Episode 77: Gutsy Health Podcast
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Show Summary: “Neurotransmitters are basically neuro chemicals in your body that control every aspect of it - your digestion, muscles, mood, and are very related to anxiety, depression, sleep, and peristalsis of your gut. They are involved in every single function of the body.”
Dopamine and Serotonin are neurotransmitters and are very powerful. Being deficient in it can make you feel exhausted, unmotivated and can cause anxiety and depression. Medical professionals see it as something critical because it can contribute to hormone dysregulation.
Another thing that can trigger depression and anxiety is mold as it is often invisible and misdiagnosed.
What's even trickier about this is people often think that they don't have mold in their homes. Surprisingly, it can cause an illness in any organ or our thyroid glands and create symptoms like brain fog. That's why Dr. Ann-Marie Barter believes that every household needs to address this and that more people need to be tested for mold toxicity.
In this episode, Dr. Ann-Marie Barter, a Chiropractor and Functional Medicine practitioner in private practice in Denver, Colorado tells us more about hormonal issues, its causes and effects and how we can address it initially. Listen as she breaks down every aspect you need to know about what could be causing your stress, anxiety, depression or some other illnesses.
Dopamine & Serotonin support (Sugar Cravings Support)
Serotonin and Gaba support - Relax and calm down (Mood Relief)
How do you usually address Neurotransmitters when people come to you with health issues?
What are Catecholamines?
This is the Gutsy Health Podcast with Juanique and Tristin Roney.
Hey, you guys, welcome back to the Gutsy Health Podcast. I do not have my co-host with me, Gina Warful, she is on a plane right now and so we miss her very much, but I have a really incredible guest and not because she's amazing and brilliant, but we go back 10, 11 years. So it was really weird when her agent contacted us and said, well, you have Dr. Ann-Marie Barter on the podcast. I was like, are you kidding me? Yes, like a hundred thousand times yes. You guys, I want to introduce to you Dr. Ann Barter. She is brilliant. I'm going to have her introduce herself because all of her training, all of her credentials, all of her brilliance, I can't contain it in my brain. So we're going to hear it from the mega brain right here. So, Dr. Ann, welcome.
Thank you so much for having me here. I am just super psyched to be here with you. I mean, it just makes me smile. I can't wipe the smile on my face right now, and I'm blushing from that intro. So I've been in practice for about 11 years and I love functional medicine and practicing with that. So anyway, that is just my background. We have two practices here in Colorado, so I am just super psyched to be here and tell you guys about neurotransmitters.
Yes, we're talking about neurotransmitters. Is it neurotransmitters and mold exposure or are we just going to talk about neurotransmitters today?
It relates back and one of the things that depletes it, but I think let's like dive into neurotransmitters and spin-off a little bit into mold.
And so I kind of want to just let everyone know, like, you see clients in Colorado, you do blood work. Do you still do chiropractic or is it more like the counseling blood work? Part of everything.
I do some chiropractic. I've been doing chiropractic for a really long time. So I still see a lot of folks for that, but primarily in the last, I don't know, four years it's really transitioned functionally. And so I really do specialized lab testing, specialized gut testing, specialized hormone testing and blood tests, et cetera, to really be a health detective, to get to the root of the problem. What's contributing to things like fatigue or bloating or depression or anxiety, thyroid issues, whatever it might be.
And I just want listeners to know that when I actually get followers reach out to me asking if I know of any functional doctors in Colorado. I always refer them to Dr. Ann Barber because she is literally the best of the best. And I actually think a few of my followers have followed back and they're like, oh, I see her now and she's amazing and I'm like, I know she's freaking brilliant, you guys. She's so smart. You are like ahead of the times ten years ago when we met, like everything people are talking about now, you spoke about a decade ago. You blew me away with how much you knew, how you did it, how you went about helping people with their problems because people would go to you when everyone else failed them and you would help them figure out their issues. That's why I want before we dive into all of this stuff, Dr. Ann is just brilliant and she's a heavy researcher and she goes above and beyond in her skill set and her knowledge because she really cares about her clients, her patients. And I remember that from when I worked with you, like over ten years ago.
All right. So Dr. Ann please tell us, for listeners who are new to this, because I'm always talking about gut, but I don't talk a lot about neurotransmitters. What are neurotransmitters and why are they important and what should we know about them?
Yeah, that's an awesome question. So today, what I want to really drive into is dopamine and serotonin. And I want to start with just a basic definition of what neurotransmitters are, and I don't want people to glaze over. So I'm going to make it very brief. But they are basically neurochemicals in your body that control every aspect of it, your digestion, your muscles, your mood. And so they are very, very related to anxiety, depression, sleep, peristalsis of your gut or how food moves through your gut. And so they are just involved in every single function of the body. They will regulate your adrenal glands. They are so, so important that they're the kinetic chain. So they are actually hormones as well. They are so, so powerful. And so that's what neurotransmitters are. And believe it or not, most people are actually deficient in neurotransmitters across the board. When we run the testing, we generally see that folks that are especially burned out and really tired and exhausted and have anxiety, depression, just have low motivation or can't sleep well, they don't know why they don't feel as good as they did maybe 10 years ago or something in their health potentially changed. Guess what neurotransmitters can be behind that and they can contribute to hormone dysregulation. So they are just so, so critical and they're just above what we generally think of or looking at or just looking at the body. Just don't focus enough on.
I always say when it comes to bodily issues, we always have to look upstream. So if we have hormone issues, we have to look upstream to the adrenals and we have to look upstream to the liver and we have to look upstream to the gut. But what we fail to push past is sometimes we have to go way upstream to the brain. Right. Because I always think of the neurotransmitters as the hormones of the brain and the brain is the control center. So if we're not getting proper signaling in the brain, then we're not getting proper signaling in the body. So it's really important that once we've covered a lot of bases, do you go to neurotransmitters first when people come to you with health issues or is it something that you wait until you've tested everything else?
So I think two things are really important to address before you address neurotransmitters in the gut.
It's really important.
The reason why is neurotransmitters are made in the brain, but they're stored in the gut. If you have all this gut dysregulation, then guess what? You have to fix that first. And environmental chemicals will deplete neurotransmitters. A big one for that is mold and mold completely depletes neurochemicals. So if you're living in an animal house and I'm just like, oh, let's just pump in dopamine. I mean, it's just like a bandaid on a bullet hole. There's no reason to do that and the same thing is true, the gut. So it really goes back to that. And you want to know what's really cool? Is if I fix the gut well and if I fix the chemical exposure well, I don't ever have to treat the neurotransmitters because then you actually have the good bacteria in your gut and you're able to utilize all of those good foods that you're eating that are either tyrosine rich or tryptophan rich, depending on which neurotransmitter you're trying to push. Now, sometimes I go through and I do it and I will mess with the pathways. But one of the biggest things is that if you're absorbing your nutrients from the gut. I'm going back to the gut for a second, if you're absorbing all your vitamins and your magnesium and your copper in your iron, then guess what? You're going to naturally run the pathway to be able to make neurotransmitters in your neurochemicals. So, I mean, I think that that's important. And then on the other side of things, we have to address the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is also really important because it shares a pathway with dopamine. These are the folks that are drivers. They work really hard and they feel a lot of anxiety. They feel a lot of pressure. They are just very social people you want to be around. They're amazing. But a lot of times they can't look this script between dopamine in their catecholamines on the adrenal glands.
Can you expand into that a little bit more? Because those are a lot of buzzwords that people it's probably going to go over, break that down a little bit more.
Totally. So when we're looking at dopamine and basically your fight or flight, which are catecholamines, which are part of the adrenal gland, this helps us run from a bear. You're being chased by a bear. So you really need those, but you need to be able to transition between been motivated and focused and feeling worthwhile and hopeful, being able to run from that bear.
Because and so that pathway for dopamine is the same as your catecholamines pathways that fight or flight. You have to be able to transition between the two seamlessly. And unfortunately, what happens to our drivers or the people that constantly have adrenal fatigue or don't feel good about themselves and they don't feel worthwhile is they can't flip the script between that pathway and so they start to get exhausted. Let me go into some symptoms if you're OK with this.
I would love it. Keep going. And dopamine that's our happy hormone, right, that's the one that relaxes us, makes us feel good, helps us connect. That's this is a really good, gooey neurotransmitter, guys. It's super important. And it's almost like the antithesis of what the adrenals are supposed to do, which is help us run from a bear. So, you know, the body's always going to prioritize, fight or flight. Like, let's keep you alive over let's keep you happy. Right? Because in the body's primitive brain, you can't be happy if you're dead. So rather just keep running and keep alive. Right? And so.. Keep going.
It's our motivation. So we really focus on dopamine motivation. The shit I'm going to read you came from Dotty's Kharazi and I want to give credit where credit is due. So he made this amazing list of dopamine deficiency symptoms. And generally folks say, well, I only have five of the 10. You have dopamine deficiency.
That's a lot. That's a lot.
Couldn't you be happier? So domaine is our neurotransmitter. It's why people partake in some risky activity to feel this. I never could understand why people are like, oh, I'm going to go around 100 hundred miles. That sounds horrible.
So impressive, but wow. They're trying to get a dopamine dump. And I'm going to also go into the legal way that most people get dopamine dump because we're thinking about drugs, drugs are a way, especially the cocaine's of the world that people get dopamine dump. But sugar is the legal way you get a dopamine dump. So I'm going to dig into that in just a second. But let me just talk about the symptoms of this.
Feelings of helplessness, self-destructive thoughts, inability to handle stress, anger and aggression while under stress. You don't feel rested after long hours of sleep, you prefer to isolate yourself from others. Unexplained lack of concern for family and friends. You're distracted from your tasks, inability to finish tasks. You need to consume caffeine to stay alert. You feel like your libido has decreased. Lose your temper for minor reasons and feelings of worthlessness.
Can I ask you something? Because a lot of moms listen to this podcast. This could describe a new mom to a T. It's almost like postpartum depression symptoms. Is there a core and why does this happen to women so much right after babies? I know I'm kind of diverting a little bit, but what is happening in our bodies when we have these babies and then it seems like we are dopamine deficient all of a sudden?
Couple things, probably a lot of numerous amount of things are going on. No. One, it goes back to that adrenal gland hormone. It have a brand new level of complete stress. You're up in the middle of the night. You can't sleep. Your life is revolving around a baby. And so naturally, if you don't sleep, your dopamine levels naturally decline. You're constantly worried, especially as a brand new mom. You're constantly worried. I mean, I just feel so bad for moms. And I feel like there was this was, like said best in Lean In in the book, Lean In. She said, if I prepare my kids every single day perfectly for every single event and I miss dressing them up for Green and St. Patty's Day, but my husband packed some lunch one day. He's a great dad, but I'm a bad mom. And so it's the constant stress. The constant pressure on moms is pretty intense.
It's really intense.
We are going back to that adrenal pathway. And then again, if there's chemical exposure as well as a lot of new moms, one other correlation I've seen, they almost feel like they don't have time to eat. So are they getting the right nutrients and they need do they have that time to rest and digest? I mean, it's a lot I think with the change in the lifestyle and then you also can't do things for yourself anymore, like meditation increases dopamine sixty five percent.
The sun increases dopamine but if you're constantly you feel like you can't leave the house or you're on your baby's schedule and there's that as well. So I think it comes down to nutrient deficiency, brandnew stress, not being able to take time for yourself and you're probably on the line already. So the adrenals puts you over the edge.
That makes perfect sense because, you know, after just growing a human being for nine months and then that takes our own resources. And so there's a physical stressor on the body. And then now there's this emotional stress in the body, too, and so that makes perfect sense. The adrenal pathway, the dopamine pathway, it's like you can only turn on the cold tap or the hot tap and the hot tap is on all the time, and that's the adrenal. And so we've learned about the symptoms of a dopamine deficiency. What are we to do about this? Like, we need to fix our gut. We need to make sure that our gut is healing. We need to make sure we are managing our stress. But what else can we be doing about this?
Yeah, I think making sure you have the right nutrients in there again, B vitamins, magnesium iron, et cetera, making sure that you have the right things to run that pathway. And that kind of goes back to the gut. Let your medicine be your food. And also getting rid of those bacteria so that, you know, one thing that I like to talk about, for example, is if you have a stomach infection like an H. Pylori infection. H. Pylori lumps your nutrients. It allows it to thrive and to replicate itself. You're like, wow, I'm iron deficient or I keep being iron deficient and there's no reason for that. And I keep taking iron pills. I want to investigate what's going on in your gut because these bacteria eat that and thrive and replicate and then they're just nasty to get rid of and you continue to be more iron deficient. A side note, just to protect that I want to make sure, that people take away with like, why am I having this or this pathway never seems to come back online and I don't know why. I think some of the other things that we really do to increase dopamine and I want to just dove into sugar for a second and I'm going to tell you natural things that you can do to boost this.
But I want to dove into sugar and why sugar addiction is so rampant. So in order to boost this up, naturally, what we do is we will eat sugar. And I quote an old school, Guns N Roses song, saying, I used to do a little bit, a little one do it a little got more and more. And that basically means that, wow, I used to have a bite of a cookie and I felt great. And then it turned into a full cookie and then I just ate the whole bag.
And then you're a Twinkie wrappers walked away from you and your past.
Because you just want the dopamine party to keep going. Right? Let's just keep going. I bet there's a drop, like you get the sugar high and then you get the sugar drop and then you're all low and down. And so we just keep going back for our second hit and our third hit and our fourth hit. It's very soothing. Right. So keep going.
Exactly. Exactly. And so what this does is when you eat sugar, it increases your dopamine exponentially over controls. And so one of the studies that was done on these four rats. And these four rats just over studies. Anyway, they looked at two control groups, groups of rats. One, they made both control groups of rats had to fast for twelve hours, the one that gave them traditional rat chow. Don't know what that is. The other group, they gave traditional rat chow in a sugar solution. The rats naturally gravitated in the sugar solution group to that sugar solution before they would eat rat chow, OK, after they had been fasting and each day that increased how much they would drink up the sugar solution. And when they measured their dopamine levels, they were a hundred and thirty percent above normal and the amount that they drank went from thirty milliliters to a hundred and fifteen milliliters over the course of the month.
Oh my gosh.
That's why we do that. And guess who knows that. Guest who knows that?
All the food industry, they all know it. This is a legal drug that they can put in their foods all the time. And so what is it? It's in everything. Mustard, ketchup, cereal, hot dogs, bread. It's in absolutely everything. Find me a packaged item that doesn't have sugar in it. It's really rare. It doesn't happen. And they actually pay millions of dollars to do research to see, OK, how do we entice people more? Because they know that this is a drug. It's the perfect marketing plan. Let's sell people drugs that they will keep buying because they're dependent on it. And that's kind of a hard thing for us to swallow because we think, well, we're being protected by the FDA and we're being protected by the government. They wouldn't let this happen to us. But no, they are they are letting this happen to us. They're letting it happen. I mean, go to infant formula. First ingredient is high fructose corn sirup. Why do babies need high fructose corn sirup? Like newborn babies. We are setting their brains up for addiction from the day they are born, and it is disgusting.
So the thing is, is that they know that in 1998 and let's just assume how much more this is now, Nestlé did a study of eleven thousand new foods hit the shelves in grocery stores in 1998. How many variations of bananas do you have? It is not eleven thousand.
And guess what? You get a good feeling when that dopamine dump. You are like man I like that ketchup, man I like that mustard. And guess what? It makes you buy it again and again and again because you had an increase in a dopamine dump. Any time your glucose or you get sugar, it will increase your dopamine a certain amount and if you are a pregnant mom, doing that leads to baby addiction on sugar.
I believe that a hundred thousand percent and that's really scary because here's the thing is now we're becoming dependent on sugar for these dopamine dumps, but the sugar is wreaking havoc in our gut. So now we can't rely on our gut and our own natural ability to produce things like dopamine and serotonin anymore. So we become dependent on these external sources while our internal sources start diminishing. It's this vicious cycle. And it quite frankly, I hesitate to use this word, but it's kind of evil. It's really evil that I know they know this and they're not doing anything about it and that's a sad thing. Can I can I kind of circle back to the nutrient parts of dopamine because you said we need copper, iron, magnesium. Magnesium is one of those vitamins that everyone should be taking every single day. Right? Because we're all like, isn't it like 80 percent of us are magnesium deficient? And it's really interesting.
It's something like that.
It's really high and there are tons of women on the online community that are like I had postpartum depression. I supplement it with magnesium and now I'm feeling better. So it's really interesting to see that is why because of the dopamine conversion pathway thing. Another thing too, so if you are listening, you guys, magnesium is really crucial supplement with it. My favorite is Amino Magg, another favorite one of mine. I like people to stay away from the Straits if possible, but another one of my favorites is from Neutra gold. Neutra gold. Magnesium is really fantastic. But I want to talk about the copper aspect because we used to get a lot of copper in our soils and our soils are so depleted and farmers never test for adequate amounts of copper. So we are globally copper deficient because of these poor farming practices that are being allowed to happen. So we need to be super mindful about our food base coppers because it's more bioavailable than from a pill form. And so I don't know, clams, oysters. What are other really do you know, off the top of your head, high carb foods? I know clams and oysters and and most people are like, well, I don't eat that and it's like, well, let's start eating it.
I have not found as much copper deficiency.
So I and I actually struggle. I see more the other way. I see Willson's Disease like the inability to get rid of it.
So do you feel like that is bioavailable or like do you think that we're just kind of swimming in copper and we're not utilizing it? Or do you think it's not a utilization?
That's just a nutrient deficiency. I think from what I see, a lot of women have copper IUD, that excess copper, copper IUD. And so I actually see it the other way. So I steer away from copper giving additional elasticity that they need it on a test.
I'm really careful about copper. The same thing with iron, I don't ever additionally supplement either of those because you're just going to send, you know, any of the battles are good in a balance.
But you never want to over treat with that because you're going to create a lot of inflammation.
Yes. Well, if you if you're swimming in iron, then it gets stored in the tissues and it creates a lot of inflammation. And so we want to make sure that the body's actually able to utilize it. So getting it from like Raw food. Yes, exactly. Getting it more from food, you guys, and not supplementing with it is really crucial. So how does serotonin fit in this mix with the dopamine story?
Totally. I want to just add one more thing before we move on . With dopamine, as you eat sugar, even though you get a spike on it, it decreases lower and lower each time you're actually depleting your dopamine source. So I just want to make sure that that point was clear. So serotonin is our happy neurotransmitter. He just makes us feel good. He makes us feel connected. He makes us feel joyful. And he runs hormone pathways like someone has PMS or PMed. They're generally serotonin deficient. And so a couple of the symptoms of serotonin deficiency is kind of more I want to just like depression, like classic depression that we think of. You've lost your pleasure and hobbies and interests overwhelmed with ideas to manage feelings of paranoia, feelings sat down for no reason. I generally see women that will come in and they'll say, I have everything that I've ever wanted in my life and I'm miserable and I have no reason to be miserable and then I feel guilty about being miserable. That is serotonin deficiency. I feel like you're not enjoying life. You feel depressed and overcast weather. You're losing your enjoyment of your favorite activities, your favorite foods. You're losing your enjoyment for your friendships and relationships. You're more susceptible to pain, difficulty falling into a deep, restful sleep, and you're losing your interest in life. That's serotonin deficiency. And some of them get a little extreme.
But it's ultimately this just makes us happy in a way that I would define this as you look at a child and they're like, boy, I'm so tired, I don't want to go and they're so joyful about these things.
Kids must be swimming in serotonin like all day, every day, they're like on a constant life high all the time, like so much so they're bouncing off walls. It's kind of amazing.
It's so important for us to feel that way. We need to feel that joyful.
Right. So why are we not? What is happening that we are not producing enough of this neurotransmitter?
You know, I think it goes back to similar things as to dopamine. You know, again, it's looking at gut health. Mold also deplete serotonin. There was a really crazy study on mold. And they basically looked at a bunch of kids getting food poisoning. And it looks like there was bacteria in all of these different cafeterias around in different states. I think it was primarily the Southeast. And they tried to figure out what it was and they buried it. They got it down to this tortilla for this breakfast bread so all the fillings were from different vendors and they found out that there was a lot of mold on this tortilla and it created a food like response. So we know that it looks like, oh, they just have food poisoning. So ultimately, this specific food borne mold will go after serotonin as well as the gut not working is another one. A lot of people just I think stress is another contributing factor to this. I mean, running through our stores nutrient deficiencies, specifically B vitamins and magnesium for serotonin. And one thing I think is another really important factor that we overlook. Exercise is really important, making sure you have enough calcium because calcium carries these neurotransmitters and transporters to the brain. But one thing that really helps us like something you can do is sunlight without sunglasses, go outside, the sunlight will hit your eyes. This is associated with seasonal affective disorder. Get that sunlight. You have serotonin receptors in your eyes and it's stored in your gut.
Another random thing that really helps low serotonin up is there was a group that was religious fasting and they did a 30 day fast.
Wow, holy cow..
And they basically looked at their serotonin levels at day 14 and day 29 and on day 29 they were exponentially higher than they were on day 14.
Amazing. Why is that?
Just your body gets a break and so you'll see some of the hormones increase. Dopamine is the opposite. Dopamine when they show you that there's going to be food fasting, they decrease a little bit, but then they show you there's going to be food, dopamine spikes.
Yeah. So we just have to look at food all day.
I think it's just about really decreasing that information, decreasing those got issues, allowing your gut to really move things out and just giving your body a break to get rid of all of that oxidative stress so that it can run.
Well, and what's really sad is because, as you were saying, they were fasting. I was thinking in my head, I'm like, yeah, it's because they're not eating inflammatory foods anymore. It's really sad that the majority of the foods sold to us causes inflammation. And we don't recognize it's like and we're being fed this from so young, you know. So how are we supposed to create these proper chemical neurotransmitters if our body is too busy using its resources to put out fires all the time? It's just not going to happen. So that makes a lot of sense. Can we circle back to the mold part? Because, you know, yes, we hear mold exposure, but what are some other signs and symptoms or things that we should be looking for if we think we have a mold problem?
I think one of the first one of the biggest myths I hear is just to start off with is that I don't see it in my house, so it's not there. I don't visibly see mold. Be careful with that thinking. Mold is tricky. It's in your drywall. Drywall is a tree, right? So it's growing up trees. So if you've had any flooding or water damage, you should be really suspicious. Mold is a great imitator. It looks like every other disease process. So if you have joint pain that moves around, you should make sure that like, hey, did I have mold exposure? It's going to create anxiety and depression. It creates nine it's basically thyroiditis that you're exposed to. But it's not that. It's associated with thyroid. It's the mold actually causing an illness and your thyroid gland. It creates brain fog. I believe that mold is kind of on the upper echelon of things that are going on in your body. You have to address it like I hear folks on a.k.a. the diets and they're like, I've been on my a.k.a. the diet for seven years, seven years and I'm like, that's great. You feel any better? No.
Probably not candida.
Yeah, we have to look at what might be feeding that has a kissing cousin for candida is mold. And so mold is much more on the hierarchy than an opportunistic infection like Candida. And so mold causes every gut complaint. I've also seen gallbladders removed, liver function that's impaired. So your hormone imbalances, hysterectomy, I mean, it's everything. So if you're basically a mystery case, like what is this?
And nothing's fixing it.
One of the factors to look at and you're like, why bring a stool panel? It looks good. Not self treating but I think you really should start to maybe ask those questions about mold.
So do you work with a lot of people that deal with mold exposure and how do you like do you are there specific tests that people should be looking for? Because it's kind of a tricky one. And if you go to any old doctor and say, I think I have mold issues, they'd probably be like, what are you talking about? So like, what's the testing? How do people go about this other than calling your office and consulting with you, which they should do if they have mold issues and they suspect it. But what should people be looking for as far as Tesco and questions asked?
So what I do and what I think is the best situation is finding somebody that's been recommended. That's a mold pro that can go check your house. So I think that that's important. And somebody that's honest, I recommend people in this area that I've seen. And what I like to see in that situation is that everybody doesn't have mold, like everybody's house doesn't have mold like the folks that I used you. It seems like there's mold about 50 percent of the time, which makes sense because a lot of the houses that had mold were affected by the great flood that we had here. So you and then their problems kind of started a couple of years after that.
Where the toxin level built up in my office, I actually use Great Plains lab tests. It's a urine test and it's secretes out mycotoxins.
Yeah, that's what I use in my office. And so that kind of tells me how long the treatment needs to be, what forms of mold they've been exposed to, because some of the mold really affect the neurological system. There is a there's a school here where a number of my patients started getting leukemia's. They started getting neurological problems. It was just all these unexplained things on all these young kids. I mean, and so someone's telling it like in my favorite part was this girl that literally had a neurological problem, like she couldn't walk and all she was told was in her head.
So then we found all of this to really, really devastating mold in the school. So if a lot of kids are getting sick in the school, really need to look at where they're getting sick or what the common factor is? Is it the school? Is it your house? The other thing that I get commented on is let's say you have five people, let's say two of the five are really sick, then, oh, it can't be in our house. Only two of the five of us are sick. No no no, so what that went basically that means is that some people are very sensitive. They walk into a grocery store and they're like I have headache, I'm spending it's weak. They're very, very sensitive. Some people are like licking the wall with black molds.
And they're fine. Yes.
No problems, that's genetics. Most of us are in the middle. And so the research has shown us that it they don't believe that it's the amount of mold you're exposed to, but OK, if I'm in a house for five years, I'm not going to be any sicker. I found that to be untrue clinically, am I? So the longer somebody stays in an area where there's mold kind of in the middle of that, they get sicker.
Over time. That makes perfect sense. Well, because it's like an inflammatory pot. Like the temperature just gets hotter and hotter and hotter, and that happens in your body and the inflammation gets bigger and bigger and bigger and causes more and more problems because we're not putting out those fires. So that's fascinating. Do you feel like more people should be getting tested for mold exposure sooner in their healing journeys? Or is it hey, we've tried everything. Nothing's working. Let's test you for mold.
I do it sooner than later.
I get the cases that have so-- I get a lot of the cases where they've seen other providers. So by the time they get to me, I'm like Doc number seven. So I think it's highly likely. I mean and especially, you know, Utah, Colorado, it's not as likely that I've heard folks say that are pretty well respected docs saying Colorado doesn't have mold.
And it's not true.
It's so untrue. It's just so untrue. And yes, the climate isn't as associated with that but the mold that grows here, it's nasty.
Yeah. Yeah. It's really resilient and nasty, you know, and this is tricky because a lot of people don't think when they go buy a new house, you don't know the history of that house. You don't know the health of that house. Hire a mold company to inspect it like a really good mold company. I always recommend test my home. He's based out in Idaho, but he travels to other states around here. It's worth every single penny to over test then under test because you will potentially be paying for it years down the line. I wish I had done that when I bought my house, but it's so important that we know what is happening in our homes and the health of our homes. And a lot of times we never even think of that. It never crosses our mind, right. Because it's like this invisible illness. And like you said, a lot of people are told it's all in their head, you know, so when they are sick for so long, they kind of give up and they're like, well, maybe it is in my head. No, there's more to know. There's more to this. Seek out doctors like Dr. Ann and let them help you figure this out because it can be done. Is there anything else you want to mention about mold before I move on?
Yeah, just a couple of things. Number one, it is not included in your inspection and your house inspection.
No, it's not.
It is so commonly thought. Hey, you know, I got my house inspected. It's fine. It's an optional additional test and generally it is not included. I think that's the number one big thing. The other thing that I've seen be really popular lately is like, oh, I just need to fix my methylation pathways, you know? And honestly, things like mold, things like heavy metals, things, you know, gut infection, all of that, it makes your methylation pathways funky. So you really need to address the toxicity issues first. And so I think that those are the two things that I see really want to just hit the toxicity first and then go down the kinetic chain.
Sure. We could do a whole podcast on toxicity. Maybe we should because like there is toxic stuff everywhere. It blows my mind and it's really hard for me honestly I have to like dial it down because when I go into like a new place and I smell fragrances and I smell certain gases and I'm like, oh my gosh, those are chemicals, those are toxins. We're constantly, constantly bombarded by these synthetic toxic substances that are passed off as fine and healthy for you. And really, they're not. And if the state the health of our country, it's such evidence of that. Right. We're not healthy and we're not getting healthier any time soon. So it really is up to us to super sleuth our environment and our health and take our power back, because unfortunately, the government is not going to do that for you. I actually I've posted on my Instagram stories the other day. It was a funny little video of, like, how the FDA regulates new drugs and foods. And it's this guy who is like not even looking at people and he's not even touching their bodies, you know, like the TSA people, how they, like, touch your body to look for weird things. This guy is like looking out somewhere and he's barely touching the bodies. It's like, OK, you're fine. And it's like, yep, that's what the FDA does. They barely look at it and they're like, that's fine let's go until third party testers come out and say, no, actually this product is tainted. Please do something about it. And then you have irate people screaming on the Internet, do something about this. And then the government is like, oh, sure, we missed something. Let's go back and see what happened, you know? So we really do need a super sleuth, our environments in our foods.
Do you ever see that documentary on the Bleeding Edge on Netflix?
No. Is it still on?
I think so. It was just like, oh, my goodness, like I think that that really drives home the point that you are making and you have to be an advocate for yourself.
The bleeding edge, what is it about?
It talks about items that get passed through the FDA. I think it's cobalt hip's, if I remember correctly. Meche on, for example, like bladder slings and they talk about how it's a like item and they basically interview these folks that have had problems and like basically the litigation and how this actually got passed through the FDA.
It's really interesting.
Oh, my gosh. OK, I'm going to watch that this weekend for fun.
Some light watching. Will it make me angry?
I think it's going to validate your position. And I think I recommend folks watch it, especially after they've had a surgery and they've had a lot of problems with specific metals they put in their body. And I think one of my patients told me recently because she got a bladder sling and she was like the surgeon told me that there was no issues with this particular sling. And I did a quick Google and the first thing was the litigations against the sling. And so, I mean, it makes me really sad to see that. And she was like, well, I should have been able to trust her. And I was like, you have to advocate for yourself. You have to read ingredients. You have to look up what they're talking about being in your body, like has to be you.
It has to be you, you guys. Everyone listening, do not just assume your doctor knows everything. Don't assume it. You need to advocate for your body and for the bodies of those that you love, your children, your spouses, your family. Dr. Ann could we talk about certain foods? Because we spoke about gut stress management, mold toxicity and exposure, like how should we be eating? I think maybe this is like a no brainer, like healthy fruits and vegetables and proteins. Right? We know to not eat sugar because it just creates this dependance and this depletion over time, which means we need more sugar. But what kind of lifestyle changes can people make to help support dopamine and serotonin production in their body?
Yeah, I have a list of foods that actually increased both. Let me just read them off. So for dopamine, avocados, bananas, apples, oranges, peas, plantation's spinach, tomatoes, chicken, fish, turkey, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. So pretty natural foods then. It should be fine for most people unless you have really inflammatory gut, you might want to stay away from that seeds. And then a couple of things that actually increase serotonin. Banana's green coffee bean onions, hazelnut, kiwi, lettuce, paprika, passion fruit, pepper, pineapple plantations, pomegranates, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, wild rice, salmon eggs, nuts and seeds.
So pretty clean close to the earth foods. I think my rules with eating. I'm not a big dairy eater. It just does not do well for me. I find in in my patient population, some people can tolerate it better than others. I personally don't have a problem with meat products. I just don't think they're good. So I don't really eat a lot of greens. I try to really limit my greens and keep it more about protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy fats like oil, olive oil. I think the other thing that I really see is that I see a lot of folks that have a really busy lifestyle and they eat literally from you know, they wake up in the morning and they eat at like 6:00 a.m. and they finish their last meal at 10:00 p.m. And to me, you need like what we talked about with the fasting, with serotonin, you can cut that into a window and allow our body to detoxify all the junk that we weren't supposed to because bodies are amazing. So we want to be able to allow it to do that.
Right. Well, and there's also that rest and digest period. If you are constantly working an organ when it needs to rest and clear out like the gut, then it's going to get overstrained over time. And unfortunately, you know, you mentioned dairy and wheat. These are foods that have been so changed from the norm, like we pump cows with hormones and then get the milk out of them and then we overheat it. So now the proteins are all destroyed and we've destroyed all the bacteria. So it's not really the food it was intended for. It's a completely different product, so no wonder people are reacting to dairy. Same thing with wheat. We drench it in glyphosate and then we put it in storage houses where it can actually collect mold. And then we turn it into food. We put it into packages. So now we're having glyphosate exposure, we're having mold exposure, and it's tearing up our guts. So I love that you're like, let's stick with the fruits, the veggies, the proteins, the healthy fats, because those just grow from a tree and then go to, well, try and get organic when possible because we don't want those herbicides and those pesticides on those foods because that can really cause gut dysbiosis and destroy your gut bacteria, which we know is so crucial. We need to have a healthy gut microbiome to help us with these neurotransmitter. I heard somewhere well actually I read in a book that the gut produces 200 times more serotonin than the brain.
It goes back and forth. There was a study that said all, the most recent study, said that there was more from the brain. I don't know. I think before the study came out, that was always the common line. So I'm sure that the studies are going to correct themselves, that they're going to go back to. It's all in the gut, but we definitely know it's stored there.
Yeah. So either way, we need a healthy gut. We need it to be intact so that our brain can function off of all the happy motivational more hormones that we need to thrive in our lives. So anything else that you want to add to this topic before we end?
Let's see. I think we covered most everything. We do supplements for dopamine and serotonin. So if you're interested in that, we can find the links below. The bottom line is that you don't want to do that long term.
The bottom line is you need to correct the problem and you want to figure out what's actually causing it. So do not do that long term if that's something you need help with in some of the other recommendations, don't really help you to get where you're going. But I just want to make sure that's not it should not be a Band-Aid.
Yes, and work with a professional if you are thinking of supplementing with these things that you're talking about. Someone that can help guide your healing process. Dr. Ann, how can people contact you? How do they find you? Are you taking on new patients? Where can people get more of you?
Sure. You can find us at altfammed.com, short for alternative family medicine and you can reach out to us there. I have an Instagram page. I really don't like social media. I just really don't like it. But you can find me at Dr Ann-Marie Barber and we'll put that below going to spell it out.
We will just put it below and I'll tag you in my stories.
So if you want to, we have a podcast as well.
Oh, you do? What is it?
It's called Fearless Health Podcast.
And do you co-host it with a partner or with a...?
Whole. It's all me.
It's all you. Oh my gosh, I've never heard of your podcast. How have I not heard of your podcast?
Not many people have.
Well now they will, now they will hear it. So we're going to put all these links in the bottom. Go find Dr. Ann. And are you taking on new patients?
We are and we do work virtually so we can.
Amazing. Awesome. So you guys, those are the ways that you can get more of Dr. Ann's Magic. Thank you so much for coming on. I really want to get you back on to talk about woman's hormones because that's so important. You guys, thank you for tuning in, Doctor Ann thank you so much for your time. This was so eye opening and a lot of times we forget the brain, we forget the neurotransmitters, the brain hormones that are so important. So thank you for bringing that to our attention today. Until next time, everyone. See you next or hear you next week I guess so. Thanks Ann. Bye.
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