Transcript #368 Top Toxins That Cause Hashimoto’s and How to Address Them with Jenn Malecha
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- Find out what’s in store for this Myers Detox Podcast with Jenn Malecha, who joins the show to talk about how to address and reverse Hashimoto’s, the type of testing you should do to diagnose Hashimoto’s, the type of diet you should be eating if you have Hashimoto’s, and the toxins you must avoid!
- Find out about Jenn’s health journey that lead her to focusing on helping other’s with hypothyroidism.
- Genetics, an impaired immune system, and environmental triggers are the three things that need to come together in order for an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s to express itself. Find out more about the root causes of Hashimoto’s.
- Due to the liver’s vital role in the health of our thyroid, this is one of the main areas Jenn focuses on with her patients, especially with the many toxins that burden it in our current climate. Learn more about the toxins that affect our liver and thyroid.
- There are a variety of tests Jenn recommends in order to get a full picture of your thyroid function, including a full panel test, total T3 and T4, reverse T3 and T3 uptake, as well as thyroid antibodies, and thyroid peroxidase. Learn more about these vital tests.
- Before having her patients begin a detoxification process, Jenn makes sure that their digestive system and adrenal system is properly supported through probiotics, a proper diet, adaptogenic herbs, healthy minerals, and more. Learn about her full detoxification process.
- Toxins that disrupt your thyroid function are in the food that you eat, the cookware that you use to make the food, the water you drink, and more. Find out about all the areas you should look at to begin eliminating toxins in your environment.
- Working towards eating an anti-inflammatory diet and making sure you have a micronutrient balance, is a great way to begin to address a thyroid issues. Learn more.
- Between 1:00 and about 3:00 AM is when the gallbladder, kidneys, and the liver are doing their major detoxification process. This is why proper sleep is so critical for proper thyroid function. Learn more about sleep’s role in Hashimoto’s.
- Read Jenn’s final remarks on the importance of supporting your liver and detoxification.
- To learn more about Jenn and her incredible work, go to wholistichealthboss.com
- You can also follow on instagram @wholistichealthboss and on Facebook at Wholistic Health Boss
Wendy Myers: Hello, everyone. I’m Wendy Myers of myersdetox.com. Welcome to The Myers Detox Podcast. Today, we’re going to talk with my friend, Jenn Malecha. She is a FDN practitioner.
Wendy Myers: We’re going to be talking about the top toxins to avoid for addressing and reversing Hashimoto’s. It’s a thyroid condition, an autoimmune thyroid condition, that afflicts millions of people. This show is going to also pertain to people who have thyroid issues. Everything we talk about will pertain to anyone that has any type of thyroid issue.
Wendy Myers: One of the things we’re going to be talking about today are the types of testing that you want to be getting to diagnose Hashimoto’s. Usually you have to arm wrestle your doctor to get him to do the tests that would be required. They will usually only do very basic testing. We discuss the kind of tests that you need.
Wendy Myers: We talk about the top toxins that affect your thyroid, mercury is a big one. There’s a lot of other ones as well. We’ll also talk about the type of diet you should be eating. Maybe some foods to avoid. Also, all different types of lifestyle choices you may want to be looking at.
Wendy Myers: We’ll discuss the underlying root causes of Hashimoto’s. There are three things that have to happen, that have to converge, in order to get a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. We’ll talk about that as well as the underlying root causes and so much more, today, with Jenn Malecha.
Wendy Myers: I know you guys listening to this show are concerned about your toxic body burden, what toxins that you have. I created a quiz. It’s heavymetalsquiz.com. It only takes a couple of minutes to take it. You answer some lifestyle questions that will determine your relative level of toxic body burden of toxins.
Wendy Myers: After you take the quiz, you will get your results. You’ll also get a free video series that answers a lot of your frequently asked questions about how to detox. How long does it take? What kind of testing do I do? Where do I get started?
Wendy Myers: You get a totally free video series after that. It’s really, really informative. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what your most frequently asked questions were to answer them, after the quiz. So go take it at heavymetalsquiz.com.
Wendy Myers: Our guest today, Jenn Malecha, supports busy, health-minded professionals in taking back control of their health. She does this by giving them access to the right lab tests and resources so that they can find the missing pieces of their health puzzle. They can actually fix what’s wrong and get back to feeling like themselves again. Using over a decade of personal training experience and training in functional diagnostic nutrition and transformational coaching, she creates personalized health rebuilding programs for clients that are realistic and sustainable for long-lasting results. They empower clients to be the boss of their own health.
Wendy Myers: If you’re ready to look at the big picture of your health and not just one disconnected piece at a time, to embrace health as a way of being and to stop settling for anything less than you deserve when it comes to your health and happiness, then Jenn is exactly who you’ve been looking for. You can learn more about Jenn at wholistichealthboss.com. Jenn, thank you so much for joining the show.
Jenn Malecha: Thank you so much for having me, Wendy. I’ve known you for such a long time. It’s great to be having a chat with you today.
Wendy Myers: Yes, and I love talking about the thyroid because so many people have thyroid issues. These are conditions that are totally reversible. Not for everyone, but there’s a lot of things that you can do to care for your thyroid, improve the health of your thyroid and your overall health. We’re going to talk about some of those things today. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved in working with clients with a thyroid issue?
Jenn Malecha: I think it’s like most of us that are in this field of work. It’s usually because we’ve had a personal experience with it. I myself have had a history of thyroid issues, I guess I would call them, which I have since reversed. You were just mentioning that it is possible to restore health to the thyroid.
Jenn Malecha: A couple of years back, I think it was 2016, unbeknownst to me, we had toxic mold in our house for an unknown period of time. My health was declining over a two year period leading up to about 2016, where it really hit rock bottom. At that moment I kind of figured out that I had estrogen dominance. We saw the mold in the guest room closet and then all the pieces of the puzzle came together as to why my health had been declining for so long, and why I was estrogen dominant in the first place.
Jenn Malecha: A combination of things had actually triggered hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s for me at that time. I’m happy to say though, sitting with you a couple of years later, really quickly after discovering what was going on with my body I was able to get that Hashimoto’s in remission.
Jenn Malecha: It really opened my eyes not just to toxic mold, but the other toxins and things that are going on in our environment. These were probably compounding factors that led me to that place. It was the overall burden of what was going on with my body that ultimately weighed down not only my hormonal balance, my detoxification system and definitely my thyroid health, at the same time.
Jenn Malecha: As a result of just sharing my story as I usually do, because I think it’s so important for us to share our stories to help inspire others, I naturally started working with people that have had a similar experience as me.
Wendy Myers: Can you talk to us about the underlying root causes of Hashimoto’s? I think a lot of people get very surprised by having this diagnosis. I didn’t have Hashimoto’s, but I had low thyroid function. I was very, very surprised by that. What are some of the underlying root causes?
Jenn Malecha: That’s great because I think people should understand this, and there are so many experts out there who talk about this really well.
Jenn Malecha: A great analogy for this was Andrea Nakayama. Back in probably 2014 or so, before I really knew I had a thyroid problem or even that one was maybe developing, I remember her talking about autoimmune conditions in general and how it’s a three-legged stool. In order for an autoimmune condition to express itself in the body, there have to be three legs that come together.
Jenn Malecha: One is definitely having a genetic component. Going through this experience, it helped me to look back on my family history. I came to find that my grandma had had a history with thyroid issues. My aunt had had a history with thyroid issues as well as some of the other people in my family. Although they weren’t diagnosed with thyroid stuff, I now look back with the knowledge that I have at the hair loss and the things that they experienced like weight gain and things like that. I was like, “Oh, there’s probably quite a bit of thyroid history in my family, overall.” That’s one piece of the puzzle.
Jenn Malecha: The second piece of the puzzle is having what we call leaky gut. An impaired digestive tract and a suppressed immune system. The immune system part is really important. Part of what triggers an auto-immune condition is the immune system becoming so overwhelmed that it no longer can distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys anymore. That’s when it starts to attack healthy tissue. The integrity of the intestinal tract is a big part of that, which relates to the immune system.
Jenn Malecha: Then the third piece is some type of environmental trigger. There are a lot of triggers out there. Thyroid has been just an exploding topic, I think, in the functional medicine industry now for a couple of years. There’s been talk around how Epstein-Barr, EBV, is a trigger for Hashimoto’s. It is, but you have to have these other two pieces of the puzzle.
Jenn Malecha: Gluten can also be a trigger for something like Hashimoto’s if you have the other two pieces of the puzzle. Even certain strains of parasites, bacteria or yeast overgrowth in the gut have been synonymous with auto-immune conditions such as Hashimoto’s.
Jenn Malecha: The list of triggers can be really vast. I’m sure that toxins can play a role in that as well. As we’ve seen an emergence of this conversation around toxins, we just don’t really know enough about them given the amount that we are exposed to, and how they really impact our health.
Wendy Myers: I think that’s a very good point because I think we have over 80,000 or even 100,000 chemicals, estimated, in our environment. We don’t know how they interact with each other in our bodies. We probably have isolated some things, but I know that mercury definitely plays a huge role in affecting the thyroid. Can you talk about that, and any other toxins that are impacting our thyroid negatively?
Jenn Malecha: Yes, from the simplistic standpoint one of the things that relates to thyroid health and toxins is the liver. The liver is this organ that’s in between these two things that really impact thyroid health overall. We have things like mercury toxicity in our body or I had elevated estrogen levels, which can present as a toxin in the body also.
Jenn Malecha: The liver is responsible for moving those things through and out of the body, right? It’s one of our major detoxification organs, although we do have other ones. It plays a really big role in this process. The liver is also where we convert a good percentage of thyroid hormone. That’s one of the main areas that I focus on with clients when they come to me and they’ve been experiencing either diagnosed or undiagnosed thyroid issues. We really work on detoxification and cleaning up the liver, helping the liver to move a little bit better and making the liver tissues healthier. Again, that’s where we convert T4 to T3, or a large percentage of it.
Jenn Malecha: The toxins really act in two ways. There’s toxins that directly disrupt the endocrine system. This is something that really opened my eyes up and encouraged me to look closer at the quality of the water, not only that I was drinking but that I was showering in. Fluoride, bromine and chlorine can all bind to thyroid hormone and make it unavailable or inactive. Not only that, but they disrupt the delicate balance of the other hormones, which can have a downstream effect on thyroid.
Jenn Malecha: Then they create this burden on the liver. They create unhealthy tissue in the liver that then impacts the conversion of thyroid hormones. There’s things like mercury, arsenic and all of these toxins. We really need to be looking at them.
Jenn Malecha: When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and kind of figured this out, I would say that I was living a pretty healthy life at that time. I was a couple of years in doing the work that I do now as a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner. I had gone through a process of cleaning up some more of the obvious toxins in my environment, like getting rid of plastics, drinking out of glass and stainless steel water bottles, eating organic and those types of things.
Jenn Malecha: This just encouraged me to investigate a much deeper layer of toxin exposures. We looked at getting a whole-house filtration system and starting to swap out some of the cooking utensils that we were using, in order to eliminate as much as possible, these exposures. For the direct impact that they have on the hormones, and then the side impact that they have on the liver.
Wendy Myers: That was a fantastic explanation of how all these different toxins impact the thyroid. It’s not surprising why the number-one prescribed medication is thyroid medication. There’s just so many toxins working against our thyroid and thyroid hormone production. One thing I wanted to throw in there and mention, is that a lot of times people have allergies to mercury. They have a sensitivity to mercury and mercury can build up in the thyroid. Then people’s immune system will have an auto-immune response and attack the mercury, and the thyroid issue just happens to be a victim of that immune response.
Jenn Malecha: That’s a great thing to point out because I think a lot of people are unaware of that. When we do our work, when we’re investigating, we need to look at that individual person. What kind of exposures to toxins have they had? What do they have going on in their body? We start to identify what some of these triggers are, right?
Jenn Malecha: Going back to that concept of triggers. I’m somebody who’s never really dealt with EBV myself. I’ve never had an outbreak of mono. The CDC estimates that 80% of the population carries something like EBV or herpes simplex, which can also be a trigger. That probably wasn’t a trigger for me because it’s not something that’s really expressed itself in my body versus somebody who has had exposure to mercury because they have metal fillings in their mouth, or other things that are going on in their environment. We need to be looking at all of those variables that are specific to that person.
Wendy Myers: What kind of testing should someone do to find out if they have Hashimoto’s or low thyroid function?
Jenn Malecha: Definitely a full thyroid panel. When I say full thyroid panel I want to emphasize that. Typically when you go to your primary care physician and ask for a thyroid test, they primarily are going to run something called TSH. It is just the stimulating hormone which gives you some insights about the thyroid. Actually, the pituitary gland is what releases TSH to signal the thyroid to do its job and to produce thyroid hormone.
Jenn Malecha: If thyroid hormone production is low, the pituitary gland is going to work harder. It’s going to release more TSH. That can be an insight as to what’s going on with the thyroid, but it’s not the complete picture. Dr. Kharrazian talks about this really well in his book, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms. There’s six different thyroid profiles. Sometimes you can have a normal TSH level, but the other thyroid hormone values are out of range or dysfunctional in some kind of way.
Jenn Malecha: We also want to be looking at total T4 and total T3, which is the bound hormone. It’s not really available to the cells, but it gives you some insights. Then we want to look at free T3 and free T4. These are the active, available versions of the hormone which the cells can then utilize. Then we want to look at what we call reverse T3 and T3 uptake.
Jenn Malecha: T3 uptake is more about how much of that T3 is being taken up into the cells. Reverse T3 is more about stopping the intake of T3 into the cells, so we can understand what might be at play there. Also, we want to look at the thyroid antibodies. I often see that even when a client gets a semi-full thyroid panel, it’s usually only testing for one of the thyroid antibodies. We want to be testing for thyroid peroxidase, which is TPO, and thyroglobulin, which is TgAb, to really see the two different antibody pictures and understand what is going on there. Sometimes, one antibody can be lower, in normal range, and the other one can be really flared up.
Jenn Malecha: Either way, that can indicate a thyroid or autoimmune process, and thyroid issues. Based on what those markers say, it could tell you if you’re hypothyroid or if you are hyperthyroid. Again, going back to the six different thyroid profiles concepts based on the pattern of the thyroid markers, you can start to understand.
Jenn Malecha: In some cases, it could be a thyroid issue. It could be secondary to a pituitary issue. Sometimes, in those cases, that’s because people have been over-medicated. I’ve seen some clients like that come through my practice where they’ve been working on a thyroid issue for so long, they just keep getting prescribed a higher level of medication to try and deal with it. Actually it’s making things worse because it’s creating this secondary hypo-pituitary problem that’s happening.
Wendy Myers: Doing all that testing is amazing. I think a lot of medical doctors actually flatly refuse to do this type of testing, especially if you’re with an HMO, Kaiser or something like that. I’ve suggested certain tests when I had certain health insurance, at one time.
Wendy Myers: I would suggest, even asking to get a vitamin D test. “Oh, I don’t see any symptoms that would allow me to even run that type of test for you.” For some people, they really have to push their doctor to get the testing done and to get to the bottom of what’s going on with them.
Jenn Malecha: Exactly. I think that’s where I really like to help people advocate for themselves. If I think that they should go get their thyroid tested, or if they’ve had inadequate thyroid testing coming to work with me, we talk about that. I educate them about why they need to get these full panels. I think it’s important to educate yourself in terms of resources. I’ll have them read something like Dr. Amy Myers, Thyroid Solution book, or Dr. Kharrazian’s book that I just mentioned, so that they have a better understanding. Then they can go in there armed and educated to have a real conversation with their practitioner.
Jenn Malecha: I provide them with a list of the things to go in and ask for so that they’re clear on what it is that they need. These are kind of foreign concepts, it’s like speaking a new language, right? They don’t speak medical-speak and thyroid-marker language, necessarily.
Wendy Myers: Those kinds of books are amazing. When you go to your doctor, they’re not going to give you any diet or lifestyle suggestions on how to address the leaky gut or address the underlying root causes. You really have to be an advocate for your own health because the doctors are only going to give you thyroid medication or replacement hormones. They’re not going to give you solutions to reverse the issue. You really have to take your health into your own hands and become a student of how to improve your health.
Jenn Malecha: Let’s be clear, too, especially in an auto-immune haze, something like thyroid medication, like a T3 or a T4 or desiccated thyroid hormone, it actually does not stop the auto-immune process. It’s only supplementing the low hormone values that are there maybe because the thyroid has been under attack by the immune system and it can’t produce thyroid hormone as well, or there’s lack of nutrients or whatever’s going on. To truly do something like I did, in hopes of reversing an auto-immune condition or getting it under control naturally, then that is where the lifestyle components come in.
Jenn Malecha: This just circles us back to that conversation around getting rid of the toxins out of your environment, and working through and minimizing as many of the potential triggers as possible.
Jenn Malecha: Some of the other resources that I use for that, in terms of testing, is a DUTCH test. A DUTCH test can actually be really insightful if somebody doesn’t know that they have a thyroid issue, but we suspect it based on the values of 24-hour free cortisol and metabolized cortisol. We can actually see some thyroid profiles on there which can indicate to go look at that thyroid panel a little bit closer.
Jenn Malecha: Also, a Diagnostic Solutions GI-MAP test, a stool sample test, to look at what’s going on in the gut in terms of bacteria, yeast, parasite overgrowth, the intestinal lining and its health. Actually on the GI-MAP, some of the markers are categorized as auto-immune triggers. Something like the bacteria Klebsiella, for example, is an auto-immune trigger. If we suspect that somebody is on the auto-immune spectrum, or they already know that they have something like that going on, then that’s definitely a clue and a trigger that we want to clean up.
Jenn Malecha: Even if they don’t know or don’t suspect auto-immunity, regardless, what’s important for the thyroid is cleaning up toxins. Gut bugs, bacteria, parasites and yeast are also a type of internal toxin that our liver and our body might be dealing with. They also impair our ability to digest foods and nutrients well enough, to get things like selenium that the thyroid needs to make thyroid hormone.
Jenn Malecha: There’s that inflammatory component. If it’s continually overwhelming the immune system with this inflammation, it’s going to maybe lead to an auto-immune condition down the road.
Wendy Myers: How do you go about detoxing clients when they’re presenting with Hashimoto’s or thyroid issues? What are the steps that you have them take to detox their body?
Jenn Malecha: I start with making sure that the other systems of the body are supported, first and foremost, before we just dive into detoxification.
Jenn Malecha: In my work, what that looks like is, the first thing we focus on is supporting digestion and repair. Things like a probiotic, maybe a digestive enzyme, some fish oil or some glutamine. Maybe something like Microbiome Labs’ Mega IgG 2000 that helps to restore the intestinal lining, or Designs for Health GI Revive. That’s really going to strengthen that intestinal lining and the digestive process.
Jenn Malecha: One, as we’re working through this process and they’re eating more organic, healthy foods, they’re going to get more bang for their buck with everything that they’ve put in their mouth. They’re going to be able to get more nutrients out of the food that they’re eating. Two, to calm some of that inflammatory response and to improve the integrity of the intestinal lining. The intestines actually play a role in part of the detoxification process, right?
Jenn Malecha: We need to make sure that everything down the path is going to be strengthened. From there we move into a phase to support the adrenals, let’s support general health and hormones. Maybe something like adaptogenic herbs for their cortisol, depending on what their cortisol rhythm or their circadian rhythm looks like. Taking minerals, because we know that toxins already strip the body of minerals. A nice well-rounded mineral complex. Then, based on some of their test results, anything else that they might need to support better-quality sleep or their hormones, in some kind of way. Maybe with Maca or something like that.
Jenn Malecha: Then I move them into a gentle detoxification of herbs and things that would support the liver, specifically. Milk thistle, dandelion root, adding in some glutathione, some N-acetylcysteine, to support the natural detoxification process.
Jenn Malecha: Now we’ve really laid this foundation before going into something like detoxing gut bugs, for example, or maybe a heavy metal chelation, potentially. Now that all the systems of the body are supported, they’re not going to feel like crap when they go through that detoxification process. We’ve kind of boosted up general health, essentially, to help their body move through that.
Wendy Myers: What do you think is the number one toxin that people need to be concerned about when they’re thinking about detoxing their body to address Hashimoto’s?
Jenn Malecha: That’s a really great question. Gosh, it just varies so much for each individual person based on where they live and what their environment is.
Jenn Malecha: How I’ll kind of answer this question is more so on, how do we prioritize toxin elimination? I prioritize that based on, let’s first focus on everything that’s going in your body.
Jenn Malecha: When you’re putting toxins like in non-organic foods or say meats that have hormones and antibiotics, into your body, you’re directly consuming these toxins. They have such a large impact when we do that.
Jenn Malecha: The first thing I focus on is let’s eliminate toxins that are going into your body, which is usually through food sources. The types of foods that you’re buying, what type of utensils and things are you cooking with and your cookware.
Jenn Malecha: If you’re using Teflon nonstick pans and those types of things, then your food’s going to absorb those toxins. You’re going to ingest them.
Jenn Malecha: Then that moves us into the category of water. Making sure that the water that you’re drinking, that you’re putting in your body, is filtered and clean.
Jenn Malecha: From there, I say the next priority is anything that goes on your body. Whatever we put on our body, on our skin, the body still absorbs and metabolizes in some kind of way. That’s going through your lotions, your makeup, your shampoos, your conditioners and getting rid of things like parabens and phthalates.
Jenn Malecha: Water comes into play again with the shower water. As I mentioned earlier, water was a big one because chlorine, bromine and fluoride bind the thyroid hormone and make it unavailable. On top of the fact that they burden the liver with that process of detoxification.
Jenn Malecha: I don’t know about you, but I shower twice a day. Most people shower at least once a day. If you’re showering twice a day or once a day, on top of drinking as we all should be, somewhere around 60 to 100 ounces of water a day, that’s a lot of consumption or exposure right there that we can be minimizing. From there, we kind of move out.
Jenn Malecha: The third priority is other environmental factors. That could be inhalants, like the cleaning supplies that you’re using. Making sure that you have air purifiers in your home or where you spend a lot of time indoors and other things that you’re surrounding yourself with.
Jenn Malecha: If we think about in our home, all of our couches, all of our furniture has this flame retardant already built in and on it. It is toxic, it off-gasses and we don’t even notice that. The paint that’s on our walls. We can start to be concerned about those things that we do come in contact with regularly and daily, and start to eliminate some of those factors.
Wendy Myers: Let’s talk a little about diet. Diet has a huge impact on promoting leaky gut and exacerbating Hashimoto’s. What kind of dietary recommendations would you make for anyone that has a Hashimoto’s diagnosis or suspects it?
Jenn Malecha: One of the primary goals, as we’ve been talking about, is recognizing that the immune system is overwhelmed. One of the first places that I like to start, is working towards an anti-inflammatory diet. We can look at some of the top inflammatory foods, like gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol. You could probably lump grains, in general, into that category.
Jenn Malecha: For some people, specifically, I have seen a huge correlation that is talked about quite a bit in some of the auto-immune books that are out there, are foods that contain lectins in them. Nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and nightshade vegetables. Running a food sensitivity test can really help you gain greater insights into some of these clues to understand exactly what the individual person needs. From there, it’s moving towards an anti-inflammatory diet, first and foremost to calm that reaction on the immune system and give the digestive system a break from that inflammation.
Jenn Malecha: Then what I have found to be really important as well, is balancing macronutrients. When we look at the interplay within the endocrine system, and how the thyroid and the HPA axis work together, how our body is this huge network of systems, then I start to look at macronutrient balance. That will help to balance blood sugar levels, which helps to balance their circadian rhythm, which helps to improve sleep quality too. It also reduces digestive stress.
Jenn Malecha: If we’re eating an imbalance of protein, carbs and fats for what’s right for our body, the digestive system can have a hard time with that. This can improve absorption of nutrients when we do this, then we’re boosting nutrient delivery to the body which helps with that healing process.
Wendy Myers: Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about that we haven’t discussed so far, when it comes to helping someone reverse their Hashimoto’s?
Jenn Malecha: I would love to mention sleep. Sleep is a big factor for me. This is where I see a lot of people struggle. It’s not only important for the Hashimoto’s aspect, but it’s also important for detoxification.
Jenn Malecha: And one of the most critical things that I’ve seen in the work that I’ve done with clients is not only the amount of sleep that you’re getting, but the timeframe in which you’re sleeping that supports the natural circadian rhythm. A really critical time period is generally about 10:00 PM to about 4:00 AM. And if we look at a Chinese medicine clock or wheel, if you Google that, you’ll see some really great images and graphs about certain timeframes that the body is doing certain activities. We know that according to our circadian rhythm, usually the window between 1:00 and about 3:00 AM is when the gallbladder, the kidneys and the liver are doing their major detoxification process. We need to be sleeping during that time in order for those functions to happen effectively.
Jenn Malecha: When we’re sleeping during this time, it also balances the circadian rhythm, which balances the HPA axis, which has a positive impact on thyroid function. During this time, this window is also critical because this is the time when our body releases human growth hormone, for example, to go and repair all of the cells.
Jenn Malecha: One of the things I’ll tell people is that your body can only heal when it’s in a relaxed state. If you have disrupted sleep where you’re not sleeping through the night, your body can’t heal during that process. We need to not only be sleeping during these critical time periods, but we also need to make sure that we’re getting consistent sleep during that time for these functions to happen.
Jenn Malecha: This is such a game changer. I know it’s been for me, Wendy, and my clients that I’ve worked with. We live in a society where people are burning the candle at both ends, as they say. Staying up late, getting up early, catching up on work late at night or after they put their kids to bed. They think that that’s their only personal time, but that really impacts this sleep structure that we’re talking about. It’s like you’re waking up with a half a tank of gas every single day when that’s happening.
Jenn Malecha: If you can get yourself to go to sleep by 10:00 PM, sleep solid through until about 4:00 AM or even a little bit later, then you’ll find that your body has a better ability to heal. You’ll feel much better in the morning and it will progressively get better.
Wendy Myers: So many people are having issues with sleep. It’s something I struggled with for a really long time. Different things can throw a wrench in your sleep when you have your rhythm down, and then you can have a surprise mold infestation, or you move and you have high EMF in your area and you don’t realize it. There’s a lot of things that can come up. That’s really that foundation of health. You’ve got to get your sleep down. Figure out everything that could possibly disrupt your sleep and address it.
Jenn Malecha: Yes, exactly. What’s interesting is that window between 1:00 and 3:00AM, if you find yourself consistently waking up during that time, I’ve seen that be a signature sign of blood sugar imbalances. Going back to that diet piece and the importance of balancing macronutrients. Also because that is the window to detoxification, it can be an indication that you’ve got a congested liver and detox process. It probably needs some support.
Wendy Myers: Our poor livers are just so overburdened.
Jenn Malecha: I know.
Wendy Myers: When you think about how 100,000,000 people have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and that’s just with a diagnosable condition. That’s not even counting people who have other more serious liver diseases. Then people have under-functioning livers because their livers are just so overwhelmed with all the toxins and their poor diet. Our liver has so many different jobs.
Jenn Malecha: So many different jobs. I kind of related to that. If we look at the number of toxins that have been released since World War II, I think you quoted it. It’s definitely over 80,000. I think the last number that I saw was 120,000. Our liver has not had enough time to be able to evolve quickly enough, at the same rate as all these toxins are coming out into the world, essentially.
Jenn Malecha: It basically is like asking somebody in a 40-hour work week to do 100 more tasks than they were used to doing. I think that first and foremost, when clients ask me at the end of our work, “What are some things that I should continue to focus on and supplements that I should take?” I’m like, “You should always be working on detoxification in some subtle, daily way.” Just because of the amount of toxins that we come across. You can’t always see, hear, smell or feel them, but they’re there. The way that they impact us in our liver just hasn’t had time to catch up. Until that ever happens, we should probably always be supporting our poor livers.
Wendy Myers: I totally agree. That’s why we’re doing this podcast. It’s amazing. We talk about these different topics and different health issues like Hashimoto’s, adrenal fatigue or weight issues. Toxins impact every different organ and organ system in the body. They poison enzymes. They poison the body’s ability to make proteins and they throw a wrench in our thyroid’s functioning, in addition to all the other different organs and organ systems. You’ve got to be thinking about detoxification as a lifestyle, like you just mentioned.
Wendy Myers: Tell us where we can learn more about you? Where can the listeners work with you? Do you have any programs or how does someone learn more about you?
Jenn Malecha: My brand is The Wholistic Health Boss, and wholistic is as in whole, like Whole Foods. You can go to wholistichealthboss.com. I write a weekly blog, talking a lot about the things that we’ve discussed today. I also have a 21-day program that’s free. That’s on there to explore a little bit of the things that we talked about. The first week is about dialing in your diet and kind of paying attention to your macronutrients and figuring out what balance is right for you. Then in week two, it’s talking about sleep and uncovering tactics and tools to help you sleep better, and what might be preventing you from getting that great sleep. Then, week three is actually exploring gut bugs because they’re a lot more common than most people think. People can go to my website and get all those resources. I love playing on Instagram, so you can follow me @wholistichealthboss. On Facebook as well, at Wholistic Health Boss.
Wendy Myers: Fantastic. Jenn, thank you so much for coming on The Myers Detox Podcast. Everyone, thanks so much for tuning in every week. It’s really my pleasure to do this show every week. I always learn so much from all the guests that come on. I’m just really thankful that you guys are tuning in every week.
Wendy Myers: I had so much fun doing this over the last eight years. We’re going into year eight now. It’s crazy.
Jenn Malecha: Wow.
Wendy Myers: Thanks for tuning in. My name is Wendy Myers. You can find my work at myersdetox.com. I’ll talk to you guys very soon. Happy new year.
Speaker 3: The Myers Detox Podcast is created and hosted by Wendy Myers. This podcast is for information purposes only. Statements and views expressed on this podcast are not medical advice. This podcast, including Wendy Myers and the producers, disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information contained herein. Opinions of guests are their own, and this podcast does not endorse or accept responsibility for statements made by guests. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about guest qualifications or credibility. Individuals on this podcast may have direct or indirect financial interest in products or services referred to herein. If you think you have a medical problem, consult a licensed physician.