Ep#090 Keeping Our Body Healthy In a Toxic World – Dr. Wendie Trubow, Functional MD
Struggles with chronic health issues such as joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, obesity, eczema, digestive issues, autoimmunity are all too prevalent today. And sometimes even following an anti-inflammatory eating plan and regular exercising routine still doesn’t bring lasting relief. So what’s the deal?
On today’s show we take a deep dive into the reality that now more than ever it can be super hard to keep our bodies healthy in a toxic modern world. When it comes to getting to the root cause of chronic health issues assessing our environment for toxicity is often under looked unless you’re working with a functional medicine approach.
Today’s special guest is Dr. Wendie Trubow a functional medicine doctor and co-author of the new book, DIRTY GIRL: Ditch the Toxins, Look Great, and Feel Freaking Amazing! an in-depth and practical guide for avoiding and reducing toxins in every part of our life.
Learn More About Dr. Trubow: https://www.fivejourneys.com/about-us/
Buy The Book: https://www.fivejourneys.com/book/
Get The Free Reference Guide: The Dirty Girl Guide to Non-Toxic Living and save yourself hours of time researching clean, toxin-free products!
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.
Christine Okezie (22s):
Hello and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for tuning in. So struggles with chronic health issues like joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, obesity, digestive issues, auto-immunity are all too common today. And sometimes even following that anti-inflammatory eating plan and regular exercise routine still doesn’t bring lasting relief. So what’s the deal. Well on today’s show, we take a deep dive into the reality that now more than ever, it can be super hard to keep our bodies healthy in a toxic modern world. Our food supply, home air water, they’re all laden with unprecedented amounts of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, chemical preservatives, and more, so when it comes to getting to the root cause of chronic health issues, assessing our surroundings for toxicity is often underlooked unless you’re working with a functional medicine approach.
Christine Okezie (1m 25s):
And today’s special guest is Dr. Wendie Trubo, a functional medicine doctor and co author of her new book, “Dirty Girl – Ditch the Toxins, Look Great and Feel Amazing.” Just came out a few months ago, and it’s an easy to understand field guide designed to help us eliminate the invasive toxins responsible for chronic health conditions that we live with. Dr. Trubow received her MD in OB GYN and her MBA in healthcare administration from Tufts University in 2000. And she’s been practicing functional medicine since 2009. She’s genuinely passionate about helping women optimize their health and their lives.
Christine Okezie (2m 8s):
She understands because she’s been right there as well, facing the many different challenges in our lives, work, home relationships, health, spirituality. She knows that when it comes to our health and wellbeing, it all matters. Her own health struggles with mold and metal toxicity, celiac disease, and more have guided both the healing strategies she uses with her patients, as well as a deep sense of compassion for what they’re going through. I can’t wait for you to listen to this eye opening and empowering conversation. And if you want to learn more about Dr. Trubow and her husband co-author, he’s also a functional MD;
Christine Okezie (2m 48s):
got to love that they’re a husband and wife team, Ed Levitan, who, by the way, by the time he was admitted into the MDPHD program at Boston university, had studied shiatsu, Japanese, bodywork, acupuncture, and energy medicine. Isn’t that brilliant? What an amazing team and you know, important to know that their first functional medicine practice ctually became the largest in the nation during its time. And eight years later, they launched their membership based wellness organization. It’s called Five Journeys where they focus on the integration of the five core areas of health to create genuinely comprehensive individualized wellness plans for their members.
Christine Okezie (3m 31s):
You’re going to want to check out Five Jjourneys. That’s www.fivejourneys.com. And for you listeners out there, there’s a special gift, hot off the presses, an amazing free companion guide that goes with Dr. Trubow’s’ book to help you jumpstart your journey to a happier, healthier, cleaner life. And I’ll put all that information in the show notes. So I really hope you love the conversation. I know I did. I came away feeling so much more in the know as well as just feeling incredibly inspired about just how many more options they really are when it comes to living a happier, healthier, and a cleaner lifestyle, if you will.
Christine Okezie (4m 13s):
And if you liked the episode, please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcast helps me keep the podcast growing. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the episode. And hello. I’m so excited to have Dr. Wendie Trubow here on the Soul Science Nutrition Ppodcast. Wendie. Thanks so much for being here.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (4m 31s):
My pleasure, Christine. Great to see you. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (4m 34s):
So I just finished your reading, reading your book. It’s amazing. I want to dive deep into that and you know, your book really kind of draws you in, it starts off with your detox journey and I’d love if we could maybe kick off our conversation with just sharing how that personal detox journey really shaped you and the work that you do today.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (4m 55s):
Yeah. I, Christine, such a great question. So I think it’s really hard to treat yourself and your family members because you get blinded by just humanity. And so, and on the other side of it, I’m super busy and I doctors are the worst patients, never go to the doctor. And so I only recently got my own primary care doctor because in COVID my doctor left and I was like, okay, I’ve got no doctor. Wow. And so from a functional medicine standpoint, I have treated myself for years and that works, that works for routine, right? Like how’s my vitamin D, how’s my gut, that’s super easy. I can do that stuff.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (5m 35s):
But when things come up as a human being, sometimes we trip and I tripped. So I was like classic for, for heavy metal exposure for lead exposure. I had to lead exposures that one I knew of. And one, I didn’t recognize until a few months later, but I had one lead exposure and my hair started to get thin and I didn’t make the connection that, oh, maybe there’s a related fast forward a few months. I go to France trip of a lifetime, right after Notredameburned. We had had tickets to go see Notredame, but apparently it was closed because it was just burned. Right. But it was super dusty and we’re slogging through and I’m complaining about the dust.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (6m 18s):
I come home and I gained nine pounds, get a rash and lose half my hair. Oh my gosh. And I’m like, what’s going on? What’s going on? Perimenopause is awful. Yeah. Right,
Christine Okezie (6m 29s):
Exactly. Right. Of course.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (6m 30s):
Yeah. And then one morning I was listening to NPR and they do this report on Notredame and how, when it, when it burned, it released 500 tons of lead dust into the atmosphere. And the closer you were to Notredame, it was higher. The concentration of lead was higher in closer and got sort of gradually lasts as you got farther away from Notre dam. And I went, we, we, I was there. I was in all that dust slogging through it, complaining about it. And then I went, I think I got a lead exposure that was meaningful enough that it tipped me over into this nine pounds hair loss, facial rash. So I did a test and that was the part where I was like, oh, I have toxins.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (7m 15s):
Remember doctors are bad patients. So in other words,
Christine Okezie (7m 19s):
Certain blind spots. Right?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (7m 21s):
Totally. It was totally my blind spot. So I kind of was like, oh, thank you, NPR. So I did the metals testing and I had previously done it on myself a few years before. And we use a cutoff of eight and my previous level was nine. So hindsight’s 2020. I should not have ignored that, but he did. Okay. And now my level was 12 for leg. Wow. And I was like, oh, that’s 25% higher. And I’m having symptoms. Right. So I started treating and that was the thing that opened my eyes up and simultaneously sort of parallel. I also did the mycotoxins testing because I’m like a perfect microtoxins picture.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (8m 1s):
I’m like reactive. You know, I get, I get rashes, I lose my hair. I couldn’t lose my way. And I was like, is it metal? Or is it microtoxins turns out it’s both. I was a hot freaking toxic mess. Wow. So I was simultaneously working on that and, and working on the metals because they were both really high and then figured out ahead, additional environmental toxins, like beauty product things, nail Polish, gasoline fumes. I had all those too. I’m like really generous. I’m a very generous recipient and host. I’m like, come on in. Interesting.
Christine Okezie (8m 36s):
Well, now those were two lead exposures that you pieced together and connected the dots. But as you, as that, you went down that exploratory journey, you started to look back maybe at your, more of your history, I guess, and growing up. And was it through hindsight again, that you were able to sort of piece together some, you know, causality there,
Dr. Wendie Trubow (8m 55s):
You know, a hundred, I mean, it’s really not so much causality as the cumulative sum of exposures was too great for my body to compensate for as an aside, as I talk about a lot in the book, we talk about genetics and I literally said to my parents, I’m so happy you had me, but you really shouldn’t have had children. I have the worst genetic due to like, what happens with genetics is if you have a gene, you have a 50, 50 chance of passing it to your offspring. So it turns out that my parents both have genetic mutations that they, that I got like one the genetic opposite lottery. So I have two copies of MTHFR, which is impairs my ability to activate the B Vitamins, which means I don’t detox and methylene that well.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (9m 41s):
And then I have two copies of the vitamin D deficiency, two copies for celiac. Like it really left no, no stuff uncovered. So I started to look at the genetics and how I was not a good specimen. We say, okay. Yeah. And then was a child of the seventies. So I automatically grew up in homes that have led. And then there were led pipes that eventually got taken care of, but got that exposure. I have mercury amalgam fillings. And I remember playing with a mercury thermometer that broke actually. I was like, this is so cool.
Christine Okezie (10m 20s):
Of course, who didn’t do that? Yeah.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (10m 23s):
Doctors are bad patients. Don’t do that at home. It’s really bad for you knowing now what I didn’t know, then don’t do that at home. Right. So, and I had a, a metal ring on that absorbed the mercury and my teacher was like, you really should get rid of that. I’m like, why it’s substance? That’s gone. Oh, wow. Yeah. So multiple exposures sort of combined with not so good detox combined with, I like to do things that are hard, which is great philosophically, but really terrible for my constitution. And so that puts my system into fight flight or freeze, which means I don’t do detox. I’m too busy surviving. And then later on we started businesses and I had all these children and there’s a lot of things that impair detox.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (11m 5s):
Right. So by the time I got to the second known lead exposure, I was really essentially at my limit of what the body could handle and I was perimenopausal. So things start to go a little cuckoo with your hormones or my hormones. And so originally I chalked it up to that, but that also layers on that it’s more difficult for the body to take care of things because it’s dealing with another issue. Another transition. Yes.
Christine Okezie (11m 30s):
Yeah. Those layers, all those layers. Thank you. And so you talk about, you know, certain vulnerabilities and one of them is our, depending on our genetic load, we can have just a tendency to really struggle with detoxification just naturally in terms of our wiring, in terms of our setup, the other component that makes us, and obviously certain specific ones, like you mentioned, celiac disease. So, and it gets any kind of auto immunity. Then maybe the genetic variation, the MTHFR, those things are things. And those are, so if you’re out there and you are having some symptoms, right. Sometimes it’s really useful to, you know, and not many people think about this. They say, you know what, I’m eating my greens, I’m eating my quinoa, I’m doing my kale smoothies.
Christine Okezie (12m 12s):
You know, I work out, you know, but I’ve still got all these issues. Right. And to your point, you, we all have a threshold or I guess a limit. I like to think you use the, you use the barrel analogy. So yeah. Yeah. So go ahead and explain that. And then, and the toxic world that we live in, right. We’re not really tuned into that.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (12m 34s):
No. So when you think about the rain barrel philosophy, we think of you like a rain barrel. And what that means is in that rain barrel goes, your genetics, your predispositions, your exposures, your lifestyle, how much you sleep or don’t sleep, what you’re stressed about, all the things that make it difficult for your body that starts to fill your rain barrel up. When you’ve hit your point, you’ve, you’ve hit the you’ve hit the overflow point on the rain barrel. You start to have symptoms now at any different point. That could be, that could vary. So for some people it could be headaches. Some people can have acne or hair loss or heart palpitations or high blood pressure auto-immune diseases, any of the above.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (13m 15s):
Right? So thyroid, I mean, really anything for autoimmune is a symptom that your rain barrel is overflowing. Thank you got dysfunction, fertility issues, female issues in general, bad periods, heavy periods, endometriosis add no miosis, fertility struggles, bad transition to menopause. Any of that can, can indicate the system’s out of balance fatigue, poor sex drive. I mean, all of it insomnia, anything that you would say to me, oh, I have this, is it normal? My answer is no, it’s not normal. It’s common, but it’s not normal.
Christine Okezie (13m 49s):
Okay. You know, that’s a really important distinction, I think. And in conventional medical, you know, sort of mainstream circles, this acceptance of what is normal, I think is part of the problem,
Dr. Wendie Trubow (14m 1s):
Right? I mean, and it’s, I think medicine, we, we used to do a really amazing job. And then we got a little too reliant on medicines. Right. And got away from why is this happening? Exactly. And so in the functional medicine sphere, what we’re looking at is what’s the why, how did you get here and how do we undo it so that we don’t continue to be here.
Christine Okezie (14m 23s):
Right. And, and just treat and treat symptom, right? Because as you mentioned, all those symptoms are connect, could be potentially connected to so many different things. So where do you start? If you’re just treating the symptom,
Dr. Wendie Trubow (14m 35s):
Right. Huge red flags. And sometimes you need to treat the symptoms. So for example, if your blood pressure is unsafe, we really need to treat the symptom as we’re peeling off, what’s going on here. It’s not, that medicines are terrible and you should never use them. It’s simply that you want to use them for times when they’re acute need or they’re getting you somewhere. So you have time to deal with the ultimate underlying cause. Okay. And then, and then pull it back as April.
Christine Okezie (15m 1s):
Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more. So what happens when we, when our rain barrel gets full, if you could explain you too, it’s such a great job in the book. And I think it’s helpful to understand when the toxins start to overwhelm, our liver got an adrenals, right? What goes
Dr. Wendie Trubow (15m 19s):
No haywire. So I called that the holy Trinity. So your, your adrenals, your liver and your it’s not a mess. It’s not a religious thing. It’s just from a medical standpoint, the holy Trinity, that the, the, what runs your body are your adrenals, your liver and your gut. So imagine, so our bodies are super primitive. We have evolved at a technological rate way faster than our bodies have evolved at, at a base level. So for example, you get a phone call and you have this thought, oh my God, it’s my boss. And I don’t have my project done. Right. Okay. So we know that that’s not life or death, and we know you’re not going to lose your job.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (16m 2s):
However, in that moment, we have only one response, which is to turn on the adrenal system and go into fight flight or freeze. Adrenaline comes up, cortisol gets secreted. We go into fight flight or freeze. Now what happens when your adrenals get kicked in, you then say to the liver, okay, guys, wait a minute. We don’t really need to be focusing on detox because we’re about to have a stressful life or death event. So focus on the important things which is taking glucose stores out of the liver. It’s called glycogen. It’s a long chain of glucose. Let’s get that out of the liver, into the bloodstream where it can go to the muscles that we need to run. So this is what’s happening at the cellular level when you’re like, oh my God, I don’t have my project done.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (16m 46s):
Yup. And at the same time, your adrenal savior, your gut guys, digestion is not a priority right now because we’re about to be fired or actually we’re about to die. Right? Really what our body thinks is we’re going to be eaten by Alliance. Yes. You gotta prepare to run. You need, you need to really get the systems going to prepare to run digestion. And absorption is not a priority. Neither is detox. What’s a priority is life or death. You go into fight flight or freeze and you shut down all of these normal systems now. Okay. If you do that once a year, who cares? Right. But we don’t do that once a year. We do that like 16 times a day, maybe a thousand times a day.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (17m 27s):
Yeah. And especially with anxiety, anyone who has anxiety is even a stressful thought can trigger that system. So you’ll trigger the system as many times as it takes to quiet it down. And then the goal. And we don’t always do the best job at quieting it at the end. So something the stressor passes and then we ruminate on it and we talk about it. And we Jack ourselves up, we post about it. It perpetuates. So the holy Trinity runs your body. And if you’re in a state of fight flight or freeze, you can’t detox. I D I say, detox is a thriving behavior, because if you’re in survival, it’s not happening. Okay.
Christine Okezie (18m 6s):
So stress shuts down our detoxification pathways and it shuts down digestion, both of which are absolutely core to every system in the body functioning. Well, right? So hence the myriad of symptoms and breakdowns that we can experience.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (18m 18s):
Right. And think about when your, when your digestion shuts down, it’s not like the food goes away. The food is still there. It’s rotting. Exactly. And the bacteria that this is really creepy. When you shut down your digestion, the bacteria that are there for when you die to break you down, they think they’re supposed to start working. So they start working on the food and they make all this gas and people are like, oh, I’ve terrible gas. I’m like, girl, I got to fix your digestion. That’ll fix your adrenals. So we have to really make sure that the system’s functioning properly so that you can then get to detox. You can feel amazing. Okay.
Christine Okezie (18m 53s):
So, yeah. And, and, you know, the root root root so much of this is, is stressed right now as a functional medicine practitioner, you guide and teach clients that, you know, to embrace sort of a broader definition of stress, right? You gave a specific example, which could be situational, you know, in modern day world. But when it comes to our health, you know, there’s all flavors of stress. As I say, there’s emotional stress, you know, mental stress, you know, just rumination, et cetera, stress of being in an unhappy situation, you know, relationship, job, whatever. Can you give us an example of maybe a patient story that comes to mind where toxicity was rooted in emotional stress and was really underlying a lot of the physical health issues.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (19m 40s):
I have a patient who comes to mind, I mean, a ton of patients, but the one who really comes at sort of stands out to me as a woman, I would say that maybe one to two times a year, the conversation I have with someone is I really can’t do anything until you get out of this toxic fill in the blank job, relationship, marriage, situation, whatever that is. And so I, I love this patient. She, she actually, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing when people actually listen to, you know, cause I was sometimes feel like I just say all this stuff and I don’t really know if it happened. So we have our intake consult. So I said, I can totally see helping you and your marriage is so toxic as to, to be the thing that we need to deal with before we can do anything else.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (20m 29s):
And so it’s not, it’s literally not worth your money to do all the gut testing and do all the adrenals testing, forget the talks and stuff. We can’t get started. And you can’t lose any weight until you’ve addressed your marriage. Now, either, you know, and at that point she had spent many years working on her marriage. So as, as a caveat, I’ll say I’m a huge proponent of marriage. You love them enough to get in. So let’s see if we can fix it. Sure. And if it’s gotten to a place where it’s unsustainable or toxic for you, it’s time to get out and no questions, right. When it’s toxic, get out. So I said to her, I can’t help you until you get out of your marriage because you apparently done everything you can.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (21m 10s):
But what you’re telling me is we can’t go anywhere. There’s nothing to do. It’s not worth your money, energy or time. Amazing. She was like, okay. I said, I’ll cancel it. Your membership, because we’re, we’re a functional medicine insurance-based membership organization. So you have to pay a membership and then we bill your insurance. Yes. I said, I’ll cancel it. Your membership, no harm, no foul. No. I’d love to see you again. Keep me posted. Yes. And about eight months later. Well, actually she said to me, I don’t want to cancel my membership. I still want to be a patient, but okay. I understand. Okay. So about eight months later, she came in and I said, so what’s up? She said, I told my husband, I wanted a divorce. I’ve moved out and I’ve lost 10 pounds.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (21m 56s):
Sweet. So it’s really amazing. I was like, oh, you sort of shrugged off your dead weight. Right. Because yes, I feel great. Yeah. So it’s, it’s, if you’re in an unhappy situation, the, the ramifications of that are just body-wide and it’s sometimes even hard to recognize how bad it is until it stops. And so sometimes you need an outside person to go, whoa. Things are really bad. It’s time to fix that.
Christine Okezie (22m 24s):
What a powerful example. And I’m sure you have many more along those lines because really that’s the whole essence. I think of Y you know, a more holistic, functional medicine, you know, healing approach gets to true wellbeing is because it doesn’t look to really explain symptom away. You get to get under the, those layers. And at the end of the day, how it’s not just what we eat, but how we live, you know, that really matters.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (22m 50s):
Yeah. I would say we’re all very accustomed to seeing I’ll call it crap in our space and stepping over it. Like, they’ll just keep going. We’ll keep going. However, there are sometimes things that are so pertinent and meaningful, we can’t step over them. Yeah. And, and that, that becomes the stop until it’s addressed a hundred percent. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (23m 10s):
Yeah. And, and that’s why I always say, you know, when it comes to health challenges, oftentimes they’re our greatest sort of doorway to transformation or their greatest teacher, because they force us to really look at, you know, what’s really needs our attention in our lives. Where is that real important imbalance that we need to pay attention to, right. Yeah.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (23m 29s):
Yeah. I would say the body is speaking loudly. And if you don’t listen, it’s going to speak louder.
Christine Okezie (23m 33s):
Like a screaming baby. Just keep screaming. Now talking about metal, heavy metals poisoning, lead mercury, cadmium. How common is it like, is it, is it, did I have to live with lead pipes in the seventies? Did I have to live in Massachusetts where there was a lot of industrial causation? How common is it?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (23m 54s):
Yeah, so poisoning is very uncommon. Okay. That I would say is reserved for like the Flint, Michigan issues. The kids in Flint who are literally toxic and that’s impacting their ability to even develop and grow properly. So that’s toxicity at its best example. Worst, worst moment. Best example of it is Flint, Michigan. Okay. Most of us aren’t having toxicity in the way you would think of that. What we’re having is consequences, sort of unrelenting, ongoing challenges that go like, what is this? Why is it getting better? Why isn’t this changing? And that’s because we haven’t been able to pull out the body burden that is making it a challenge.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (24m 37s):
So what happens with, with let’s, let’s keep the toxins separate. So the, the metals are often stored in your bones and also storing your organs and fat. The mycotoxins are stored in your fat. The other toxins are stored in your fat. So, so depending on what it is, so lead is a huge risk factor for osteoporosis. And so, because it’s stored in your bones, it’s replacing your bones. So for lead body lead metal CA lead mercury cadmium body burden. What we’re looking at is how much are you? Are you able to show when you start to excrete it and, and how much of it is meaningful?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (25m 18s):
You know? So there are people when you test them, it’s negative. And then I’m like, if I believe it, then I leave them alone. If I don’t believe it, I’m like, let’s work on your body and your liver and your detox. And then let’s retest you and see if it, if it’s meaningfully different and if it is, and we go, okay, you were just super locked down. Okay. And if it’s not that I okay. That’s not a problem. Yeah. Then the nice thing is then the metals testing is reasonably cheap to do compared to some of the testing. So it’s not like I’m saying pay $500 a pop it’s like 70 bucks. So it’s, it’s attainable. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (25m 51s):
It’s totally reasonable. Now. Now you mentioned, is there a, you mentioned a negative test, but is it a scale and you know, numbers, like, how is there, is it individual to you based on your symptom or their cutoff points?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (26m 4s):
How does that work? Yes. To all of the above. So we typically use, we use the doctor’s data test, which is both baseline, just what’s happening in your body and provoked test using DMSA. So for the baseline test, that’s going to show if you had some major exposure and you’re toxic, and that’s going to show up that I I’ve my whole career. I’ve never seen it. So what it will show without provocation is if someone had a gadolinium scan recently and they’ll start to, there’ll be excluding mat as they go. So if they had it like a week ago, they’re going to be excluding gadolinium in the test. But otherwise that’s usually a negative test, negative screen. And then we S we do the provoked test with the DMSA, which pulls the metals out of its storage, binds to it and pulls it out of the body.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (26m 53s):
And we use a level of eight on that test as positive now for every rule, there’s 8,000 exceptions. And so there are people who will react at a much lower level. So if someone’s extremely ill, then I’m going to treat them at levels that are lower than I would treat you, or I got it. Okay. But so over eight is positive. My first test that I ever did was my lead was nine. And I ignored it because I was like, eight is the cutoff. I’m nine. I’m not going to go through that whole program. Just for that. Now the caveat that I’ll say is what you see on your first test is often the tip of the iceberg. And what’s really present in the body is so much greater.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (27m 36s):
And the reason is that the body’s locked down. It’s already not excluding. So when you ask it to excrete a camp, oh, how interesting. Okay. So when you fix the liver, you fix the gut, you fix the detox, and then you retest, you go, holy smokes. There’s so much more than, than I anticipated. I see. So it’s often the tip of the iceberg, which is why I say, in retrospect, I should have treated because my levels were so much higher than anticipated when I really got the, got the wheel moving and got the detox systems actually working.
Christine Okezie (28m 7s):
Wow. Okay. That’s so helpful. Thank you. Okay. So in your book, you, you give us a whole bunch of resources and tips, how to minimize our exposure to these heavy metals. Right? What, please share some of those, because some of them really were eye-popping for me.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (28m 23s):
All right. So there’s good news and bad news in this, right? Nobody ever likes when I talk about this, because they’re like your T what? No, you can’t take that away from me. So let’s talk about mercury. Mercury fillings are amalgam, fillings. Silver fillings are a huge source of mercury exposure and continue to off gas indefinitely. I just, so I have mercury, I feel like I’m at confessional, Christine. I have three mercury fillings. So I have three mercury filling still in. I had a whole mouthful and over time they were taken out for one reason or another. Okay. So I have three left and I, I was like, what difference are they making? Right. How bad could it be?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (29m 5s):
How bad is it? Even knowing that I have this mercury and I’m struggling to get it out, I still was resistant to getting them out because I’ve done very poorly with dental work in the past, I always get a dry socket, takes me months to recover. I’m like, I don’t want to do that. But I had this epiphany, like, I think it’s time to address this. So I met with the biologic dentist and I said to her, so what’s the story? She said, well, they off gas indefinitely. Anytime you eat, brush your teeth or drink anything warm or hot, you’re getting exposed to mercury. And I was like, oh crap. It’s like a constant drip. Exactly concentrate. And then she said to me, in fact, it’s so toxic that when we remove them, we can’t throw it in the trash. We have to put it in biohazard, special biohazard.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (29m 46s):
And I was like, my kids are 40 plus years old. You still have to do that. She goes, yup. That’s right. So they, so mercury fillings are a tremendous source. I’m getting my note in two weeks.
Christine Okezie (29m 58s):
You said biologic dentist. So someone sitting there going, okay, who can do this? It’s called a biologic dentist, correct specialists.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (30m 6s):
Yeah. It’s someone who’s really careful. And you’re going to get a mercury exposure when you pull out your fillings, right. Someone who mitigates it as much as possible. And then what I do on my side is I said, okay, I’ll go right to my office and I’ll get a vitamin, a, an IV so that I bind the metals that are floating around so that I don’t have a nasty reaction or exposure. I tend to be sensitive to stop. So, wow. So you coach it systematically, take the glutathione and vitamin C prior to yes. Maybe do intermittent fasting so that it doesn’t stick to your food. Like just minimize the stress on the system and boot and bumper it so that you have a detox, detox support. I love it.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (30m 46s):
So I’m having my first set out. I free left. I’m getting two out on February 4th. I can not wait I, on one hand on the other hand, I’m like, oh please, God, let it go. Well, right. But, but so, but it’s been clear, clear that it’s been meaningful. So mercury fillings are a meaningful source of mercury exposure and then the high mercury fish and the part that’s really terrible. So the high mercury fish, it’s a whole long list. The CDC has a great list of it, but it includes things like the AKI, tuna that we love in the sushi rolls. Yeah. Mahima he soared fish fish. We ate, we, we had black Cod last night for dinner and I took one bite and I went, this is a really fatty fish.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (31m 33s):
Is this a high mercury fish? So I went and I looked it up. I was like, oh, I’m not eating that because I, you know, I’m working really hard to get it out. Why would I load the pumps? So the two biggest sources are really the, the mercury fillings and the high mercury fish. And even one serving of the high mercury fish is enough for like three or four months worth of exposure. And a lot of us eat it every week. Like I only eat it three times a month. I’m like, oh, that’s way more than you need to be eating that.
Christine Okezie (32m 2s):
Right. Depending. And if you don’t know how your vulnerability right. And that’s the issue. Right. So, okay. So that’s mercury and that mercury. Okay. And you mentioned, I just want to really new information to me, I think it was high fructose corn syrup, which we know is already toxic in the body for all kinds of reasons. Right. Is a source of mercury. Unbelievable.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (32m 27s):
Because it’s all been distilled down. It’s all about concentration. So the reason these fish are so bad just to give an easier example is the baby fish have tiny amounts of mercury. Right. And then they’re eaten by a bigger fish who takes their mercury. It’s like a bank, right. I’m going to take your mercury and I’ll raise it with my own. Right. I’ll combine them. And then that fish gets eaten by another fish. So it takes all the fish that it’s eaten plus these fish. And it keeps aggregating similarly with the high-fructose corn syrup it’s been condensed. So all you’re left with is the toxins and the sugar.
Christine Okezie (33m 1s):
Right. Super concentrated. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. Okay.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (33m 5s):
Yeah. We mentioned on the bad news bear,
Christine Okezie (33m 7s):
Did we know? Well, you know, okay, so let’s, let’s get into this. So I, I will say, you know, I was reading the book and going, oh my gosh, how are people not going to be competitively overwhelmed? You know, in the work that I do. Right. It’s like, you want to guide people you want. And, and again, the book is just full of information, but how do you keep people from going to overwhelm? All right. And is it better to just overhaul everything or, or, you know, step-by-step, you know, what’s a good strategy there because I’ll be perfectly honest. I work with a lot of folks who leave the functional medicine doctor’s office and they’re like deer in the headlights. Right.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (33m 43s):
Right. So, so I really believe that when you’re approaching lifestyle change, you need to figure out a number of things about yourself. So one, are you an all at once fell swoop kind of human, or are you an incremental kind of human because you have to honor that. So if you’re an incremental human, I’m not going to give you a huge plan. I’m going to give you three steps. Do these three things, master them, come back from more next week, right. If you’re a fell swoop and I’m going to give you the grand plan, and we’re going to wipe this week, wipe the slate clean. But then the subtext to that is with you. And you can have crossover. So, so incremental versus fell swoop. And then the other part of it is, are you someone who works well independently?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (34m 27s):
Or you’re someone who works well with accountability? Because if you work well independently, then if you’re given a plan, you’re going to go execute on it. If you’re someone who needs accountability, you’re going to be given a plan and go, I don’t know what I’m doing. And you need a coach, right? So you have to honor those four components. You know, you’re only going to be one of each and you have to honor those because if you’re someone who’s fell swoop, but you need accountability, we’re going to make this grand plan. And then you’re going to work it out with your
Christine Okezie (34m 56s):
Coach. Right? Right. Good.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (34m 59s):
Honoring what works for you is critical because you can’t do lifestyle change in someone else’s shoes. You have to do it your way. That’s the most important thing.
Christine Okezie (35m 8s):
No, you’re really honest. Got to be really honest.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (35m 12s):
Yeah. And this isn’t a moral thing, right? Like you’re not better or worse if you’re incremental versus it doesn’t matter. It’s just, what’s going to work for you and be sustainable and, and, and work. Long-term, that’s the most important thing,
Christine Okezie (35m 24s):
A hundred percent. And we, that’s what we want. We want this to be systematic and sustainable way too much, you know, people who end up in your office, I’m sure. You know, have tried a million different things and it’s been, and it’s been incredible. Yeah. Right. You know, and it’s, I’ve tried everything and I’m hopeless cause, and you know, they sort of surrender to it, which sometimes is, is really the opening for functional medicine and holistic practice, you know? So, okay. So what are some common or not common, but typical. So to speak, you know, detox protocols, strategies that you like to start with.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (35m 60s):
Yeah. So the, the first, I I’m, I’m a huge proponent of data because I refuse to treat metals unless I know what are they, how high are they? Yes. So they know I’m dealing with, because I have no idea if I’ve succeeded, if I don’t have any idea where I started. Right. So I require data. It’s just, it’s a safety issue because the process of removing the metals also pulls out your minerals and nutrients. So you don’t want a, you don’t want to do this alone and B you want to periodically measure to make sure and replace. So it’s, it’s not something that you just sort of Willy nilly do. Now having said that there are 1,000,001 things that people can do on their own without ever coming to see me.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (36m 43s):
So that’s things like don’t fill up your toxins pump, you know, don’t eat the high mercury sushi fish, get your mercury fillings, taken out with a biologic dentist. If you’re living in, if you’re living in a house built before 1976, the odds are high that there’s lead in the paint. So if you’re going to choose to do construction on that house, don’t be in the house. When you do the construction, have a high quality air filter in place. Try to isolate it because the dust from the lead will get into you’ll breathe. It you’ll eat. It. You’ll touch it. You’ll absorb it. Wow. So you want to minimize your exposures. There are tons of things you can do on your own.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (37m 23s):
So food is critical for health and all of the cruciferous vegetables, parsley, cilantro, animal flesh, all of these things work really well to improve phase two in the liver. Okay. And that helps support detox. So these are just everyday detox behaviors. They’re not necessarily doing a detox, right? It’s more about ongoing cleansing. Okay. That way can ongoingly support the body in cleansing and cleaning out with high quality foods, foods that support phase tune in, in the liver, avoiding alcohol and sugar, which are never the popular solutions, but it really does make a huge difference for people’s health.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (38m 5s):
It’s says the liver’s your detox mechanism, your detox organ. If you need to deal with alcohol, you’re not dealing with your toxins. Okay? So your body’s going to always deal with the most acute problem. And alcohol is more acute than your hormones or, or your other toxic exposures. So you really want to make sure that you’re not, not filling the pump up, essentially making sure you sweat regularly, making sure you get enough sleep. If you don’t sleep enough, your brain doesn’t detox. Cause you need that deep sleep for the cells in your brain to shrink so that the intracellular space, if this is the cell and then the cells shrink down the space around them as much greater so that you can drain your bot, your brain of your, of detox,
Christine Okezie (38m 48s):
Wow. Brain detox. What a really fascinating window into the importance of sleep. Yes. Let’s jump to meditation then in that regard and meditation and stress reduction techniques, right from, from treating more would be more acute symptom. But also as you, as you point out sort of maintaining and making sure that we’re flowing. Yeah.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (39m 7s):
So I would say anything that goes into stress reduction is critical and that can be exercise, yoga, meditation, even breathing exercises, which are not technically meditation, but training that and then training your brain to not go down your fight flight or freeze path by asking the brain. So, so your, your brain wants to answer the question. Your brain is like a helpful two year old. It’s like, let me pick me. And so what you want to do is give the brain the opportunity to answer the question in a way that empowers you and gives you action. So one of, one of my, my patients said to me, she was going away for the weekend and she has two autistic kids.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (39m 50s):
And they’re old enough to be left alone 13, you know, they’re 20 something she said to me, I’m going away. What if they burn the house down? What if, and it was like, whoa, that’s not a very empowering question. Let’s try to flip that. So anytime your brain asks a, what if question, there’s an opportunity to change that from a very disempowering question? Like what if I get hit by a bus? Well, I can’t really, that leaves me no power. What if my son’s burned the house down leaves me no power to come up with an action plan. That’s right. However, asking the question, what do I need to do to ensure that my kids don’t burn the house down? Or what would I do if they burned the house down?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (40m 30s):
How do I need to train them in order to respond properly and appropriately? So converting those, what if questions into something your brain can answer provides a lot of people, stress reduction, because it’s a plan. You now have a plan, right. As opposed to, you’re just a victim of circumstances, right? Most of the time it is possible to de victimize you. Right. You know, let’s give you some power in this moment to make a plan for yourself that you can act on.
Christine Okezie (40m 59s):
Okay, good. So, you know, shifting the narrative, essentially, you know, really watching that, talk, watching that, you know, mine, mental patterns that, you know, catastrophizing, I call it, you know,
Dr. Wendie Trubow (41m 8s):
Watch your language. And they’re like, how do you swear? I’m like, no, that’s my job. Watch the language you’re using because it’s extremely powerful and it can either empower or disempower you. Right. And then that shuts down your detox if you’re disagreeing.
Christine Okezie (41m 22s):
Exactly. So again, connecting the dots, right. You know, you know, th the stressful thoughts that the, the emotional stress and the physical and chemical stress, right. All impairing the body’s natural detox capabilities, which can be impaired or ready depending on our bio-individual situation. And that’s really what want to tune into, okay. Got it. Now I love your wellness company, your practice called five core elements of health and you address structural, chemical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. I would love if you could just give us an example of, like, why did you come up with those? I mean, I don’t see that a lot in a lot of functional medicine practices, you know, how do you stand in that and how do you help patients really navigate those spheres of their health?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (42m 8s):
Okay. That’s a great, great sort of grouping. Yeah. Remind me if I lose track of any of them go for a big picture. So the five core aspects of health is really the brain child of my husband. Who’s also my business partner, and this was something that’s been Chris, we’ve been crystallizing over the years, but he, he really came up with that to look at. So go big picture. Your structure is your bones, muscles, ligaments, how you sit and stand and lie and treat your body will determine not only how you’re viewed, but the hormones you’ll put out and the way it detoxifies. So the structure is critical for your health. Okay. And then there’s the chemistry, which is typically what people think of with functional medicine, which is your minerals, nutrients, hormones, toxins, digestion, food, sensitivities, all the data that goes into the chemistry bucket.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (43m 1s):
Okay. And then there’s the emotional one, because the things you say to yourself, that’s your relationship to self? The things you say to yourself can either kick the holy Trinity into overdrive or, or shut it down depending. So your relationship to yourself is critical. Yes. And then your relationship to others, which is social, where you fit in your community, do you have a community? Do you feel like you’re connected to people? Do you feel isolated? All those are critical for health and then your spiritual and for some people that’s, that is religious. And for a lot of people, that’s not, that’s simply more about, what’s your purpose here? What legacy are you going to leave?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (43m 42s):
Why are you here on this earth? What difference are you going to make? Now you put those together and it’s not like you can go, okay, this is my spiritual, and this is my chemical. It’s not like that. They’re all interwoven. And what we’re looking to do is what prioritize in the conversation in our intake. It takes an hour. And sometimes it’s, sometimes it’s less if you’re like not that sick, but it can be up to an hour where we’re really listening for actively listening for where are you in balance and where do you need support? Okay. And so what we’re doing through that is looking at what are the two or three areas, the core aspects that you really need to work on.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (44m 21s):
And for example, say, say, you don’t have your why, you know, you don’t have your spiritual balance. You’re not sure why you’re here. You’re not sure what you’re going to do. What would be the motivation to take care of your body? Have good relationships eat well, there isn’t one because you haven’t gotten your why. So you have to identify the core sort of the core linchpins and work on those first. And usually people need to work on two or three in order to get healthy.
Christine Okezie (44m 50s):
This is key. I mean, I’m, and I love the way you, you, you, you highlight that when it comes to the spiritual dimension and by that meaning, why would I put all this effort? Because this is work, you know, this takes, it’s a lot of self motivation. It’s a lot of, sort of, you know, emotional resilience. You gotta find somewhere. Right. And if you’re not able to dig deep, and if all you’re looking for is, you know, I don’t know, to, to look how I did 10 years ago. I don’t know. You know, something that is just not really, you know, getting to the heart of, you know, what gets you out of bed in the morning, right. It’s just a non-starter.
Christine Okezie (45m 29s):
So I think it’s really important. So, so when you, what is the number one thing you want people to take away from your book? There’s so many things. I just want to mention two things. She has, you, you guys put in this, how toxic are you questionnaire, which was really awesome. And appendix a and B, and again, you take at the end of the book, you get a little bit overwhelmed and then you’re like, oh my God, the appendices, let me read the dependencies. And they’re fantastic because they’re checklists for living clean and okay, so here all the toxins, you know, I don’t need to memorize them in the first 150 pages, but now what do I do about it? And I love the spreadsheet because you a spreadsheet girl. So, so that being said, you know, kind of, what’s the message here.
Christine Okezie (46m 12s):
What’s the number one thing.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (46m 14s):
I think it’s a mixed, I think it’s a combo message. Yeah. I, by the way, I could argue with myself, right. Argue both sides of it. So I think the message I’d like people to take away is one, there are toxins all around us and they’re harming us. And the, the caveat to that is, and it’s fixable. It’s very possible to clean it up. Feel better, regain your health and get back on track. Okay. There’s hope a hundred percent there’s hope. And it’s not about living a toxin free life. It’s about living a lower toxic.
Christine Okezie (46m 49s):
Okay. Yeah. So there’s the one about perfection here? Like, oh my God, am I going to have to wrap myself in like saran wrap, not ceramics, plastics bed, but
Dr. Wendie Trubow (47m 1s):
Perfection only exists in that scene in Hollywood, the perfect romance, the perfect love scene, the perfect action scene. That’s where perfection exists. And the directors are looking for that around our health. What we’re looking for is constant process improvement, constant leveling up and, and never getting complacent and resting on it and saying, okay, what’s next? What’s next? What can I do next? Yeah, but perf no perfection. And, and look, I screw it up all the time. As evidenced by my existing mercury filling still in my mouth that I didn’t want to get out. You, you, we’re all human. So be nice to yourself because you’re going to screw it up. But I just use that as fodder for look, we’re all human, right.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (47m 44s):
Start the journey. You’re going to screw it up. Don’t let the screw ups be your reason not to do it. Right. You’re going to screw it up. Think it’s funny. It’s a good story. It’s like, oh, the detox doctor has mercury fillings. Like, okay, we gotta get those out.
Christine Okezie (47m 59s):
Moving on. Right. Exactly. Okay. So, and what is, you know, to that end, we talked a little bit before the show about sort of, you know, how the need is growing more and more because people understand that there are more answers out there than they’ve been led to believe what’s giving you hope right now we’re in an unprecedented times. So many folks struggling. So many of us trying to navigate these very, very strange times when it comes to health, right? So what’s giving you hope right now, Wendy,
Dr. Wendie Trubow (48m 28s):
I have to admit that, that I practice that mental. I practice that mental discipline of not going down rabbit holes that disempower me and trying to work in the areas that empower me. So I do read the New York times headlines. And then if I’m really interested, I read the article. And what I would say is what gives me hope is the ability to focus on making a difference to see that there’s in my lifetime, there’s been a tremendous transformation of people being committed to their health and committed to the food and committed to the environment. So those things give me how, because hope because hope.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (49m 12s):
Yeah. So I would say, and then, and then I really do consciously restrict my participation in things that I find disempowering or stressful. So I might not be up on the most current news because it doesn’t empower me. I just kind of go big picture. Okay. Here’s what’s happening here. Here’s what’s happening here. Got it. Next,
Christine Okezie (49m 33s):
Such great advice. I couldn’t agree more. I’m right with you on that. And so speaking of making a difference and changing lives and being of service, you know, if people are interested, you know, in learning more about you and your husband’s practice, you know, I know you’re doing telemedicine, please share, you know what you’d like us to know.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (49m 50s):
There’s tons. Okay. So as a com the first thing is as a companion guide to the book, because I know how overwhelming this can feel, because I’ve done it and still do it. We put together in, in, as I was going through this, we started to put together all the things that we had collected over the, over the two years of what are the best pans, what are the best products for beauty? What are the best cleaning products? So we put that all in a guide, and we have that for your listeners. It’s five journeys.com forward slash promo. So that’s free. We normally sell it, but we give it to the podcast people. Excellent. Excellent. There’s that? And then our website is five journeys.com. My Instagram is WendietruboMD, and that’s also my Facebook and Twitter handle.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (50m 30s):
So I’m kind of everywhere.
Christine Okezie (50m 33s):
Okay. Okay. When you’re not getting your mercury fillings, but yeah,
Dr. Wendie Trubow (50m 37s):
No podcasts on that day, I was like, you know, I don’t even want to worry about being off my game. I’m just going to focus on being well. And that’s really important to notice, like, it’s okay not to do everything right.
Christine Okezie (50m 49s):
That’s a powerful message in and of itself. Thank you so much, Wendy. This has been beneficial in so many low levels. Was there anything that maybe I didn’t know enough to ask at this point?
Dr. Wendie Trubow (50m 59s):
Oh, that’s a huge question. So I would say detox can feel daunting and cleaning up your life can feel daunting. So pick one thing, take one step pick the thing that’s running out that you think is the worst, the most toxic pick the one thing and do that. And then when you’re ready for the next one, do that. It is not an overnight process. Don’t think you have to be perfect. Just take one thing at a time. And over the course of a year, if you do one thing a week, that’s 52 things that you’re going to transform.
Christine Okezie (51m 30s):
Beautiful. That’s huge. That’s huge. Incredible. Yeah. Taking your power back, taking your health back. Yeah. All right, Wendy. Well, this has been a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time and thank you for all the wonderful healing that you do in the world. Its been a a pleasure.
Dr. Wendie Trubow (51m 43s):
Thank you, Christine. It’s great to be here. Thank you.