happened, ’cause you’re one of the world’s top experts on it. So let’s just jump right in. Why do we need a second book on Hashimoto’s, given that your first book was so successful?
Izabella: That’s a really good question, and it came to me when I was meeting one of my readers in Chicago and she’s a Polish woman, really cute, really fun and outgoing. And she’s like, “Izabella, I really loved your first book. It taught me how to [inaudible 00:09:41] for my health and I’ve seen so many improvements. But can you just give me some protocols? Like I don’t necessarily need to know everything about the science and research behind Hashimoto’s”. And I was like, I didn’t get it at first ’cause I’m like this science nerd right? I’m like, “But don’t you want to know exactly how everything works?” She’s like, “No no, I just want some protocols. Like tell me exactly what supplements to take, exactly what I need to do”. And I was like, “Okay, I’ll think about that”, right?
And then it finally dawned on me when I was going to a Pilates class. And I had the most intense instructor ever. So she was telling me exactly which muscles I was working with every movement, and then she was quizzing me. Like, “Which muscle is that? Which muscle are you using?” And I was like, “Wow. Like, I don’t really care. I just want to fit into my swimsuit, lady”. And then she gave me homework and then she had me watch Pilates videos and Pilates theory and I was like, “Listen. I don’t want to be a Pilates instructor”. And then I was like, “Oh. Well maybe not everybody wants to be a Hashimoto’s expert. Maybe they just want to get their health back”.
And so I started working with people with Hashimoto’s right after I got my own health back. From that time forward, I’ve been trying to boil things down and like, “How do I get people better faster?” This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night is like, “How do I take the healing side down”, right? And so this second book is based on some of my new protocols that go into targeted ways to support the body, regardless of your root cause.
My first book got into the various types of root causes and all the potential causes of Hashimoto’s and how to … I focused on how to do all different kinds of lab tests and how to really understand your biology, understand your body, to really go deep into it. But sometimes that took some time, where we were spending a lot of money and we spending a lot of time trying to play health-detective. And the second book, I ended up dialing it down after working with clients and I had some people that were really sensitive to supplements. And no matter what I put them on, they would say, “Oh my gosh, I cannot tolerate this B vitamin” or “I can’t tolerate vitamin C”. And I was like, “Hmm. Something’s going on there”. And I figured out that a lot of times they had a liver function that was just overwhelmed with all of these different chemicals from their environment, and from personal care products. And so all that’s from the thyroid circulating immune complexes that get formed in auto[inaudible 00:12:08] thyroid disease.
And so I started putting those people on my two-week liver support protocol and it was amazing because they would say, “Hey. I had migraines and now my migraines are gone” within the first week and I was like, “Oh yeah, I knew that would happen” and I didn’t, I was like surprised. But then I was like, “Huh. This is interesting. I might put that on everybody”. And so I did that with my clients and then I ended up doing that with my Happy Hashimoto’s program, which is a group program for people with Hashimoto’s on how to take care of their health. And I had everybody start off on the liver support protocol. And I used to work at Outcome’s Research so I’m this little nerd, and I had all of them give me surveys and feedback on how each protocol worked. And 65% of people saw dramatic improvements within the first week or two of using my liver protocol.
Now, these are people that had been working with other health care professionals, functional medicine doctors, they were like advanced health seekers. They had read all of my stuff and what’s really really cool is people with multiple chemical sensitivities saw a resolution of that and I never expected to resolve that. But within … I had some ladies that got in touch with me within doing just the group program and one of them, it was right around Christmastime a couple of years back, and she goes to me, “Wow, this is the first time that I’ve been able to go shopping at the mall with my daughter”. So she had multiple chemical sensitivities, headaches, fatigue, elevated thyroid antibodies, as well as joint pains. And this woman was not able to walk past a Yankee Candle store because you know all the smells and stuff like that at the mall. And she ended up being able to go to the mall, her headaches resolved, pain resolved, and she also said her mood improved and the next time her antibodies were tested, those reduced.
We had to do some more work with her but it is amazing just to see this huge health transformation within two weeks. And so my “Hashimoto’s Protocol” book is based on fundamental protocols that help people reset their health right away.
Dave: I don’t talk about this so much but I used to have really bad chemical sensitivity, even when I was a kid, because I lived in a basement with toxic mold. And a lot of times, when the liver is overwhelmed by toxins, they can be natural toxins, they can be chemicals, they can be foreign chemicals, air-fresheners, whatever.
But when the load goes up in the way you saw with this client of yours, it happens. So when I was a kid, I would never walk down the detergent aisle in the grocery store, even when I was like twelve years old. Or I would hold my breath because same thing. I would walk past one of those incredibly chemical, [inaudible 00:14:55] disrupting Yankee Candle store things, and I would literally run or hold my breath ’cause I would get dizzy and I would feel like I wanted to throw up around them. And it would come and go and I do correlate it to toxins in my liver and also just the toxins in my environment and you decrease the total toxic burden, and you’re resilience goes up. So I can go through those stores now. I just know better, ’cause I don’t want to grow man-boobs any larger than the ones I already have.
And so it’s just a bad idea to do that. And when I get an Uber I’m like, “Excuse me, could you take those sixteen pine things hanging from your mirror and just put them in the glove box? Because otherwise I’m gonna get a different car. Like I don’t want to be a jerk or anything but those cause headaches and by the way, they’re making you sick too. So there’s no call for this. This isn’t a taxi, it shouldn’t smell like a taxi.”
Anyway, I’m ranting. But bottom line is, what you’re saying is true and if people do find themselves bothered by things in the environment, doing like your liver protocols is really important and supporting detox pathways is also really important. I know the two go-to’s for me are Glutathione force, which is a glutathione. We just actually changed it so it’s in capsules now so it doesn’t taste like orange frosting. It’s a lot easier to take. And I also use Calcium D-Glucarate which is a brand new supplement we launched which is a secondary detox thing.
In your detox protocol, what types of things do you use? And by the way, everyone can use a liver detox, not just people with Hashimoto’s. But what’s your protocol look like?
Izabella: Yeah so my protocol what I focus on is removing toxins and that’s going to be from your day-to-day lives. So for a lot of women, we’re constantly exposed to endocrine disruptors through personal care products. So I’ll have them go on a personal product cleans for about two weeks, or I have them replace their personal care products with high-quality brands that test really low on EWG as far as their scores of toxicity go. That’s gonna be a first step with removing plastics, with removing triclosan, which has finally been banned by the FDA –
Dave: Thank God.
Izabella: -because of it’s thyroid disrupting activities. But some people still use those antibacterial soaps and it’s actually still in our toothpaste. So I have people replace their toothpaste, I have them get organic fluoride-free toothpaste and they also want to check for triclosan.
Dave: Why would you say fluoride free toothpaste, Izabella?
Izabella: Oh my goodness. So fluoride … Not many people know this, but back in the day before we had fancy medications like [inaudible 00:17:19] to suppress thyroid function in people with an overactive thyroid, we were using fluoride. And guess what? The amount of fluoride that you get in the average US city, if you don’t filter your water and you’re a good girl and you’re drinking your 6 to 8 cups a day of water, you’re gonna be suppressing your thyroid. You’re gonna be giving yourself a nice thyroid suppressing dose of fluoride. There’s been studies that were done in the UK in communities that add fluoride to their supply versus those that don’t. And they found that sure enough, they had higher rates of thyroid disease in fluoridated communities. What’s even more, they were able to correlate this to the amount of fluoride you had in tap water to the amount of thyroid disease. So that’s just one of these things that public health officials are helping and are trying to help us but they’re not.
Dave: My grandfather on my dad’s side was a high-end chemist for one of the national laboratories. He actually wrote, under the general chemistry heading, for encyclopedia Britannica back when encyclopedias were like what Wikipedia is today, except not run by science trolls. Yeah, I’m talking to you guys on Wikipedia. Like Wikipedia suppresses a lot of the interesting info these days. Shame on you guys. Anyway, I’ll get off that rant.
And we’ll go back to my grandfather because his specialty was fluoride chemistry and fluorine chemistry. And he invented something called the “Purex Process” which is still used today to purify either plutonium or uranium, I don’t remember which one. And it’s fluoride-intensive thing. And I used to ask him about fluoride and he’s like, “Why would you let that stuff anywhere near your body? Do you know what it does?” Granted, he was a physical chemist not bio chemist.
But still. I’ve always been a bit leery and, just like you said, the data is in. Fluoride’s a pharmaceutical that has no business being in our water. And you’ll still see some of these 1970s science trolls out there who’ll say, “But you need it for cavities”. What’s your response to that, you licensed clinical pharmacologist person who knows what you’re talking about? Do you talk about fluoride in cavities versus thyroid?
Izabella: So yeah, most of Europe, except for the UK, actually doesn’t fluoridate their water. And a lot of the advances in having better teeth were … People were saying, “Oh well it’s because of the fluoride in our water supply”. No, actually, it’s because of advances in dental medicine. And there’s also a conspiracy behind this. So this is kind of interesting but when the lobbyists got together, they were looking at how to keep people eating sugar so that they can basically continue to eat sugar, which causes cavities like processed carbohydrates and sugar, and get rid of the toxins from the chemical plants. And they came up with this fantastic idea to use fluoride in our water supply because that still allowed people to continue consuming just as much sugar.
Now, the real root cause of why we do get cavities is gonna be changes in our PH within our mouths, so there are things you can do for that. I have protocols in my “Hashimoto’s Protocol” book on that. And then there are also, you know, eating a lot of starchy carbohydrate foods. That’s gonna be an issue for you. My cousin, my little cousin in Poland, is a dental student and she goes to me, “Izabella, is it true that in America, they don’t people not to eat sugar, they just put fluoride in the water?” And I said, “Yeah, it’s true”. She’s like, “That’s horrible. Why would they not just tell people to not eat as much sugar?”
Dave: Well since we’re picking on dentists. I go into the dentist and I’m like, “Don’t come near me with fluoride”. I want none of that in my mouth and they’re like, “But you’ll die”. It’s like, “No. I won’t”. Because when I was weaker than I am now, I hadn’t built my resilience up to the point where it is now, when I would go to the dentist and they’d do fluoride, I’d actually feel really tired for a few days. And it turns out I’d discovered in my mid to late twenties, this is almost 20 years ago, I did have thyroid disfunction. And it was pretty bad. And when I discovered it and they put me on thyroid meds, I was like “Wow”. I kind of got some of my life back right then. And I’ve reduced my thyroid meds substantially since then. I don’t have thyroid antibodies anymore.
But dentists clearly were part of the problem because they’re using fluoride, which is what they were trained to do. But there’s something else that dentists do. It has to do with mercury. Let’s talking about mercury and thyroid for a little while because these mercury fillings. What’s your take on those?
Izabella: Yeah, the conventional dental profession can definitely contribute to thyroid disease in many ways including through dental Xe-rays, so I always recommend wearing a thyroid shield. And then those silver fillings, right? They’re actually not silver. They have mostly mercury and copper in them and as we’re chewing gum, as we’re talking, as we’re moving around, we’re gonna have all that mercury that’s going to get into our bodies.
What is really kind of interesting is there’s a test you can do known as the “Melisa Test” and this will help you determine if you’re mercury sensitive or not. And those who are mercury sensitive with Hashimoto’s, once they had their mercury amalgams removed, their thyroid antibodies went into remission and their symptoms improved. Those that were not mercury sensitive did not see as much of an improvement but it’s kind of like, it’s threshold. Like, the more fillings you have the more problems you’re gonna have. But if you’re sensitive, even just that one filling can be a problem. And what’s more, people are gonna say, “Okay, then I need to get these things out”. So actually getting them out can also trigger thyroid disease. It can exacerbate Hashimoto’s if you don’t work with a biological dentist to get them removed properly. ‘Cause generally, if you go with a traditional dentist, they’re going to drill and all this stuff is going to fly everywhere and you’re gonna absorb more vapor. It’s like a really high dose of mercury all at once versus small doses of a poison everyday of your life.
So this is something I’ve seen where we do health timelines and people’s conditions get triggered when they actually have their amalgams removed.
Dave: You mentioned the Melisa test and you probably don’t know this, but Dr. Lana and I are the ones who brought the Melisa test to the United States. Did you know that?
Izabella: You know what, I was wondering because I saw the name of the company and then I saw it on Lana’s linked in or something and I was like, “Huh. I wonder if that’s the same company”.
Dave: So the Melisa test –
Izabella: Thank you.
Dave: Oh, you’re welcome. It was developed by a Czech researcher who worked for one of the big Pharma companies. And they hired her to figure out why there were so many bad reactions to one of their new drugs, and she developed the Melisa test. And what she figured out was the drug worked fine, it was all the other crap they were putting in the capsule with the drug, like titanium and all this other stuff, because she could tell individual immune responses to simple and individual chemicals.
So in the mid 2000s, Lana and I opened Melisa USA and we brought that here. So we don’t run that company anymore. In fact I think we shut it down and now it’s available from a couple other labs. But it’s a really intriguing thing. So I was like, “Did you say that on purpose?” But okay. That was a blast from the past. And you’re right. When you can show with this test, this person’s allergic to the mercury in their mouth but not mercury from seafood, that’s kind of a smoking gun right?
Izabella: Yeah it’s crazy. There’s so many different triggers that can overwhelm our detox pathways and can overwhelm our bodies. The way that I like to think about it is, it’s my safety theory of why people get autoimmune thyroid disease and it’s: if you’re body doesn’t feel safe, so a high amount of toxins like in your mouth from fluoride or from mercury or anything else that’s around you or within you, that can trigger your body to want to go into survival mode. And for men and women, it’s like, we’re not thriving towards creation. So women are going to be more sensitive to thyroid disease because we carry the primary responsibility of bringing new life into this world. So we’re the ones that are going to be more dialed in, of course. But men can be affected as well if you have enough of these signals that get sent to the body that say, “Hey, this is not the best time to be running around, not the best time to reproduce. Go back in your cave and get some rest. And carry some extra weight around you to protect you because you poor thing, you’re probably starving”.
Dave: So you’re basically saying that because I had Hashimoto’s and all this that I’m less masculine? Did I translate that right?
Izabella: No no, not at all. I did not say that.
Dave: Just kidding.
Izabella: I think you have this like, what is it called? A belief that I think these things of you but I think you’re a wonderful person. I think you’re very masculine. I don’t know why you got that belief, I don’t know where it comes from –
Dave: Because when the camera’s off you make fun of me, Izabella. Is that way? I’m just kidding. But it’s totally true that Hashimoto’s and a lot of these chemical things do effect women more than men. And, just like you said, it’s all about reproduction. And my first book was about fertility because Lana was infertile when we met. And I’m like, “I think I want to have babies with this woman, so let’s hack that”. And decreasing the toxic load, just like you’re talking about, is important. And one of the things I appreciate about your book is thyroid is kind of the superstar and it deserves to be because it’s the energy thermostat for all of us. So even if you think you’re doing pretty well, if you’re 10% off on your thyroid, you don’t know the additional levels of energy you’re capable of having. And a typical doctor won’t even test the right stuff for the thyroid. And you write about this in your book, but then if you get the right test, they’ll be like, “Well, you’re within norms”. And you’re like, “Yeah but I don’t quite have enough energy. Maybe I could support the thyroid with iodine or with tyrosine or something”.
But the way, tyrosine is the new Bulletproof supplement, I just thought of that.
But when you look at all these things, you go through it all and you realize, everyone can benefit from that but probably two thirds of your book isn’t about thyroid. It’s about liver, adrenal and gut. So let’s talk about those ’cause I think those apply to everyone listening, even if they don’t have thyroid stuff or they don’t know that they have what would they call “sub-clinical thyroid” stuff where it’s good enough, but did you want to be “good enough” or did you want to be super awesome? And the whole point of Bulletproof is, what’s the highest level of performance you can get. Like, you don’t want to be normal. You want to be abnormal in the best possible way. So let’s talk about ways people can be even more abnormal using adrenal and gut and liver. Let’s start … We’ve talked liver a bunch. Tell me about adrenal recovery.
Izabella: Those the three organ systems that get impaired when people are suffering with chronic illness or … These are like the three pathways to getting sick: liver, adrenals, and gut. And we find that … When I was first recovering my health it was like trying to get better. But like you said, for anybody, when you support the liver, adrenals or gut, you’re gonna help with building resiliency. You’re going to be making yourself stronger and less susceptible to, for example, with the liver, less susceptible to toxins in your environment. So the adrenals are the second part of that. The adrenals, we have a four week adrenal protocol where you really focus in and dial in on resetting some of that stress response. And one of the quickest ways to get yourself into adrenal disfunction is gonna be through sleep deprivation. So they’ve done studies on people with sleep apnea, for example, and these people, the longer they have sleep apnea, the more likely they are to get thyroid antibodies, and the longer they have it, the higher the amount of thyroid antibodies which dictate the aggressiveness.
But with the adrenals, what I recommend is going on a spa-month, where you try to cut down a lot of the different things in your life that are stressful to you. So if you have people that you don’t like or that annoy you, you try to cut out negative inflammatory people, right?
Dave: So you fire your mother-in-law?
Izabella: You keep a healthy distance. You set some boundaries, right?
Dave: I only say that because my mother-in-law is almost certainly not listening to this.
Izabella: I can call her and let her know you’re going to be giving her a shout-out.
Dave: That’s probably best that you don’t. I’m just kidding. I don’t have any problems with my mother-in-law. I just like to make mother-in-law jokes ’cause they’re so stereotypical. But the reason I brought that up is … So, you want to minimize contact with people around you. But for a lot of listeners, like they have a couple family members who, like, they’re locked in mortal combat with them and things like that. So a spa-month? What do you do? Sort of like, put on do-not-disturb on your phone or how does that really work? And also we have jobs with people we don’t like. How do you do this?
Izabella: So ideally, if you could, you would sleep for twelve hours a night for seven to fourteen days, and that would be really helpful. If you can’t, if you have a life or a job, you might not be able to do that. So the way to kind of hack that is to start doing things that make you more mindful. So one of the things that I like is meditation using a headband like the muse headband or neuro-feedback, doing those kinds of things, deep breathing, where you give yourself an opportunity to pause. So when your mother-in-law says something that’s inflammatory or offensive to you, you can actually slow down for a second and you have that extra second of thinking about, “You know what? She is struggling with something” and “Poor thing”. And you kind of develop a sense of compassion for this person.
And the way that you develop compassion for others is gonna be with starting off with yourself. So, really nurturing yourself and treating yourself like that. Like if you had a small child or a pet that you loved and that pet was sick, you give yourself that same kind of self-love. And it’s done through things like making sure you’re doing things you enjoy every single day. Making sure that you’re going to be getting enough rest, building in various things in your life that bring you pleasure, and trying to minimize those that don’t bring you pleasure.
There’s also adrenal adaptions that really really can help. And they can make you tolerate people much much better. So when you start getting –
Dave: Sorry, that’s the best pitch ever for adaptions. “They make you tolerate people you don’t like”. Okay, I totally believe that, by the way. That was just beautifully put so just keep going. Sorry. Made me laugh.
Izabella: No, it’s true. So when you think about like what stresses you out, a lot of times it’s because you’re running on empty and you’re depleted. So there’s things you can do for that. I recommend the ABC’s. So adrenal adaptions, B vitamins, blood sugar balance as well as vitamin C. And this can be a traumatic … Not a traumatic. This can make a tremendous difference in how a person feels in a relatively short time period. The other thing that’s a key in this part is a nutrient known as thiamine. So thiamine is one of the B vitamins and what I found in my work with Hashimoto’s clients and I was the initial guinea pig is, people who continue to struggle with their adrenals who have low blood pressure, who are constantly having blood sugar issues and brain fog, a lot of times they could be deficient in thiamine.
When I was in pharmacy school, I learned that thiamine was only deficient in alcoholics. So you don’t actually have to be an alcoholic to be thiamine deficient. People with thyroid disease, people with any kind of gut issues, chromes disease, they can be deficient in thiamine. Even having one or two drinks could give you a subclinical deficiency. You might not know this, you just would never see it on a test. So one of the things a person can do is to actually take 600mg of thiamine for three days and see if that makes a difference. This is one of those things I ended up writing a blog post about, it got a ton of different shares, and I’ve had random people come up to me at conferences and give me hugs, which is always interesting, and say, “Wow. The thiamine has changed my life”.
I had one reader recently who wrote in that said, after she started taking thiamine … She used to be on disability and wasn’t able to work and as she started taking thiamine, she’s now able to work full-time again. So there’s different things you can do to replenish your body. And I teach people how to do that within the adrenal protocols.
Dave: There’s a reasons there’s some thiamine that we’ve put in fat water, having some B vitamins in there is really important. And in my own path of understanding what was going on with my blood sugar and my thyroid and all that stuff, I started taking benzphetamine which is a fat-soluble form of B-1 because delivery systems matter so much. And I believe I’ve written about that on a blog or two, on the Bulletproof website. What’s your take on benzphetamine, the fat soluble form versus thiamine, the regular form?
Izabella: That’s actually the one I recommend is benzphetamine. Yeah. And at 600mg is where it’s at. It also has some unique immune modulating properties as well, which I don’t think the plain thiamine does. The plain thiamine will work for the fatigue. Benzphetamine is going to be more expensive but I think it’s going to be worth it. That’s my favorite one.
Dave: It’s one of those really rough things with vitamins where you want to economize, you don’t want to spend more than you need to, and there are people who are like, “I might have expensive pee”. My plan at this point is I want the most expensive pee on the planet. Which means my body got all the stuff it needed and it was happy to get rid of the other stuff ’cause getting rid of some extra B vitamins isn’t stressful on the kidneys and the liver and all, if you’re taking normal doses of them anyway.
So having that perspective, it’s like I’m going to buy the form that works best instead of the cheapest form. It’s actually on a per-unit of goodness, like per benefit, it’s cheaper. But on a per gram or something, it’s more expensive. But the delivery system really matters. And I find that form, I can feel a difference and I don’t feel a difference from regular thiamine.
Izabella: I completely agree with you. It’s like when you think about the cost of feeling tired and feeling sick? I’ve only been in remission for about four years now, and I was like a couch potato when I was sick. So I was waking up, going to work, coming home, eating, watching TV and passing out on the couch every night for quite a few years. And now I have two books out, I have a documentary out, I can actually use my brain and I can actually take all these fantasies and distant things I thought would never happen and they’ve become goals for me. So that’s something you can get with supporting your body.
Dave: I kind of find it hard to believe that you were a couch potato because, we’re friends and you’ve been [inaudible 00:36:12] and we hang out. And you’re more like a hummingbird than anything. You’re like vibrating with energy all the time. I’ve only know you for about four years so it’s hard to imagine transformation from you low-energy to you like, flitting around, not in an ADD way but just ’cause you’re full of energy, you’re bouncy, right? And that’s the kind of transformation that’s possible, and I want listeners to listen to this. Most people until they hit the couch, like you did or like I did or like, “Wow I’m not thirty and they’re telling me I’m going to die like I’m old and I can’t remember anything and I have arthritis” like this is kind of jacked, right? You hit rock bottom and then you get really inspired. Everyone else, you’re like, “I’m okay”.
But here’s the thing. You have entire levels of performance that you just haven’t unlocked, that you just don’t know about. And you’re probably really not okay. You might be running at 50% and you’re fully capable of running at 100% and that’s why I think your book is pretty cool, because you could ignore the thyroid stuff and go straight to “I’m gonna turn my liver back on which is going to increase my resilience in all environments. I’m gonna recover my adrenals, even if they aren’t particularly whacked”. The better your adrenals work, the more resilient you can be. In my own case, having functioning adrenals, I just … I travel about a hundred and twenty-five days a year, which is a pretty intense schedule. And four months ago I got a brain eating amoeba, I don’t know if we even talked about this.
Izabella: I didn’t hear about this.
Dave: Yeah, I picked it up in Phoenix, of all places. It’s an exotic local and it was probably from a restaurant worker, they’re guessing. And it took three different top experts to even figure out what was going on. But my gut was basically destroyed. As soon as I got it I had all these weird dreams … I don’t get nightmares. My brain is dialed in from all the neuro-feedback, like I live in this amazing world. And I was waking up with nightmares I haven’t had in ten years, and all sorts of physical symptoms, dry mouth, but more importantly my gut just stopped working.
So for four months though, what this amoeba does in normal people is it drills through your gut-lining, gets into your blood, goes into your brain, and then like grows in your brain and then you die. But I use collagen, I do all these supportive things. So for four months I performed at a high level.
Izabella: With the brain eating amoeba.
Dave: Yeah. Didn’t die. Finally figured out what the amoeba was and killed it. I also had giardiasis at the same time. So I had like a double … Worms and amoeba … Actually giardiasis is a protozoa, I think … Anyway I had like bad stuff growing and it all hit me in one meal. It was like just bad news. So resilience, for a lot of people, you don’t know when you’re going to need the resilience. But building your system to be as resilient as you know how to be means you can weather something like that and, you know, fly to Abu Dhabi and hop on a plane to LA and speak at a conference and do all this stuff, even though you’re dealing with a biological burden that really could take you out.
The same thing comes … Maybe you’re at risk of getting cancer right now and you build up your resilience and you just don’t get cancer, right? It’s when you burn yourself out to a certain level that you get too many toxins, you don’t get enough sleep, you get enough emotional stress, financial stress, whatever the stress is. And all of a sudden, whatever threats there are in your environment build up to the point that they actually can cause permanent damage, or even kill you.
And so building your life so you have a reserve of health and wellness and strength I think is one of the most important things you can do. And like I said, if your thyroid’s off, if your liver isn’t working, if your adrenals aren’t working, you could just be hosed, right?
What about gut health? We’ve had a lot of guests talk about gut health and you built that in to your book. There’s a problem, though. Everyone says, “Oh, it’s about the gut”. I kind of feel like “Oh everyone should eat healthy”. So what do you say about the gut that’s really actionable and prescriptive because I swear I hear, “Everyone should eat some fiber and take some probiotics” and all that stuff. Be really specific. What do you do for the gut from an Izabella Wentz perspective?
Izabella: So one of the things I recommend for everybody, and this builds resilience. So whenever we travel, there’s something called “secretory IGS” that becomes depleted. That’s why we’re at greater risk for potentially getting parasites abroad, right? Because our natural defenses are now. So one of the ways to support that is as we talked about, through adrenals. The other way is to use targeted probiotics. The one I really like is [inaudible 00:40:44], and that raises your secretory IGS. What I do with it is I actually give higher doses than what’s recommended. So a lot of times I might recommend instead of doing one of those a day … And you don’t want to take my target dose right away. But I have people take up to 8 of those a day for a time period to support their gut. And this really does a tremendous job of helping to clear out some of the pathogens and really raising that secretory IGS. So your gut becomes really strong.
I also like other types of probiotics. There’s one called “megaspore” that I’ve had really great results with and people with Hashimoto’s. And that can actually help people reduce their sensitivity to foods. The other thing I do is I look at doing systemic enzymes and systemic enzymes can also break down the circulating immune complexes that are made to the thyroid gland and are made to [inaudible 00:41:41]. So basically in the gut protocols, these are just the supplements we use. We also use different types of nutrition and we figure out what your exact food triggers are, and we also do digestive enzymes so that you become more resilient and your body absorbs your nutrients better.
So it’s a way of building up your gut for … We do this for about six weeks because it’s so important. And what happens is people often times will be able to tolerate more foods and they won’t be as sensitive … Of course I don’t recommend anybody go back to gluten. But when you do these protocols, you actually get more nutrition from your foods, you don’t feel like crap after you eat your food, and you start, in some cases, you can find off certain infections just by raising your secretory IGS. So the [inaudible 00:42:28] parasite for example is also a nasty protozoa associated with hives, IBS, Hashimoto’s and can be quite damaging to the gut and can cause a lot of food sensitivity.
In some cases, just taking Saccharomyces boulardii can help get rid of it. There was a study done and in about 88% of cases they were able to get rid of it just with a high dose probiotic. So these are things I recommend is dialing in your gut and really being targeted and you can really build your resilience that way. And in some case, you can clear out infections without doing additional protocols, too.
Dave: That form of yeast, the Saccharomyces boulardii, and I probably am saying it wrong, it’s a long word with lots of variables. That’s the weird thing when you’re like a researcher and you read a lot of these things. Half of the time when you go to University and talk to the experts, different experts say the same word in different ways too so you’re like “Hmm, I wonder which accent the [inaudible 00:43:29] goes under”. Anyway.
Izabella: Totally getting it as a pharmacologist. It’s like, “How do you pronounce this drug again?”
Dave: Totally, it’s like we think that’s it. I still can’t even say Viagra “Viagra”, I have no idea how you say that right. How do you say it?
Izabella: Do you know the generic name?
Dave: Pharmacist humor, I love it. All right, that is totally going on the clip on Facebook.
Dave: You totally got me with that too. I’m like, “Really?” And then … All right, you totally took me off my line of thinking there around … Man, I totally … You got me-
Izabella: Saccharomyces boulardii
Dave: There you go.
Izabella: You were talking about the benefits.
Dave: Yeah yeah. That stuff, it’s a kind of yeast that eats candida. And candida is also tied to Hashimoto’s and a bunch of other health problems. So I used to take tons and tons of that stuff. And what I do with it now, when you’re making a fermented food, you can actually open a capsule and pour it in the fermented food. And then it’ll ferment and it’ll grow which is kind of an interesting thing. So if you were to use a recipe that called for yeast, there’s no reason you can’t use it as the yeast. Just kind of a neat hack. One caution I would have for people though: any kind of probiotics that you’re going to take, whether it’s these spor-forming [inaudible 00:44:55] or any of the yeast based ones like Saccharomyces boulardii –
Izabella: I just say s boulardii. Makes it easier.
Dave: Yes, s boulardii. So if you’re going to take either one of those, you want to take those away from a high-fat meal and especially away from bulletproof coffee. Because brain octane is really nice ’cause it whacks candida over the head. But all probiotics dislike high fat, so you want to take them before the meal and let them enter the stomach like a half hour before and take them a little while after. But mixing them up with your food that’s full of brain octane and butter and avocados and olive oil isn’t going to make them grow to their very best.
All right, that was a really good talk about gut health, very specific and suggesting some products and things people can do that are other than “Eat lots of fermented foods”. One of the things I’ve noticed Izabella, and I know we’ve talked about this just socially, there’s sort of this rush to … Everyone should eat more fermented food. But I find a lot of people I talk with, even people who are pretty healthy, some fermented foods really don’t work well for them. Like they eat them and they get tired or they get hives, and things like that. What’s going on there?
Izabella: So a few different things could be going on and so I have fundamental protocols for people who … That everybody should do regardless of their root cause. But then the advance protocols get into what are some of those advance root causes for the 20% of advance health seekers. And in some cases this can be a histamine intolerance. So you may be reacting to those kinds of foods. In other cases this might be small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and you may be reacting to the fermented foods as well. So there’s a few different possibilities to consider. Those are going to be the most common reasons. And so you may need to do like an adjusted protocol, like a low histamine diet, modify things a bit for a little while.
Dave: And you write how to do that in the book.
Izabella: Yeah, so I have a whole section of advance protocols that’s kind of short and targeted that goes through a questionnaire of various types of root causes. I initially had an eight hundred question questionnaire for my clients and then my publisher’s like “That’ll take up the whole book”. So I had to cut it down to a limited amount of targeted questions that help people focus in on what are some of these additional advance root causes that you might have? And that’ll lead them towards, “Okay, how do I need to modify my diet? How do I need to modify my regiment as I’m going through and getting my health back?”
Dave: Very, very cool. When is your new book? When’s it available?
Izabella: It’s going to be available on March 28th.
Dave: All right. So we’ll put the podcast out for people like right before then. It’s called “Hashimoto’s Protocol: a 90-day plan for reversing thyroid symptoms and getting your life back”. And for people listening, I already said this at the beginning but Izabella thinks about this sort of human system in a way that’s really meaningful and is very different than you’d find from a typical pharmacist, or even a typical physician. And that’s one of the reasons that I’m a fan, one of the reasons that I regularly look on Facebook and things like that, people ask me questions about Thyroid and if it’s an easy one, I understand the basics of it, I’ve been pretty successful at hacking mine. But I’m nowhere near the level of expert that Izabella is. So I always end up sending people, like “Just go to Izabella’s own page. Buy her book. It’s going to answer all your questions. It’s the most concentrated source of knowledge about this that I know how to do”.
So I’m recommending this stuff because, well, it works and because it’s actually the stuff that I read. A lot of people want to know where I’m getting my info. Well, Izabella’s my thyroid hacker of choice, so that’s kinda cool.
Izabella, we’re coming up on the end of the show. And that means I’ve got to ask you the question, now that you’ve done all this additional thousands of hours for your new book, and you’ve been on before but, the question is: If someone came to you tomorrow and said, “I want to perform better at every single thing that I do in life”. Not just from a thyroid perspective but maybe including that. What are the 3 most important pieces of advice you have, not even knowing what I want to do with my life? What’s gonna make me kick the most ass?
Izabella: So really about kicking more ass and feeling better and performing better in every part of your life is going to be about building resiliency and for me, I found that it’s all about three things. So one of them is, the liver. And the second one is adrenals. And the third one is the gut. And really going after these three body systems is going to make a tremendous difference in how you approach the world on an everyday basis. This is kind of my fundamentals for anybody that’s trying to do anything, whether that’s overcome a chronic condition, be a better parent, be a better student. And I really think these are the fundamentals of what we need to do to take charge of our lives.
Dave: You’re definitely the person to answer all 3 of those questions with organ systems, Izabella. And that doesn’t surprise me at all, that’s actually really cool. One question that we didn’t get to is, I think we have time for, we have like 5 more minutes left at most, is what about coffee and adrenals? A lot of people say “Coffee’s bad for your adrenals” and when I had adrenal disfunction, pretty bad adrenal disfunction, I went off coffee. But I also find that a cup of coffee in the morning sort of gave me my life back when I was drinking the [inaudible 00:50:21] free stuff. And I’ve talked to various thyroid and various adrenal experts, about half of whom say a cup in the morning is cool, and some are like “Ah, it’s kryptonite! Run away screaming!” Where are you on the spectrum?
Izabella: What I try to focus on is making people’s lives like full and rich and allowing them to have things in their lives and not be as reactive. So my long-term theory is you can drink coffee, you can drink tea, you can do a lot of things. I definitely recommend staying off the gluten for everybody. But you should be able to reintroduce these things in your life. Now, if you’re in really advance adrenal fatigue and you’re having a hard time, at some point it might be helpful to drink caffeine to get you through the day. If you were trying to do the spa-month and recover, you would want to make sure you cut out caffeine, you sleep as much as possible. It varies on the person and I always recommend kind of tuning into your body. Like if you’re drinking caffeine and it’s making you more anxious then see if cutting back on it is gonna help. And not just coffee, it’s tea, green tea, everything else. Obviously you don’t want to drink soda.
But you have to kind of tune in and see what’s true for you at the moment. And it doesn’t mean you’re always gonna need to be off caffeine. This just might be something temporary. But yeah, I don’t try to say that longterm you should never have caffeine ’cause that’s not realistic and I drink caffeine and I’m not suffering right now. So that’s my take on it.
Dave: You’re sort of a little bit of an addict, at least whenever we have [inaudible 00:52:00] coffee at conferences, you’re like monopolizing the line. I’ve seen it.
Izabella: You know actually when I was putting out my thyroid documentary series, I wasn’t exactly in spa-month and when I was writing my book, it wasn’t a spa-month time for me either. And I sent you my recipe for my Bulletproof train-wreck.
Dave: You’re mixing bulletproof coffee with [inaudible 00:52:24] and was it vodka? No, I’m kidding, it wasn’t vodka.
Izabella: It was not vodka. It was bulletproof chocolate and then coconut milk. So so good. And it just … My team and I thank you for helping us get through our documentary launch. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.
Dave: During high-intensity periods, bulletproof coffee totally works. So I’m happy it helped you. And thanks for your take there during adrenal disfunction and coffee. I find a cup a day for most people are like “Thank God, I got my life back”. Five ups a day of caffeine or coffee when you’re adrenal disfunction is actually not okay. That’s why they make decaf. Or just drink water and be more hydrated. So I find extremism on any end there doesn’t really work so well for me or for most people, so I’m not surprised you’re middle of the road there. And I remembered reading that in here but I’m not entirely sure, I read a lot of books.
Izabella: Yeah. My goal is to rebalance people within a short time of period so that they can go back to doing things like that. I don’t want people, for six months, trying to fix their adrenals. They should be able to do that within a month within my protocols.
Dave: That’s awesome, and it’s very achievable. Now one thing that you could do if you’re listening to this, and this is viable, it’s interesting, authors like Izabella and me, one of the best things you could do to help us is pre-order our books because that let’s our publishes know how many to print and it completely changes how we can interact with the world. So what we do to make things easier on you is if you buy the book ahead of time, we’ll give you free stuff. And Izabella will do that. And if you go to thyroidpharmacist.com/gift and it’ll tell you how to order “Hashimoto’s Protocol” and she’ll send you … I don’t know what all your free stuff is, I’m not getting a cut of this or anything. It’s just, I’d do the same thing with “Headstrong” by the way, orderheadstrong.com. And the whole point there is, we write the books to help you, and if you order them ahead of time it helps us and we’ll give you good stuff to say thanks. And our whole point was to say thanks anyway so, go to Izabella’s website, thyroidpharmacist.com/gift. Check out the new book, “Hashimoto’s Protocol”, and she’ll take good care of you, I promise.
Izabella, thank you for being on Bulletproof radio.
Izabella: Thank you so much for having me. It’s always so great to connect with you.
Dave: Likewise. If you enjoyed today’s show, you know what do to. Go onto iTunes, and just tell people. Give us a 5-star review. Say thanks, help us reach above that fifteen hundred mark. Maybe we hit two thousand likes and that actually just lets everyone now that the show is worth watching. So thanks for your time, thanks for your attention, and check out Izabella’s work. It’s worth your time.