Podcast

This biweekly podcast features interviews with experts in the fields of nutrition, lifestyle, mindset, integrative medicine, and autoimmune disease. It also highlights personal stories of the autoimmune experience. To quickly see all the topics covered, here’s a Text List of Episodes. You can also subscribe through your favorite podcast app: iTunes, Stitcher, Google, TuneIn, Spotify, Amazon, etc.

Episode 186: How to Ask for Help with Kalene Khan

Human beings depend on each other. Sometimes we give help, and sometimes we receive it, but many of us are much more comfortable in the giving role. Autoimmune disease can turn the tables quickly. Suddenly, we’re in a position where we need help more often. If we were the caregivers before, how do we navigate this change in identity? How do we face the fears that may arise – of vulnerability, feeling weak, being seen as a burden, or people saying no? If you took pride in your independence, do you feel shame if you need help? There are gifts that come with learning to receive: a deeper intimacy in relationships, a greater sense of self-compassion, a more expansive sense of identity, and a stronger connection with humanity. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy transformation. My guest is Kalene Khan, a licensed therapist who specializes in self-compassion. She helps people learn to be as kind to themselves as they are to others. She is our guide for this conversation today.

Episode 185: Eye Health and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Rani Banik

I have two friends who were diagnosed with autoimmune disease through a referral from their ophthalmologist. Their first symptoms appeared in their eyes. Across diagnoses, this is common. Eye pain, dryness, swelling, inflammation, vision loss, and double vision – almost every autoimmune diagnosis can include eye symptoms. This is why an ophthalmologist is an important person to have on our healthcare team. Today, we’re lucky enough to have an integrative ophthalmologist on the podcast. Dr. Rani Banik is a board-certified neuro-ophthalmologist with over 20 years of medical experience as a clinician, educator, and researcher. She also has specialized training in functional medicine and treats her patients from a holistic perspective.

Episode 184: Anti-Inflammatory Supplements with Dr. Amy Nett

Inflammation is a root cause for most chronic disease and it’s a major player in autoimmune disease. That’s why most doctors track inflammation on blood tests, because it often corresponds to autoimmune activity. Many patients find anti-inflammatory supplements helpful. Which ones have the most science behind them? How do they each work in our bodies to reduce inflammation? And how can you tell if one might be helpful for you? These are the questions we’ll be answering today, and we’re focusing on three popular supplements: fish oil, curcumin, and quercetin. My guest is Dr. Amy Nett. She’s a medical doctor whose specialty is functional and integrative medicine, and many of her patients have autoimmune disease. 

Episode 183: Detoxifying Foods with Andrea Nakayama

Our bodies naturally have the ability to detoxify and do it every single day. However, problems can develop, and that’s not uncommon with autoimmune disease. The answer isn’t an aggressive “cleanse” where we try to force our bodies to do a year’s worth of detox in 30 days. Instead, we need to support our bodies year-round. There are foods that support our detox pathways, and foods that can interfere with them. That’s what today’s podcast is all about. My guest is Andrea Nakayama, a world-renowned functional nutritionist and educator, whose mission is to change the way we do healthcare by empowering patients to reclaim ownership over their own health.

Episode 182: Big Decisions – Big Results

When it comes to a healing lifestyle, our daily choices matter. Small steps and habits add up over time, and many of my podcasts teach those skills. Today, we’re going in a different direction. There are times when the big picture is overwhelming everything else. It might be a toxic job, a toxic relationship, or a toxic home. Change is rarely easy, even in difficult situations. Sometimes you need to wait for the right time and opportunity. Sometimes it’s a matter of courage. Other times it’s a matter of resources. Usually, it’s a combination of these things. Today, I’m sharing three inspiring stories of people who made big changes for their health. Lucia moved to a new country. Stephanie left a toxic job. And Irene left an abusive relationship.

Episode 181: Overcoming Bias with Anu Gupta

One thing I love about the autoimmune community in general and the Phoenix Helix community specifically is that we care deeply about each other. We lift each other up, with the goal of living our healthiest and happiest lives. Health involves both self-care and community care, and today’s podcast is a blend of the two. I’ve talked about the impact of racism in two prior podcasts. Episode 153 focused on racism in healthcare. Episode 178 focused on racial trauma. In both episodes I mentioned that overcoming our own unconscious biases can be a powerful first step in helping overcome racism within our society. There is much beyond our control, but this is something we can change. We’re approaching this conversation with love rather than judgment. My guest is Anu Gupta. He’s developed a compassion-based, scientific approach to overcoming bias and addressing the root causes of racism and other inequalities within our culture. He is a research scientist and educator, and simply a warm, wise and wonderful person.

Episode 180: Body Image and Autoimmune Disease

With an autoimmune diagnosis, we are told that we have a disease for which there is no cure. It can be shocking and immediately change how we see ourselves. It’s not uncommon to feel betrayed by our bodies. Symptoms can also dramatically change our abilities, impacting careers, hobbies, and roles within families. Many of us go through an identity crisis – no longer feeling like the person we were before. Then there’s the impact of having a visible vs. invisible illness. Some autoimmune diseases change our physical appearance and how others interact with us. Whereas others have symptoms that are hidden, often inspiring disbelief in the pain that can’t be seen. Today, four people with autoimmune disease (including myself) share our experiences with how our body image has changed since diagnosis

Episode 179: Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. William Mitchell

Vitamin D is one of the most commonly recommended supplements for people with autoimmune disease, because it’s essential to immune system regulation. How do you know if you’re deficient? When is sunshine the best source, and when is supplementing a better option? Can you take too much vitamin D? We’ll be answering these questions and more in today’s podcast. My guest is Dr. William Mitchell, a naturopathic doctor whose expertise is autoimmune disease.

Episode 178: Racial Trauma and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Letitia Browne-James

People with a history of trauma are more likely to develop autoimmune disease and to experience more severe symptoms as well. In today’s podcast, we’re focusing on racial trauma. One of the ways it’s unique is that it’s ongoing. It’s not an event from the past that is now over. It’s something experienced repeatedly in unpredictable ways. Over the past year, a number of listeners have reached out to me to share their experiences. Racial trauma isn’t new, but it has been amplified during the pandemic. Our goal with this episode is to help anyone navigating the double challenge of autoimmune disease and race-based trauma. My guest is Dr. Letitia Browne-James. She’s a mental health counselor and educator with expertise in trauma, multi-cultural counseling, and the intersection of mental and physical health.

Episode 177: GMOs with McKay Jenkins

The first genetically modified food hit the market in 1994. Now, nearly all the food included in a Standard American Diet contains GMO ingredients. The good news is that if you avoid processed foods and shop the perimeter of the store, you cut your GMO consumption dramatically. However, we can’t escape it altogether. The increased herbicide use becomes part of the environment in which we live. There’s cross-contamination of crops, so even farms that strive to be GMO-free often find GMO plants in their fields. And 95% of animal feed is GMO. What are the health risks associated with genetically modified foods? Is it the genetic engineering that’s the problem, or the chemicals that are sprayed on them? How can we make the healthiest choices when it comes to the food we eat? My guest is McKay Jenkins, a professor and journalist who has been writing and teaching about the environment for 30 years. He’s the author of the book, Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet.

Episode 176: Navigating Uncertainty with Dr. Damon Silas

We all know that life is uncertain and many things are beyond our control, but that doesn’t mean we like it. The flare-based nature of autoimmune disease embodies uncertainty. When will the next flare come? Can it be prevented? How can I love my body when it’s so unpredictable? That’s health uncertainty, but there are other types of uncertainty as well – economic, political, societal. During the pandemic, we’ve been faced with all of these things at once. Now, it’s 2021, and there’s a new type of uncertainty as we approach the world opening up again. How do we balance enjoying new freedoms while continuing to make safe decisions? How do we move forward in an uncertain world? My guest is Dr. Damon Silas, a psychologist who specializes in anxiety, grief and trauma. He’ll be sharing techniques for staying grounded when the world around us shifts.

Episode 175: Long COVID Syndrome with Chris Kresser

Some people survive a COVID-19 infection but don’t fully recover. How common is this outcome? What types of symptoms do people experience? Do we know why this is happening? How can we treat it? My guest is Chris Kresser, a top clinician and educator in the field of functional medicine. In today’s podcast, he answers these questions and more.

Episode 174: Health Benefits of Nature with Dr. Austin Perlmutter

Have you ever been under a huge amount of stress and then stepped outside for a minute, and almost immediately felt your heart rate slow down, your breath deepen, and your mind start to calm? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. There is a growing body of research into nature’s impact on the human body. One of the problems of modern life is that it’s possible to spend our entire day and night indoors, with no exposure to nature at all. What are the benefits of nature? Can regular time in nature improve our autoimmune health? If we live in the city, can we still access those benefits? What about people who are homebound? We’ll be discussing all possibilities in today’s episode. My guest is Dr. Austin Perlmutter, an internal medicine physician with a passion for holistic health. He’s also the co-author of the bestselling book, Brain Wash.

Episode 173: Cardiac Risk and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Millie Lee

Research shows that people with autoimmune disease have a higher risk of developing heart disease than the general population, and heart disease is already the number one killer worldwide. What’s the cause of this connection? How can we minimize the risk? And if we already have cardiac problems, are they reversible? These are the questions we’ll be answering in today’s podcast. My guest is Dr. Millie Lee, an Integrative Cardiologist who believes preventing and reversing heart disease is possible. She’s also the author of the book, Your Heart Is In Your Hands.

Episode 172: Stool Testing with Dr. Lucy Mailing

Stool testing is one of the first tests run by functional medicine practitioners, because gut health and autoimmune health are intimately connected. However, not all tests are the same. What are the different types? Which are the most accurate? What can and can’t they tell us? What are some stool testing myths? And how can they help us on our health journeys? We answer these questions in today’s podcast. My guest is Dr. Lucy Mailing, a research scientist specializing in gut health, the microbiome, and nutrition science.

Episode 171: The Art of Letting Go with Courtney Carver

Releasing a burden we’ve been carrying too long can lighten both body and soul. Yet this can be one of the hardest things to do, even when we want to do it. Why is letting go so hard? Are there things we can do to make it easier? In this episode, we talk about fostering a letting go mindset, goals for letting go, techniques for doing that successfully, and knowing when NOT to let go. My guest is Courtney Carver, the woman behind the website Be More with Less and the author of the book Soulful Simplicity. She’s one of the leading voices in the minimalist community, but today we’re not talking about letting go of material things. Courtney has a lot of wisdom to share about letting go in general. 

Episode 170: Gut Health Superfoods with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne

Gut health and autoimmune health are intimately connected. So, focusing on foods that promote gut health makes sense. What qualifies as a gut health superfood? How can we incorporate more of these foods into our diet? Can a healthy food for one person be unhealthy for someone else? How do we determine the best “superfoods” for us? My guest is Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, bestselling author and leader in the paleo autoimmune community. She’s spent the last six years deeply researching gut health and shares her findings with us today.

Episode 169: Primal Play with Darryl Edwards

There are health benefits to play and health benefits to exercise, and there’s a special power in the combination. Children know this naturally, but adults rarely combine the two. How can we incorporate more playful movement into our lives? With autoimmune disease, a playful spirit can be hard to find sometimes, and when we’re in pain, movement may feel impossible. Yet play and movement are still available even in those moments, and may potentially reduce our pain and autoimmune symptoms. My guest is Darryl Edwards, founder of the Primal Play method.

Episode 168: Oxalates, Sulfur, and Salicylate Sensitivities with Heidi Turner, RD

In this podcast episode, we learn about some food sensitivities beyond the paleo autoimmune protocol: oxalates, sulfur, and salicylates. How common are these sensitivities? How do you know if you have them? And how are they treated? This is a tricky conversation, because orthorexia and food fear are common in our community. I don’t want to encourage anyone to restrict their diet unnecessarily. However, for some people, one of these sensitivities might be a missing puzzle piece to their health. My guest is Heidi Turner, an integrative dietitian trained in both western and naturopathic nutrition. She has 15 years experience working with people with autoimmune disease. She excels at helping people identify food sensitivities, treat root causes, and expand their diets again.

Episode 167: Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail with Dr. Shainna Ali

With autoimmune disease, habits have a big impact on our health, yet 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Why is this so? Should we give up? Or are there things we can do to make us more likely to succeed, whether we make a resolution on January 1st or any other day of the year? That’s the topic of our podcast today. My guest is Dr. Shainna Ali, a mental health counselor, educator, and advocate. She’s an expert at helping people make positive changes in their lives, and be compassionate with themselves while they do it.

Episode 166: Autoimmunity 101 with Dr. Douglas Pucci

Most people listening to this podcast have autoimmune disease, but it can be confusing to understand what exactly is happening within our bodies. That changes today! In this episode, we take a deep dive into the immune system. How does a healthy immune system work? What changes with autoimmune disease? How do diet and lifestyle choices calm down (or ramp up) the autoimmune response? My guest is Dr. Douglas Pucci, a functional medicine doctor with over 30 years clinical experience. He has a gift for describing medical information in a way that’s easy to understand.

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