Inflammation in The Body

This Podcast In Summary

In this engaging webinar, Katie Jo, NP, and Brittany discuss the impact of inflammation on our health and the ways to address it for a better quality of life. They dive into the crucial role of hormones in managing inflammation and share insightful information that can benefit everyone.

The conversation highlights the importance of lifestyle choices in managing inflammation. Both experts stress the significance of factors like stress management, exercise, and a well-balanced diet. They emphasize that making gradual, sustainable changes in your life can lead to significant improvements over time.

Brittany and Katie Jo also touch upon the value of natural remedies, such as herbs and spices. They discuss how incorporating foods like turmeric, garlic, and ginger can have a positive impact on inflammation. These small dietary adjustments can make a world of difference in your health journey.

The importance of testing and supplementation is another key point. Katie Jo mentions how simple tests, like checking your zinc levels, can provide valuable insights into your health. Proper supplementation, including vitamin D, can help address deficiencies that contribute to inflammation.

This webinar offers a wealth of practical information for anyone looking to improve their well-being. It emphasizes that improving your health doesn't have to be overwhelming – it's about taking one step at a time. Thrivelab's commitment to helping patients make these positive changes is evident, and they are readily available to assist anyone seeking their expertise.

If you're interested in achieving better health, managing inflammation, and optimizing your hormones, this webinar provides valuable insights and a clear path forward. Visit Thrivelab's website to learn more and start your journey towards a healthier, more vibrant life.


Katie Jo, NP:

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the weekly webinar, or bimonthly, I should say. Every two weeks, we offer an educational webinar here at I am a nurse practitioner with Thrive Lab, and I have our co-practitioner here, Brittany Meeker. Thrivelab, for those who are joining us, perhaps for the first time, is a telehealth-based revolutionary company that's offering mission-driven goals with hormone health as the focus. So our goal is to help balance your hormones so you can thrive and offer your gifts to yourself and to others at the highest level. We use evidence-based care, bioidentical and natural hormone replacement therapy. Our goal is to make hormone replacement therapy affordable and accessible nationwide. We love what we do and you can tell the energy today with me and Brittany that our whole team, we call ourselves a family, radiates positivity, love and a unified dedication to helping our patients at every level to thrive. We have an empowered work culture that stems from our passion for being well and leading vibrant, healthy lives. So as I mentioned, we have Brittany Meeker here on the call today. She's one of the co-nurse practitioners, and we have a whole team of family behind the scenes, other providers, with doctors, with experts in labs, with experts in hormone health and nutrition. And today our focus is on inflammation. And most people have heard this word, I'll tell my clients inflammation, and you can see that glaze come over their eyes. I know I'm inflamed. You're telling me I'm inflamed, but what do I do about it? So Brittany, when you tell a patient they have inflammation, you maybe see it in their physical form, or maybe you see it in their lab work. What are some of the classic symptoms that you notice when you see inflammation in a person.


Hello, everybody. Happy Knowledge Week on inflammation. And I love that introduction, Katie Jo. You just painted a beautiful portrait of our Thrive family. This is just a little percent of y'all into our workspace. And so I welcome you. Share this video if you feel that it sets well with you or that a friend or family member would benefit. But you know, to answer your question, there are so many factors to inflammation. Food, lifestyle, stress, obesity, hormone imbalances. So if I wanna dial into the patient's inflammation, I wanna get some food intake, right? What  they eating throughout the day or lifestyle? Cardiac disease is the number one killer due to chronic inflammatory markers throughout the body. And so it's believed that you can lower lipids with labs and that will help control cardiovascular disease. Yes, that is semi-true, but it's all derived from inflammation and that can then entail organ damage or even hyperglycemia, high blood sugar, right? You have increased inflammatory pathways throughout the body. And if we decrease that inflammation, we're decreasing death, we're preventing and treating the inflammation, which drives longevity for life, which is our number one goal. Let's get to the root issue and let's treat what is causing the problem. So there's a lot of different factors of inflammation and what it can present itself. Those are some that come to mind. What about you Katie Jo?

Katie Jo, NP:

I would say in about 60 to 70% of my clients, I notice some gastrointestinal, we would say the gut in layman's turn that there's some inflammation, whether that be constipation, maybe you've had it your whole life, you've never been able to evacuate your bowels regularly, which means for me, that's having a poop once a day, going to the potty once a day, if that doesn't happen, to me, that's not normal. Other symptoms in the gut can be signs of what we call leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability. So when you eat, maybe you feel gassy and bloated afterwards. Or perhaps you wake up over the night and your stomach's flat, but by the end of the day, you are so bloated and uncomfortable that some people that don't know you may think that you're pregnant. On the other side of that, we have what's called irritable bowel syndrome, IBS. And I am thankful to raise my hand and say, I'm a recovery from irritable bowel syndrome. So that includes often, loose stools or diarrhea often in response to stress. When I was in my undergrad and in my master's program, stress was so high that I often would have loose bowel movements because my body was responding to the stress hormones. So that is one of the characteristic signs of inflammation would be the digestive system. So if you're experiencing any of those symptoms, but it can also show up as weight gain around the midsection. And that's more associated with hormone health in perimenopause terms, the midlife middle. But it's not just in the midlife. We see clients earlier in their 20s and their 30s that are having these signs of inflammation. And they often have had a workup by a gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in the gut. And you may have been prescribed some medications. You may have gotten relief. You may have not gotten relief. But the reason that the gut is so special is because that's where your neurotransmitters are made. Your neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, they're made in the digestive system. And then there's a special nerve, it's called the vagus nerve. Some people call it the wandering nerve, and it communicates from your brain to your digestive system and spreads throughout the body. So our neurotransmitters and our hormones are partially made in our digestive system and then they communicate with the brain. So that would be one of the primary symptoms would be GI function health. And so you mentioned diet. because we are what we eat, rather I say we are what we absorb. And I think it was Hippocrates that said, let food be thy medicine. So when you're assessing someone's diet and they're showing signs of inflammation, maybe they have this gas and bloating that I spoke about. What type of things do you see in the diet? And then possibly what would be some of the changes you might recommend?


I think it's important on first the intake that they're having. You know, there's powerful anti-inflammatory foods and vitamins and minerals that can help kind of work against those things. But if I'm looking at a patient's diet, I want to know, are they eating these, you know, processed foods, high sugars, fast foods? And that's something I go into with my intake form is looking at their diet. High red meat foods that has a lot of inflammation in it. I am a fan of protein, especially some animal-based protein, but as I've researched on my own, I have found that plant based has the lowest inflammation process for your mind and your body. And so whenever I see that there's chronic inflammation, it can also cause aging. And what we see with that is things like insulin resistance, right? Prediabetic, diabetic, sometimes patients will have muscle weakness. Their lower back just feels inflamed and it feels attacked and so does their muscles. You know, they'll have chronic fatigue syndrome. They're just always tired. And so when I'm looking at these signs and symptoms, it's clinically if I'm looking at you know, these physical and emotional symptoms. But if I'm seeing someone who cut their hand and it's inflamed, I'm gonna see redness and warmth. I think that is a different approach to the assessment and treatment of an inflammation process. I'm looking at the overall body's response to the inflammatory of what's happening of what they're eating and drinking ideally. So really the foods that they intake is definitely higher sugar, processed foods, fast foods, foods that are packaged and easy to obtain because in this day and age, who doesn't like to just eat and keep going on the hamster wheel per se of life when our schedules are so, so busy? So definitely the snack food, the chips, cookies, crackers, you know, lack of exercise, lack of weight management, that all spirals into high inflammatory responses.

Katie Jo, NP:

That covers so much, Brittany. And to add on that, I'd like to add my anecdotal experience with inflammation. So it's 2023 in this recording. In 2019, I was so inflamed, although I was the healthiest person I knew, I was- succumbed to marketing and I was using some supplements and some products that caused inflammation that had artificial sugars that had some food dyes and I mentioned the irritable bowel I was recovered from that I had leaky gut syndrome and it leaked out of my gut and when I would eat I would get very bloated and then I started to have joint pain and I was diagnosed with a type of rheumatic arthritis called peripheral ankylotizing spondylitis and in women it often shows up in your joints. So I was having leaking from my gut. My body was saying, this is not from Katie Jo. This is a food that should be in the digestive system, now it's in the general circulation and it would attack it and it would attack my joints. And 62% of women are more likely to have a type of arthritis, specifically a rheumatic arthritis, which is autoimmune, where your body starts to attack itself. So my body started to attack my joints. It attacked my feet joints. I thought I had plantar fasciitis. And as I wasn't improving despite rests and stretching, if you've had plantar, you know how painful that is. Shout out to all my weakend athletes because if you have some severe exercise, you can experience that as well as those muscles get tight in your lower legs. So then I thought maybe I have gout. It wasn't improving with stretching. So I went to a rheumatologist. And he said, you don't have gout, but let's x-ray your hips. And I had chronic hip pain my whole life. I had sciatica in the past that had gotten better with some dietary changes. And my hip had always hurt on and off. And I thought it's because I'm an athlete. I exercise, I'm cycling, I'm running up mountains. And when the doctor took the x-ray of my hips, he said, Katie Jo, your sciatic hip joint, your SI, excuse me, sacroiliac, is so inflamed, you look like you've had four babies. But I've only had one baby by birth, and that was diagnostic along with the symptoms and a positive blood work that showed I was positive for autoimmune, that I had this rheumatic arthritis. My body was so inflamed. I started to develop symptoms of chronic fatigue. I wanted to sleep all the time. My joints were achy. I remember at one point crying to my family saying, I can't even take the trash out. I can't walk from the house to the trash can because my body is so inflamed. At one point, I was in a wheelchair and I stopped working as a nurse because I had to take disability. So, many of our practitioners have similar stories and I would say by God's grace, I was able to heal from the inside to the outside to decrease the inflammation and to change the diet. So, that's huge. So, one of these supplements I was taking was, I'm going to say it out loud, I was taking branch chain amino acids. I was taking a lot of them. I would take them every single day. It had some artificial sweeteners, some artificial colors, but I thought it was healthy. It was a precursor to protein. I was building muscles. I was exercising like a fiend. And it really contributed to the inflammation in my body. So once I cut out the artificial sweeteners, I cut out foods that are in a box, a bag or a can and went back to eating what our ancestors ate, which was whole food in its purest form, cooked at home, no added additives such as preservatives, it started to slowly heal from the inside out. And I'm happy to say today that my inflammatory markers are better. I'm no longer using a wheelchair. And although I'm not running up mountains, that's more because I'm choosing to preserve my adrenal glands at this point in time and not push myself. Instead, I'm hiking slowly up the mountain and looking at flowers and bees and bunny rabbits. So that's my personal story of inflammation. But our clients have the same stories. If you're able to change your diet, and one client recently, he said, Katie Jo, I have belly fat. I've improved my muscles, but my fat's not going away. And I said, let's look at a deep dive in your diet. So we did. And one of the things that he was using was artificial sweeteners. He said, I drink a diet soda a day, and I'm using these keto-friendly sweeteners. I said, take the word keto out. That's marketing. If it's a synthetic sweetener that's been made in the laboratory, I don't care if it says keto. Let's cut it out. So he did, and within three months, he went from being almost diabetic to being normal with the normal blood sugars. So we know those dietary changes can have a powerful impact. And here at Thrivelab, our team not only looks at your hormones, but we look at what makes your hormones, which is your diet. I tell my budding daughters is that what you eat is gonna grow your eyelashes. Your body's gonna use it to grow the eyelashes on your face. So it's very powerful medicine. So we spoke about, diet in detail. This podcast might just be about diet and inflammation, but what about other things like stress or lifestyle? What do you notice in your clients?


I love first that you shared the diet soda story. I was like Katie Joe share it share about how this You know man stopped his diet soda addiction and he lost weight and feels better and you did so I just have to give it up. I love that you shared that because I know my little family on here is watching and they are big diet soda drinkers. So with that being said-

Katie Jo, NP:

Well, no food shaming. Ha ha!


That is true. All at our own journey, right? But no, when I see patients with high stress and things like that there are these you know management of deep breathing and meditation and exercise to decrease the stress which decreases inflammation in the body and I have to say it sounds so cliche. Take some deep breaths, download I'm a fan of the headspace app. I'm a subscriber, love them. And it's amazing what it does to rewire the brain. We are so constantly stimulated as humans. It's our emails, it's our phones, it's the clock in, clock out, what is the next adrenaline rush and our mind is never calm and at ease. And we are not made for that. We are not made to be on technology and TVs and devices and our brain is addicted to that stimulus and that causes high stress levels in our body which rises cortisol and it is not good for us. And so what really calms that down is meditation and deep breaths. And I challenge you to do it for three days for five minutes. And you're gonna be like, wow, is this what a deep breath and a mental break feels like? Because if we do have a break at work or at the office, we're on another device checking some kind of media or some kind of platform on our break. So mentally, we're just never letting that stress dissolve. And as we get older and as stress accumulates with different responsibilities, it just snowballs into things that can even affect our hormones. And as we age, our hormones are depleting and that's another topic. But with that being said, you mentioned Katie Jo, gut health as well, right? And if we have poor detoxification, we're gonna have increased inflammatory markers. So things with high stress and media and then not detoxifying our system, this all just snowballs into bigger and bigger issues. And so the goal is to approach it and slowly peel away these causes so we can get you ideally feeling your best. And so it is a bit of an approach, but we are here to take that on. It's just recognizing and saying, hmm, that's me. And, you know, peeling away the layers and the causes of these things.

Katie Jo, NP:

Brittany, I like that you went deep with this with the lifestyle and going back to my own personal anecdotal story when I was experiencing chronic fatigue, when I was in the throes of ankylotizing spondylitis, my saving grace was returning to prayer and meditation. And I hadn't been participating because I'd been in a master's program. I've been raising two children. I was working full time as a nurse. And so all my time was focused on outside of myself. And when I was ride my bicycle anymore. I couldn't work anymore. All I had was myself and God. And so reaching back into that part of myself was the most powerful medicine in the healing process. So what that means to you is creating time for that quiet time to calm the mind. And one of our amazing patients here at Thrivelab, I would say all of my patients are amazing. They bring such wonderful stories, but one of my patients is a filmmaker and she shared with me her film. It's called Trust me, I'm saying it out here. It's from New Day Films. It's an hour long and it talks about the reasons why we should unplug from our devices. We all know we should do it. However, the power of addiction is strong. And that power of addiction can also have us addicted to things that inflame us, whether that's overuse of our cell phones, whether that's use of alcohol, even though we know it's gonna worsen our hot flashes at nighttime. Maybe that's sugar cravings, even though we see our waistline growing and we feel like we don't have the power to stop that addiction. Here at Thrivelab with our approach to hormones, we're gonna dig deep and see is there some addictions in your life that could be nutrient deficient related, or is it more on a deeper level that would be connecting with the inner parts of yourself and seeing what parts of your life you can slow down. So those are very deep lifestyle choices. They're not easy, but it's very simple. I have one client. He is an amazing consultant. He gives so much to other people, is building some amazing projects. But he said, Katie Jo, I don't have any time for exercise. And I said, I understand, but we have to make time for you to move. If you're seated all day, he does have a standing desk. So that's a lifestyle hack, adding a standing desk. And so I said, seven minutes. I said, your morning routine before you start your work, I want seven minutes of movement. And you can choose a low intensity HIIT workout out, which is high intensity interval training or even just stretching or walking. So that movement is very powerful medicine and we have to prioritize that in our culture because like you mentioned with the use of cell phones things are so convenient we don't even have to cook anymore we order our dinner we're not hunting and gathering we're walking from our office to our car from our car to our home so making time for movement outdoors is such a wonderful biohack. One of our clients this week, she said, Katie Jo, every weekend I'm committed to taking my paddleboard out or my boat out. And I said, yes, you keep that commitment. If it's storming, don't take it out. But otherwise making that time for movement, especially outdoor movement. So you have the sunlight exposure for the vitamin D. We see chronically low vitamin D in our population across the board. And then also that movement is medicine being outdoors. Any other causes of inflammation, you mentioned some of the hormones. So what about cortisol and insulin, which we spoke at last time in detail about. You wanna bring those to the table?


We did. I really, you know, kind of switching gears to hormones. You know, it's interesting as hormones decline for men and women, inflammatory process increases. And what we see with getting older and hormones declining is diabetes, osteoporosis. Some research says it can spike MS, even dementia. And so just focusing on estrogen, for example, men and women have estrogen. It's not just women, men have it as well. It's produced. We both have it just like we both have testosterone. Really estrogen can reprogram our immunity and it really helps even function with factors and it can exacerbate high inflammatory processes like diabetes and MS. And so what's interesting is research shows that in menopause, it is neglected because with estrogen, it's not needed unless you're only in menopause, which means after one full year of not having any period, that is when most providers will look at you and say, you can have some estrogen now, but there was years and years and years of estrogen kind of plummeting and rising and plummeting and rising. And I say all that because there really are biological agents that can help decrease this process. And so there's then the other battle of, well, why estrogen? That's gonna cause breast cancer. I'm not here to say there's a 0, 0% but I'm here to also support that fact as well. That there is a lot of older studies back in the day but up to research and... being a part of your own research and what you practice is so important and that's what we do here at Thrive. So that's the other flip of things of, well, what about, you know, breast cancer, Brittany? Okay, yeah, MS, dementia, all these things, but what about, I mean, if we compare it, it's really not comparable at all. But going on to say that, what I see is as hormones decline, we are facing more inflammatory diseases. And so that is a beautiful outcome of replacing hormone therapy is that, yes, we are fixing the hot flashes and night sweats and vaginal dryness. Cause I use, a lot of it symptom management that helps with relief, but what it's doing within the system that decreases inflammation in your system allows for longevity of life. And that is such a beautiful outcome. I don't think a lot of patients are aware of that. So, as we get older, we're told, get that bone scan and take extra calcium. Your bones are weak. You're gonna break a hip, X, Y, Z. If we dig deep of why that's being caused, it's because of a decrease of hormones and it's high inflammatory responses that are causing that. So it's just quite fascinating that, you know, our ovaries are what produce our hormones and... You have to have had them removed or, you know, for it to mean anything for replacement. But if we kind of get ahead of the curb here and ahead of the wave, before it gets a little bit too painful for symptoms for men and women, we can reverse a lot of high inflammatory responses, which a lot of them are diseases. So it's a beautiful thing on how that can unfold. Hormones and how it relates to inflammatory responses.

Katie Jo, NP:

Brittany, I like that analogy, getting ahead of the curb because that is one of our goals is to be proactive. Typically by the time a patient comes to Thrive Lab, you've probably gone to your general practice, you've probably gone to your OBGYN, maybe if you're a man, you've gone to your urologist or an endocrinologist and the options that were available didn't meet your needs. So we get to fill in this gap to say, if you're suffering from signs of hormone deficiency, and most of our clients will use Dr. Google and self-diagnose and say, I know something's wrong, but I've told I'm normal. We don't want normal, we want to optimize. We want to be above that curve and be proactive. And so one of the hormones that also can help with inflammation is the thyroid hormone. Thyroid is our master metabolizer. It controls the metabolism of your DNA inside the mitochondria and the nucleus in your cells, those little powerhouses. And recently I was listening to a education series and was talking about the density of the mitochondria in the nucleus. And I can't remember the precise number, but I wanna say a million little mitochondria in one single cell. And so if you're having inflammation, those mitochondria are not able to pump out the energy. So often you notice a sluggish metabolism. So you'll have those signs of low energy. In a previous podcast that I'd like to refer back to, Dr. Jones went into detail about the signs of energy, the different signs of fatigue. So go back to our web series and you can listen with Dr. Jones where he talks about what are signs of low energy which often can be decreases in our thyroid hormone. And what was so interesting, the person who turned me on to thyroid hormone was my dentist and she's a biological dentist. Her name is Dr. Danelle Walton in Austin, Texas. Shout out to her. And she had told me, she said, Katie Jo, whenever I assess a patient for the oral health, I also palpate for the thyroid. And she did share, she was able to screen a couple people for thyroid cancer, was able to palpate nodules. But she also told me I'm noticing this trend with women that she called fit and 40 with enlarged thyroids. So they were fit looking from externally, they were in their perimenopause phase, 40 to 50, but they started to have enlarged thyroids, which can be very subtle and it's often a symptom that the thyroid is stressed, so it starts to enlarge, and it can be very subtle. Because I look for it when I'm in the community, I can see it like, oh, your thyroid's a little bit enlarged. I see there's some stress happening in your body, there's some inflammation happening, and thyroid is a very sensitive hormone, or organ rather, but it's also able to compensate for years. You mentioned diabetes is one of the conditions that could happen. in conjunction with hormone deficiency. Well, often we know that individuals have diabetes for a decade, they have the precursor symptoms, metabolic syndrome. If you're checking your labs, you probably would have high insulin, you might have high triglycerides, you might have another symptom of diabetes, which would be an elevated hemoglobin A1C, or you might not, but that can happen for 10 years before you actually have full blown diabetes. So getting the head of the curb with Thrivelab can create longevity for your health span. So thank you so much for allowing me to dive off that tangent of riding that wave. So you mentioned chronic, so chronic depletion. Do you ever notice situations where situations the patients had maybe an event where it was a very sudden shift in hormones, more of an acute situation and it's not chronic? Have you experienced any inflammatory pathways such as that?


I find a lot of it is lifestyle situations, a death in the family, unfortunately, laying off, going through a separation. And I compare it to our tank of our reserve of hormones. And especially when they felt so good. And what has changed? I'm not sleeping. I'm waking up at three or four in the morning. My energy's crashed. And I find out that after... 25 years there is a recent separation and you know work is piling up on the desk and I like to compare our hormones to our reserve and the higher our stress levels are, inflammation rises. We only have so much of our reserve of hormones that we utilize until they're depleted and we're feeling even worse. And so we have to re-examine our approach and our treatment plan because you're digging in more of your reserve in your body is not having is having to adjust to that depletion of stress within the body and needing to replace what it's what it once had and so you know lifestyle factors play a big part on that but definitely situations, right. Things come up, cortisol rises, inflammation rises and so the goal is to level that out. So we're not having those symptoms and side effects of the stress that's being caused.

Katie Jo, NP:

That is so accurate, Brittany. Going back to the movie I referenced earlier  the documentary, Trust Me, it talks about how we're having slow exposures to inflammatory content in our life, whether that be the news that we're watching, or maybe it's some of our entertainment that actually ends up stimulating our adrenal glands, and we're starting to get into that organ depletion. You call it your tank. I call it end organ reserves, so that reserve in our bodies. to be able to have the nutrients that we need to power the hormones for their processes to make energy. And I mentioned the thyroid earlier and some of the thyroid nutrients that are essential is zinc. Zinc is an essential nutrient for the thyroid. So is selenium, a good quality vitamin C, iodine from a good quality source, nutrition-based primarily. And what I noticed is that many people end up being zinc deficient. Now with COVID, zinc got some limelight because we noticed people were losing their sense of smell. Well, it was related to the disease process of COVID depleting your zinc reserves and you would lose your sense of smell, also your sense of taste. Well, if you've lost it because you've been sick or stress can also deplete it, there's no longer zinc available for your organs, including the thyroid gland. So they're not going to work optimally. And even if you replace that zinc, depending on the amount of time that your body's been deficient, and your organs have been working at a deficit, you may need lifelong or year-long years of hormone replacement to help get those levels back to normal. Typically, you'll feel better, but it's not a antibiotic, which we're not gonna talk about antibiotics, but just giving an example, that may be a medication you take just for a couple weeks or a few days, but using Hormone Replacement Therapy, we are working. with your life, maybe you're 40. So 40 years of hormones that now are being depleted with need for supplementation. I'm gonna give one example and then I'm gonna hand the mic back to you, Brittany, is zinc testing. So for some of my clients that I meet in person, our platform is primary telehealth so I can meet people all over the United States. But when I have the opportunity to meet you in person, there's a zinc test. And I experimented with a zinc test where it's liquid zinc and I gave it to children and to adults. So the children, you give them the zinc, they don't taste anything. I give it to the adults and it tastes metallic and bitter. And the adults say, this tastes so bad. Well, the reason it tastes bad is because you're zinc deficient. The children actually don't taste it because they still have that organ reserve of the zinc. So that doesn't cause a stimulation, which is usually the opposite of what the brain would think. But that's an easy way to test yourself if you're able to get liquid zinc, test yourself. And if you're zinc depletion, then you're most likely gonna be deficient in your hormones because there's a close connection between these nutrients. So thank you for going on that signs of acute inflammation, but ways that you could also test yourself at home. So managing inflammation would be the next step. So we talked about the signs, I mean, zinc replacement would be a way to possibly manage that. Although I recommend working with a practitioner to ensure that you're not. taking too much zinc or affecting your zinc copper ratio, magnesium is another essential nutrient to help with your organs. What are other ways that you can manage your inflammation? Perhaps supplements or foods. I mentioned the foods I use to nourish the thyroid, which would be the iodine and seaweed. What other foods do you like?

Brittany: (33:39.778)

First I have to say I'm always learning from you Katie Jo. I'm probably like the audience, like, holy cow, this chick knows so much about the drinking the zinc with the kids and the adults. I mean, that's, wow, that's fascinating first of all. That's amazing. And I, again, you learn something new every day. And so that is quite a fascinating thing. Never knew that. But you know, really to touch base on, I mean, there are strong natural anti-inflammatory

approaches that you can do. It’s almost like well, okay, so what do I do now? Where can I start? How can I decrease this inflammation? Of course, controlling blood sugar, making time to exercise and lose weight and manage stress. We've touched on that, but there are also some over the counter or food options that can help as well. Omega 3 fatty acids there are abundant in that fatty fish like salmon, or tuna, and they’re pro anti-inflammatory, right. And so they really help fight several types of infections and inflammatory responses. You've touched base on zinc, green tea. It's used in traditional medicine. It has rich compounds that provide health benefits. There's also really vitamin D, right? Vitamin D we test with our labs, but it has a huge role in immunity and health and has a powerful anti-inflammatory property. And there has been studies of low vitamin D being linked with inflammation. I definitely agree with that. I had a patient who said in clinic, Brittany, I can't even walk, my bones hurt so bad and I'm working nights and I'm working five 12 hour shifts. I checked her vitamin D and it was a seven. Oh, a seven. 

Katie Jo, NP: (35:26.88)

That's the lowest I've heard of.

Brittany: (35:32.566)

Those that are listening, those that are listening. You do not wanna be lower than a 30. 30 to 80, you don't wanna go over 100. I aim for like 60 to 70. I really like to have it high cause Lord knows we're not absorbing it in general these days. She was a seven, put her on an aggressive treatment of vitamin D, she could walk, she could move. She felt so much better. So her joints were just inflamed and she wasn't feeling well. Garlic, I mean, I cook with garlic. There's garlic at the store down the road. Don't eat it by itself, cook with it, or some can. But that has a high, high anti-inflammatory agent in it, helps with immunity as well. And then also, those are some over-the-counter common remedies that help with inflammatory responses. What about you? What do you think? I know you touched base on zinc, which is amazing. Zinc's another one as well. Turmeric, right? Turmeric helps as well. What do you think, Katie Jo? There's so many.

Katie Jo, NP: (36:35.456)

I love that you started to bring some of the herbal remedies that you can use at home. This is a study, I don't recall the journal, but it wasn't a news article. It was a study that looked at the per capita lung cancer in India. India has the highest smoking rates, I think in the world, this is what the article said, but they had some of the lowest cancer rates, specifically lung cancer. In North America, we associate smoking with the development of lung cancer. And this article cited the reason why the lung cancer is so low is because they eat so many spices in their food. They're eating turmeric in their food. They're eating fenugreek in their food. They're eating garlic, ginger, a whole plethora of spices. So adding herbs and spices to your diet intentionally can be a great way. And that goes back to the earlier part of the conversation, is switching from processed foods, taking out the artificial sweeteners. For example, I told one of my clients, I said we have to cut out the artificial sweetener. When you make your smoothie in the morning, add some dates, add some raisins. There's ways you can naturally sweeten. For many of our female clients, because you're experiencing the midlife middle, the signs of inflammatory weight gain, then you start to get terrified of fruit. You say, I can't eat any fruit because it's going to make me gain weight. I have no carbs. Where fruit has a lot of essential nutrients. If you time your eating well, that's a huge factor in decreasing the inflammation as well. Many of my clients who have also studied their own blood sugar have told me repeatedly, and I've seen it, is the timing of the food. So if you start your meal with a vegetable, a salad, that actually helps blunt the effects of spikes through blood sugar. And then after your meal, if you use movement, we talked about movement as medicine earlier. So going for a short walk, that can be 10 minutes. That can be if you're indoors, maybe you do some light stretching or some indoor movement on a YouTube video, just a way to get that blood flowing so your digestive system is telling your cells, let's move this food we just used into our muscles versus starting to store it as fat either in our liver or fat cells. One more thing I want to add about diet as well because I mentioned the iodine, you mentioned tuna, you mentioned salmon, which can be wonderful. I do recommend wild caught seafood if you're able to access it. And if there's any concerns of mercury, I'm thinking about you, Brittany, specifically being pregnant. I know that's one of the guidance that's provided about concerns for mercury. Looking for the smaller fish, so the sardines, the anchovies, maybe some fish eggs. Those usually have lower amounts of mercury, if that's a concern for you. My own experience is I did have my hair tested for mercury because I do like to eat a lot of seafood. And it was negative. I wasn't storing it in my hair. So that was wonderful.But there are ways you can test for mercury levels through eating lots of the bigger fish in the sea. And you can also add in some of the smaller fish. I have one story to share about small fish because I love anchovies, I love sardines. And my husband told me at the time, he said, 'Katie Jo, I can see it in your eyes. You want me to eat sardines with you for breakfast. It's never gonna happen.' And I said, you're right, I want us to eat sardines together. And this past summer, my daughter went to Japan. Her first trip to Japan, she's almost 17, and she came home and she said, 'Mom, every day we ate fish and seaweed and rice for breakfast, and it was so delicious.' So just adding that in there, other cultures, they do have those types of diets, it's a part of their foundation, and they do have less inflammatory markers. So don't throw the baby out with the bath water, there can be ways that you can add certain things to your diet that maybe you've not tried before. And that can be one of the steps with the health coaching that we offer at Thrivelab,  is making one small change. I'll tell my clients if we make just one small change this month, if we ever make one small change every month over the course of the next 12 months, that's gonna be 12 life impacting changes to improve your health and wellbeing.

Brittany: (40:45.494)

That's beautiful. It adds up. It totally adds up. It sounds overwhelming, but I'll never forget. I had my, when I first became a nurse, it was the first day of our program. It wasn't my graduate program. And she asked the first day of class ‘Brittany, how do you eat an elephant?’, ‘I don't know.’ And it's one bite at a time. And I think that's beautiful of what you pretty much relayed, Katie Jo, is one step, one month. Add that up. It just adds up and unfolds to such a beautiful outcome. So I love that. That is, that's beautiful.

Katie Jo, NP: (41:24.776)

And to close with that, Brittany:, that is our goal at Thrivelab is to change lives with us, with Thrivelab, one patient at a time, one life at a time, making a dedicated commitment that we are here to love each other. We are here to radiate positively, which I mentioned in the beginning, and having this unified dedication that we know is as we uplift each other and as you're able to improve your health and well-being and able to show up in your life pain free, you're able to play with your kids in the yard and run around with them. You're able to take your dog for a walk once or twice a day. Our chief scientist, Dr. Patel, he loves taking his dog for a walk. And so those are small little changes, but they impact the quality of your life in powerful ways. This was a short touch in inflammation. I think we probably could have a whole other podcast or two webinars on inflammation. Thank you so much, Brittany, for showing up today and speaking to our clients, we tell people that are possibly not yet clients with Thrivelab that are watching this, what's the best way for them to get in touch with us?

Brittany: (42:33.722)

Easiest way is You can complete a free self-assessment that will dive into symptoms and seeing if any of this kind of sets with you, if there is a possible underlying condition. As far as ages, women over the age of 18, men over the age of 30, you can meet with one of our providers. We are located all throughout the United States, even Hawaii, makes me wanna travel there, see patients from Hawaii, but you can go on there and reach out. All of our providers are available seven days a week. That would be the easiest way. Or if you ever want to leave a message in the chat, there's multiple ways to reach out to us, but we are readily available. So let us know.

Katie Jo, NP: (43:20.272)

That's right, making hormone healthcare accessible to you. Brittany, hugs to you. I know the little one is coming sooner than later. I'm so excited for you and your family and you have a beautiful rest of your night.

Brittany: (43:35.586)

Thank you. Until next time, Thrive Family.

Katie Jo, NP: (43:39.601)

Bye bye.