What Is The Brain-Immune-Gut Connection? | Dr. Peter Kan
We have some BIG news to share with you!
We have spoken many times on the brain-gut connection, but have you ever considered how the immune system plays into the connection?
On our very first LIVE Youtube Vodcast, we spoke with Dr. Peter Kan—Functional Medicine and Functional Neurology Physician who manages patients with chronic illness and conditions. Dr. Kan explained the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) Connection and why it is so important in our health! We dove into
Dr. Kan's practice and approach to treating patients with dysbiosis in the brain-immune-gut axis, learned about the symptoms surrounding dysbiosis, the path to finding solutions to the root cause of your condition, and SO much more!
Listen along as Dr. Kan explain why the BIG connection is necessary to consider for your optimal health!
We dove into plant-based nutrition for gaining a fit body and learned:
- 🌱 How much protein you *really* need to grow muscle
- 🤕 The recovery benefits from a plant-based diet
- 🎈 The anti-inflammatory compounds in plants that help with recovery and injury prevention
- 🥛 Why whey and casein have a negative impact on the body
- 🦴 Calcium and bone density in a plant-based diet
And much more!
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Matt: Hello, everyone
Sarah: Hello and welcome to our very first live podcast. We're so excited to be with you all live. Let us know if you're hearing us okay, and a very warm welcome. Matt was saying before, let's have a little challenge to get the likes up.
Matt: For sure. I'm just double checking the live here. We are definitely live now, so anyone questioning. But yes. Hit the like button, just lost the phone, hit that like button, let us know where are you tuning in from. And it's so cool to have you all live here with us.
Sarah: I know.
Matt: It's exciting.
Sarah: What a privilege. And we are very excited to have Dr. Peter Kan here with us today tuning in from Huntington Beach, California on vaycay. He jumped out of his vacation to spend some time with all of us to talk all the nerdy things about the brain-immune-gut connection. So thank you for joining us, Peter.
Dr. Peter Kan: There's always time for nerdy stuff.
Sarah: So we'll just wait a little longer for everyone to tune in. Is there-
Matt: No. We're good.
Sarah: We're good to go?
Matt: We're good to go.
Sarah: Okay. Well, welcome everyone. Feel free to chat to each other as we move through the call, and we'll throw too some questions later in the interview. So store up your questions for then. But Dr. Peter Kan, we're so excited to talk about the brain-immune-gut connection. Obviously, people have been more interested in their immune systems than ever before, and for a very good reason. And there's obviously been a lot of search, like how do I really support my immune system? How does it work? And people would have heard a little bit perhaps about the gut-immune connection, maybe a bit about the brain-gut connection, but the brain-immune-gut connection, what is that? So how is it all connected? So I'll hand it over to you Dr. Peter Kan.
Dr. Peter Kan: Yeah. Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. And it's a pleasure to be here with your audience as always. And hi, everybody. My name is Dr. Peter Kan, I'm board certified in functional neurology and functional medicine. And my practice since 2009, I've been in practice since 2002, but really diving deep into functional medicine and functional neurology since 2009, I've had the privilege of seeing over 5000 clients my career. And with that it's a lot of learning, a lot experience that I've had under my belt.
And what I see over the years as I continue to help people with autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's, chronic fatigue, chronic brain fog, neurological issues, digestive issues, immune system challenges, is that there's some underlying common denominator between people with various chronic conditions. Keep in mind, people were coming into my practice with things like, as I said, autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's or even MS, people were coming into my practice with chronic Candida issues, chronic food sensitivity issues, people were coming into my practice with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, mold toxicity, heavy metals issue, parasites, you name it, right? I've seen every single case.
Sometimes they present as a very complicated case, and I have to play the detective. Sometimes able to solve it, sometimes I'm not able to solve it. In the case I'm not able to solve, then I go and research more, study more than learn from mentors to get more information. So through that process, I've learned that whether you have, it doesn't matter what the diagnosis, right? So if you say come in with fibromyalgia, right? And then everybody's like, "Okay, Dr. Kan, I have fibromyalgia I'm really struggling. What's the protocol?"
What's the protocol? It depends on what's causing it. Remember fibromyalgia is a diagnosis that tells you, that describes your symptom, it doesn't tell you what's causing a fibromyalgia. Same thing with irritable bowel syndrome, IBS is a diagnosis that describe your symptom, it doesn't tell you what's causing the IBS. Even Hashimoto's, it's a diagnosis that describe, okay, you have a thyroid condition where it's auto immune, but it doesn't tell you why you have autoimmune in the first place. So really, when it comes down to it, many of these diagnosis are just a naming game. It's just telling you, you have this diagnosis so they can attach a code to it, so the insurance may or may not cover and then you get a drug, and that's the end of the story. But nobody's diving deeper into the root cause of the condition.
So the main thing that you want to understand is that whether you have Hashimoto's, Candida, mold or heavy metal there are some common symptoms that people experience. And these common symptoms manifest as brain symptoms, they manifests as immune system challenges, they manifests as gut issues. And almost across the board when I see people with chronic conditions, they almost universally have problem in all three areas brain-immune-gut. And so, I started seeing a pattern, okay? Now, over the past decade, certainly, there's a lot of press, coverage and research that's exploding in the area concerning the brain-gut connection, I'm sure many of your audience have heard of that. Or even the gut-brain connection. Whether you want a brain-gut or gut-brain, they're describing the same thing. In fact, it's actually both. It's a bi directional access where the brain communicate with the gut and gut communicate with the brain.
But what happens is when we talk about brain-gut connection, or the gut-brain connection, I think the audience and the lay person are, not being misled intentionally, but what happens is that the meaning gets lost in translation in the sense that there's an immune system connection between the brain and the gut that integrates and connects the function of brain and gut. And without understanding the immune system piece, what happens is just saying brain-gut connection, and if your gut is on fire, your brain is on fire, that's all catchy things, but without understanding mechanistically how that happens and what kind of symptom can result from that, I think a lot of audience are left wanting more because you're not getting that deeper connection of understanding why you have a problem.
And then that further leads them to the problem of a lot of people looking for a solution where they're leaning the ladder against the wrong wall, okay? Because you can certainly climb the wrong tree and get to the top of that tree and realize you climbed the wrong tree, and then you have to back yourself down and find the right solution. So a lot of people end up finding solution in the wrong places. So it is my mission and my goal to help in some way contribute to the conversation to elucidate the brain-immune-gut access so that people can start to understand better what they're dealing with, and have a cogent and clear way of solving the health problem. Either by themselves, do it better by themselves, the type that's the do it yourself type, or work with a functional medicine practitioner, but be able to have better conversation and be able to utilize your doctor better because you can actually advocate for yourself, okay?
So that's really the main goal that I have in talking about this because I think a lot of people are just not talking about this brain-immune-gut access, which I believe is really the big idea that's really sweeping functional medicine right now. It's just that in podcast interviews and in different summits, people often talk about the brain-gut, and I want to put the spotlight on the immune systems part of it as well.
Sarah: Well, you've whet our appetites.
Matt: Very exciting. I love the word elucidation as well. I was like, "Well, that's pulling me out from my high school days and using the thesaurus," so very impressed.
Sarah: Awesome. Well, tell us-
Dr. Peter Kan: For my SAT days.
Sarah: Tell us about this BIG idea, the brain-immune-gut connection.
Dr. Peter Kan: Absolutely. So as I talked about earlier, there's a brain-immune-gut connection. So really, the brain-gut connection should be expanded to say brain-immune-gut connection. And if you really look at the acronym brain-immune-gut, it fits perfectly. The acronym for brain-immune-gut is B-I-G or the BIG access. So I think I'm probably the first one that coined the term, I'm not going to say I could trademark this thing. But I think it's a very clear way of describing this because it is the BIG idea, the BIG access or the BIG thing that people need to understand if they are to get better from chronic condition.
So we understand that there's a brain-gut connection, right? So how does the brain communicate with the gut? Well, brain communicate with the gut through primarily this efferent nerve pathway called the vagus nerve. Now remember, your nervous system is a bi directional pathway. For your brain to communicate with any part of your body is both outgoing and incoming, right? So the incoming signal is called afferent. Afferent meaning signal coming from the body to the brain. So for example, your five senses sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste these are incoming signal that you monitor the environment, so you get touch, you sense temperature, you smell something, these are incoming signal to the brain. And then bring them take that information and say, okay, I need to do this, right? If it's too cold, I need to put on jacket. If it's too hot, I need to take some clothes off or turn the AC down. If I see a tiger, I need to run this direction.
So you take that afferent information and the brain generates an efferent output, which is motoric, motor, which means control some kind of muscle contraction. Not all muscle contraction are conscious or voluntary, right? So your bicep is a voluntary contraction, but your nervous system also innervate many of these involuntary muscle contraction. One such thing is your intestinal motility. And that intestinal motility is a motor or muscular contraction that move food through. There are many other such example of involuntary contractions, we can say the heartbeat is involuntary, we can say your sweating response where your sweat glands actually push the sweat out is a muscular contraction.
And your blood vessel by the way constricting and dilating to control your blood pressure's a muscular contraction that's not under conscious control. That is all controlled by the autonomic nervous system. That's the branch of the nervous system that controls everything that's on autopilot. And within that autonomic nervous system, there is a nerve that innervate primarily the digestive tract. Although, it controls your heart rate, your breathing, blood pressure, a lot of other function as well, as well as the swelling muscles, and that's the vagus nerve. I'm sure a lot of people have already heard about that.
Vagus nerve is one of your 12 cranial nerves, cranial nerve number 10. It exits the brainstem and wanders all throughout the entire your throat, to your heart and lungs all the way to the GI tract. And this is a primary way that you get that motoric contraction called peristalsis or GI motility in your intestine. So that's the brain to gut connection through that nervous system function. I want to highlight to the audience that this nervousness system innovation to the gut is a motor pathway. Think of muscle contraction, right? A lot of people think oh, my brain and gut they just talk to each other like some magic fairy dust some kind of connection. It's actually a hardwired neurological connection, it's a nerve, okay? So that's that brain to gut.
And then a gut then in turn communicates back to the brain through the same nerve. The vagus nerve has afferent from the gut to brain and then efferent from brain to gut. So it's neurologically connecting and talking to the brain about what's going on in the gut, but also the gut communicate with the brain through various neuro peptides. These neuro peptides include things like substance P, which signals pain, includes hormones like ghrelin, which controls your appetite. So there are various hormones and peptides that the gut produces that tells the brain about appetite, food and just sensations.
And then lastly, the brain and the gut communicate with each other, besides the neurological aspect of it and the peptides is cytokines. Cytokines are immune messengers. Cyto, meaning cellular, kines means messenger. So cytokines literally means cellular messengers of the immune system. Think of cytokines as text messages being sent by the immune system say, "Hey, I have an infection here, send some white blood cell here to get rid of that infection." Or, "I have an injury here send some macrophages here to clean up cellular debris." cytokines are text messages sent by the immune system to tell each other to coordinate action, right? So that cytokine is an immune system peptide. So that's the I in B-I-G, brain-immune-gut. The cytokines is the messenger that communicates between the brain and the gut to a large degree. So besides a neurological connection, these peptides, and even the gut microbiome, we have these cytokines.
In fact, when we talk about the brain-gut-connection, how the gut microbiome can impact auto immunity, and how the gut microbiome impacts your immune system and your brain, it primarily impacts your brain and the rest of your body because these microbiome has an effect on the cytokines. That's really one of the primary ways the gut microbiome communicate with the immune system and the rest of the body, and even the brain. So the brain-immune-gut connection is comprised of these parts. Okay. Now, it's like to say it's a bi directional, when I say bi directional, meaning brain-immune, immune-brain, immune-gut, gut-immune, brain-gut, gut-brain, so really, it's a triangle of bi directional, right? It's three parts brain, immune, gut but there's bi direction between each of those things. So it's a very complicated things.
And I think a lot of times people will just think very simplistic about these things, and that can make it so that they're fixing the wrong problem. For example, if you think you have bloating and you automatically think you have SIBO, well, you may, but it may actually come from dysfunction in other parts of the brain-immune-gut access, and we'll talk about that in just a second. But I just want to outline the big picture, what are all the parts involved in the brain-immune-gut access. Because this is the way I learned, and this is the way they teach you in medical school, is that you got to know the parts, right? You got to know your anatomy and physiology because if you don't know all the parts that are working, then it's very difficult for you to figure out how they play with each other and how they dysfunction. So that's the overarching BIG access.
Sarah: Love it.
Matt: That's excellent. I love that triangular illustration. I think it's not just an illustration, but it's how it works. Yeah. That's awesome. So if a patient walks in, do you take them through that initially? Is this where you start before you then dive deeper into one part of those connections? Is there a particular part of that triangular connection that you start with first with the patient?
Dr. Peter Kan: No. That's a great question, Matt. And the way I take people through it, the brain-immune-gut is kind of the 30,000 feet view, but then within that there's a roadmap or step by step process that I use to try to dissect what's actually happening. The brain-immune-gut is more the overarching theme of how the body functions, and then within that there's different steps that you may have to take in order to solve this puzzle. And we'll talk about it as we go through this interview.
I just want to take people through first identifying, understanding how the brain-immune-gut access is connected. And then next understanding what can happen when these things break so they can identify in themselves, what are some of the signs and symptoms that may tell them that the brain-immune-gut is not working. And then lastly, then we'll talk about what's the roadmap that I use to help make this complicated thing simpler, right? It doesn't mean it's easy, but we can simplify it. And as much as we can simplify, it's going to make it easier for people who are trying to solve their health problems.
Matt: Yeah. Let's start there with-
Sarah: So symptoms.
Matt: Yeah. Where it breaks. Interesting.
Dr. Peter Kan: Okay. So you want me to go into the symptoms of-
Sarah: We do.
Dr. Peter Kan: ... brain-immune-gut access dysfunction? Okay, great.
Sarah: Thank you Dr. Kan.
Dr. Peter Kan: So let's do it. So what happens is when you have dysfunction within this BIG access, the brain-immune-gut access, what happens is symptom is going to show up in three primary areas. And sometimes, one area when it dysfunctions will trigger symptom in another area. And this is why people get these cluster or a constellation of symptoms in all three areas, and they think there's 20 things wrong with them when in fact, there's just one big thing wrong with them, the brain-immune-gut. So when you have brain-immune-gut access dysfunction, many times you're going to have brain symptoms that'll manifests.
So how do you know if you have brain symptoms? Well, brain symptom will be things like brain fog, where you feel like there's no mental clarity. It's hard for you to just get through this mental fog, so that you can actually think clearly. You can also have fatigue. Now, fatigue is a brain symptom. A lot of people say, "Really? I thought fatigue was being tired, that's a energy problem, right?" Well, where do you experience fatigue? Do you experience fatigue in your buttock, or do you experience fatigue in your brain, right? Fatigue is a brain phenomenon. If you have say, a pinched nerve of the nerve innovating your bicep, you have ridiculous apathy, you may have bicep muscle weakness, but just because your bicep muscle is weak, doesn't mean you're tired in your brain.
So I want to differentiate between weakness and fatigue. Weakness is a muscular innovation issue, fatigue is a brain phenomena. So if you have fatigue symptoms, you can pretty much just say, "Yup, I have a brain symptom, I have fatigue." That's how you have to think about it. Because that tells you where to look for a solution to your problem. If you have fatigue, you got to fix potentially a brain issue. So brain fog, fatigue these are brain symptoms that can show up when you have brain-immune-gut access dysfunction. You can also have depression or anxiety, these mood issue can be very much brain related obviously, they're experiencing the brain. Although problem can come from the gut, but you experienced them in the brain. And short-term memory issues a big one by the way, where people, they forget words, they get word loss, or they need a list for everything, they forget people's names. So the short-term memory issue is definitely a big part of this brain-immune-gut access dysfunction.
And then lastly, you can also have peripheral nervous system problem. So we talked about brain symptom, but you can have problem within the nervous system that's outside of the central nervous system, which is brain and spinal cord. So you can experience things like numbness, tingling, neuropathy, even muscular weakness, tremors and things like that. And by the way, speaking of central nervous system issue, one of the ways that these problems show up potentially is vertigo, balance issues, vestibular problems, where you get carsick easily, you get motion sickness easily, these are all how brain dysfunction show up, okay? So if you have any of those symptoms that I just described, you don't have to have all of them, you just got to have some of them, you may have a brain-immune-gut access problem that's manifesting as a brain problem.
Now, secondly, immune system. So how does brain-immune-gut problems show up for people? It may manifest as immune system challenges. How do you know if you have immune system challenges? One of the symptoms of immune system challenge is actually inflammation. People think inflammation is like, oh, inflammation is this catch word, but inflammation is an immune system mediated response. If you bang your elbow, your elbow will swell up, it'll be painful, it'll be red, that inflammation response is an immune system mediated response. Now, you can have both formation not just locally but systemically, through because of autoimmunity, because of some kind of underlying infection.
Really, there's no such thing as localized inflammation. Meaning if you bang your elbow, yeah, your elbow swell up, your whole body doesn't swell up because you banged your elbow. But the cytokines, remember that cellular messages, every time your heart pumps, the blood is circulating throughout the entire body, those cytokines they're not just staying there in the elbow, it's going to flush throughout the entire body, it's going to have some kind of downstream effects somewhere else. So inflammation is one way that you can tell whether you have immune system problem. So people may feel like "Man, I can't pull my ring off. My joints are kind of stiff or swollen in the morning." Or you just have a lot of pain issues or arthritic issues, that may be a sign of a brain-immune-gut access dysfunction.
Another way that immune system problem show up for people is that they simply have autoimmunity. If you have any diagnosed autoimmune disease, or you suspect you have autoimmune disease, then you may have a brain-immune-gut access challenge. Another way immune system problem show off for people is chronic infection, I see this really frequently. You may have chronic epstein-barr virus, herpes simplex virus, you may have chronic dysbiosis that you can't clear, you may have chronic parasites. Remember and a lot of people talk about Candida, it's one of those things where, "Oh yeah, I'm Candida. I can't eat any sugar, I'm taking anti Candida compounds. I'm on an anti Candida diet, been doing it for 10 years." 10 years, huh?. At some point, this should be getting better, so why is it not better?
Remember, yeast and Candida are commensal organisms, we naturally have yeast in our body, right? So it's not a problem of you catching that yeast, it's a problem of yeast overgrowth. And the reason that yeast overgrowth is because your immune system is not working properly to get rid of the yeast, right? So that's an aspect of immune system dysfunction. So that's how it shows up. So if you get chronically sick, you get chronic sinus infection, chronic UTIs, chronic respiratory issues, or you have autoimmune disease, or you're inflamed all the time, you're in pain, you have swelling, these are all signs that you may have some type of immune system challenge.
Then lastly, for the BIG access is the gut, right? So when you have gut issues within the brain-immune-gut access dysfunction, you may experience GI symptoms, although not always. So gut symptom will be things like gas, bloating, heartburn reflux, you may have constipation-diarrhea or alternating constipation-diarrhea, you may have SIBO or SIFO, chronic dysbiosis, parasites and so forth. These are all very obvious GI problems. Things that you may not realize is a GI problem could be brain issues causing the GI problem, okay? So this is where the brain-immune-gut problem comes in.
So for example, the brain innervate the gut through the vagus nerve. And when I say innervate the gut meaning not only does it control motility, that smooth muscle contraction, it also controls secretion of digestive enzymes, of pancreatic enzymes, of stomach acid and the release of bile from the gallbladder. So when you vagus nerve are not functioning properly because you have brain issues, remember earlier we said brain issue can manifest as brain fog fatigue, depression, anxiety, slow mental speed, decreased brain endurance, you fill out my paperwork, you just feel like you're so tired, you do taxes you feel like, "Man, I feel like I read 1000 pages," these are all brain symptoms that can result in decreased vagus nerve innervation to the gut, which can result in decreased gastric acid secretion.
So now you have heartburn reflux because you don't have enough stomach acid. Or it can result in decreased pancreatic enzyme secretion, so now you have gas and bloating because you don't make enough enzyme to actually break down the food. So you think it's SIBO but when in fact could be the brain dysfunction causing decreased vagus nerve output, causing decreased pancreatic enzyme secretion, therefore you have the bloating, and they have nothing to do with SIBO. In fact, the SIBO may develop because you don't have enough stomach acid and lack of pancreatic enzyme. So now food just sits there instead of getting digested properly, and that undigested food gets fermented by the bacteria. Now, we have SIBO as a end result of brain dysfunction. That is absolutely a way you can get SIBO.
Dr. Peter Kan: So you can take antibiotic all day long, but if the problem came from the brain, then you can take antibiotics till the cows come home, you're still going to have SIBO because the problem came from you not digesting food properly, and that could be coming from the brain. So I'm showing you this brain-immune-gut connection because often time people are fixing the wrong target. They're just like, "Oh, I've been taking these antimicrobial herbs, and I take Rifaximin, and I'm doing all this, I'm doing low fodmap, I still have SIBO. Kind of the same person who have Candida for 10 years, I have SIBO for five years, so I'm still battling SIBO." After a while you have this like, okay, it's not working, try a different way. Consider some other pathway that may be dysfunctional contributing to that, instead of just keep pounding it over and over again. This is one of the things that I see in practice quite a bit. So that's the brain-gut.
Matt: Okay. No, you continue. I was just going to say, I'm really curious what these common mistakes people are making because we see it all the time, obviously, with our community as well. And there's so much misinformation out there. So yeah, we'd love to hear more about some of these common mistakes people are making when they're approaching some of these issues.
Dr. Peter Kan: Absolutely. Well, let me just give you another one. So food sensitivity. A lot of people are battling food sensitivities. "Oh, every time I eat something, I feel bloated." So they assume it's food sensitivity or they assume it's SIBO. Which it can, I'm not saying it can't be those things, right? So I'm not discounting those things. But what I'm saying is that you could have bloating simply because you're not digesting the food, not because you're sensitive to them, not because you have SIBO, it's a possibility.
So you have to go ahead and test the hypothesis by either fixing the problem, right? Or doing some kind of test to tell you that is a problem. So you have to figure these things out. So for example, food sensitivity, okay? So if you eat something, you either have GI symptoms, some people's food sensitivity reaction is GI symptoms, but some people the food sensitivity reaction is not GI symptoms, right? So your audience can chime in. You maybe eat some food and your sensitivity reaction is simply brain fog. Or you feel fatigued, or you feel aching joint, you feel like, "Man, I'm just inflamed." I hurt more when you eat something. That's not GI symptom, but it's a reaction to the food nonetheless.
Now, why does it show up like that? The reason is because food sensitivity is not a GI problem. Let me repeat that. Food sensitivity is not a GI problem. You think food sensitivity is the digestive problem. Food sensitivity is an immune system problem, is the I in the BIG, okay? Because just like I said earlier, your inflammation when you bang your elbow is an immune system problem, your food reaction is an immune system problem because what is reacting to the food is not your intestine reacting to the food, it's your immune system through immunoglobulins, through these immune proteins and cytokines that are reacting to the food. So when you have a food sensitivity reaction, it's an immune system challenge.
Now how that came about could be due to leaky gut, obviously, it's a very main mechanism. But you could also have the situation where you have toxic and induced loss of tolerance, where you have built up so much toxic load that your immune system becomes too sensitive. So now any exposure that previously you're okay with, now you're not okay with. So you could just have build up a very sensitive immune system, so now you're reacting to very innocuous amounts of food protein. So that's a possibility too. That's almost like an autoimmune pattern, you're autoimmune to food instead autoimmune to own tissue. Remember autoimmune just means your immune systems overzealous, it's attacking something when it shouldn't. You shouldn't be attacking every single dietary protein unless your immune system just lost it because it's constantly overstimulated. So food sensitivity reaction is an immune system challenge.
Now again, whatever something you have, when you eat a food don't automatically assume it's an immune system issue it could be, in a case of when you eat something and you feel inflammation or pain in your body, most likely it's an immune system problem. However, if you eat something and you have gas and bloating, that may be an immune system reaction to the food. But it could also just be the fact that you're not digesting the food due to a vagus nerve dysfunction, or could be the fact that you have SIBO. So those are all possible.
So the thing that really helps people and separates people who really solve their problem and people who don't is be able to see what are the list of possibility that's causing a particular problem, right? If your list of possibility for bloating is just SIBO, then you may not get it right. But if your list a possibility for bloating is five things long, then you can test each one of those and see if it's getting you better, then you can potentially solve your problem. Your chance of getting better is higher if you can understand how things work, and have a bigger list of differential diagnosis, okay? So that's how these common mistakes people make when it comes to treating these issues.
Another one I want to give you guys that's a mistake is treating say, for example Hashimoto's as a thyroid problem rather than treating for what it really is. Because Hashimoto's is not a thyroid problem. Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease, which is an immune system problem. So if you treat it as a thyroid problem, you're going to get nowhere. Because if you treat it as a thyroid problem, all day long you're looking to say, "Okay, I got to get my thyroid hormone level better, lower, higher, lower." So you're constantly messing with a dosage of your thyroid hormone, or trying to mess with a lab value for your thyroid hormone, when the real battle for you is actually the immune system.
What's triggering the immune system to have a autoimmune attack to your thyroid, that's the real battle not your thyroid hormone level. You still need to mind the thyroid hormone level, but without fixing the root cause here, which is the autoimmune part of it, then you're not going to get anywhere. Same thing with celiac disease. Celiac disease is not a GI problem. Let me repeat, celiac disease is not a GI problem. But guess where every single person with celiac disease go to? They go to gastrointestinal specialists, right? That's who medically treat. Who wants to treat by the way? We want to get better, we don't want to treat, right?
But celiac disease is managed and supposedly treated by gastrointestinal medical doctors. But that's a mistake because celiac disease is not a gastrointestinal problem, it's an immune system problem. It's the immune system attacking the small intestine belie. So really, the thing that you need to work on is the immune system, not the gut, per se. So these are things that if we can just get people straight now, I think people will have a much better time managing the condition. It doesn't mean they're going to get better overnight, but it helps you so that you're not scattered in 10 direction trying to fish for the shiny object syndrome, or taking 50 supplements because you got to be more clear on the things you need to be focusing on.
Sarah: Fantastic. Thank you, Dr. Kan. I love that whenever we talk to you, it's a real paradigm shift as to how to approach your own health. I think it's really foundational stuff. So thank you so much, I love it. All of you, I can see your comments coming in the chat. Make sure if you're enjoying this call give us a like and a subscribe, it really helps the channel and help this message, what Dr. Kan is talking about, really get out to more people. Because if YouTube sees lots of likes on this video, it'll say "Oh, people like this video, we'll prioritize it in the algorithm." So help get this message out and hit little like button, it will help us out a lot. So awesome.
So I've seen a lot of questions come through all regarding, so Dr. Peter Kan, what is the SOLUTION, help us out? What is the roadmap? We have some sort of idea now how all these things are connected. How one thing, actually, if you look at the root cause might be another part of the BIG equation. What is the roadmap to understanding this in ourselves? What questions should we be asking ourselves?
Dr. Peter Kan: Yes. It's all about solutions. And I just want to make one point, solution is not in a pill. Okay? I shouldn't say solutions not in the pill, but solution is not the pill themselves, the solution is how you solve the problem, it's your approach. What is your thinking process to solve a problem? That's the solution. See in this world of Google and everything online, there's a lot of people out there selling product, there's nothing wrong with product, good product can be very useful. But remember products, supplements and diet they're a tool that you can use for specific purpose. But if you don't know which tool to use because you don't even know what problem you're trying to fix, then you can have a garage full of tools and not know what to do with it.
For example, for me, I'm not very handy when it comes to fixing cars. So if I'm in a garage, a professional auto mechanics garage with all these tools, it's great for him but I have no idea what to do with it because I don't even know how to diagnose what's wrong with the car. You know what I mean? So I think a lot of people have a garage full of tools. The example of the analogy here is a cabinet full of supplements. You have 50 supplements, you have tons of something that you take randomly like, "Oh, this one sounds good because I read online this is good for it." It's good for it? Is that good for it, is that it? Is that the problem, even what you have, right? That's the first step to solving the problem.
So I don't want people to get into this habit because by reinforcing this bad habit of, "Oh yeah, Dr. Kan, tell me what supplement do I take?" I'm just making things worse for people. And it's my goal to not make things worse for people by promulgating this false idea that, oh, if you just take the right pill, you're going to solve your problem. The solution is how to think. So I'm going to give you guys how I think, and then you can then apply it to yourself, right? That's how I teach people. In fact, I have a digital program that I teach people this. So here's the solution, okay?
The solution is you have to take this brain-immune-gut access and see it as the overarching okay, when you have dysfunction within the body, that's how the body dysfunction, it dysfunctions in a BIG way. I love it every time was I say BIG because now you can't think of BIG without thinking brain-immune-gut. Your body dysfunctions, brain-immune-gut together, that's how the body dysfunction. How you solve it is not take a supplement for brain, take a supplement for immune, takes a supplement for gut, that's not how you solve it. How you solve it is understanding how the body actually works, and use a roadmap to fix the foundation of your health, okay?
So the way it works is that your body has these foundational systems. The example will be like breathing, right? So you could have like a progesterone deficiency or testosterone deficiency and not feel very good, that could be a problem for people. But if you don't have oxygen, how fast does that become a problem? Pretty fast. So it's pretty important, right? If you don't have water, that can become a problem pretty quickly, right? If you don't have food, that can become a problem pretty quickly. If you don't have hormone, it's like, your body can compensate for that, right? It can hang on for a while without hormone and not die. So you have to address the most important things in the body first.
So what I do is I teach people how to go through this clinical roadmap, so that you're addressing the most important things first, right? Stephen Covey says, he has a book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is fixing the first things first. You don't want to put the cart in front of the horse. A lot of people put the cart in front of the horse, right? They're doing it backwards, you got to fix the first thing. So what's the first thing? What would be this sequence, okay? So the sequence is like a combination lock, right? So like your pin password to your phone. If the password is 1234 and you enter 4321, guess what? It's all the right numbers, they're the right number of numbers in fact, but you typed it in the wrong sequence. Guess what? Your phone doesn't unlock. Your body kind of works like that.
So if you're chasing after things that don't matter right this second, like the example will be, I use hormone a lot because it's a great example, if your testosterone is low, you don't chase testosterone first by doing testosterone replacement therapy, that's further down the road. Because you have to consider what caused the testosterone to be low in the first place, right? They're going to tell you "Oh, it's aging." Everybody who gets older all need hormones. Really, everybody? Come on now, right? Everybody don't need hormone when they get old.
What happens is there's something that's dysfunctional causing decreased hormone production, or causing the hormone to not be able to utilize that's why they have hormone deficiency syndromes, not necessarily because they need hormone replacement. So why not fix the real problem that caused a hormone deficiency in the first place? So in the fact, in a sense, then hormone deficiency becomes a later problem. Now certainly clinically speaking, some people have really severe hormone deficiency that have been hormone replacement therapy for a short period of time, but that does not relieve you of the responsibility to find what's causing the hormone deficiency in the first place. You still got to fix that either way. You know what I mean?
So here's a roadmap, okay? The first thing in the roadmap is perfusion. So I'm kind of transitioning here, I want to make sure everybody kind of still with me. And I also do really well with feedback, so I'm watching the feed here. I know you guys are asking a lot of question. I promise you by the time I'm done, a lot of your question will be answered. We have 500 people here, which is great. So are you guys still good with me here, the audience? Just put in the chat so I know I'm doing good, or am I losing you guys? I'm a feedback kind of person, I thrive on feedback. If you got to tell me this is good, I'm going to keep going, if you tell me I suck, then I'll just tone down a little bit. Pass the baton to the good looking-
Matt: There's lots of like in the chat coming through, so that's the only thing to account for because that's how Zoom-
Dr. Peter Kan: Okay. That's fine. Then I won't take it personally. Anyways. Okay. So here's a roadmap, okay? The roadmap is, the first thing you got to address is fuel delivery, fuel delivery. You have to be able to deliver fuel to your body in order for you to heal from anything, right? This will be the example of, you have no oxygen like, "I'm choking, I have no air, give me some testosterone. I can't breathe, give me testosterone." That wouldn't make any sense, right? So I'm being facetious, I'm doing these things to see how ridiculous that would be in that situation. But really, in reality is a lot of people are doing that, and they don't realize they're doing it because they're doctors doing the same thing. They're telling them, "Oh, you just take some hormone, you're going to be fine," without ever looking at the foundation, which fuel delivery is the first piece.
So what makes up fuel delivery? Fuel delivery comprise of blood flow and glucose, that's oxygen and glucose. That's fuel delivery. If you can't deliver fuel to your body, it doesn't matter what you do for all the other stuff down the road because that's down the road, right? You have to create your point, it's like one through 10, you want to do step number 10 without doing step 1, 2, 3, 4. There's no shortcuts. You can't cheat the body, you can't cheat chemistry, physiology or physics, just this is the way it works. So fuel delivery is first. So when it comes to the fuel delivery it's oxygen.
Now, how do you know if you have oxygenation problem? Well, one way that shows up is low blood pressure, okay? There's a lot of talk in western medicine about high blood pressure. Yes, high blood pressure is dangerous, is a problem, is definitely something that needs to be taken care of. But what happens is there's so much focus on high blood pressure, they don't talk about low blood pressure very often. And I'm here to tell you that low blood pressure is a big problem. And how do you know you have low blood pressure? Well, everybody's low blood pressure number is going to be different. Because some people they have low blood pressure, but they feel fine. So you have to say, do you have symptoms associated with that perfusion problem, okay?
So normal blood pressure is 120 over 80, if your blood pressure is 110 over 70, that's okay. It's still within okay. If you're 105 over 65, it's borderline starting to be a little bit low. Does that automatically mean it's a problem? It depends. It depends whether you feel fatigued, dizzy, lightheaded, no energy if you have these symptoms of just lack of blood flow in your body, cold hands, cold feet, things like that, then that blood pressure may be a problem. Now, if you get down to 100 and over 60 with your blood pressure, that's getting even lower, if you're below 100 systolic, you're like 90, 95 over 60 or 90 over 55 or something like that, that's really just not good enough for you to feel great. It may not be low enough for you to pass out, but not good enough for you to feel optimal. So this is where we started looking to why is the blood pressure low in the first place.
Now, simple things you can do if you have a low blood pressure, and if it's also a problem for you meaning, don't fix the low blood pressure unless you actually have other symptoms like fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, orthostatic hypotension. If you have those symptoms, then blood pressure may be an issue then you can take some steps to address it. One of the things you can do simply is take some sea salt. Take a teaspoon of salt, put in some water, three, four ounces and just drink it. That sodium is going to help you with water retention that may be able to bring the pressure up.
Keep in mind that doing that can help you to improve fuel delivery by getting the pressure up you may just feel better, but it's not solving why you have low blood pressure in the first place. You may have to solve that. Sometimes it's due to adrenal gland dysfunction, sometimes it's due to an autonomic nervous system issue, for some people it's autoimmune attacking the autonomic nervous system. So there's a lot of possible possibilities, but if you have low blood pressure, you need to look at why that is. Salt is one such thing you can do to bring the pressure up to kind of give you some relief, while you look for the underlying root cause. So that's pressure. That's just one example.
Another example of fuel delivery or low oxygen will be if you have anemia. If you're anemic, then you can't really get oxygen to your tissue. Now, anemia is something that has to be done through blood tests, and your doctor has to be able to actually see that, so work with a practitioner. But if you have anemia, then you have to identify what kind of anemia because not all anemia is due to iron deficiency. There are many different types of anemia. And you also have to identify what's the root cause of that anemia, right?
So if somebody is iron deficient, is it because you have some kind of bleed, GI bleed? Or is it because you have heavy menstrual cycle, if you're female? Or is it because you have H. pylori, you have an ulcer? Or is it because you have malabsorption syndrome, or you have low stomach acid production? These are all possibilities that can cause someone to have iron deficiency anemia. Even you can have anemia of chronic diseases, you're just chronically inflamed, and that can also impact iron absorption. So there's a lot of reason for it but again, you need to identify whether they have oxygen issue.
The other thing about fuel delivery we talked about is glucose, which is blood sugar. If your blood sugar is unstable, you're not going to be able to heal from chronic issue. And so many people have blood sugar dysfunction as the root cause of the problem that they don't even know what's the root cause of the problem. Now, there's two flavors to blood sugar dysfunction, really three if you think about it. One is low blood sugar type, the other ones the high blood sugar type. High blood sugar will be like insulin resistance diabetes, low blood sugar will be hyperglycemia. Now, you could have both high blood sugar and low blood sugar.
Now, a lot of people get into this business of doing continuous glucose monitor. I'm here to tell you that although that's give you a lot of data, interesting information, clinically speaking, you don't have to measure your blood sugar through a finger prick all the time, you could just mind your symptom. There's specific signs and symptoms that tells you whether you're hypoglycemic, or you have the insulin resistance. And if you have those symptoms, you can do just a self-assessment, do a symptom assessment form, you'll be able to figure it out and be able to take specific action.
If you have low blood sugar, you typically want to eat small frequent meals. Doing fasting may not be the best thing for you, when you have low blood sugar, right? If you have high blood sugar fasting might be the thing to do. So it depends on what pattern you have, high or low blood sugar, you may employ different things, okay? So that's the first step is the fuel delivery part. Everybody say okay?
Sarah: You got lots of, you're doing great when they all came through. So-
Matt: Lots of thumbs up.
Dr. Peter Kan: Okay. Great.
Matt: Lots of likes coming through as well.
Dr. Peter Kan: Awesome. So another part of fuel delivery that people don't think is fuel delivery, is actually just digestion. When I say digestion, digestion is different than absorption. So when it comes to digestion, you want to take a north to south approach because that's how digestion work, right? You don't shove food up the other end and then poop here. Gosh, is that a dad joke, or is it just gross? Okay. That's just gross.
Matt: I liked it.
Dr. Peter Kan: But anyways, so digestion works north to south. You put food in this way, and the food goes down, right? So you have to masticate, you have to have vagus nerve function to prime the digestive pump, so nerve innovation, and then the esophagus muscle have to work, so you're swallowing muscles working to push food down, that's also the vagus nerve. And then by the time it gets to the stomach, the stomach had to secrete stomach acid, you have to make intrinsic factors so you can absorb B 12 down the line. So stomach acid is really critical here. After the stomach acid itself stimulate pancreatic enzyme release and bile release from the gallbladder, which is critical for digestion of fats and various nutrients. And then in the small intestine, you have absorption.
So when I say digestion, I really mean up to the stomach, from the mouth to the stomach, below the stomach, when it gets a small intestine, then we're talking about absorption. So think of digestion as part of the fuel delivery. Why? Because if you don't chew your food well, then you're not going to absorb the nutrients from your food, right? If you swallow food whole like a snake, you're not going to really absorb nutrients that well, okay? You have teeth for a reason. So you got to chew. And not only you got to chew your food, you got to eat slow, you got to eat in a relaxed manner because of eat under stress manner, you eat super fast, you kind of like being in a fight or flight that automatically degrades your vagus nerve function, right? So there's a lot of art. The art of eating, right? Is really just eating in a relaxed way, eat with good company and stuff like that.
And so, digestion is like, are you able to break down the food that you're eating? And that's really the mouth as well as stomach acid, and remember pancreatic enzymes as well. So if you can break down the food then it doesn't matter how healthy you eat, you're not going to get the nutrient from the food that you're eating. So that's part of that fuel delivery, okay? So we talked about that the, this is the foundation, right? It's just like building a house, you have to have a foundation. You don't put the roof on and you never build the foundation, that's doing the opposite way.
The foundation is fuel delivery. So many people are going after the SIBO, SIFO, which is great, not great, but a lot of people do have those problems. But if you go after SIBO, SIFO, heavy metal toxicity or your hormones and your blood sugar still suck, and you have profusion issues, and you can't digest your food, you're not going to get better because you haven't really addressed a foundational issue, okay? So after the foundation, which is a fuel delivery, the next part of this house that we're building, which is your health, will be immune function.
Immune function has several different parts. There's leaky gut is part of that. They say, "Dr. Kan did you hear leaky gut is immune." Yes, I did say that. Leaky gut is not a digestion problem, leaky gut is an immune system problem. Just when I said earlier celiac disease is not a digestion problem, it's an immune system problem, leaky gut is immune system problem. Okay? So the way you address it is not like, yes, it's how, what you eat, you have to eliminate a food that can cause issue because you react to them, but think of leaky gut as part of the immune system access, right? Because leaky gut leads to autoimmunity, therefore, it's part of the immune system.
And then part of the immune system, part of this house is also inflammation. Remember earlier, I say when you bang your elbow is inflammation, that's an immune system problem. When you have food reaction, it's an immune system problem. When you have autoimmune disease, it's an immune system problem. When you have chemical sensitivity, is not a chemical problem, it's an immune system problem, right? So these are all immune system... If you have chronic infection, it's immune system problem. So we have to dampen inflammation, especially the autoimmune disease, there's a method and a way to balance the immune system, or to modulate to dampen that reaction, okay?
So two specific things will be vitamin D and glutathione, and these are example, right? I'm usually not the one to tell people like, "Oh, just take a pill." But vitamin D and glutathione are two things I'm comfortable recommending to almost everyone, especially those without autoimmune because that's universally going to be helpful, okay?
And then the last part of immune system is if you have any chronic infection, we'll have to clear them. If you have epstein-barr, if you have parasites, we got to clear them because without clearing these infection, they're always going to be a trigger for you. So we have that foundation, which is fuel delivery, the next part is the immune system. And the next part is where we build on things like detoxification heavy metals, environmental, chemical toxicities. The next part we can stack on even hormones here. And we have brain function that we can actually optimize here as well, neurotransmitters, that comes in a lot later step, right?
So again, fuel delivery, immune function, and then we have detox, and then we have to neurotransmitter, and your hormones at the very top, or at the very end of this roadmap. So that's how I typically go in when I approach someone with chronic condition. I'm asking questions about this roadmap, about the house, do they have the foundation in place? Do they have immune function going? Do they have other challenges? And then I will address this sequentially, instead of going straight for detox, I'm addressing, "Okay, where do you have problem? Oh, you have problem with oxygen, we got to do that first. You have problem with blood sugar, we got to do that first before we get to the hormones or the detox or the neurotransmitter."When we do that, people tend to do better.
Now I want to say sometimes there's always exception to the rule, clinically speaking, everybody's different, right? There's always some exception to the rule. But by following this roadmap or this approach, you're going to get a lot more people well, you're going to get a lot better result than if you just shotgun and find whatever sounds good, that's when people get in trouble, and they end up taking way too many supplements. And they don't even know what they're fixing, or they're fixing 50 things when they shouldn't be fixing. Now you might have 50 things going on that need to be addressed, but that doesn't mean you fix 50 things all at the same time. It means that you got to do it in order. If you do that it simplifies, it makes it easy for you, it makes it so that you are not crazy. Trying to fix 50 things and you don't appear crazy to other doctor like, "What are you doing?" It makes it so that it's clear what you're trying to accomplish. So hopefully that helps.
Sarah: Fantastic. It's really, I guess, simple information that you're sharing with us today Dr. Kan, but I think it's so eye opening because I think we do often over complicate things and it's so right. When we're thinking about a health problems, it's just like, "Oh, but this special, like exotic fruit from the top of the Himalayas will cure this blah, blah blah for me, maybe it will fix my health." But in reality, we're not sleeping, we're going to bed at 2:00 AM.
Dr. Peter Kan: Sarah, you know the exotic fruit from the Himalayas may work but it may not, right? So just because somebody says, "Look, click this. This is the exotic Himalayan fruit." It may have some benefit but that doesn't tell you what is your actual problem, right? That doesn't tell you whether you have a fuel delivery problem, immune system challenge, detoxification or neurotransmitter. Himalayan fruit or X, Y, Z supplement or whatever it is you're taking, it doesn't tell you what is the problem. Again, don't put the cart in front of the horse. Identify what actual problem you have first.
And when I say actual problem, I don't mean like a diagnosis. "Oh, I was told I have SIBO."No, that's actually just a possibility like IBS, it's just a diagnosis. What's causing that? What's causing the SIBO? Well, it's small intestinal bacteria, isn't it? Could be but could it just be a vagus nerve issue? Could it be you don't have enough stomach acid, so you're not digesting? There's other things you have to pay attention to. So that's why if you do it in a roadmap fashion, it reduces that complexity, so you have a higher probability of getting a right.
It doesn't mean it's foolproof, it's guarantee or your money back, nothing in health is guaranteed but you want to increase your chance of being right. That's what the master do. You do things that give you the higher probability of getting it right. And if you do all those Himalayan fruit and crazy stuff, the exotic things, then you're like hitting on something that has 2% chance of getting, solving your problem. Then you're going to run into a lot of these problems where you're buying a lot of things that give you 2% benefit, where you can just do one thing that's going to give you 60% benefit, and it's going to give you farther along.
Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Awesome. Thank you. I think, can we just dive into a bit more of the foundation of the house, the fuel delivery, we had some questions come in around blood sugar. So Deborah is asking, "Please explain signs of low and high blood sugar without continuous blood pricks?" And Sophia asked something similar, what are low blood pressure symptoms and what do you do from there?
Dr. Peter Kan: Yeah. So just think about it, right? So again, in our digital program, we teach people how to identify this. Our goal is to give people tools, okay? So some of the symptoms with low blood pressure, think about low blood pressure, what happens we have low blood pressure? Then that means you can't push blood to your tissue, right? Especially peripheral tissue. Now, what's considered periphery? Hands, feet and the top of your head, right? Because you have the core and everything away from your core is the periphery.
So if you have low blood pressure, you can't push blood to those area, what are some of the something that can come from that? Well, cold hands, cold feet would be one, right? People may have poor nail growth, you may have even hair loss because you can get, don't look at my hair, but you may have hair loss because you can't get blood flow to your hair follicle so then there's no lack of nutrient being delivered there. So there could be you have thinning hair, right? You may have energy issues, right? Because if you can't get pressure to your head that means you can get blood there, if you can't get blood there, you can't deliver glucose or oxygen, that you may experience fatigue, low endurance, low brain endurance, you may also get dizzy and lightheaded.
That's probably the most telltale symptom is that you get dizzy and lightheaded easily, especially if you change position. You bend over to pick up something you get up, oh, little woozy there. And then you check your blood pressure, yup, it's low also. Then put two and two together, that may be a profusion problem for you.
Sarah: Okay, great.
Matt: Yeah. I think it's been such a good talk in terms of just highlighting how important it is that you just educate yourself and you're working with someone, and preferably someone that can spend the time with you, a qualified medical doctor can spend the time with you and work through these things. So I think a big part of what I've loved what you've said Dr. Peter is just talking about the sense that we really need to focus down in on asking the right questions. And obviously, we've gone through some very complex roadmaps here, and having the time to spend with someone to go through and get those questions answered.
So thank you so much for highlighting that to us on that on today's call. Because I think many of us have that experience potentially, where you get a quick diagnosis, or it's that miracle thing, or you're clicking site on the internet. And that's a huge issue across the entire medical space not just obviously, the natural medical space, the conventional medical space, we have this very quick fix mindset. So thank you so much for sharing that, we've loved that. And the comments of full of people that have really gotten a lot of out of that as well.
Dr. Peter Kan Yeah. Absolutely. And I want to say that, and this is a part of reason why a lot of people say, "Oh, this is great, how do I consult with you?" I actually don't take on very many one on one clients anymore. And what I've done is I created more of a teach program to educate people, I think people need the education more than ever. And if people can be empowered, then they can figure out a lot of stuff themselves. And then when they do work with a doctor one on one, it doesn't even have to be me, then there'll be a more educated consumer. So in that way, we create a digital program to help people to be able to learn this stuff.
And kind of like what you said, Matt, it's like people need time to learn this and somebody go through this with them. In a way I've done that through basically an online program that teach people that, it's like taking the course. Because you don't get that in a one hour consultation, you get that by learning, right? You don't just say you want to learn calculus, the teacher don't prop down a calculus textbook in front of you say, "Here, test next week," and you learn calculus in a week. It doesn't work like that. It takes time to learn it.
So what I've done is I'm teaching people this, and I think it's life changing. I don't want to do this, but I think is life changing because that's the common we're getting in people who are going through the program to learn it. And this also makes it much more affordable because they don't have to work with me one on one because my time is very limited, so it's a premium kind of thing to work with me. But when I do it in a group setting where I teach people, then it becomes much more affordable.
Matt: Awesome. I think you can see-
Matt: ... we're trying to highlight some of these really lovely comments coming through. So thank you so much everyone for tuning in. If people want to learn more from you, I know you do a lot of social media things, "I want to learn more about this thing that we spoke about tonight, where can I find it?" What's the best place for them to go?
Dr. Peter Kan: Yeah. Absolutely. I have a lot of free content online, actually. And people just say, "Oh do something where people can learn." I've already been doing that for the past four years. I have over 500 videos on my YouTube channel. So you can go on to Peter Kan D.C, that's Peter Kan, K-A-N, D as in doctor, C as in chiropractic, that's my YouTube channel. I have a lot of online videos where I talk about these things. So that's free content for everybody.
And then the other places that I also put out a free masterclass, and Matt and Sarah has been very gracious in supporting me in the past I really appreciate it. We just had a launch and I just finished with our previous launch. Our next launch is September, I invite people to join that, and I'm sure you'll send out emails in your group about that. But the brain-immune-gut masterclass is where I recommend people come to really get into a deeper dive. Again, it's 30,000 feet view of everything I talked about, but I deliver it over a seven day period.
Matt: Awesome. Well-
Matt: ... hopefully you've seen some of the comments come through. We always love having you on for, Obviously, we've done this free, this is our first ever live, so I hope everyone's enjoyed. If you have make sure you give us a like. We saw some plenty of likes coming through before but I think we're at 155 at the moment, if we can get that to 200, that would be awesome. But thank you. If you've enjoyed the call, put a like on it because yes, this call will be available as a replay. Although we're live now, you'll be able to watch this on replay later if you've missed anything or want to go over anything. And yeah. Give Dr. Kan a follow, check out his master class, it's amazing. And yeah. Do you have any time for some quick Q&A? We could go through some quick Q&A [crosstalk]?
Dr. Peter Kan: Yeah. Absolutely.
Dr. Peter Kan: Let's do that.
Matt: All right. So Sarah, you want to do some lucky dip Q&A?
Sarah: All right. Okay. So I guess, I think it would be good... We had some questions around the immune layer come in before, there were some questions asking for clarity around the vitamin D and glutathione. But do you have any more comments on supporting the immune system, what to look at? What to look for when really working through that phase of the roadmap?
Dr. Peter Kan: Can you repeat the question again?
Sarah: Yes. Immune function, how to support it?
Dr. Peter Kan: How to support immune function? Okay. Great.
Dr. Peter Kan: So what I will say is remember, you cannot really extricate the immune system and isolate it on its own and say, Okay, I'm going to take this X, Y, Z to do that. You can like people take vitamin C, and zinc and vitamin D, those are all valuable things. And you don't need me to tell you that, many of you already taking these things. But what I will tell you is that the immune system is a very intricate part of the brain-immune-gut access. And if you want to support the immune system, you will do well by going through the roadmap that I described, which is mind your fuel delivery first, address any inflammation, and then work on toxicity last.
If you do it in that sequence, your immune system will already be improving, okay? So it's addressing it by doing the right things for the right reason. And you're going to have a better long term outcome than, "Oh, take vitamin C." Okay, so you take vitamin C, does that boost your immune system short-term? Maybe, yes. But long-term, are you actually fixing your immune system? In my opinion, I think you're better off actually getting your health in order by addressing the entire roadmap, starting with your delivery, then work on the digestion of food, and then work on leaky gut, work on inflammation, address any infections, toxicity, and so on, and so forth. So that's how I suggest people do it.
So for example, if you have very poor circulation and you're anemic, and you have low blood pressure, these are all examples of profusion issues. You could take vitamin C and zinc that might give you a temporarily help but it's almost like a crutch, it's just a crutch, you still have a broken ankle, you're still not walking properly on your own because you have poor perfusion. So it's much more important to do things in order that way, okay? So the way I would address immune system is making sure that you're not anemic, your fuel delivery is intact, you don't have blood sugar spikes. And then I will address make sure you're digesting food.
And then very important party immune system is addressing leaky gut, right? This is talked about very often, but it's an integral part to this because the leaky gut is going to cause you to have chronic inflammation due to creating possibility of having food reactions, okay? And then also driving auto immunity. And then you can support the immune system after that with vitamin D and glutathione as I talked about earlier, even doing zinc and vitamin C.
Again, you could take all these things you want, what I'm trying to help people understand that you want to do things by not ignoring certain parts of their health. Because sometimes people will just go straight to, "Oh, take Echinacea and Elzie." Okay, great. But that doesn't solve the real problem here.
Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Sarah: Okay. I love that.
Matt: We have a new question coming through. But we're just three off 200 likes-
Matt: ... so make sure you hit that like button.
Sarah: The thumbs up.
Matt: The thumbs up.
Sarah: So we have a question, "I have severe constipation, asthma and brain fog, what can be the connection?" I think, I guess that would be great to just bring it back to the BIG idea.
Dr. Peter Kan: Yes. And that's exactly right Sarah. If you bring everything back to the brain-immune-gut access and the BIG idea that I talked about, all these things start to make sense. So she says, constipation-
Dr. Peter Kan: ... brain fog and asthma.
Dr. Peter Kan: So the constipation is the digestive part of it, right? The gut part of it, but remember that constipation is a brain symptom, it's a neurological problem. I should even say constipation is a muscle problem, right? Because when you're constipated, you don't have motility. Remember what I said motility was? Motility is the muscular contraction, right? You got to move food through. So if you have constipation, you have slow motility. That's a lack of vagus nerve innovation. So there's a brain component. And obviously, this person also has brain fog, which is the brain component. Remember, we have brain fog, usually you have either fuel delivery problems to your brain, right? Oxygen, glucose, or you have inflammation in your brain. That's really the two biggest thing that can drive brain fog.
Then you have to ask, why do I have blood sugar issue? Why do I have profusion problem? Why do I have inflammation in the brain? Which could be infections, toxins, all that stuff, autoimmunity, but really what it comes down to is fuel delivery or inflammation, right? Both can be addressed. So she has brains issues, she has gut issue with constipation and then asthma. Asthma is an inflammatory condition. Remember inflammation is an immune system mediated response. There's your brain-immune-gut, that just completed that brain-immune-gut access.
So how I would address that is, with this person is go through the roadmap, identify any breakdowns in the roadmap starting with step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 all the way to the end, and then see where she has the most problem. Let's say for example, step one and two, oxygen and blood sugar is normal, but digestion, a lot of symptom there. Well, guess what? Then step three is where she want to really focus on, right? So that's how you identify these thing, and you should fix that first before you fix the next step on a roadmap. Now, sometimes you can fix two, three steps at the same time. But what you don't want to do is you don't want to fix step two and Step nine at the same time. You can do step two, three and four together if they're all linked together, but you don't want to do one and 10 because that's too far removed from each other.
Sarah: Love it.
Sarah: Thank you. We have a question here, and I guess we're making our way up the pyramid. So this one is, "Need tips on improving detox."
Dr. Peter Kan: Okay. So let me come back to the brain-immune-gut, since this is the theme of this talk, right?
Dr. Peter Kan: Because remember what I said in very beginning of this talk is that people tend to want to say, "Hey, what pill do I take now?" Now, she's asking for tips she's not asking for a pill necessarily but again, tips for detox. People already know all the tips for detox. Well, let me give you one tip, the first tip for detox is not get exposed to the toxin in the first place. That's the best tip of detox that I can give you. Because once you're expose, it takes a lot of effort for the body to remove that toxin. It's a very physiologically expensive process. I don't mean expensive by money, I mean expensive meaning it takes a lot of energy and resource inside your body to get a toxin out, okay?
So the best way to detox really, just reduce exposure, that's the best thing to do. And that can be very difficult, depends on where you live, your living environment and your lifestyle habits, but that all can be improved upon, right? You just do the best you can to reduce. And when you do get exposed, you do, oh, you have exposure, you want to do regular wellness detox, then you could do that. When it comes to detox, let me reference back to the brain-immune-gut, so here's an example.
Cytochrome P450 enzymes, these are enzymes in the liver that carry out phase one detox, works optimally when your iron level is optimal. So if you're anemic, your phase one liver detox enzyme don't even work properly. So if you want me to give you tips, go through the roadmap that I described, right? And another thing with detox is that your blood sugar. Your blood sugar has to be just right for you to detox properly. There's a process of detox in the body called glucuronidation, is one of the phase two detox pathways. Glucuronidation is a very important detox pathway to actually help you detox hormones, right? So very important for female to get rid of excess estrogen and so forth. This glucuronidation process is very blood sugar stability driven.
So if you have hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, that process don't even run very well. If you're insulin resistant, high blood sugar also doesn't run really well. You say, "What? I thought you said low blood sugar doesn't run well. Wouldn't high blood sugar be good?" No. Because high blood sugar meaning that your sugar in the blood cannot get into yourself. Remember high blood sugar means you insulin resistance. It's a problem with sugar usage, you can't use the sugar you got that's why it's all stuck in your blood, that's why you have diabetes.
So people with high blood sugar have the same problem with people with low blood sugar, which means that glucose cannot get into their cell. The difference is that people with high blood sugar have sugar all stuck in their blood while people have low blood sugar, they have not enough glucose in the blood. But the same problem exists with both people in that they can't deliver glucose into the cell for use, so they're both starved of energy and when you don't have energy, you can't detox.
Sarah: Well said.
Sarah: Thank you.
Matt: We have another question from Katherine, which I think is really an important question before we wrap up is, "How much does stress play into all of this?"
Dr. Peter Kan: Huge. Next question. No, just kidding.
Dr. Peter Kan: Stress is huge. Yeah. Drop the mic. Stress is really, really huge. Stress basically will mess with all three part of the brain-immune-gut access, in fact, it mess with it in a big way. Hey, there you go, the BIG again.
Dr. Peter Kan: So stress impacts brain in a sense that cortisol is toxic to the hippocampus region at the temporal lobe, which is the part of brain that controls circadian rhythm and also short-term memory. And that's the genesis or the place where Alzheimer and dementia starts. So cortisol over all overwhelms the hippocampus and is one of the main reasons for hippocampus degeneration, which is Alzheimer, dementia. High cortisol is very damaging to the gut lining. High cortisol will degrade the gut lining and cause leaky gut, high cortisol will lower secretory IgA which is the first line of defense in your gut. High cortisol can also impact and kind of triggers this fight or flight response, which negatively impacts secretion of digestive enzymes and stomach acid.
And then cortisol's impact on the immune system is that when you have high cortisol, it makes it so that your immune system become compromised, so it's more easily for you to get infections. High cortisol is also very inflammatory, it causes cytokines to be elevated, so you become more inflamed. So cortisol and stress itself, not just cortisol, right? From the stress physiology, but there's also the mental aspect of it, the energetic aspect of stress, that can cause various issues in the body. So stress is a big player. That's why I say solution's not always in a pill or a supplement. Everybody's like, "What supplement do I take?"
My advice to people is stop thinking about what supplement to take, think about how to actually solve the problem by identifying what's actually the problem and apply the right solution to the problem. Sometimes the solution to the problem is not expensive. Somebody earlier say, "This Guy is telling me we need to fix fuel delivery, another doctor's telling me we need to do tests, he must be expensive." Opposite. What I'm teaching you here is the opposite of expensive. It's expensive to do a bunch of expensive test. I'm not telling you to do a bunch of tests, I'm telling you to fix your fuel delivery.
How do you fix your fuel delivery? I gave you an example, if you have low blood pressure, take some sea salt in water, is that expensive? Right? If you have low blood sugar, eat small frequent meals, is that expensive? Right? So doing the right thing doesn't have to be expensive. Now, I'm not saying just doing that will solve everybody's problem because some people do need to have tests done and do detox. But if you don't do the foundational things right, then you're going to end up spending a lot more money doing tests, doing detox and things that just not going to get you there because you're wasting your money going round and round in circle instead of actually addressing in a sequence. Unwinding this coil, this ball of fishnet, you know the fishing line that's all tangled up in a ball like this, the fishing line? This way, it's called opposite direction.
So when you untangle it, this fish line eventually becomes straight line, right? So you want to get it so it's not looking like all tangled up ball of mess, you want to get this fish line to be a straight line so we can do it sequentially. And that doesn't have to be expensive, it just takes time and effort. It's just learning. And some people just want a quick fix. And there's nothing wrong with wanting a quick fix if it could be really efficient. But oftentimes, again, you can't cheat the body, you have to do it in the right order. And so, what we teach is we teach people how to do it in the right order. And it doesn't have to be a big to do.
Matt: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time on vacation in California, and you've made the time available to not only give us an amazing amount of value, but also answer a lot of people's questions. So thank you so much, Dr. Peter Kan. Make sure you check out his website, give him a follow on socials. And as well, before you sign off, make sure you hit that like button because this will be available on replay.
Sarah: And subscribe.
Matt: And subscribe because actually, on the Subscribe thing, we will be giving out a special giveaway, it'll be awesome. But you'll have to be subscribed to see it. So it'll be in the community tab on YouTube. So if you're not subscribed, you're going to miss out on this week, which I think you'll regret if you miss out on this one. So make sure you hit that subscribe button as well. And that will also encourage us to do more live calls like this with amazing talented doctors like Dr. Peter Kan.
Sarah: Philomena says, "Happy vacation. Hope you can get back into it after this call is over." But thank you so much again. For anyone wanting to connect with Dr. Peter Kan, you can find a lot of his resources on YouTube. He has a ton of videos. We threw a lot of questions here about leaky gut, and we didn't get that today. We actually have a video on leaky gut on our channel, but I'm sure Dr. Peter would have a ton of videos on leaky gut as well on yours. Yeah?
Dr. Peter Kan: Yes, absolutely.
Sarah: Yes. Awesome. So-
Dr. Peter Kan: On that and... Just Google my name, you'll find me online.
Sarah: Yeah. And you can-
Dr. Peter Kan: Bald headed Chinese guy, you can't miss it.
Sarah: You can find out more about his clinic on his website. And also his big, what's it called the master class?
Dr. Peter Kan: Yeah. It's bigmasterclass.com.
Sarah: Yes. Okay. Awesome. Yeah. So we've emailed for it in the past as you mentioned before Dr. Peter, and we've had great feedback about it as well. So awesome. Check it out. And thank you again for joining us Dr. Peter, especially on vacation. And thank you for everyone that joined us today, live on the call. It was a joy to have you all and to see you engage like this. And thank you for the thumbs up. We reached our goal of 200 likes, we're at 234.
Matt: Thanks, guys.
Sarah: Yeah. Thanks again. And I will see you all next week. Yeah. Enjoy California, Dr. Peter.
Dr. Peter Kan: Thank you so much. You guys are so welcome, and it's a pleasure to be here.
Sarah: Excellent. All right. Catch you.
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