Recently I interviewed Reed Davis, and we chatted about functional lab testing. If you would prefer to listen the interview you can access it by Clicking Here.
I’m excited to chat with Reed Davis about functional lab testing and why we should go beyond the blood test. Reed is a Board-certified holistic health practitioner and certified nutritional therapist. He is an expert in functional lab testing and holistic lifestyle medicine. Reed is the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and the FDN certification course with over 4,000 graduates in 50 countries. Reed served as the health director at a wellness center in southern California for over 10 years. With over 10,000 clients, he is known as one of the most experienced clinicians in his field. Reed serves on the advisory board of the American Natural Wellness Coaches Board and the American Association of Natural Wellness Coaches. Thank you so much for joining us, Reed.
Thanks, Dr. Eric. Real pleasure to be here with you. Hope we can help them out a little bit.
I’m sure we will. Why don’t we dive into your background? How did you develop the FDN program certification course?
I worked in a clinic for 10 years, as you mentioned in the bio. My job there was to look at lab work on people and figure out what’s really wrong with them. That’s why I started working there.
I had actually been in environmental law saving the whole planet. I decided to work with people. “Hey, the planet is getting worse and worse. Saving the planet’s great: air, earth, water, trees, bees. What about people?” I was getting older. I was perfectly healthy. I had never been to a doctor except for sports injuries. What about people? What about me? I don’t want something sneaking up on me. When I went there, I’m sure your listeners would identify with this, everyone that came in the door, I started interviewing them. It was amazing the number of people who had been to several practitioners and weren’t better yet. I thought to myself, Wow, what a rip-off. What do you mean you have been to eight people, ten people, more, and spent a lot of money trying to figure out what’s really wrong? Some doctors had told them, “There is nothing wrong with you. Everything looks normal in your lab work,” which I questioned.
It was really remarkable how they were all, with different health problems, caught in a cycle of trial and error. It wasn’t one demographic. Most were in pain. You find out what else is going on. They have hormone problems. Their immune system’s shot. Their digestion isn’t working. Their detoxification systems aren’t working. On and on. Again, I came from another field. I didn’t have medical training. I had a lot to learn, but I had nothing to unlearn. I had to open my mind to what was really going on, if I could figure it out.
I started running lab work by the thousands. Over 10 years, I ran thousands of labs on thousands of people. I had great mentorship from the labs and some doctors. I also made my own observations. That’s what started FDN. It just grew out of that practice. I developed a system of investigation, looking for causal factors upstream. I never wanted to diagnose or treat anything. I wasn’t licensed to do that. I had no interest in that. People already were doing that. I thought they’d been getting ripped off.
I also wondered why they were putting their health in someone else’s hands instead of taking charge themselves, as I had always tried to do for myself. I hadn’t been to a doctor for anything chronic or downward spiraling or degenerative, just some injuries. I didn’t know what the health system was like. I found out through these poor people.
One day, I was riding my motorcycle, and I thought, you know what? I am going to be the last damn person that these people need to see, which is naïve. I had a lot to learn but nothing to unlearn. I was just open to the data. I became an expert in the data that you can collect from these alternative labs: saliva, urine, blood. Not your CBC panel that physicians can say there is nothing wrong. People know there is something wrong. They go down the street and try a bunch of stuff. Some of it might be helpful. Some of it is not helpful at all, that rip-off thing.
10 years later, I find myself teaching the system I created of investigation into the healing causal factors, the healing opportunities. Of course, our protocols, which are known around the world now, the DRESS protocol. Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress reduction, Supplementation. Well known and practiced. You have hired one of our graduates, so you know what it’s all about.
Yeah. Speaking of acronyms, can you jump into the HIDDEN stressors? I did my research as I usually do before these interviews, and I watched your videos talking about the acronym HIDDEN.
I started mostly just testing women’s hormones. I was ina wellness center, so there are some practitioners in there. I was a lead marketer in the beginning before I became a practitioner. I went to school and did nutrition classes and all the other things I did. I was out there getting business through bone density testing. I would go out in the world to different locations. I had a whole route. Every couple months, I’d be back to that location. Bones and hormones, really important. I tested hundreds and hundreds of women in the beginning just for hormones only. I could help them and do some balancing. I wasn’t ever prescribing. You have to balance your hormones. You have to reduce stress.
Guess what? I ended up having to test them for other things. Their digestion, they were eating well but had poor digestion. It took me a while, but I came up with HIDDEN: Hormones, Immune System, Digestion, Detoxification, Energy production, and Nervous system. There is a way to assess each one of those areas in a person. When you do, you are going to find healing opportunities, things that need to be fixed, so to speak, and things they can do themselves to do the fixing.
HIDDEN, a lot of people aren’t looking in these areas in the same way that I or any of my practitioners would do. Not wanting to diagnose and treat anything specifically, but looking for the hidden imbalances and dysfunction. A lot of it is really far upstream; it’s hard to find some of it. We figured out a way, and now we do the HIDDEN stressors and dysfunctions on every person. Doesn’t matter what your main complaint is. These are the areas that have to be looked into to correct chronic, stress-related, downward spiraling conditions, which is what people suffer from today. Everything from Hashimoto’s to IBS to foggy thinking to chronic fatigue.
It’s truly remarkable that assessment and the number of opportunities for healing, you will find in those areas. I call it the entire constellation of healing opportunities. It just works. When you look there and explain it to a person, teach them, then guess what? They will understand. They will really appreciate the information. It’s really intelligence gathering. Then they are much more likely to follow your recommendations for the lifestyle medicine.
I agree. I like testing, trying to find the answers. What are some of the concerns with just addressing symptoms? If someone was having digestive symptoms, instead of doing a test, just taking some supplements, assuming they have parasites or SIBO. Same thing with adrenals. Some people might say, “I know I’m stressed out, so why should I do testing?” What are some of the concerns with taking that approach of not doing the testing and just jumping into the treatment?
The main concern is that you are not addressing the causal factors. Your problem will just get worse. I need to back up a bit. There is nothing wrong with getting relief care. If you have migraines or debilitating hot flashes and night sweats, there is nothing wrong with getting some relief. Doctors are great at that. They have all kinds of lotions, potions, powders, and pills. So do alternative practitioners. They are big on their supplements and modalities and things that will get you out of pain and suffering. That’s okay.
But if you only address that level, then you’re not working at the causal level. We look upstream. Having said that, you look for the root cause. Yeah, we look, but there isn’t enough tests. Surely, there is no one test. But there are enough tests out there that you can get close enough to the root cause to have an effect on it. Especially when you use the multiple causal factor that constantly gives healing opportunities.
Realize this: Causal factors, no matter how far upstream they are, no matter how hard they are to find, are also having an effect upon each other. A lot of that is not singly measurable. You have hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy production, and nervous system imbalances. All of these causal factors are having an effect upon each other. How will you figure out the one that is causing the thyroiditis? It’s almost impossible.
That’s why I call it metabolic chaos. I gave up a root cause. We look, and what we find is metabolic chaos. Let’s just call it that. The only way to fix things is to treat every cell, tissue, organ, and system at once. A person has to live. Lifestyle medicine is about living yourself out of the problems you lived yourself into. It’s really a non-specific treatment, but it works on every cell, tissue, and organ there is. It’s a very interesting, non-medical way for people to handle the problems.
I would start with that. It’s okay to treat the symptoms. If you stop there, you will probably need more of the same medicine. Thyroid is a good example. I know you’re an authority on that. You deal mostly with hyperthyroidism, which is a more difficult and often autoimmune condition. There are a lot of factors going on. The more common thyroid problem is hypothyroidism. There might be absolutely nothing wrong with the thyroid.
If you go in with a certain set of complaints, by the way, this is where I like to explain the “sounds like” method. You named it. You mentioned this approach. You go into a practitioner and say, “I’m tired, fatigued. I’m a little overweight. I can’t seem to lose it. Sometimes, I’m sad. I’m constipated. My extremities are often cold. My hair is thinning.” That sounds like thyroid. The typical practitioner would check the thyroid. Don’t break your wrist patting yourself on the back. All you found was one thing that is hypoactive. It’s not producing enough of the right thyroid hormone. You can replace that. That’s going to get that person some symptom relief. They may have a little bit less hair thinning or cold or numb extremities and constipation along with some other things that might clear up. It isn’t addressing why the thyroid is underactive.
I hope you’ll agree with me that this is a natural adaptive response to stress. If you’re under a lot of stress from a lot of different angles, emotional, physical aches and pains, chemical stressors, there is a lot of different types of stress out there that would put you into hibernation. Your body will go, “Whoa. We better not use up all our resources.” The hypothyroid is an adaptive in most of the cases we have seen. If there is less thyroid hormone, do you want to just replace it, or do you want to find out why? What are all the stressors involved that are causing your body to shut down like that? I hope you agree.
I definitely agree that stress is a big factor. You mentioned digestion. Most of these conditions, both hypo and hyperthyroidism, most of them are autoimmune, and most of the immune system cells are in the gut. You need to have a healthy gut, healthy digestion in order to have a healthy immune system.
I agree, it would be crazy to do what most medical doctors do, and just give thyroid hormone replacement if the thyroid hormone is low. Similar with hyperthyroidism, with Graves’ or even non-autoimmune hyperthyroidism, just to say, “Okay, let’s give you antithyroid medication, which blocks the thyroid hormone.” You want to find out the underlying cause, whether it’s stress or some of the other imbalances that you mentioned, imbalances in the nervous system and other things to consider. Unfortunately, most conventional medicine ignores that and just puts a Band-Aid on the problem.
I knew we were like-minded enough because you had me on this show, so we are probably very much like-minded in our approaches, too. Mine is not a medical approach. You being licensed have other options that I don’t have and never had. Working in the office, you can’t write a prescription.
The labs that the physicians had already run on these people weren’t revealing much data that was useful. That’s why we got into the alternative labs: the saliva, urine, stool, dried urine, finger stick tests, hair, tissue. I don’t have much hair to get any samples from.
You can use other hair.
Facial hair is okay. It will tell you something. Each one of these types of testing gives us a data point. Then our job isn’t to diagnose and change the numbers on the paper. It’s to get the person to do something to change the numbers on the paper. Those numbers aren’t the problem. They are the results of the problem.
Same thing with symptoms. I don’t know if I fully finished discussing chasing symptoms. It’s never bad to try to get out of pain. I totally understand. But you can’t stop there. The thyroid was a good example of why we don’t stop there. The reason we don’t test symptoms is we know they are the result of the real problem, just like the lab work. I’m a guy who teaches a course in lab work, yet I am saying those numbers aren’t the problem. They are just a result of your genetics and how you’ve lived, the signals going to the teams. It’s called epigenetics. That’s really where our DRESS program comes from. It’s an epigenetic program; it’s a lifestyle and environment-based program.
I’d like to discuss some of the different tests that you commonly recommend. For example, with adrenals, you mentioned saliva testing. Is that what you use to evaluate adrenals? Do you like dried urine testing? Now there is the Dutch test.
The adrenal part of the Dutch test is saliva, so it’s a combination. The urine part of that test is more about the sex hormones or their metabolites. That’s a good test.
The one we are using has been specially developed for us now that we have been doing this for 23 years. I have a lot of students and a lot of graduates doing this. I have some ability to maneuver in the labs space. I know a lot about labs.
We are using the Circadian rhythm along with the cortisol to DHEA ration ad the sex hormones. We have added to that saliva test melatonin because that is a finger pointing for some healing opportunities, especially if it’s low, or if it’s high when it’s supposed to be low. Also, secretory IgA. We get a window into the immune system all from a saliva test. Cortisol and DHEA are your catabolic and anabolic hormones. You want to have balance. You don’t want to be too catabolic or anabolic. They need to be in balance, cortisol and DHEA. The same test also gives us cortisol morning, noon, afternoon, nighttime. We can check out the Circadian rhythm. We see a lot of rollercoaster. It explains why people feel like they are on a rollercoaster. Their hormones are following along with that.
Again, we always look at the sex hormones. Same thing. These are the bioavailable levels. There is only a very small amount of hormones in your saliva. It has to be a really good test. These tests are very advanced now after decades and decades of work in trying to get accuracy. Specificity and sensitivity is critical.
You don’t have a lot of hormones in your saliva. What shows up is the bioavailable levels. Those are the levels that are actually working for you in your body. Through urine, you are looking at metabolites. They may not be exactly 100% representative, or it’s a good guesstimate. It’s not the bioavailable level. It’s gone through all those metabolic processes, and being excreted in the urine.
It’s also very time-specific. You can’t get time specificity with urine. It’s an average of the last several hours. We want to know what is my cortisol in the morning? What is it four hours later at noon? Then afternoon, nighttime, middle of the night. It’s very important to have time specificity. The sensitivity and specificity for these tests are proven to be very high.
There are over 300 white papers written on saliva testing now. When I first started, there was only a couple that we could refer to. It was considered alternative, crackery, whatever you want to call it. It’s come a long way.
Adding the melatonin at noon, melatonin should be very low at noon. It’s the middle of the day. Why would you have high melatonin? Only if something is wrong would you have high melatonin, and we can explore that.
Secretory IGA is the main indicator of how well your immune system is. It is the main component of the mucosal barrier in the gut that protects you from everything. The gut is most of your immune system. Secretory IGA is huge. It should be hovering all the time, just waiting for anything bad to come along that it can kill or at least sequester and be excreted from the body. You don’t want that stuff getting inside you. You have that mucosal barrier. That’s on the same test.
With one morning sample of saliva, you get the CA; melatonin at noon; the Circadian rhythm throughout the day; and the sex hormones, including progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone (the main ones). You can look at other ones if you want to. We don’t bother much with some of the metabolites.
Anyway, that’s a hell of a test. Great place to start. You can see how stressed out someone is, whether they are catabolic or too anabolic. It’s a way the body adapts. You could do a lot with that data to correct someone’s behavior. Just show them.
By the way, if they went to a physician and were told nothing is wrong with them, you can look at these test results and go, “Wow, look at all of this stuff that is off a little bit that you can improve.” versus “Nothing is wrong with you.”
I know some saliva panels can collect samples of women cycling; this way, they are not looking at a single sample.
Of course. In certain cases, like fertility cases, or if women are having extreme difficulty as they cycle with headaches or pain or cramping, all these symptoms that occur on a cyclical basis, you can map out the entire cycle. You have to take a saliva sample. You could do it every day, every three days. Sometimes, it is a matter of convenience and expense that you would do less testing. We have tests that cover the entire cycle.
It’s really interesting to look at the numbers. Some 35-year-olds are under so much stress that they are not ovulating. You can tell by the hormones that nothing is happening here. They don’t have enough estrogen to ripen an egg to be released. Then the progesterone may or may not be kicking in at the right time. It’s very interesting to map out.
Otherwise, with post-menopausal, you can take it any day. Just take it one time. That’s all we need. For the stress part of that, for women who are still cycling, we would just do it mid-cycle. That way, we get a window into whether your estrogen or progesterone are at the right levels at that time when they should be the highest. There is a timing with some of these saliva tests.
That’s another indicator that you’re getting real, usable information. It’s very time-specific. Time of the month-specific, too. How much better can you get?
True. You can obviously collect the saliva sample any day, in the convenience of your home. You don’t have to worry about going to a lab. Sometimes, the timing of the lab during a certain day of your cycle, if you were going to do it through a blood test. Much more convenient to do it through saliva.
I’m glad you mentioned secretory IGA. Part of the HIDDEN acronym is Immune. Are there other markers besides secretory IGA that you look at? Or is that the main one for the immune system?
It’s the main one. We are looking at other markers that can indicate there are issues going on. Obviously, the stool testing for pathogens and microbiome imbalances, your microbiome is also part of your immune system. It defends the good bacteria versus bad bacteria. It’s there for a reason. That can get way out of balance. I think that’s one of the other main areas I would look to.
Is it very diverse? You want diversity in your gut. You have to eat lots of different foods. Some people only eat 10 different foods, and their microbiome gets overpopulated. They are not unfriendly, but there is not enough diversity. That is a big part of the immune system.
Physicians run tests, too. Immunoglobulins and things. There are other tests that we would look at. You can look at the secretory IGA. You can look at IGM, IGE, IGG, and others. There are lots of immunoglobulins. Overall immunoglobulin is a good test. You can look at white blood cells. But for your standard FDN practitioner, they will use secretory IGA, which should be hovering, and it shouldn’t be too high. If it’s too high, you probably have some infection. If it’s too low, maybe you’ve had the infection so long that you stopped producing. You ended up with a chronicity of low CA, especially in stressed out people. Everyone knows that if you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to catch even just a common cold. When you get stressed out is when you get sick. Your immune system has gone down.
Comprehensive stool testing, do you recommend- Let’s say, everyone with a chronic health condition. Everyone with Hashimoto’s or Graves’. Do you at least teach the FDNs where they should order a comprehensive stool test for everyone? Or does it depend on the person?
We automatically run them on every client. Every client has something usually that is healable or needs balancing in that area. I got tired of doing piecemeal testing 20 years ago. The first thing was I brought a lot of new patients into the office by going out into the community. I was lecturing and doing bone density testing all over the place. I had a portable DEXA machine. I started selling hormone test kits. Women with bone problems needed to check their hormones. It led into this whole system.
Otherwise, when I had a client at the beginning, I would start with the stress and hormone panel that we just talked a lot about, and another one called the metabolic wellness panel that looked at digestion and detoxification and oxidative stress. Those two were foundational. I’d run those. Then I’d say, “We need to check for mucosal barrier or pathology and food sensitivities.” Sometimes, it would stretch a person out for two or three months by the time we got all the labs done, maybe even longer. I finally just had clients going, “Why didn’t you run all these tests at once? You could have fixed me a long time ago.” Not that I am doing any of the fixing, but you know what I’m saying. So I just made that the policy.
Everyone needs to do it. You will see this downward spiral as very observable by going through the labs. You might as well just do them all up front. That’s now my policy. That’s what I teach in my course. You don’t have to, but it’s the best way.
What is the metabolic wellness panel?
This is another thing we have worked with labs to change over the years. Labs come and go, in and out of business. Operations change. Science itself changes.
We have our metabolic wellness panel that is a dried urine test, which is very convenient. We can ship that all over the world and send out kits. You collect urine and put it on these papers and let them dry, and it’s cheap. We are looking at an old test for dysbiosis and leaky gut. By the way, it tells you that you are not breaking down protein very well. If you are not breaking down protein very well, because you don’t have enough of the good bacteria that breaks it down- Remember all this bacteria is not just sitting there for no reason. It’s part of your digestive system and your immune system and more.
So that test measures bacterial breakdown of protein. If it isn’t working very well, you are in a dysbiotic condition. You don’t have enough of the good versus bad, so you are already dysbiotic. Depending on one’s presentation or symptoms, it could right there point the finger at leaky gut.
We want to test further. If you are not breaking down your proteins, guess what? Amino acids are really important. Protein in a sense is amino acids. They break down into neurotransmitters. I have people with all kinds of mood disorders, who are usually not digesting food very well. It’s amazing how much food dictates health and other things people present with. If you are malnourished because you have dysbiosis, you can fix that easily. Take total control over that.
Another marker is oxidative stress. Right now, we are using the 8-OHdG, deoxyguanosine. That is a great measurement for breakdown of material inside cells. There is always oxidative balance. You have pro-oxidation and anti-oxidation. Inside a cell, it’s important to have a good balance there. If you are over oxidative because you have too much oxidative stress, your cells won’t even work right. They can’t respirate properly and do the job. The DNA can get damaged. That can lead to serious problems, mutations even, things like cancer.
We used to do lipid peroxides. Talks about oxidative stress on the membranes of the cell.
Another marker onthat test is urinary bio acids. They indicate congestion of the liver. Physicians look at liver, too. They will look at certain markers that they would observe if they were elevated for a few months. It might go up and down. They would check for a disease, like hepatitis.
Our test is more sensitive, more subtle. It’s much more of an anti-aging, detoxification marker. Your liver is not filtering as well as it should. When it’s like that, it’s full of antigens and immunocomplexes and dirt and weeds because of the leaky gut. It will spill excessive bio acids into the bloodstream, which can be picked up in the urine. The kidney filters out and excretes in the urine.
Bio acids, there is always a normal amount, but it shouldn’t be a high amount. If there is, we have seen liver detoxification programs do miracles for those people. It’s not diagnosing anything. It’s saying, “Hey, look, your liver looks a little congested.” Every one of your listeners probably- Hopefully they are of an age that remembers bags inside vacuum cleaners. A lot of people don’t today, but you know when your vacuum isn’t working well, you change the bag, and it works like a brand new vacuum cleaner. That is how your liver is supposed to work, like a brand new filter.
Food sensitivity testing, do you use IGG?
The test is not IGG or IGE or any other immunoglobulin. It’s a measurement of the release of mediators. It’s counting white blood cells basically, leukocytes and granulocytes. They are going to affect volumetric changes in the blood. From one blood draw, you can test up to 176 foods. No one eats that many foods. It will show up whether you eat the food or not that you are sensitive to it, so don’t eat it. It’s creating inflammation. It’s the Oxford Biomedical Mediator Release test, or MRT. You can follow a diet that is less inflammatory. People get better.
Looking backwards, I couldn’t imagine not running that test on someone, Eric, because miracles have occurred. To the degree that those foods are contributing to metabolic chaos is a degree to which you are probably going to improve by getting rid of those foods. For diet, we use metabolic typing system, but we also do food elimination, and we test, we don’t guess. You’d be amazed at what foods you might-
As a matter of fact, I have right now taped to my computer the little list of foods that I am sensitive to. It’s normally color coded. I just printed it in black and white. It gives you a list of foods to avoid and food additives and other things that are in your diet. It’s an oral intolerance test. It also gives you the good list. Out of 176 foods you’re testing for now, there will be a whole lot you aren’t reactive at all to. That’s your shopping list. It tells you what not to eat. You have given them a shopping list of what you can eat, delicious food. Have you tried this lately? No, I don’t eat that. It’s amazing how many foods you never eat that are on the good food list. It’s remarkable.
My wife and I spend time every week doing food preparation. We grow our own vegetables. We order our meats online. We have other groceries and items delivered. You can really get good at your food selection, especially when you run the test. Again, I got my most recent bad list here. Everyone needs it. If you have a health problem, those foods could be contributing to it. They may not contribute that much, in which case that test didn’t help you that much. But again, looking backwards, I have had people have miraculous results. Looking forward, can’t tell if it’s going to help the most. Looking backwards, would never have gotten anywhere close to the results we got without running that test.
That is another test that you recommend for everyone to get. Obviously, it’s up to the person whether or not they want to get it. That is something you would tell everybody to get.
Sorry to cut you off, but no, this is our program. This is how it works. If you’re going to work with me, I need to gather some intelligence on you. You want to tell me the same story you told the last practitioner, who guessed at what your problem is? “It sounds like this. Maybe run one test.” No, we are going to run our five labs: the stress and hormone panel; the metabolic wellness panel, three markers, and uric acid; the mucosal barrier assessment. We look at zonulin, a family of peptides, and also histamine and diamine oxidase. We get the histamine to diamine oxidase ratio. It’s very important. It’s a measurement of gut health.
That’s three tests. Those three alone would tell you a lot about a person. Then we give you all these healing opportunities. Their hormones are out of balance. Their immune system is under or overactive. Their digestion, detoxification, oxidative stress. There are all these healing opportunities, but you are not good. You want to do those, so you have an assessment of a person. You might as well just run the stool test for microbiome and pathology because it’s involved. There are some functional markers on that test as well. Then the food sensitivity test. How could I not run that?
If you listen to my podcasts, I tell this story a lot because everyone identifies with this poor lady, who is coming in the office. She was getting chiropractic. She is on her eighth visit or so. I am triaging. I am walking her back to the office. I say, “Hey, what’s wrong?” She is obviously not herself. “Oh, Reed, I am so upset. I am carrying around 40 pounds extra. I gained it in the last two years because I’m on medication for hives. I can’t stop taking the medication.” Before I get any words out, she was like, “And you know, Reed, I went to the doctor the other day for a check-up, and I told him how frustrating this 40 pounds is.” According to her, the doctor said, “Well, you can be fat, or you can have the hives. Take your pick.” She said, “That’s really depressing.” The physician said, “I’d be happy to write you a prescription for antidepressants if you want.”
I knew then why she looked so sad. She is staring at the ground. I asked, “Did you ever try to find out why you get the hives?” Seems like a logical thing to me and you. Her head snapped around so hard I thought she wouldn’t need her chiropractic that day. “What do you mean?”
Moving forward, I ran a test or two, got her off some foods she was sensitive to, and it only took nine days to quit her medication. She didn’t need it anymore because she found what was causing the hives. Within another couple weeks, she was working out to a sweat, taking hot showers, things she hadn’t done in two years because even on the meds, she couldn’t work out or take hot showers. You talk about life-changing. A couple weeks after that, she’d already lost 13 pounds of her 40. That would never have happened without running a food sensitivity test.
Make sure everyone does it. Kids with ADD. I had a principal call me and track me down through a mom. He said, “This kid is so different. He was poking the other kids, not paying attention, failing.” By the way, he is only nine years old. I got him turned around. Model student, smart kid. The principal tracked me down and said, “What’d you put him on?” What we put him on was a diet that works for him and a better sleep schedule. There is no magic pill. That was just doing the right test.
I can go on and on. I have countless stories like that. That’s looking backwards. Boy did it help. Can’t imagine not running that test.
Looking forward, I can’t really tell because I don’t know. You are going to have some sensitivities. To what degree are they creating that metabolic chaos or contributing to the chaos that is resulting in your specific symptoms, I can’t tell that. We just run the test.
Do you know Elizabeth Yarnell?
Yeah, the name is really familiar. Why do I know her?
She is also part of Mindshare. She is really big into the Mediator Release Testing. I interviewed her on my podcast last year or the year before. I heard of it before I chatted with her, but she really convinced me to set up an account and start doing it. Honestly, I can’t say I have been doing it regularly, but I interviewed her again recently because she is coming out with a new book. I interviewed her before you, but your interview on the podcast will be coming out before hers. The point is, between speaking with her a couple times and then speaking with you, and I’ve had a few other practitioners, such as Cynthia Thurlow and Dr. Anshul Gupta, who recommend it. There are a lot more practitioners than I realized. Now it makes me realize I probably should be recommending it.
The reason why I have been hesitant is for years, as you know, IGG testing is a lot more common. I just didn’t find that to be as accurate. I don’t want to recommend a test for the sake of recommending it. Obviously, I want to find answers. By speaking with Elizabeth and now you and a few others, it’s something I probably need to be a little bit more stern about as far as saying this is a test that is going to benefit you.
It may benefit you. We have to be realistic about that. You don’t know the degree to which these foods are contributing to the chaos that is resulting in the symptom. With IGG, I find it’s less common. In other words, the IGG reactions just aren’t as involved in the chaos as producing the symptoms. Not to the same degree as the MRT. I have run them both, and I have run them both on the same people over the years, especially with kids.
Sometimes, you want to remove every food that is possibly reactive in creating the symptoms because kids can’t think. They just don’t have the experience. They have nothing to go on. They might think that not paying attention and poking your friends and outbursts are normal. They don’t know why you’re yelling at them and sending them out in the hallway. I used to get sent in the hallway alot. Kinda proud of that now. The janitor would come along and say, “What are you doing out here again?” Anyway. Leave that for another conversation.
These food sensitivity tests, top of the line is the MRT. I know Cynthia and Gupta real well. I just looked up Yarnell, and I do recognize her picture from Mindshare. Good people doing good work. That’s what it’s all about.
Well, thank you. Thank you so much. You shared a lot of great information. Anything else? I want to respect your time, but is there anything else you’d like to share? Anything else I should have asked that I didn’t ask you?
I always have time for you, Dr. Eric, and to help people. It’s what I do. I get up every day, joyful because I do have a career like this and a job. If you love your work, it’s not work. That’s where I would end.
I always like to say the science is great. Gathering intelligence through lab work is all great. It can lead to magnificent, miraculous outcomes for the people. That is who we’re here for. We want to put control back in the hands of the people. It starts with that getting up in the morning. A lot of our job is to uncover obstacles to healing. The body wants to be fully functional. Every cell knows its job. You don’t have to teach your cells that they are an adrenal cell or brain cell or muscle cell or bone cell. They know what kind of cell they are. They know how to do their job. Our job is to uncover obstacles to that natural state of being.
Sometimes, those obstacles- I find them on lab work. They are in the minds and emotions of the person. That’s another big part of FDN. We study coaching skills. We study motivation. Getting to the obstacles to healing, it has nothing to do with their saliva or blood or stool. It’s in their head. Getting into people’s heads is very important. Our system fully includes stress reduction, the mental and emotional states of mind that people might be in. We are not psychologists. We are not diagnosing anything like psychiatrists. We are not providing any happy pills. Although supplements are part of our program, they are not happy pills. You get what I’m saying.
That’s where I start a lot of conversations. Other podcasts I have been on, that’s pretty much all we talked about, is what’s in their head. How do you separate these things out? I’ll just add that’s also part of healing: your state of mind, your attitude, if you will, and figuring out why it’s a bad attitude, if you have one.
I definitely agree with what you just said. Where can people find out more about you?
What I do is I am the founder of FDN, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. You can go to FDNTraining.com/SaveMyThyroid in honor of this podcast.
Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and knowledge with regard to lab testing and going beyond that. I learned some things. I always love when I learn things from my guests. I’m sure the listeners will learn a lot, too.
Thank you very much. I hope people get something out of it that’s useful. I’m glad you did, Dr. Eric. Thank you.
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