This week’s topic is: How To Best Care for Our Bodies through Past Trauma with Dr. Will Cole
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Dr. Will Cole, who is a bestselling author, health advisor and functional-medicine expert and the host of The Art of Being Well podcast. Listen in as Will shares how trauma can degrade your health, ways to manage autoimmune conditions from past trauma, which herbs, supplements, foods, and adaptogens support mental and emotional healing, and so much more.
- Trauma and how it can degrade our health…
- Why mental health is physical health…
- Ways to manage autoimmune conditions from past trauma…
- Herbs, supplements and/or the foods that support mental and emotional healing…
- Implementing adaptogens into your lifestyle…
- Inflammatory foods and how physiological things perpetuate gut problems…
About Dr. Will Cole
Dr. Will Cole is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the globe, starting one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world over a decade ago. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is also the host of the popular The Art Of Being Well podcast.
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[❤️ FAN OF THE WEEK]
Dr. Will Cole’s Interview
Other Podcasts you may enjoy!:
- Healthy Tips for Managing Trauma so You Can Live in the True Self
- Childhood Trauma and How to Learn Self-Love with Dr. Shainna Ali
- Mental Health Practices to Start Today
- How to Boost Your Gut Health with Dr. Will Bulsiewicz
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly: 00:01 Hi loves and welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I am so excited for our return guest. Dr. Will Cole, who is someone that I feel so connected to. And I just love speaking to he is a leading functional medicine expert. He was named as one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation. He’s a health advisor and he’s the host of the art of being well podcast. He’s also a bestselling author with several books out there. And today we are talking about many different aspects of whole holistic care, including how best do we care for our bodies when we are overcoming trauma, when we are making big shifts.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly: So I can’t wait to share this newest conversation with Dr. Cole before we get into it. I’m going to mention our incredible fan of the week and her name, his or her name is KCHealy Holistic Health.
Kimberly: 01:02 And he or she writes my morning ritual Kimberly’s insight, voice, and vulnerability encourages me to be my best self. Thank you. Thank you so much. My love KCHealy Holistic Health for being in our community and taking a moment to leave us a review. It really does fill my heart. Those of us that are podcasters know we’re, you know, we’re, we’re speaking into this mic, we’re just putting this information out and to have that beautiful feedback come back. That exchange of energy really does mean so much. So thank you so much. My love thank you for being our fan of the week and all you other loves out there listening for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, and also as a beautiful way to support the show that is free and easy.
Leave a Review on iTunes
Kimberly: 01:58 Please take a moment to review our show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. And also you can take a screenshot of your review and email it to email@example.com. And we will send you our free self love affirmation series, which is a really beautiful tool that you can incorporate into your life and start reprogramming some limited beliefs and some negative blocks. And so this is something that I’ve, this is a tool in a practice that I’ve been working with personally now with, for over a decade. And I found it very effective. So please check it out, send your review again, your screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also be sure to subscribe to our show and that way you don’t miss out on any of these incredible interviews. I have to say that I feel so grateful that we bring in these incredible, incredible humans, which have so much to share that is beneficial and helpful and useful for all of us on our journeys. You don’t miss out on the interviews
Kimberly: 02:59 And then Thursday on our Q&A community show. And please share the show with anyone that you think would benefit part of the generosity of the heart. That’s spoken about so much in the east and yoga and Buddhism is sharing what you got. So it’s not just about sharing money. It’s about sharing resources and knowledge and love. And if you can think of anyone that might benefit from any of what we discuss on the podcast, I invite you to pass it along. And I would like to share with you as well, an offering that has come directly from my heart is our new book baby here in the community. You are more than you think you are practical enlightenment for everyday life, which is really practical. <laugh>, it’s very, um, I don’t even know how to describe it. It comes directly from my wanting to share very sincerely, how to live your best life.
Kimberly: 04:01 What’s helped me the most in my life, these, these teachings, and I combine it with science, which I think is important for some of us with just, you know, the discerning mind likes to latch onto some of the scientific research and also the aspect of personal story to illustrate how these teachings and this philosophy really is, can be woven into daily life. So again, it’s called you are more than you think you are, and you can pick it up. Wherever books are sold, online bookstores, so on and so forth. All right. So all that being said, let’s just say that last sentence. So let’s get into our interview today with the amazing doctor will Cole.
Interview with Dr. Will Cole
Kimberly: 00:04 So nice to see you will again it’s
Will : 00:06 Oh my goodness. Busy. Likewise. <laugh> great to see you.
Kimberly: 00:11 You know, I love these podcasts because it gives us focus. I don’t know about you, but it pulled in so many different it’s like the, the clarity, the, the focus of having a, a conversation is, feels like a real treat.
Will : 00:26 My, I agree. I, I absolutely agree. I love consulting patients. I love meeting with my teams, but just to be like, all right, now I can just talk with a friend about all these things we love. It’s, it’s, it’s a very nice breath within the schedule.
Kimberly: 00:41 Yeah. I see that you, you offer all the, you know, the telehealth and a lot of appointments, and I’m sure you’re talking to people in different time zones and all sorts of things are going on and different people’s bodies and different cases. It’s a lot, I’m sure
Will : 00:55 It is. Yeah, definitely mindfulness and meditation and grounding practices are a necessity. So I’m gonna be using our conversation today as one big grounding practice. <laugh>
Kimberly: 01:08 I love it. And that’s one of the reasons I’m so drawn to you is because you really do take this holistic approach. I think in the past, we’re used to doctors sort of getting us in and out and not really listening and almost feeling like a piece of cardboard or something that we’re not really talking to as, as whole humans. And that’s been such a big missing piece, I think, in, in healthcare.
The duality of good healthcare
Will : 01:32 Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s the duality of good healthcare is holding both science and art and, and I, I, I just think that sometimes it can be so remote and so, uh, like sterilized that we don’t realize that that’s the, that’s a person, that’s a person that has a life. That’s a person that’s gone through a lot. So you have to hold both to be a great clinician, in my opinion.
Kimberly: 01:58 Yes, I agree. And so the last time we had our conversation and you were here, uh, with me on our podcast, we were talking about your latest book. I know you, and I think you, I had you on for your other book, the inflammation. Yeah.
Will : 02:11 I think, I think we’ve talked so many times it’s been such a blessing <laugh> but yeah. Yeah. The inflammation spectrum was my second book. It’s keto, the inflammation spectrum, and then intuitive fasting. Those are the, the three babies babies,
Kimberly: 02:25 Exactly. We to those prior ones in the show notes, which are just packed with inflammation. But I was really inspired today by one of, uh, one of your social media posts that I think I saw a few weeks ago that was talking about the impact, the holistic impact on our being from trauma. And this is something that we hear about in the mental health space, but we don’t always hear about its effect on a physical level. And you have this really great sort of infographic talking about autoimmunity and gut inflammation, all sorts of things. So I’d love to sort of dive into that because I think it’s starting to come to the forefront. Now, the author of this great book I read your body keeps the score. I think his name is Bessel Vander Kolk it’s a little bit hard to pronounce he’s, um, Norwegian, I believe. But he was saying that something like 75% of people have experienced some form of trauma, which could be from an accident, could be, you know, some sort of actual event, or it could be more from neglect over childhood. It could be many different forms. And so we need to recognize that that this can really degrade our health. This can be a really big issue that, you know, maybe we don’t realize the impact it’s having
Trauma and how it can degrade our health
Will : 03:37 Yeah. A hundred percent. And it’s such a major part of my work with patients. And that’s why I talked about it on social media. And there’s normally those infographics or something, it’s me typing it up on stories. And then just posting it up real fast because it’s things that are on my mind about, and I’m talking to people I’m like, whoa, like this needs to be out there. Uh, so 90% of the time, what I’m posting of social media is at, if you notice, I typically will post around 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM. Cause that’s after I’m when I’m done with patients. And I’m normally just kind of putting out something that I saw throughout the day. Hmm. And that’s major part of it. I mean, part of our consultation process with patients is we dig into, uh, their childhood and we dig into the mental, emotional impact of that.
Will : 04:23 And one of the questionnaires that’s within the consultation form is called an ACE score, uh, which is used across different modalities, but it’s basically adverse childhood experiences. And we’re able to look at the impact and where their a score is. And we then verbally via telehealth. We’re talking to them via webcam. Like we’re talking right now about even past child, like beyond childhood, what other sexual traumas looked like or stressful traumatic times in their life, loss of a loved one death mm-hmm <affirmative> and things like that. Even, you know, physical, uh, accidents, et cetera. Um, but I actually haven’t said about this on a podcast before, but that this is act, and I didn’t know, this is what you wanted to talk about. I
Kimberly: 05:08 Know I just stood this at
Will : 05:10 You. This is like, but this is, this will be the, the topic of my next book. It’s not gonna come out for a while. We’re we’re we’re always in synchronicity. I
Kimberly: 05:20 Know we’re so connected.
Why mental health is physical health
Will : 05:22 <laugh> yeah. It’s so true. I’m like, oh man. That’s is cool. So IM like, not just clinically deep in it, but as a writer, I’m deep in it too right now as well. So yeah, it’s just you’re right. It, it is definitely a time it’s coming to a head that we need to be having these conversations because it’s that we cannot separate any longer mental health from physical health. Mental health is physical health. Our brain is a part of our body, just as much as our spleen or our stomach. And this sort of relegation of mental health is some sort of abstract thing. Dr. A Dr. Daniel Aman, a friend colleague of mine, he said psychiatry is the only field of medicine that doesn’t measure or St or, or, or quantify the organ in which it’s treating, which I think is a really astute way of putting it.
Will : 06:11 It’s like, well, if you go to a cardiologist, he’s gonna run your car, your lipid panel. He’s gonna look at, they’re gonna look at your lipid panel and get their, your numbers looking great. If you go to, uh, a endocrinologist, he’s gonna, they’re gonna look at your hormones and measure your hormones, but psychiatry. For some reason, we don’t wanna look at neuro the neuro mechanical components to the neurophysiological components, to why people are going through brain health problems. And, uh, trauma plays a part of that. And, and big tea and little tea trauma, like all types of trauma that, that people can go through and how it has a physical effect on their health. And, and, and, and that’s why really exploring with my patients, both the psychological meaning, the mental, emotional, and the physiological, meaning other things within physically in the body. How does it impact each other?
Will : 07:03 Because it’s so interconnected. So, yeah, it’s, it’s a lot harder though, in some sense, it’s easy to say, well, these foods are inflammatory. Let’s stop those. Let’s bring in these herbal medicines. Let’s do these specific prescriptive things in their life to, to move the needle for them. It, you cannot tell somebody don’t stress. You cannot tell somebody don’t have your trauma anymore. Just, just drop it. You it’s, it’s definitely more all encompassing. So as a functional medicine practitioner, I’m not a trauma specialist. So what we do is, uh, so we act as sort of a quarterback in somebody’s health and integrate in other word, functional medicine is I integrated medicine, the trauma specialist, the eating disorder specialists, the therapist, the somatic therapists, meditation teachers, to start to really cultivate the parasympathetic in their life.
Kimberly: 07:57 Wow. I noticed when you listed some of the effects of trauma, the first one that you put was auto immunity or autoimmune conditions, which we all know is on the rise. I feel like so many people that I know, I encounter acquaintances, inner circle, larger circle. It’s just coming to the forefront now. Yeah. So, and a lot of that, like you said, feels a little bit nebulous. People don’t understand, like what’s going on. And then it sort of gets put into this sort of broad category, maybe a little bit more specific. So let’s say someone is going through auto immunity and then they know there’s, you know, this, this trauma part, they’re starting to see a psychiatrist. What are some of the ways that we can manage that from your expertise in the, in the body, through the different systems?
Ways to manage autoimmune conditions from past trauma
Will : 08:45 Yeah. Well, the body, I mean, auto immunity, it’s estimated that 50 million Americans have an autoimmune condition. I think it’s upwards of 250 million people worldwide have an autoimmune disease. And that’s diagnosable. The reality is this is the, the, the fact is that there are millions more that are somewhere on that autoimmune inflammation spectrum. And that’s the, what I really explore it with in an, in an, uh, in the inflammation spectrum, my second book and really in all the books, cuz it’s just what I see clinically. I talk about this inflammation phenomenon and how to use different tools with functional medicine to attenuate that inflammation. So inflammation is not inherently bad, right? It it’s a product of our immune system. It’s supposed to fight off viruses, kill off bacteria, heel wounds. It’s it’s not inherently bad. It’s inflammation. That’s gone haywire. That’s the problem. Yes, it’s it’s it’s this forest fire that’s burning in perpetuity, the breaking of the Goldilocks principles.
Will : 09:47 Not too high inflammation, not too low, but just right, but just about everything in the body is subject to that Goldilocks principle or homeostasis it’s we don’t want excess hormones or deficiencies of hormones. We don’t want excess gut microbiome bacteria. We don’t want a deficiency of, of gut microbiome bacteria. So inflammation is no difference here. So auto immunity is extremely ubiquitous, but shouldn’t be normalized. And there’s that larger spectrum of one on one end, it’s silent auto immunity and then autoimmune reactivity, which many of my patients are at meaning they have noticeable quantifiable autoimmune components to their case, like a positive marker on a lab symptoms that they’re experiencing. And doctors are saying things like what looks like autoimmune ish, but it’s, they’re not able to really put you into the box of diagnosing you officially. And then the stage three is a full blown autoimmune disease, but shockingly it’s about four researchers estimate it’s about four to 10 years prior to that diagnosis when things were brewing on that autoimmune inflammation spectrum.
Will : 10:53 So this is really all that I focused in clinically. It’s looking at the different iterations of how this manifests in people’s lives. The good news is no matter where you’re at on add on that continuum. There’s a lot you can do to calm the inflammation in the body. And, uh, functional medicine is really at the forefront of looking at these, what, what are the tools that we could integrate into our life to start having agency of our health? Cuz it’s very reactive in the standard model of care. Yeah, it’s very much like, okay, let’s wait till you’re bad enough. Wait till your immune system’s destroyed enough of parts of your body to then be put on a biologic, a steroid, an immunosuppress, you know, something like this. That’s really all the options that they have. I mean, there are like some nuancey like I IV IG there’s definitely some exceptions to that rule.
Will : 11:42 But for the most part, anybody with auto immunity will say, yep, that’s, that’s my options. Those are my options within the standard model of care, which is fine and great if that’s working for you and I’m not against that being a tool within somebody’s toolbox and some people need to be on those, but we just wanna say, what else is there? And can we be more proactive instead of reactive? Is it, can we start really bringing and integrating other positive things into our life? Cuz anybody that’s on steroids or biologics will tell you, most of them will tell you there’s this is no walk in the park and this kinda a lot of potential side effects. And if anything, it’s a piece of the puzzle, not the entire puzzle for them. So it’s, we just wanna look at the other components to it. So there’s a lot you can do with food. There’s a lot of things you can do with the supplements. There’s a lot of things you can do with other biohacking things that we integrate in patient’s lives. And there’s a lot of things you can do with trauma work. Yeah. You start regulating your nervous system into more of a parasympathetic state. So those are the things that we integrate with our patients.
Kimberly: 12:45 I imagine you’ve seen a, a real difference when people do incorporate the psychological or the mental care along with things like adaptogens or eliminating inflammatory foods.
When you incorporate the psychological or the mental care along with adaptogens and eliminating inflammatory foods
Will : 12:58 Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s powerful. I’ll tell you one person that comes to mind. And I, I, I like we put a lot of patients when I tell their story online. So they go to Dr. Will cole.com just go to the consultation page and then you’ll see that there’s just like hundreds of people sharing their stories. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but one person comes to mind cuz she was early in my career. And any practitioner, clinician, physician will tell you like those early days are like impressed. Like there’s this neural pathways there. Uh, so this lady was in her nineties and those are, I mean I might, I have a special heart for people that are elderly in the sense of society really just doesn’t give them the respect. They deserve our
Kimberly: 13:44 Society, especially.
Will : 13:45 So, I mean, historically from an ancestral standpoint, they were revered the
Kimberly: 13:50 Elders YESS.
Will : 13:52 Now they’re treated as something like Glor, like babies, they’re treated like infantile Nu nuisances to society, which is just sad to me. But anyways, this lady, uh, was, and was, she came in, in a wheelchair, her husband of like 70 plus years pushed her in, in a wheelchair and he didn’t wanna lose the love of his life. And she was diagnosed with different neuropathy, autoimmune, neurological, autoimmune problems. She was put on lots of medications and she could barely talk. She just was like, not a, not fully there. She was just would stare at you. She had sort of extreme brain fog symptoms. And he, he told me, he’s like, I don’t wanna lose my wife. And we ran labs. We found out that her, she was being suppressed so much. Her immune system was being suppressed so much. And they had her on statin drugs.
Will : 14:44 It was suppressing her cholesterol level so much that it was starving. Her brain of the cholesterol in which it needed to make the brain matter. 25% of all your body’s cholesterols in your brain. And wow. She, her, we coordinated with her prescribing doctor and said like, look, her levels are really low. Like let’s like, look at updated labs here. This is just too much. She’s over medicated. And they were able to, as through dealing with food, dealing with functional medicine, dealing with the stress component of it, all the lady was completely transformed. She walked in, in a Walker, she was outta the wheelchair. She was bright. She was elusive and was something that she said to me that why I’m even telling this story is do it down to this sentence. She said, I thought, when I met you, I was planning my funeral arrangements. Now I’m planning vacations with my grandkids.
Kimberly: 15:33 Oh, I just got gooses. <laugh>
Will : 15:36 I that like, that’s why I remember it 13 years later because it was like sweet lady blanch was telling me, like, I think how many parents, how many grandparents, how many siblings and aunts and uncles that are going through that same thing that didn’t just randomly meet a functional medicine doctor that they just thought that was their lot in life. Yeah. There’s nothing they could do. We as a human race have so much agency over health, but we’re not even having the conversation to give people what they, what their body needs to feel to, to feel great.
Kimberly: 16:09 Yeah. Wow. That is so powerful. Thank you for, for sharing that. And on the other end of the spectrum, we see so many children are being pushed towards, you know, oh, you have attention deficit disorder, like get on all these meds right away without even trying to shift their diet or shift their lifestyle or teach them about meditation. Which now my, my older son just turned six and we do that. We try to meditate almost every evening because he’s in kindergarten, you know, they get out in the world and they need to have those tools as well. So we’re seeing it across the board and I’m sure you are just seeing the effect of people coming to you that have been in the system for so for so long.
What the dysregulated immune system is and how to recalibrate it
Will : 16:48 Yeah. It’s dysregulated immune systems and dysregulated nervous systems. Yeah. The dysregulated immune system is chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a product of immune system. So really a lot of what we’re seeing as a society is really both of those things. Some more nervous system, some more immune system. But the reality is they probably are both dysregulated in a lot of people to various degrees. So chronic inflammation in a dysregulated nervous system and the autonomic nervous system is just completely thrown up. We see a lot of cases that have they’re labeled with, with something called dismia, which is a lot of the trauma work. Uh, it really has to do with that sympathetic fight or flight yeah. System that’s in hyperdrive. Right. And that’s why so much of what your work in my work is doing is really just starting to recalibrate the nervous system, cuz there’s nothing inherently wrong with the sympathetic nervous system either. We just need both systems, both the sympathetic and the parasympathetic to both be functioning appropriately. And the sympathetic cannot always be triggered, cannot always be on fire. Yeah. But it, it is for many people and they just feel that wired, tired, uh, hyper drive all, all of their life.
Kimberly: 18:00 When I started to take a deep dive into yoga and you know, VA philosophy and Aveda every like the core of it, it’s all nervous system nervous system. Because as we talked about on your podcast, it’s either, you know, peripheral, nervous system. We’re always looking out here and ego and reacting and trying to get our worth and our validation out here, which is impossible, right. Or we have this deeper sense of central nervous system groundedness our anchor inside of us. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so it all goes down to that in, in terms of that philosophy. And it’s amazing the, the crossover now into functional medicine. So let’s say we know, okay. I think we all have childhood stuff and so we can recognize it. So we take tools, we do therapy, we do whatever it is, but what are some of the herbs or the supplements or the foods that can be supportive as we’re going through mental healing, emotional healing.
Herbs, supplements and/or the foods that support mental and emotional healing
Will : 18:59 Yeah. So some different, and I, I, I talk, let’s talk about the, the, the way that I said it earlier is the physiological and the psychological, I think both of those should be seen as meals or medicines, right? Yes. And the, the, the psychological meals in intuitive fasting in my newest book, I call them metaphysical meals because that yes, sort of mental, emotional, spiritual stuff, it’s feeding your body just as much as the next meal is. I love it. Meditation, yoga, science, these other trauma work, things are meals. And yes, like we’re integrating things nourish like that nourishment exactly. Sort of train the VA nerve and train the nervous system to calm down and allow it to unwind. So we look at things like EMDR as well and DNS and FSM, all these sort of acronyms for different modalities or different tools to start to support the parasympathetic.
Will : 19:58 And then the physiological medicines. Mm-hmm <affirmative> physical stuff that you asked about are the other side of that coin, uh, of the parasympathetic. So the, the, the, the herbs that we bring in are different adaptogens that you talked about. So have a lot of science around it. But science, as with most of these things are, it’s catching up with antiquity humans. Would’ve used these traditionally for thousands of years in every part of the world, a different adaptogens had been used medicinally. And now we know, okay, these things have science behind it. We know the pathways, we know the mechanisms, but just anecdotally humans, would’ve used these for a long time. So things like, uh, if you go to India and you look at TSI,
Kimberly: 20:42 I was just gonna say the first thing. Oh, my it’s like brains. Cause I have a cup of Tulsi every evening. Almost. It just makes me feel good. And then Dr. Jay, my VEIC teacher says, oh, you know, the, the, each home is supposed to have traditionally a holy basil plant TSI, which blesses the home. So there’s this cultural element, but it’s part of the stress management and now there’s more science.
Will : 21:07 Yeah. That’s amazing. Yeah. That’s so cool. It it’s has amazing in science. So holy basil tool seats, like I think it’s known as known as in Iveta as like the mother of all herbs or something, queen, queen of all herbs, something like that. Yes, exactly. Um, and then Ogan is another one used in AEIC medicine, and then you go a little bit west from there into Siberia. There’s Siberian ging. You can go down into the south America and Maka and you can go in, in the Ola is I believed, uh, used in Russia. So I mean, there’s, they’re, they’re used around the world. These are different adaptogenic herbs. Uh, and then there’s different non herbs that have adaptogenic qualities as well. Cuz even a lot of medicinal mushrooms have adaptogenic properties. Uh, they’re not, you know, depending on who you talk to, they may or may not be classified as adaptogens, but they have a sort of modulating effect on the body. And that’s one of the definitions of adaptogens is that yes, they regulate. If the cortisol levels are high or cor levels are low, it helps to just help the hypothe flaming pituitary adrenal axis basically, and kind of shift the nervous system in more into a parasympathetic state. So those are things like lions, Maine, and chaga, um, Turkey tale, things like that. Um, so adaptogens are some and then different, uh, minerals.
Kimberly: 22:29 Sorry. Sorry. Will, can we pause there for one second? Yeah. Let’s go in a practical sense. Sometimes we hear, oh my gosh, look, Maka, NA Uganda. And I get this question, I’m sure you do too. Where people have that mindset. Well, I need to take everything. <laugh> right. How much is too much? Or am I supposed to cycle the adapt gens? What is your, you know, what do you recommend as an approach? Because there’s so many plants. Now we hear all this. There’s so many plants, but it’s oh my gosh. Do I have to buy all this stuff? And is it good to take everything at once? All the adapt?
A recommended approach when choosing and implementing adaptogens into your lifestyle
Will : 22:59 Yeah, no, thanks for making us go back to that. Cause I feel that’s an important part. It’s like you don’t have to do all the things. I just listed all those things to kind give you a little menu and to impress you with my knowledge. But <laugh>
Kimberly: 23:14 I were already impressed. OK. Don’t worry will,
Will : 23:18 But it’s not being, I’m not being prescriptive to everyone. Like you need all these things and like, unless you’re, you’re gonna fail. If you don’t do all these things,
Kimberly: 23:24 It’s overwhelming. Right. It is overwhelming. Oh my gosh, I’m supposed to take everything.
Will : 23:28 And then they’re stressing about the thing that’s supposed to bring them anti-stress in their life, which is like not what my intention is here. So no, I would say start with one. And here’s the cool thing with adaptogens, many of them today in the age that we live in with, you know, consumer and products and innovative brands and things, they will get blends of these.
Kimberly: 23:49 Yes.
Will : 23:50 So you don’t have to get like the holy basil by itself necessarily. And the rodeo and the Astrada and the lions, a lot of them will be blends, which are like going, if go, if you go to reputable brands that are respected within the space that have transparency that are getting good quality and you’re vetting them, then you really can get blends of a lot of these. But I mean, teas are a great way to do it too, where they’re relatively inexpensive and you can make teas out of these as well. Like you mentioned with the holy basil tea, which tastes really good. It’s a mild taste.
Kimberly: 24:23 Exactly. It’s calming. And the, you know, I think the heat, a hot AIX for me helps me slow down in the evening. It’s part of my evening practice, cuz you’re sipping. It sort of says to me, oh, it’s the end of the day. So back to like the mental, emotional component as well. Yeah,
Will : 24:37 Absolutely. And, and, and um, Asia as well, another adaptogen that came to mind was Sheila is really good in the evening as well. But anyway, so all of these have different properties. They all have different strengths in the sense of that, the research is kind of focused in certain areas. So I’ve highlighted them before and actually in keto, Terry, and actually my first book, I talk a lot about, there’s like a whole adaptogen section in that book because I love adaptogen so much. So they could go in there if they wanna look at and I highlight the sort of individual researcher on each one. And then I, I do mention them in the inflammation spectrum as well in the second book. So yeah, you don’t need all of them. I would start off low and slow pick up one that resonates with you. Then once you’ve done some research, you can kind of see, oh, I’m going through this.
Will : 25:28 Like this one has more research around that. Let me focus on that. And you don’t necessarily have to take it forever and ever either. I think it’s it’s for most people, they take it during times that they’re really focusing on their health and they’re wanting to nourish themselves. And they, they then when they feel like it’s really helped them, then they can start come off of it and always can go back to it when they want to. Or like, if it’s just one thing, if it’s just like a holy Baal tea, then that may be something they do from a maintenance standpoint every day. And that’s part of their, their, their, their nourishment. It’s part of their self care. It’s part of their, uh, taking care of themselves. So that’s fine too. You can take them every day. They they’re their safe things too.
Kimberly: 26:12 Every day. I was gonna ask that if you take something for a long period, it doesn’t start to lose its efficacy per se. No,
Will : 26:20 No it doesn’t. But I would say this is that there’s, there are things that serve you for certain seasons of your life sometimes and you people know, okay, this got me so far, it really was helpful, but now I don’t, I want to move into something different. So instead of adding more and more things into what I love lovingly call it a supplement graveyard where you just have like tons of crap and you don’t even know why you’re taking it anymore. It’s
Kimberly: 26:45 Just more and
Will : 26:45 More <laugh>. Yeah. Like part of my job in functional medicine is editing that supplement graveyard down. It’s like, okay, what are the needle movers for you? And it’s not like any of these things are inherently bad, even though, you know, I wanna vet those things too. But like for the most of the part, it’s all, well-intentioned good, natural, healthy things, but it’s like, do you really need to be on that much stuff? And it’s like, let’s start to whittle down to what are the biggest, most impactful, positive needle movers. And then the bigger question is, or just as big of a question is where can food play into here? Like, yes, what can we get through food instead of trying to, or, or to over supplement? I don’t want that. So I want to be effective, but still be cost effective and practical and sustainable for people to keep taking things.
Will : 27:30 So yeah, that, that, that’s kind of my thoughts on not just adapts, but really supplements that large, cuz the other non supplement, the non, uh, adaptogenic things to support the nervous system to support the endocrine. The stress response in the body are things like, uh, the different amino acids. So LP Anine can be very helpful. GABA can be very helpful. That’s sort of the anti anxiety neurotransmitter. Magnesium can be a game changer for people. Mm. Uh, for sure. CBD as well. It works on GABAergic pathways, sort of the GABA supporting pathways, andt regulatory cell pathways, which is the anti-inflammatory, uh, mechanisms for people. So yeah, these are some of my top brain stress nervous system supporters.
Kimberly: 28:22 It’s interesting. I know this is like a sidebar, but they’re starting to, you know, different clinics and more research coming out about microdosing. Yeah. Different mushrooms and things that, you know, I don’t know. It’s preliminary. We’ll see how that plays out. People are using it for depression and anxiety, different things. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so again, just another whole category. Yeah.
Will : 28:40 Mushrooms fully. Yeah. I mean, uh, actual, uh, mushroom psychedelic mushrooms, like psilocybin has some really compelling research and a lot of these psychedelics are being fast tracked by the FDA because the amount of evidence that’s out there. So if you’ve not heard of the work of, if you, if you don’t know him, I’d need to connect you to Dr. Will Sue. Yeah. Out of LA he’s from New York. Well, he’s actually from orange county originally, but anyways, he’s lived in New York for many years, but he’s in LA right now doing amazing work in the realm of he’s he’s a psychiatrist, a medical doctor. And he is, does a lot of the research with maps, which is sort of the multidisciplinary psychedelic, uh, research Institute, um, that that’s looking at all this data and the benefits of Sylo Ibin and ketamine and other psychedelics. Mm
Kimberly: 29:36 Mm. So shifting back to food for a minute, I doesn’t get as much I can pick out of you. I think it was the same post or maybe it was a different social media post where you were talking about, was it trauma or food sensitivities and how that can also ameliorate over time. And some of the ones you listed, you know, eggs, egg, whites. We hear a lot about gluten. We hear about dairy, but there were some interesting ones. So can you talk a little bit about maybe from the standpoint of yes. Supporting, um, as we’re shifting through trauma, but also secondarily oh, like over time, my sensitivities don’t have to be so acute. I can start to have a wider range of foods as well.
Understanding inflammatory foods and how physiological things perpetuate gut problems
Will : 30:14 Yeah. Oh for sure. This is something again, if we hold both of those, both of those wings of healthcare equally, like the psychological and the physiological, both of those things to support the parasympathetic that applies to food, sensitivities, food reactions, uh, as well, because if the nervous system and immune systems in hyperdrive, right. And there’s for most of these people because of those is there’s the psychological offenders and the physiological offenders, the, the gut is inflamed and there’s increased intestinal permeability or the key gut syndrome. So things are passing through the gut that shouldn’t be able to pass through the gut, like undigested food proteins, like bacterial toxins called lipo polysaccharide LPs. And that creates this event. That’s called molecular mimicry where the immune system, which I think is a beautiful, like eloquent way that researchers describe it. They’ll say the immune system’s lost recognition of self, which I think, okay, think of that. What’s happening on a mental, emotional, spiritual level. And that’s also happening on a physical level. It’s like my immune system forgot what my thyroid was and is attacking it. My immune system is overreacting to my brain, into my joints and my stomach and, and a lot of these people because of the trauma and vocation, that’s also what they’re doing on a mental, emotional, spiritual level too.
Kimberly: 31:38 I I’ve never heard it put that way. Well, that’s incredible. We lose our anchor. So then we’re trying to, you know, get it outside of ourselves somehow, which is always uncertain. It’s always shifting and moving. So then we get more confused and ungrounded. So then the body reflects that.
Will : 31:53 Absolutely. Wow. Yeah. Wow. It is, uh, pretty profound. So you have to heal the gut. So the physiological tool in the realm of food, sensitivities is in part dealing with the physical things that drive that physiological stressor. So that’s healing the gut, like really working and nourishing the gut, allowing the gut time to repair. So that’s going off of these inflammatory foods and bringing in really nourishing gut healing foods and then dealing with a lot of physiological things that perpetuate gut problems. So we look at things like different biotechs and components like, uh, mold toxins, microtoxins viral toxins, bacterial toxins, Lyme disease, and co-infections cause what happens is it stresses out those biotoxins paired with leaky gut syndrome, stress out the nervous system. They decrease the brain gut, the gut brain communication and decrease. What’s called a migrating motor complex, the MMC, which the bacteria and the yeast and fungus start to grow into the small intestines.
Will : 32:58 So a lot of people have dysbiosis or imbalances in the gut. They have things like SIBO, small intestinal, bacterial overgrowth, which then perpetuates a big vicious inflammatory cycle. So you have to deal with these other systemic chronic infections, BIOX and problems as well. That’s just the psych, the physiological stuff. The psychological stuff is really looking at trauma and stress both current and in the past and how that is living in their body today. And again, this is just very well documented in theories like the polyvagal theory and, and, and what uh, is possible when you start allowing the body’s nervous system to calm down, cuz then that gut brain access and the gut and brain are inextricably linked, right? The gut is known as the second brain, 95% of serotonin they’re happy or transmitter is made in the gut and stored in the gut. It’s actually formed.
Will : 33:50 The gut is formed from the same fetal tissue when babies are growing in their mom’s womb. Mm. So these are very much central to healing food sensitivities. So until you deal with the physiological and the psychological with that, the food sensitivities will perpetuate. But when you deal with these issues, then a lot of foods that were reactive at once. Some point can start you you’re, you’re like the analogy that I use is like, if your mug is overflowing, right, I have my little mug here. If so we all have different mug sizes and that’s your bioindividuality and that’s the heart of functional medicine. We’re all created differently. Some people have massive mugs and they’re smoking and drinking and staying up late and eating whatever they want. And, and then normally my patients that’s like their family members or their friends and like, how the heck can they do all this stuff?
Will : 34:35 And like, I can’t get away with anything. They tend to have smaller mugs and they’re, and they know how to keep their mug close from overflowing, but it’s gonna very easily hit its stepping point. We can’t change our mug sides, which is our genetics, but we can change what we put in our mugs, which is the epigenetic stuff. It’s the lifestyle choices that we have a lot of agency over. So it’s the foods we’re eating or not eating. It’s our stress levels. It’s trauma, it’s toxins. It’s it’s that stuff. Lack of sleep. All of these things influence that cup overflow. So we need to work on emptying that mug over the course of months and years that work with patients to clear that stuff out. So they have resilience, they have wiggle room and they’re not gonna pay for it. If they deviate from their strict regimen of eating, like, you know, five foods, I want them to have as much food variety as possible, but that’s gonna take time to heal, heal that
Kimberly: 35:30 It’s gonna take time. And there’s like you said, there’s so many different components to that. Practically speaking. There’s a lot I could ask you about. But one thing that was like, oh my gosh, the mold, I know the song, another post you had about mold and you knows my toxicity. How easy is it to get mold out of your system? Can we assume that most, all of us have some sort of mold issue going on? How is it that common?
How common mold is in the body and how to get it out of your system
Will : 35:53 It, it is. But not every, it’s not a problem in everybody look. So mold is everywhere, but not all mold is toxic. So you don’t wanna make it into like this sort of evil thing. And people have to live in some sort of sterilized bubble. And it’s like, no humans. Would’ve been interplaying with mold for a long time. So it’s actually talked about in the old Testament, in the URA, it like they, the Bible instructs people to like REM remediate the house. If it’s a certain color and like burn the house down, if you can’t get it repaired. So like this has been used for thousands of years and they knew this stuff made people sick. Mm. And now in our culture, we treat it as almost like just an aesthetic thing. It’s like, if I can’t see it, it’s not there. And people will say my new home, it’s been five years.
Will : 36:41 It’s been 10 years. It’s, there’s no mold in here. And they think just because they can’t see it, it’s not there but many homes. And I hear this from construction workers that our patients are construction workers that, that within the industry and remediators in the industry and mold experts in the industry. And they’ll tell me, a lot of homes are built very tight that they can’t breathe, that they, a lot of older homes are built with. They could breathe more. And that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people in these new, like beautiful homes that they spend lots of money on. It’s like the house is not breathing and it’s a pipe leak or some leak. And it’s over time, even in dry arid areas, I’ve seen mold problems in Arizona. This isn’t just a, a, a, um, south Florida problem. This is really or Hawaii problem.
Will : 37:31 This could be anywhere. Um, wow. Because it’s actual home infrastructure, that’s at play there and, and leaks. So it’s not, it’s not all, not all mold as the problem. It’s toxic mold, how much toxic mold. And then what is your bio-individual tolerance for mold? Because I see spouses where the husband’s fine, but his wife has different methylation, gene variants, different HLA gene variants, which influences how your body handles biotoxins that you that’s back to that mug size. You know, they have smaller mugs in that area and their mugs overflowing by this ocre toxin or this as this, uh, stack of Botts black mold, uh, toxin mm-hmm <affirmative>. And that’s what we have to quantify. It’s how, how what’s your bioindividuality here with genetic variants and detox impairments and methylation and endocannabinoid gene variants. And then what are you exposed to and how much of it are you exposed to? So that’s kind of the things we’re always looking at.
Kimberly: 38:30 Is that something you run tests for or, yeah.
Will : 38:33 Okay. We great. Just completely based off of data. So we look at blood tests, we measure different immune markers, like a TGF beta, one C four, a Ms. H C three, a C4, a those are not definitive on mold alone. They’re just sort of largely looking at biotoxins and inflammation. And there are many things that can spike those numbers. So those are good conventional data points on blood labs, but you have to further investigate. So then we’ll run urine microtoxin tests that actually measures the specific type of mold toin within the body. And look, this is crazy that I, it never ceases to amaze me that I will find mold in people that it wasn’t a current living space at all. Even though the current place should be ruled out or work should be ruled out, or your car needs to be ruled out. There are different class action lawsuits right now with different car manufacturers where it’s in the air conditioning unit. It wasn’t even at their home, but then it’s, for some people, it was like a college dorm they had in the eighties or nineties, and it’s still in their system now.
Kimberly: 39:41 Wow.
Will : 39:42 It’s, it’s just not able to methylate and detox out. So these are, this is how far back we can go back to some people or I’ll see a mom and daughter as patients. And they haven’t lived together since the nineties and this, they knew there was mold and the home that they lived in, in the nineties, and they both had the same mold in their system today.
Kimberly: 40:04 Oh my gosh. Pretty
Will : 40:05 Crazy.
Kimberly: 40:06 Well, I’ve I’ve I had to say, I’ve been thinking about mold. I think I shared this with you. I split my time now between LA and Hawaii and I never, you know, I don’t really see mold here. Like you said, doesn’t mean it’s not here, but in Hawaii it’s so humid and wet. You know, if something ha like, leave my flip flops out in a certain place, like by the morning they’re covered with mold. So it’s all over the place there, which got me thinking, wow, I, I don’t know. Maybe I should get tested as well.
Will : 40:30 You should, I would run a mycotoxin test. And again, it’s we see many people and look, and even if it’s high in your system, it doesn’t even necessarily mean it’s causing you symptoms right now. But the safest amount of level of toxic mold in your body is zero. Yeah. So even if it’s not creating system symptoms right now, that’s a blessing, but let’s clear this stuff out, cuz you don’t want any toxic mold in your body in any amount. Because over time, these things are carcinogenic. Many of them are. So you don’t, you, you don’t want these excess things in your body. But look, going back to my earlier statement, I really believe humans. Would’ve been around these molds for a long time. It’s not just about the mold. Yeah. We are already overflowing our cup’s already overflowing like the mold, just one thing. And it’s like, look, something’s gotta give here. And it’s contributing to filling up that mug
Kimberly: 41:23 With, with the mold. Do we get it out? Do we Keate it with things like spirulina? Or is it like, how do we get it out?
Will : 41:30 Yeah. It’s a combination of things
Kimberly: 41:33 Or Keate
Will : 41:35 Keate Keate yeah. Q I mean, I’ve heard it said twice. I don’t. I mean I’m no, I’m no Maram Webster, but I would say Keate uh, so binders, biofilm, disrupters, antimicrobials, detox, support, methylation support, brain support, mitochondrial support. So they are different herbs botanicals, micronutrients and pharmaceuticals sometime to clear this stuff out sweating is one that’s very helpful. Saunas can be very helpful. So yeah, it’s a combination of things, but uh, it’s completely, I see this stuff cleared out all the time. It’s amazing. It’s not a quick fix by any means, but it’s one that you can track the data over time and see this stuff cleared out.
Kimberly: 42:15 Wow.
Will : 42:16 But then here’s the yeah. One thing is even when you clear this out, going back to the nervous system and the fight or flight, sometimes when you clear all this stuff out, they’re a lot better, but they’re still stuck at a plateau. And that’s when a lot of the psychological things come into play to allow their nervous system and give their nervous system, the permission to calm down. Cause it been in that fight or flight response for so long that it’s like, okay, they really need to lean into the meditation. And the mindfulness now to say, okay, you’re safe now. Yes, you were. The check engine light was on for a reason for a long time, but the threat is gone. Now it’s time to calm down.
Kimberly: 42:53 I love that. I love that. Yeah.
Kimberly: 42:56 Speaking that marrying Webster it’s like ed, I feel like time I ask you a question it’s like, so I go on forever, but I do have one last practical question. Thank you so much again for sharing your incredible wisdom with us. Well, um, going back to when you were saying about reintroducing foods and we know one of the really healthy thing for gut health is fiber. You know, helping with a short chain, fatty acids and inflammation, but some people that have such a compromised system gets so bloated with fiber and we know, you know, sometimes we need to cook the food more or avoid certain things. But what do you, what are some of the things you say to your patients in terms of reintroducing really healthy fiber and plant foods when their gut is so sensitive? Yeah. It’s been so compromised.
Will : 43:38 It is true. I mean, we, for many people will start them on very, actually a lower fiber diet for a time. And it’s not the fiber’s fault. Like you said, the fiber is prebiotic food for the gut microbiome, which ferment that fiber and makes this beneficial, short term fatty acids like berate, which you need to call inflammation, how the healthy immune system and brain function actually Brate is biochemically related to beta hydroxy Brate, which is the keto tone for your brain. So it is, uh, definitely important. But when you have such a reactive system, if, and if somebody has this, isn’t everybody, these are people that really have very reactive systems that are reacting to lots of things. We put them on different protocols depending on their preference and their labs and all of that. And that’s their sort of the science and art of this too, is having this be sustainable and realistic and enjoyable for somebody. But soups and stews can be a game changer. Cause it’s basically, predigesting the food in many ways to say, okay, you don’t have to work so hard gut. I’m going to give you a little proverbial CSTA here to just rest as much as you can. <laugh> right.
Kimberly: 44:48 I love that. It’s so Arva, it’s all the kitchen.
Will : 44:51 Yes, exactly.
Kimberly: 44:53 Soupy stuff. And that is so in alignment. Yeah. I love that. Amazing.
Will : 44:58 Yeah. And then work your way up from there. Like we put people on lower FOD map protocols, which is a fermentable sugar that’s in lots of things like onions and garlic and cruciferous vegetables and apples and many grains and legumes all can be fine part of somebody’s diet. But if somebody has a reactive system and has SIBO and has mycotoxin problems and has autoimmunity, it’s not those foods fault. It’s the body’s immune, it’s the immune response against this foods. So let’s get your cut, your gut strong, healthy, and resilient. Then you can work on reintroduction. And then that’s what we do. We work on the reintroduction over time.
Kimberly: 45:32 You know, it’s like, we, we can only like take so much at a certain time than we integrate. And I kind of feel like, wow, my brain is full of inspiration with all this wisdom. So I think this is a really good place to pause, integrate this. And you know, there’s just so many great resources we’ll link to in the show notes to go further. You’ve given us so much to digest, you know, on all levels.
Will : 45:54 It’s a bad pun. It’s a bad pun right now.
Kimberly: 45:57 <laugh> but well tell us where we can find out more about your incredible work and I’m so happy that you offer telehealth. I just wanna say that upfront because not everybody has access in their immediate surroundings in their community to this kind of healthcare. So it’s such an incredible resource to call on your clinic.
Will : 46:17 Thank you. I love what I get to do. I, I everything’s at drwillcole.com. It’s drwillcole.com. Yeah. And I talk about this stuff on the art of being well on my podcast, which you were a guest on. Thank you so much. We’ll have to, I’d love for you to come back anytime. Uh, yeah. All the stuff that drwillcole.com though.
Kimberly: 46:37 Amazing. Well, thank you again so much will for taking the time and just being such a positive force with the world needs right now, integration wholism and just lots of love integrated into this kindness, humanity. So thank you so much. I love you so much. I respect I’ll be so much. Thank you.
Kimberly: Well, I hope you enjoyed our interview today. As much as I enjoyed having the conversation, please do check out our show notes over at mysolluna.com, where I offer links to other podcasts. I think you would really enjoy as well as articles and blogs and meditations and food recipes. And there’s so much on the, on the website. And I’m really excited to announce that we are launching Kimberly’s corner, which is going back to my roots of blogging, where I will be putting in regular information. That is also right from my heart, my free flow writing about different topics and different ideas that I feel really passionate about sharing. I’ll also be producing vlogs. So it’ll be in video form as well as the written word. So that’s coming soon. So sending you so much love and so much support, and remember that you could always write in questions to me over also on mysolluna.com that we answer on our Thursday community show. So take great care, Namaste peace and love.