Have you or a loved one experienced a traumatic event? Wondering how it might impact your body, even years later? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki discuss the impact of trauma on the body and ways to mitigate the effects, from immune support to breathing techniques and the importance of returning to structure.
In this Episode, Ali and Becki break down what happens to the body after experiencing a traumatic event and how the after effects can lurk in the body for years afterward as a root cause of chronic illness. Trauma can be a physical experience like a car accident or serious injury as well as an emotional event like losing a loved one unexpectedly that elicits a psychological response. Trauma survivors may experience physical pain, immune distress as well as anxiety and PTSD long after the immediate danger has passed. Learn how to recover your body if you have experienced a traumatic event, the importance of the mind-body connection and how food-as-medicine can be used to help you get back in control of your body and mind!
Also in this Episode:
Immune Supporting Compounds
- Restore Baseline Probiotic
- Targeted Strength Probiotic
- Master Tonic Recipe
- Bone Broth Recipe
Practicing Self Care & Getting Back on Track
Stress & Trauma Recovery
- The HPA Axis and Neurotransmitter Response in PTSD
- Coping Techniques for Trauma
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- 4-7-8 Breath
- Living Your Bliss Episode 43
Supplements to Support Stress Response
Mental Health Resources
- SAMHSA Crisis Hotline: 1‑877‑726‑4727
Welcome to the Naturally Nourished podcast, that delivers cutting edge food as medicine solutions for optimum health. Ali Miller is a nutrition expert sought out by the media and America’s top medical institutes for her revolutionary functional medicine interventions. From disease treatment to prevention, every episode will empower you with ways to put yourself back in control of your health. Please note, the topics discussed are for educational purposes only. Now welcome integrative dietitians Ali Miller and her co-host Becki Yoo.
A: Welcome to the Naturally Nourished Podcast. You are joining us for episode 56, Ali here with Becki.
B: Hey guys.
A: And today’s topic for episode 56 is rebounding your body from trauma. This is a topic that definitely is not talked about enough and feels like it is important timely with everything that’s been going on starting from the end of the summer with the stress events with the hurricanes, from Harvey, Irma and Jose to the most recent news in the Vegas, Los Vegas shooting and then just ongoing individual episodes of concerns of things like sexual assault, or trauma from car accidents or varied dynamic interpersonal or external stress responses in the body.
B: Yes I think this episode is just so needed and so many of our clients I know were personally affected either by Harvey or are experiencing after effects or other recent traumatic events so today we’ll be sharing some tips for how to actually recover your body from trauma, be it a major physical or health stressor or some of the more emotional psychological aspects of going through something like a natural disaster or other traumatic events.
A: Yes and when we’re talking about functional medicine as y’all have probably heard me discuss before, we’re always looking at that root cause of chronic illness and so trauma that has affected an individual within the last 3 months of last 3 years, or the last 30 years can still serve as the Achilles’ Heel or the triggering event of imbalance in their body. And so today’s episode hopefully we’re able to provide some solutions and ideas of how you can address trauma on the front end to prevent the trick down influence that can drive disorder in mind and body as well as whole body health.
B: So let’s start of Ali by defining trauma for listeners. We just did an episode, episode 54, it was on anxiety but I want to get into how trauma is different and how the experience of trauma is different from that of anxiety.
A: Yeah so, of course, anxiety can follow trauma and it can even be independent without trauma but when we’re talking about trauma, this is typically something that’s much more dynamic so physical trauma could be some form of injury to the individual so it could be traumatic brain injury, it could be a car accident, it could be surgery. We’re also looking at – Houston’s like “yes!”
B: Houston’s experiencing trauma of the construction workers outside right now.
A: Emotional trauma. It’s not funny but, yes. So physical trauma could be a car accident, it could be surgery it could be, like I said, post concussive syndrome so physical trauma could be from sports injury or something like that. I know every football Sunday I just sit there and like “ah oh my gosh.” Emotional or psychological trauma could be the other form of trauma. And so this could be following a near death experience, death of a loved one, dynamic emotional issues following divorce or again, interpersonal relationships, family relationships, sexual assault or violence could fall on both ends of physical and emotional experience during war or military and post-traumatic stress disorder we’ll talk about later in this episode being emotional.
Even experiencing something like a natural disaster so maybe we didn’t physically influenced but emotionally we’ve been really hit by a natural disaster and that could be a big one as well. So basically it is an emotional response generally speaking, following a physiological response or one that works very chicken and egg interrelated and typically follows a extreme incident like an accident, rape, natural disaster, and immediately after the event, there’s often following this numbness in the individual some form of shock or denial and then as things start to precipitate out as time passes, we start to see some unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, potentially trained interpersonal relationships and then physical symptoms that can start to come above surface like nausea, headaches, tremors, and today we’re going to talk about some of those underlying, physiological mechanisms, what actually happens in the body following a traumatic event and how we can address to heal and resolve.
B: Awesome I think that’s very helpful. So let’s start off with talking about some of these symptoms that could be experienced by trauma survivors.
A: Yes so I think we always start with thinking of the gut as begin the second brain of the body so GI distress is the first place that I think and we called the GI tract the enteric nervous system and it houses the second most nerves in the body after the brain and also we’ve discussed in prior episodes that in the GI tract is there a lot of our neurotransmitters or feel-good neurohormones are manufactured. So there’s definitely a brain-body connection when we’re talking about that brain-gut axis, and we can see GI distress following trauma or emotional distress in the form of diarrhea, or constipation so either over activity in the GI tract or under-reactivity in some form of paralysis.
We can see to the form of gastroparesis where the upper area, the gastric pouch, does not have that natural pumping activity. We can see bloating or distention following trauma and that can be based on a shift within fermentation and the microbiome or a lack of enzymes because the body produces digestive enzymes when it’s in that relax and/or rest and digest mode, and when it’s in the fight or flight mode it only makes about a quarter of the enzymes and we can get bloating because we don’t’ have those chemicals to break down the food chemicals or we can get bloating because of a GI shift in our microbiome and then we can even get things like vomiting or nausea following stress. So from the change of stool, whether it’s diarrhea , bloating, vomiting, and nausea, those are the first big things we look at.
Then the entire immune system can get hit. So we can see with the immune system either over or under reactivity, so we can see hyperreactivity where the immune system, the stress responds in the body to go into an autoimmune flair, where the immune system starts to target its own tissues and glands, and upregulate destruction and so this is where we’ll start to see one of things like Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease. We can see autoimmune disease flair following trauma and that’s often as a functional medicine practitioner we try those where the peaks in their stress response and where was that chicken and egg relationship.
And at the same time the immune system can also go into shut down mode so if it doesn’t go into autoimmune disease and hyperreactivity, overexpression it can go into shut down mode where the immune system becomes basically paralyzed by the stress response and it doesn’t work as a surveillance mechanism anymore so this is where in hypo response we can be more susceptible to viral influences, to bacterial pathogen influences so that can influence the GI tract or to things like cancer where the immune system does not upregulate its natural killer cells and it doesn’t determine a foreign invader in the body and so the immune system is in hypo response or downregulated response.
B: And then what about things like physical pain or chronic pain disorders?
A: Yeah so we can see both chronic fatigue syndrome and also chronic pain disorder following trauma, or we can see things varied from headaches to body aches and chronic pain often follows an imbalance with our neurotransmitters, so our epinephrine which is one of our neurotransmitters which is essentially our adrenaline, tends to go on high following inflammation but when our neurotransmitters flat line and our cortisol poops out as well and we have that hypo adrenal or adrenal fatigue, we don’t have natural anti-inflammatories and so we tend to have systemic pain.
We can also see this from low serotonin output so as our neurotransmitters and our cortisol flat line following trauma, we’re going to have increased pain throughout the body. And that same mechanism I guess just connecting the dot a little bit further, that same mechanism can also drive the mood disturbances so this is where we can see more perendecy towards anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and then like I said that chronic fatigue syndrome or insomnia on the other end of the spectrum if those neurotransmitters are off kilter.
B: Ok so have a lot to cover today so let’s start with what actually happens and go back to talking about, let’s talk about the HPA axis and what happens to the body after a traumatic event.
A: Yeah so I kind of eluded to this a little bit where the HPA axis is out hypothalamus pituitary adrenal and the hypothalamus and pituitary are in the brain, the adrenals sit above the kidneys and these are our three primary autonomic nervous system responders for your sympathetic nervous system and so these are what respond to stress, ok? And so the HPA axis gets upregulated and that is our fight or flight mechanism of the body in response to trauma or in response to a stressful episode. And the issue with trauma is that tends to precipitate or be quite prolonged and so we’re driving in this excess fight or flight mode on high output and eventually that can drive imbalance.
Typically speaking, we tend to see the body go in hyper response before it goes hypo so we’re typically going to see excessive cortisol output at first, and excessive norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine and those are our excitatory compounds of the adrenals. The adrenal cortex makes our cortisol and DHEA, the medulla makes our neurotransmitters the epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine so all of those things go dumped out of the system on high release and even for someone that has some level of adrenal fatigue, typically those adrenals will get squeezed out like a sponge during high trauma and this is why we feel kind of invincible during the immediate times of survival or during the immediate times of high stress, so if you have actually like run from a Pitbull in your neighborhood or if you’ve had an episode where you’ve been in a car accident you may not experience pain, you may not experience the immediate physiological repercussions and that’s because those compounds are so high in the body but after what comes up must come down, after those have been high in the body.
There’s going to be a cascade of a srop and just depends on what level of the spectrum you’re at. So an individual that’s dealing with a lot of insomnia following trauma may have still elevated epinephrine or elevated peaks of cortisol in the evening versus their cortisol coming down which helps that relaxation and that could be driving their insomnia or increased anxiety or sumination. That same individual could have a flat line of cortisol and epinephrine but it could be that their serotonin and GABA those relaxing inhibitory compounds have become even more dynamically pooped so there is still a relationship of all of them being low and flat lined, but the relative distribution is so low in the rebalancing serotonin and GABA and those are our landing her in the brain that that individual is still expressing excessive epinephrine and norepinephrine.
And so everything can be chronically low, but it could be a relative symphony within that expression that can still drive symptoms of anxiety and generally speaking the biggest thing to understand is that the body’s survival mechanism is to put high amounts of the cortisol and these adrenaline like surges during the trauma and each individual’; metabolism is going to play a role in how slowly those precipitate out, and how that flat line effect influences the individual.
B: That’s so interesting and so it’s this adaptive response, we need it this is what keeps us alive but then certain individuals may be more susceptible or have a harder time actually rebounding afterward.
A: Yeah and what’s interesting, Becki, in our practice we’ve talked about how we run a BIA scan or a Bioelectrive Impedance Analysis and basically this is a scan of the body that looks at % body fat and distribution and what’s interesting is that be that our brick and mortar practice is in Houston, Becki works with most clients in the Houston area and I work with clients everywhere including Houston but I’ve seen a lot when looking over scans that visceral body fat from August to date, so we’re in October now, that visceral fat has gone up in individuals and even some individuals that have still lost weight and that’s still based on the mechanism of cortisol.
And that’s really wild. Even people that didn’t evacuate just likely from being glued to their TV, dealing with emotional trauma of Harvey and how their family members were influenced or doing more volunteer work, or just having that perpetual anxiety of it being a pretty extreme moving event, we’ve seen visceral fat clinically shift and that’s based on a physiological response of cortisol. So cortisol drives visceral fat production in the body as a survival mechanism and that’s just one way we’ve seen that in an assessment.
B: That is so wild that it can an affect even on our body composition.
A: Right. Something you would totally not attribute.
B: Yep. So let’s get into a little bit of the criteria for diagnosing PTSD.
A: Yes so when we’re talking about post-traumatic stress disorder, there’s 4 basic symptoms and they have to continue for longer than a month and that’s when really it would become diagnostic so if we’re having reverberating memories of the event, in the form of dreams, images, strong imagery, or physiological responses like tremors or twitches and these last for more than a month that’s one of the symptoms for sure. Another thing would be going out of your way to avoid situations that remind you of the event. So this would be any time if it was hurricane based, any time there’s a storm, not leaving the home, or this could be avoiding certain highways if you’ve had a car accident or taking cover when you hear the sound of an airplane, following things like 9/11 so all these things that we’re doing to actually avoid situations that remind us as a trigger to the event would be a big hit as well and that would proceed beyond a month.
That would be more of a PTSD. We’ve seen this in military for people who’ve had PTSD post combat, the sound of fireworks for instance, being a big trigger to correlate with machine guns or other artillery in the military. Seeing changes in how thoughts work, so mood functions becoming more irritable on a chronic level, having significant brain fog, or like short-term memory relapses where were actually numbed circumstantial memories or dissociated memories or having distorted memories of events, finding blame on self or blame on the world, or withdrawing from activities and feeling numb and detached so a shift in the emotional and thought processor memory piece is a big one as well and then last but not least having the body, the physiological response where the body stayed keyed up or agitated or tight following the trauma with that epinephrine that continues to perpetuate beyond that month period, so jumpy, hyper reactivity, hypervigilance, tension in the muscles, driving chronic fatigue, this can all drive more brain fog, more difficulty concentrating, and can definitely drive things like insomnia and even to the level of muscle flicks and ticks and agitation. That can drive, like I said, a little bit of irritability or anger outbursts and can then of course, influence relationships, job performance and day-to-day functionality.
B: Ok and then there are other physical symptoms as well beyond those we’ve already talked about that we might not necessarily at first glance even associate with the traumatic events. Let’s talk about those.
A: So one of the physical symptoms that I would like to call out loudly is the metabolic shift like I just mentioned so the change of actually increased body fat storage or the inability to lose weight would be a physical symptom. And then there’s more of the dynamic physical symptoms that would be more epinephrine or kind of survival cascade responses like trembling and shaking, changes in body temperature, hot flashes cold chills that are dynamic, numbness and tingling sensations or neurological response would be another one.
The GI distress like we discussed so nausea, generalized sick feeling, loss of appetite, or even to the level of vomiting or loose stools or constipation that has been dynamically changed following trauma. A tightness in the chest, so either pressure on the chest, or palpitations or changes in cardiovascular function, shortness in breath or more shallow breathing would be a big thing we would see as well. A lump in our throat or that’s kind of also seen with anxiety or dry mouth. Dizziness and vertigo can be seen, a generalized like out of body feeling and that can be more mental but it can also be physical like just not feeling grounded, feeling flight, feeling disconnected and then the kind of panic attack type symptoms which would pull a lot of these together so typically looking like tunnel vision, tightness of breath, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and racing thoughts all kind of following and this could be deemed as a feeling like you’re going to die or a significant fear response.
B: Sure and then if all of this is not dealt with, let’s talk about kind of what this can lead to and how this can really dramatically impact our lives.
A: So like I said, this can be following an episode that happened 3 months ago, it could be an episode that happened 3 years ago or 30 years ago so many of us have events in our life that are traumatic following death, following like we mentioned things like abuse be it verbal or physical or sexual, and this can play a huge role on how our HPA axis or our fight or flight response is reactive going forward.
So this can create this level of PTSD can create a higher per pendency towards hypervigilance, or hypo reactivity either again that numbing like response or that over excitatory response in the body. And that can play a huge role with then our emotional reactivity with how we cope going forward with day – to day levels of maybe what other people would deem as trauma, but other levels of stress that can either upregulate trauma response or were not able to be resilient or even a moderate level of stress, we hit that fly on the wall flat line because we’ve already pooped out that element of the body.
B: Sure and I think a question that we ask clients when we’re doing their initial evaluation is “how do you cope with stress and what are some of your mechanism? Do you feel like you cope well?” and you have to remember that everyone is fighting their own personal battle and that one person’s level of stress that would set them off might be different from someone else’s.
A: Absolutely and there’s so many physiological mechanisms so we’ve talked a lot about the neurotransmitters involved and the steroid hormones, the cortisol involved, but like I said even down to the level of this influencing our gut bacteria, often we overlook this Achilles’ heel of stress and that’s why the emotional, mental piece is such an important element of really full-term recovery and whole body health and unfortunately, we talked a lot about this as far as mental health and connection in the live your bliss episode, but I often think about this like onion layering effect of stress or these tapes, these cassette reels that the trauma speaks so much louder and is recorded in our body as muscle memory or emotional memory so much louder in the expression that we often don’t’ hear the positives or the balancing, or the emotional gratifying influences to record over those negative and so it takes a lot of emotional work as well as physiological work, identifying neurotransmitter imbalances, working with amino acids, and adaptogenic and nervine herbs as well as our microbiome to really help to reset as a trifecta this whole puzzle if you will.
B: Sure and then we see things like adrenal fatigue as well where we could be giving all of the right supplements and doing all of the right assessments and we’re not getting that rebound that we might get in someone else it’s so interesting.
A: Yep and, like I said, if you just start with gut bacteria but overlook adrenal, you’re not going to get the right outcomes and if you just start adrenal but don’t address the lifestyle and the mental health element you’re not going to get that right outcomes you’re just going up a downhill escalator so it’s a whole piece puzzle solution and I think we saw a lot of this connecting in our last class of our virtual ketosis program, where we emphasize stress and some of the people that had hit stubborn plateau in their weight loss really realized some of those interpersonal elements and emotional demons, if you will, that have to be dealt with to get whole body health expression.
B: Ok so let’s talk about what steps we can take if you know or suspect that that trauma is your Achilles’ heel.
A: Yeah so I think, like I said, there’s 2 parts of the puzzle. I definitely recommend working with a functional medicine practitioner and you can do work with Becki or I on a neurotransmitter piece of the puzzle so this would be looking at our neurohormone complete plus assessment or our neuroadrenal assessment and actually looking at where our baseline levels of cortisol, DHEA, those cortisol and DHA are those steroidal hormones and then also our neurotransmitters to tailor and sjudt or individualize level. But in addition to that you need to work with a mental practitioner to work on a physiatrist or psychotherapist or a coach that is trained in cognitive, behavioral therapy I would definitely recommend. So CBT can help you to try to identify your thought patterns in your brain and work with the “what ifs” or “I could but I’d rather not” thought patterns and they can work with exposure therapy and processing traumatic events.
You may also look for a practitioner that is trained in EFT, which is the Emotional Freedom Technique. This can really help to desensitize the brain and body, it’s a form of a psychological acupressure if you will, it’s based on the same meridians that are used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical influence in the body but this really addressed the emotional elements and it’s been used over 500 years it’s a very empowering technique where and EFT practitioner can teach the individual to use simple tapping with their fingertips to input kinetic energy into meridians that connect with this psychosomatic relationship or brain-body connection so actually tapping energy meridians and voicing positive affirmations can clear the short circuits or the emotional blocks and this gives a biofeedback in our body to restore the mind and body balance.
So we’re able to identify basically energy blocks or drivers of anxiety, drivers of numbing, drivers of physiological imbalance and basically clear those short circuits by the tapping and inserting a emotional positive affirmation. So I really have seen awesome clinical outcomes with both EFT and CBT as adjuvants to working with a functional practitioner with amino acids, neurotransmitters, and our steroids with our adrenal rebound.
B: Awesome and then let’s go back and just talk a little bit more about assessment, so talking about the neurohormone complete plus panel that you just mentioned and the neuroadrenal, how would those work and how would we use that data to work with a client?
A: Sure so the neurohormone complete plus sand the neurohormone complete, which are seen on our website so you can go to alimillerrd.com under, I believe, it is, let me follow along, I believe it’s My Clinic, yes, so under the My Clinic tab, there is a labs tab and under the labs tab you would look at the hormonal and neurotransmitter evaluation section. And in that section, the neurohormone complete is the same as the neurohormone complete plus except of the complete plus is for women, and for complete is for men. So there’s just going to be a variance of the women’s panel is going to be about a difference of $40 because it looks at 3 forms of estrogen versus the men’s panel just looks at just 1 form of estrogen.
Those are going to look at the cascade of our sexual hormones so your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, as well as our steroidal hormones which is the cortisol and DHEA. And this is a great picture to look at, I really recommend looking at the big piece of the puzzle because often we get sexual hormone imbalance following trauma so a lot of women will lose their cycle for instance. And remember that even exercise can drive trauma and so trauma physiologically on the body, like taking on CrossFit after being a couch potato can be a dynamic change and we can see amenorrhea or going to marathon running and not shifting the body gradually, so having a physiological impact on the body that’s dynamic can play a role on our sexual hormone balance.
Also important for men to check in on because cortisol can play on a imbalance on their testosterone production. So looking at the plus or complete panel would include the sexual hormone and the steroidal hormone and those panels both also look at all of our neurotransmitter which includes our serotonin and GABA, which are basically like our landing gear for the brain, and then our excitatory neurotransmitters, the 3 which are made by the adrenals which are our norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine as well as our glutamate which is another excitatory neurotransmitter. And as I mentioned, this is a symphony of expression so if all of our pan are low across the board, that is what we would see with more of a PTSD type candidate.
Well even with in that individual there’s going to be relative imbalance, so the serotonin for instance might be 10 times low outside the reference range where that epinephrine may only be about a 10% reduction or just below the reference range, and so relatively in that individual there’s still going to be expressing excessive epinephrine or that kind of excitatory response of more anxiousness, insomnia, and so we’re going to want to replete the whole cascade and really work on both the adrenal gland but also making sure we don’t overproduce further that epinephrine in our rebound, that we drive with rebounding the serotonin so we get a symphony of balance of expression so we’re going to want to balance and drive more aggressively in that individual with 5 HTP as well as L-threonine, as well as some adrenal rebounders to rebuild the expression across the board.
B: So super important to look at the complete picture.
B: And then let’s talk more about other supplements, so you mentioned a little bit of the adrenal supports let’s talk about supplements that can be used to support after trauma.
A: Yeah so I always go to data first, like I said, especially when we’re dealing with any of these physiological responses and we know we’ve experienced trauma I definitely recommend running the panel to get an assessment. However if that’s cost prohibitive or we just need some tools today, there are supplements you can use strategically that would not drive imbalance regardless. So the first one I’d recommend is our Calm and Clear and our Calm and Clear is a blend of nervines and adaptogens and I want to make a note when I’m recommending the Calm and Clear this is the Naturally Nourished Calm and Clear I did find, unfortunately with supplements, because they are not FDA regulated, people can name supplements anything so just kind of for reference, don’t just go google Calm and Clear you’ll want to actually go on the website under our Store or Shop tab, and you’ll want to go under the Supplement formulas to read on the Naturally Nourished line of the Calm and Clear.
But anyway, our Calm and Clear includes forms of nervine sand adapogten so nervines are herbs that help us with our nervous system over reactivity so they are more sedative or relaxing, and then adaptogens help us to adapt to high stress demand. So this actually allows for resilience to stress as well as calming down the stress response and then it also includes B vitamins which help us as neurotransmitter cofactors so help with production of neurotransmitters in rebound. It also has vitamin C to fuel the adrenal glands, and then L-threonine which helps as a modulator to our neurotransmitters. So L-threonine really helps us to capitalize on our alpha brainwave production and alpha brain waves are what are seen during concentration, focus, clarity, deep meditation, REM cycles of sleep, and so this formula really in its entirely provides stress relaxation, stress resilience, as well as cognitive clairvoyance and that’s why we named it Calm and Clear, it’s very supportive and I would start at 6 a day as recommended on the site, so can be talked with or without food kind of two at rise, 2 at mid day, 2 at bed and then you can bring that down to 3 as more of a baseline formula, but that’s really a great go to.
Then there’s bundles that we’ve created for you on both ends of the equation. So there’s a Stress Bundle and an Adrenal Bundle. The Adrenal Bundle includes Adrenal Support, which is actually a glandular formula and this is to rebound your adrenals if you are in that flat line, stressed and tired and really dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain also dealing with a very low affect and low energy. So the adrenal support has adrenal glandular compound and B6 to help with really rebounding the cortisol and the salivary, the steroid hormones of the adrenals so the cortisol and DHEA, as well as helping with the excitatory neurotransmitters so the adrenal support has the active glandular and the B6 that’s going to rebound across the board your adrenal gland, and then it also has adaptogen boost with the Calm and Clear in there and that adaptogen boost is a blend of herbs that help us just like the Calm and Clear but more specifically to adapt to high stress demand so if we’re dealing with stressed and tired and needing more resilience the Adapogten Boost is another good blend that is herbal and won’t overshoot.
So the Adrenal Bundle has that whereas the Stress Bundle has the adaptogen boost and the Calm and Clear and it also includes GABA and GABA is a neuro inhibitory compound that helps to reduce that white knuckle stress response so if we’re dealing with anxiety more palpitations, racing thoughts, that individual would not want to take the adrenal glandular, adrenal support compound because that could overdrive them, that individual would want to do the Stress Bundle with the GABA which is more of the anticipatory distress, racing thoughts, irritability, tension, and that’s one that’s going to be more of a relaxer and a kind of again, reducing that white knuckle irritability or increased stress reactivity in the body, that’s going to be more calmative on the system.
So the Adrenal Bundle would be for those that are more stressed and tired, the Stress Bundle would be for more of those that are stressed and wired, and if you’re not sure what bank of the river you fall on, you could start on the Adaptogen Boost and Calm and Clear as you can tell, those two are in both of those bundles because they’re safe on both ends of the – both bank of the river if you are.
B; Awesome so I think those are some really good tools for listeners to use and just knowing that there’s something out there that could help and we don’t just need to kind of muscle through this, that there are actual compounds that we can take and assessments that can be done to help.
A: For sure and connecting it back full circle to the weight loss journey, again, we had people in our virtual ketosis program that after starting the Calm and Clear saw a significant whoosh in their weight loss because, again, their cortisol started to be regulated to they didn’t have that driver or visceral body fat production and they had that rebound in their adrenals so they actually enhance their metabolic function, and also felt more grounded. We’ve had people actually a testimonial that is “I never knew that I needed Calm and Clear, but I feel that Calm and Clear has not only increased the connection with my children, it’s also saved my marriage and has had numbers of movement on the scale” and so I mean it’s kind of across the board that s a great tonifying formula that can help metabolically as well.
B: Alright so I’m always popping those all day long.
A: Yeah it’s one of my favorites.
B: So let’s transition and talk just a little bit about the immune hit that the body can take from a traumatic event. So a lot of time I’ll see this with clients where they’ll be high stress in that hyper go go go mode and then the minute that they stop or the stress takes a back seat or they try to take a break or go on vacation or something, they seem to come down with every cold or virus that’s going on or they’ll hit this really hypo immune mode so let’s talk about why this happens and some things just some basic ideas we can use to support the immune system.
A: Yeah I always think of the bride following a wedding, right? Like seriously how many of your friends I mean, I don’t know, I know a lot I’m always like that’s my recommendations when friends get married I’m like “girl you should just do a quick weekend and then do your honeymoon like a month after, you need your adrenals to reset.” And it is, it’s that buzz buzz buzz and you know a wedding is another idea, it’s not trauma I hope but it’s another high adrenaline event whenever you’re just like numb running on adrenaline and then it’s “whoops that fly on the wall.” And you just had your 1 year anniversary-
B: Yeah I think my adrenals have finally rebounded.
A: Like mine was so long ago, old lady with the 7 year 0- I think it was 7 years ago so, anyways, absolutely the immune system is so connected to our stress response and I think that’s a great visual, Becki, is this buzzing buzzing buzzing kind of flat lien and I always try to assess this with patients as well as far as their resilience and so a couple of things that’s all connected to this hyper hypo reaction, so both in the adrenals and the immune response, so as the adrenals kind of surge the cortisol and things like that, that does have a resilience factor it tend s to reduce histamine expression, cortisol’’ very anti-inflammatory so it’s kind of suppressing the immune system and then as that all kind of flat lines, the immune flat lines as well and then beyond that there’s also an influence on the microbiome and so I connected this as well as vitamins and minerals so a lot of vitamins and minerals that are connected to the adrenals also correspond to our immune.
So I mentioned in the Calm and Clear having vitamin C to support the adrenals, well vitamin C is like any Joe Shmo off the street would think that “oh I think that vitamin C’s good for my immune system” and that’s been a big connection that we’ve seen in medical literature, the connection of things like zinc and vitamin C in supporting our immune system, well taking this a step back those nutrients also play a huge correlation with our adrenals so zinc play a huge role with our testosterone expression and our sexual hormone relationship and vitamin C is actually stored in the adrenal glands and so when the adrenals are taxed vitamin C gets depleted and the immune system gets hit because the immune system requires vitamin C for its resilience.
So when we’re looking at micronutrient assessment we’re always identifying the Why’s of deficiency and stress can be a big driver of deficiency of immune nutrient needs. So one thing we can do is replete those nutrients so looking at things like vitamin C, and zinc are big players for immune support, but also we can preemptively stay on top of the game with probiotic support, so a cup of culture a day is always my ongoing mantra and that’s because that’s going to help to support the microbiome that’s going to help support our rebound to stress response because we’ll manufacture more serotonin and GABA with a balanced microbiome, and that’s going to be our landing gear to our stress response.
And then also actually supporting our microbiome just for l like you mentioned, susceptibility to bacteria and virus so actually helping our immune system to not be on that fly on the way rebound where we’re susceptible to cold, virus, flu so our immune system can actually be supported by probiotics both by making beneficial neurotransmitters for our brain and our stress response, as well as protecting our body from foreign invaders, and helping to optimize our surveillance function to fight against even things like cancer or to enhance our body’s surveillance function to not over respond in autoimmune related diseases, so probiotic foods daily and a probiotic rich supplements. My favorite supplement as a baseline formula is the Naturally Nourished Restore baseline probiotic which is a 50/50 blend of the lacto and bifido-bacteria cultures which are the 2 most well researched strains, that occupy our large intestines and then our probiotic foods we could rotate from cultured vegetables, our really only need about an eight to a quarter cup of vegetables, so not a cup of those, kefir or yogurt about 6 oz portion and Kampuchea up to a 6-8 oz portion, all of these can be used in rotation as probiotic rich foods as well.
B: Awesome and then let’s take it a step further, just because this podcast will be timely with cold and flu season, let’s talk about some natural antivirals and antimicrobials that can be used.
A: Sure so I would definitely -we’ll in in our show notes – our recipe to our MasterTonic and this is something that’s been rumored to have like eradicated the plague back hundreds of years ago, and this includes a lot of antiviral and antimicrobial compounds so garlic is one of the first driving ingredients in here, and garlic has the alicilin which has a lot of sulfur activity to upregulate detox properties, but also very potent antifungal and antimicrobial and antiparasitic influence, you want to crush all of your garlic to start the recipe, and allow it to get oxygenated for about 10 minutes.
That’s actually going to activate those antiviral and antibacterial compounds. And then this is a fermented beverage, that is made with other ingredients like I believe it’s horseradish, spicy peppers, ginger, and then we ferment this in a base of – it’s all blended and fermented in a base of the Bregg’s apple cider vinegar with the moth so it has that probiotic cycromycnes yeast strains in there and then it’s strained and it’s kept in the fridge after it ferments for about 2 weeks and you take it like a shooter. So that’s definitely a big antiviral, antimicrobial supporter and then even considering other antifungal antivirals, like oregano so using oil of oregano, one of my favorite go-to supplements with the CandiActive Supplement, which has oil of oregano of a very potent form. There’s 2 active compounds in the oregano which are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory and antiviral.
And it’s the cavericoal the thymol so these are great like if you’re flying , taking the Candi Activator twice daily for about a 5 day period, can really help to support your body and upper respiratory and GI tract and that’s the CandiActivator. Again, it’s marketed for a candida cleanse but can be taken for your whole body support as antiviral and antibacterial and antifungal. And then coconut oil is a great one, so using coconut oil liberally in your diet as well as using coconut oil in oil pulling. Coconut oil has 3 beneficial fatty acids, our monolaurin and lauric acid as well as caprylic acid and this can support healthy gut bacteria as well as support our entire immune system, and have antiviral influence so even using this topically, I often recommend this as a sexual lubricant and really great for women that may have HPV because this has natural antiviral and can help topically in application in that area.
And with oil pulling, we’d be taking a tablespoon of oil and swishing this in our oral cavity for about 5-10 minutes, you can do this while you’re showering and then you would spit that oil out, that helps to ensure that we have a healthy biome in the mouth, it helps with all of those biofilms, it helps with our periodontal health or our gum health and often when we’re doing a bacteria cleanse, the bacteria tries to translocate to the oral cavity so it’s a really great thing to do to prevent thrush for instance if we’re doing like a candida or yeast cleanse.
B: Awesome so we’ve got our MasterTonic, we’ve got our coconut oil, and oil of oregano, what about- let’s talk about essential oils because I think this is a 2 for 1, we know they can be used for immune support but they can also be used to combat stress.
A: Yeah so the essential oils are an awesome thing to being into the mix as well some things like tea tree oil, thieves oil is one that we think of a lot during cold and flu oil eucalyptus, lavender and lemon, those are really my top 5 that I keep in m household, and like you mentioned as a 2 for 1 eucalyptus with lavender are very relaxing, invigorating so we can use these in a diffuser and these can be used as an inhalant which can also help with supporting our immune system as well as supporting relaxing.
B: Ok and then one more piece to this kind of immune tangent but we promise it’s all related, let’s talk about bone broth.
A: Yes. So bone broth is super supportive of our immune health as far as it playing a big role with producing what’s called NAC or an acetyl cysteine and this supports our upper respiratory tract. NAC is also a precursor to building glutathione which is the granddaddy antioxidant so really high antioxidant influence in the body, and also helps with rebounding our white blood cells which is basically our army of our immune system. And then on a more functional level as far as its influence in the moment, bone broth also help as an expectorant so it breaks up phlegm and mucus and helps with that rebound of the white blood cells and N-acetyl cysteine helping with prevention of upper respiratory infection.
And then taking that a step further, the bone broth also supports the gut which is going to help with reducing our reactivity to food sensitivities, it’s going to help with lining our gut, helping with things like secretory IgA in the mucosal membrane and it’s also going to help then in protecting the playing field where our neurotransmitters are produced and specifically, bone broth can help in its conversion to GABA which I referenced again is a relaxing compound that has a significant reduction in anxiety expression. And so supping on bone broth in the evening can be a great way to drive relaxation and also support that GABA response in the brain.
B: Awesome so I think that’s a great tool for the relaxation piece as well. Let’s talk a little bit more about food because I know that after a traumatic event or during a stressful time, it can be really hard to get back on track and diet can kind of fall off or take a back seat.
A: Yeah so I think that food can be used to empower you during these times versus having power over you and feeling more guilt, more depression, more hands off the wheel if you will. So trying to use food as something that is routine or ritual can be a great way to get yourself back on track, and you can do this by having accountability and that’s really important as far as whether you’re tracking in something like a journal, a freelance journal and also incorporating a gratitude statement per day or a reflective statement per day, or tracking more of your macros to get back on track this like a myfitnesspal, or a different online tracker. If you need actual structure, you might consider depending on when you’re listening to this, signing up for our Virtual Ketosis Program which is going to start again in January and like I said, we’re getting awesome outcomes with identifying the overlapping mechanisms beyond just what ketosis feels like and carb control looks like in a high fat lifestyle, how our body and brain and gut are all connected in the symphony within that so our Virtual Ketosis Program could be a great form of accountability and also group structure and support and if you wanted to learn more about that, you could go to our Book and Programs section and check out our Virtual Ketosis Program or if you want to get started now you could do the Ketosis Kickstart and Eat Fat get Skinny E-book.
And then thinking of an individual session could be another way for accountability, or even starting with our Optimal Eating Course which includes just recently facelifted handouts and materials, and has over 10 different videos all broken down where I’m in my kitchen talking to you about how to make a frittata and homemade salad dressing and nut milks and this could be a really great way to focus on abundance and strategy of what you can do to stay within control as start to harness the wild stallion of the brain and also start to kind of check off boxes of structure of doing and bringing yourself back in control of your body.
B: Awesome yeah I think that structure and just bringing back that sense of kind of normalcy is so so so important.
B: So I wanted to close with just a couple more tips that we’ve pulled together for this episode so we’ve talked a lot previously about breathing techniques let’s just touch on that, and then episode 43, our living your bliss episode, we talked about breath as an important technique for dealing with stress and then our last episode on anxiety which was 54, there’s also some stuff in there so let’s just touch on it briefly.
A: Yeah and forgive me if I’ve done with is breath with you guys over prior episodes but I just think it’s such an important tool I honestly use it personally. I had a lot of insomnia that I dealt with prior to getting pregnant, and it had a lot to do I think with this state of my career and so many different pieces of the puzzle and stress response and what have you but force of inante was a great way for me to harness anxiety and a great route for me to – I really think of that visual shifting from that autonomic nervous system to rest and digest or relax and reproduce or whatever it was and so what it is, is and this is inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil and we’ve seen in research by him that actually implement in 5-6 cycles of this breath can shift your system back into that parasympathetic from that sympathetic nervous system so from that fight or flight into the rest and digest rest and reproduce and so this is like, if anything, right it’s a free technique and homework that you should really implement daily so that it becomes a strong tool to use and the way it works is it’s breathing in for 4 through your nose, holding for 7, and whooshing out for 8 and so maybe, Becki, you can do it like into the microphone and I’ll talk through it.
A: I know, we all know how to breath but seriously think if all of you listening can take a moment and do it so you can experience it so you’re going to breath in really deep through your nose for 4 so 1-2-3-4 you’re going to hold for 7 and it’s going to feel like forever 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 and now with your mouth you’re going whoosh out for 8 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. And you’d go back into that, right, so it’s this- and its interesting because often we think of when we’re trying to relax to hold more air in and let less out, but that also can drive carbon dioxide imbalance in the body and when we’re looking at blood response we can use that as an indicator is if they’re doing this really shallow inhale without ample exhaling right and we think of like yoga exhale is where the release is and so it’s this kind of 2-for-1 exhale to the amount of inhale and holding almost just dynamic of a response. So really doing that in for 4 of the nose, 7 hold for 7, out for 8 with a whooshing. And having more of the yoga breath of whooshing being more of the Dr. Weil – whatever resonates stronger is something I’d highly recommend to use as a tool daily.
B: That’s not easy to do either.
A: Yeah got a little light headed at first.
B: Yep but I think it’s such a focus on the letting go and letting go more so than taking in.
A: And I think that takes with the mantra we’re kind of time this into the last piece of the puzzle of tips that we have for you is so within this breath, you can incorporate things like visualizations so visualization can be a peaceful or serene image, it can be driving or manifesting change, it can be mantra, it can be with mantra you can use dichotomous relationship like you’re inhaling for the 4, abundance you’re exhaling restriction or you’re inhaling –
B: Just inhale good exhale bad you know, anything that’s that dichotomy.
A: Inhaling abundance exhaling- what’s the word for not money- poorness? I’m tired on this Monday – inhaling abundance exhaling restriction I guess? I got to keep thinking of the word.
B: There’s the word on the tip of my tongue? As well. Scarcity?
A: Sure that’s better than poorness. Sorry guys I used all my beep boop bop boop my brain cannot compute anymore But right that dichotomy that relationship of dynamics. Inhaling serenity exhaling anxiety things like that work really well with breath. Using a mantra also or this name it tame it or frame it so right now I’m experience anxiety I feel this way because of the flooding that I experienced within my neighborhood or which loved ones, both while I acknowledge and honor that my family is safe and all that we lost were things, we were so lucky to have this safety of our home and or the ability to restructure our home, and we are in the process of rebuilding so kind of his name it tame it reframe it process can be really nice in working with journaling but I also recommend if it is something that’s debilitating that you seek help again through EFT or CBD, cognitive behavioral therapy with a therapist that is well-trained and I recommend using supplementation in the Calm and Clear formula, the Adaptogen Boost and either the Adrenal Support or the Stress Support Bundle which, whatever bank you sit with, to help your body to get above water and be more resilient in the is process.
B: Awesome so I think we’ve given listeners some really great tools like you mentioned from supplements to lab interventions to breath techniques and what to look for in a practitioner if they’re looking to go deeper and deal with some of this stuff that’s underlying so I think this is a good point to close out we’ve got a lot of great tools and resources and I’ll link a lot more in the show notes but as always if this episode resonated with you, please, please, please share with friends and family that could also benefit and if you like today’s podcast, please go no over to ITunes and leave us a 5 star review.
A: Thanks for listening guys and we’ve gotten a lot of action on the Ask Ali tabs so I love the engagement, keep posting your questions, and we’ll be coming up with a Q&A question just before the Thanksgiving holidays so be sure to leave your question there. And, yes, gratitude in advance for your iTunes review and sharing your food as medicine journey with others that you love.
Thank you for listening to the Naturally Nourished Podcast. Visit our blog at Alimillerrd.com for recipes, wellness tips, and food as medicine meal plans. Connect with Ali at Becki at AliMillerRD on InstaGram or Twitter and Facebook. Until next time, stay nourished and be well.