If you have an autoimmune condition, then you know firsthand how much of a battle it is to deal with autoimmunity. It can take years for a diagnosis, plus you never know if tomorrow will be a good day, or a bad day.
But you do learn quite a bit about your body. You learn how stress impacts symptoms. You also learn how your fluctuations in hormones can impact it as well.
When Dr. Alison Danby received her diagnosis of autoimmunity, that was when she went on her long journey of learning everything she possibly could about how autoimmunity occurs in the body.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [1:45] What got Dr. Alison Danby into naturopathic medicine
- [2:45] Alison was diagnosed with her own autoimmune condition which made her very interested in autoimmunity
- [4:15] What is it like to go through the conventional system for autoimmunity, and what do the treatments look like
- [7:30] 70% of autoimmunity is found in women, why is that
- [8:45] How does xenoestrogens impact hormonal pathways in women
- [9:30] What exactly is an autoimmune condition
- [13:15] Can we have autoimmune responses to our gut microbiome
- [15:30] If you have Mixed Connective Tissue autoimmunity, what is actually happening
- [18:00] How do you get the immune system to calm down
- [23:30] Is it a good idea to run autoimmune panels to track data over the years to see how your body changes
- [26:15] Can you have autoimmune symptoms but have lab tests show up with no markers that stand out
- [28:00] What would it be like to be a patient of Dr. Alison's
- [32:45] Alison takes 90 minutes in the first visit putting your health puzzle together, which is different than the conventional methods which gives you 6 minutes
Resources From This Episode
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Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan Carroll: [00:00:15] When you have an autoimmune condition, you learn a lot about your own body. Very quickly. You'll learn that certain foods may trigger symptoms and make you not feel very well.
And you'll learn how stress impacts you. You also learn how easy it is to feel. Great. One minute and terrible than that, I'll know, immunity is tough to live with and it can take years or even decades to get a diagnosis. But luckily the more we learn about the body, the more help we can provide for those with autoimmune conditions.
What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be adventurous. And today I have dr. Alison Danby on the show to share with us how to manage autoimmune conditions. Before we dive into this episode, our 100 squat challenge for October has officially started this morning and there is still time to jump in.
We will be doing them 31 different squat positions over the next 31 days. And all the donations will be given to the Northwest avalanche center to provide avalanche education for this upcoming season. Did join the challenge, go to summit for wellness.com/squat challenge. Now let's dive into my conversation with Alison dr.
Alison Danby is a naturopathic physician who specializes in auto immune conditions. She works with patients to figure out the puzzle leading to their symptoms by looking at their entire health, history environment and lifestyle factors. Thank you, Alison, for coming onto the show.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:01:44] Thank you, Bryan. For having me, I'm excited to be here.
Bryan Carroll: [00:01:47] Of course, and I know we'll be talking about auto-immunity, but I would love to learn a little bit more about you, your background and what got you into naturopathic medicine.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:01:57] So I have been an entrepreneur doctor and a functional medicine practitioner for over 14 years. and I gone into it, after a previous career that, I just really missed working with people, educating on health and wellness.
And, I knew that there was so much more that I could do with my educational experience. And so that's when I kind of joined into naturopathic medicine and it's been a perfect fit. Purely because I get to inspire people every single day. And I kind of feel like their health detective, when we're trying to figuring out why, why is something happening?
Why have you been diagnosed with this? What is, what is causing these problems? And so it's been a really fun journey to get here after 14 years.
Bryan Carroll: [00:02:41] In a, what made you so interested in auto-immunity?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:02:45] Oh, that's a good question. So there's two things that happened. it was after I, it was in my fourth year of naturopathic medicine, that I got diagnosed with my own autoimmune condition, a Hashimoto's, which was an eyeopener for me.
And I had to very quickly navigate that and figured that out for myself. and I still wasn't really into auto-immune with a lot of my clients until about fast forward, five years later, when I had already put my condition into remission, I started having clients coming in and going through the exact same thing I was going through.
They knew that there was more that they could do. They weren't getting the answers in conventional medicine about why was this happening? How can diet help, how can other things that. In their lifestyle help to even just reduce the symptoms and make the medication better. And so that's when I started to, really jump into the autoimmune as a huge advocate of, there is so much more that we can be doing other than just the pharmaceutical route and have absolutely nothing against the pharmaceutical route.
But I think that there's other things that we can be working on to make it more effective and to make it less aggressive. so that's kind of what led me into that. And that was about, I'm going to say what seven years ago. Now
Bryan Carroll: [00:03:56] talk about, if someone goes to a, a conventional physician, what is it typically like for, receiving that diagnosis of an autoimmune condition?
And then what are the typical treatment options?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:04:08] Okay. So this, that the whole process average for most people takes about five years, from what I hear from clients and what research says. So what people tend to notice is they're feeling a little bit off and it's predominantly women. So the population of people with autoimmune it's about 70% women versus men.
And so for women, a lot of the time will happen around hormone changes. So whether we're, you know, getting pregnant, having children. And menopause. So we have a lot of the symptoms that we start to experience, whether we're tired, brain fog pain, we can very easily kind of make excuses. And so it'll be a couple of years when we start to notice things are getting worse and worse.
We go to the doctor they'll. Kind of do assessment. but most people finally don't get the diagnosis for about five years and a lot of the time that's because you have to wait until you have certain criteria to make that diagnosis. So they'll test you for your antibodies. They may not be high enough.
you may not have as much inflammation. You may not have that collection of like 10 symptoms or seven tend to get that autoimmune diagnosis. Now what I'm also seeing is a lot of people that are coming into the clinic that their doctors think it's auto-immune. But they don't have the collection of symptoms that can categorize them into an autoimmune category, for example, lupus, but it's kinda like lupus.
So there's a lot of people that haven't been diagnosed or that don't have a diagnosis, but it's autoimmune like, and so that can be a really long and frustrating journey for a lot of people. and then once you get that diagnosis, then you're immediately kind of put into this protocol of, okay, so this is the pharmaceutical that we give you, or this is the protocol.
Steroids that we give you first. and then it's a wait and see game. So there's a lot of wait and see, there's a lot of time elapsed from diagnosis and in this whole period of that five years, and some people it's longer, some people it's less, you have more and more damage happening. And so for a lot of people, it's, it's a scary process and it's a relief to get there diagnosis, but it's not.
It really, then it kind of opens up a whole, another big picture of, okay, what do I do now? Which is I think even more overwhelming, because the answers that we're given when we're getting, we get the diagnosis, aren't necessarily the ones that we want. but so it's a frustrating journey. It can be a very frustrating journey and there's nothing, nothing against the medical community, cause they're doing exactly what they need to be doing, because their solutions are strong.
So they need to make sure that you are officially getting this diagnosis and that there is this happening before. Or they give you their medications. but I think there's a whole paradigm that we're missing in between there of how can we slow this down and how can we prevent it from getting that far?
And then once we do get that far and give that diagnosis, how can we get it to the medication works better, or even the end game where you can actually get off the medication is what I'm ultimately working for with a lot of my clients, for some people it's achievable for some people it's not.
Bryan Carroll: [00:07:12] Now you said 70% of auto-immunity happens for women.
Yes. Why do you think that is? You mentioned hormones, but is that the entire story or do you have other theories?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:07:24] Well, so there's a, there's a couple of theories on this and there's not a lot of research on it. but one of the, the biggest thing is hormones. So progesterone. Is a very beneficial hormone for women to actually calm the immune system and reduce inflammation.
And progesterone is the one that is very easily manipulated. So anytime we have a lot of stress, progesterone is then shunted. It's called the pregnenolone steal is shunted make cortisol. So women are actually in a progesterone deficiency state. Or what we can look at the flip side, it estrogen dominant state and estrogen for a lot of autoimmune conditions will drive to that T H 17 state, which triggers the whole inflammatory and immune complex.
So hormones play a really big factor. The other thing about women, which is kind of. Some of the research is alluding to, is that we have much more aggressive immune systems because we do carry children or, you know, we have the nine months of pregnancy, our immune systems have to be more vigilant and more aggressive because of that factor.
So it's beneficial when we're pregnant. However, when we're not pregnant for a lot of people, it's you still have that aggressive immune system, it doesn't shut off. and it can be a problem.
Bryan Carroll: [00:08:37] does Xeno estrogens also. Influence that estrogen dominant state.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:08:44] That's a great question. Yes, they do. So what they tend to do is they'll block the receptor, the estrogen receptor, and then what happens is your body actually has more estrogen in it.
That's not being used properly. So there's a couple of different variations that are complained to. but yeah, they can, they can definitely impact the overall hormonal imbalance in the body.
Bryan Carroll: [00:09:05] So, Can you briefly just touch on what is auto-immunity cause we didn't really cover that and just talk about what's going on within the body when there's an autoimmune condition.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:09:14] Absolutely. So what autoimmune is, is essentially when your body starts to attack itself, now that can happen from many different reasons, but for most people there's a trigger. So it could be something, you know, a really stressful event that then cascades and creates all these different, scenarios such as a leaky gut, hormone changes, sleep changes.
And what happens then is the immune system cannot resolve the problem. So for most people, the immune system has a trigger. So whether it's bacteria and virus, anything along those lines, it can typically resolve this problem. And then you go back to a normal, healthy state. So for example, you get a cold or flu immune system kicks in, resolves the problem done for people with autoimmune.
And this is where the genetic component can come into play. or other factors as well. They are lacking the ability to have that resolution or the body needs help. But that resolution. So they're not achieving resolution from these triggers, virus, bacteria, whatever it may be. And so what happens then is the immune system is upregulated and it's almost calling for more troops and there's a couple of different scenarios that can play out.
But one of the ones that we see most of the time, or one of the theories, that's kind of the strongest theory is what I call friendly fire. And so when your immune system is getting up regulated and. You know, really trying to resolve this problem. It's going to call in more troops. And the more troops that we have in the more that can happen damage to, something that's ourself.
So whether it's a joint or, or Oregon, the other thing that can happen is when you're systems sees a bacteria, and this is where the research is coming out, really strong, right? Yeah. Now, so immune system sees it. Yeah. Bacteria, certain bacteria is a problem. Now that bacteria. Can look so close to the receptors on your organ or the receptors on your joint.
And that's one that's been really coming out strong with rheumatoid arthritis is that there's a link to bacteria and the immune system can't tell the difference between the bacteria and the type four collagen that has been exposed to. So then you have damage. Yeah. It's, you know, the research, the last 10 to 15 years is really amazing about looking at the cause of why is something happening.
And then there's a whole, another theory was like along the lines with the resolution that we were talking about earlier. That impacts your mitochondria in every single cell in your body. And when your mitochondria feels threatened, it can't produce energy anymore. And so one of the very first things that we see is the energy is being shunted out.
The ATP that we've produced in these mitochondria, it's being shunted out to tell the body danger, danger, danger. So when it's not in the cell anymore, it can actually give you energy. So the very first symptom that we tend to see is a drop in energy. Fatigue. And that's the thing I hear from every single client that comes in is fatigue.
Like fatigue. I'm exhausted. I'm tired all the time. And so, and, and it's not a lack of sleep for a lot of people. They're napping or sleeping at night, it's just fatigue. So our goal is to help find out why is the what's the trigger? And the trigger is different for everyone. it can be bacteria viral, fungal, it could be, you know, it's having really high stress levels that are causing your body to change the way the hormones are being presented.
The way your digestion is functioning foods can be triggered. So we find out we try to identify the trigger. And once we remove the trigger, then the body says, and it comes to an extent, depending on how long you've had the condition for and how aggressive it is.
Bryan Carroll: [00:12:40] So going back to bacteria, we obviously we have the microbiome, so we have bacteria in our guts.
That's supposed to be there. when can we have autoimmune type responses to that bacteria? Or is this a bacteria that is not natural to the system?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:12:56] So, yes, both. That's another really great question. so we can have pathogenic bacteria, but we can also have an immune response to our own natural flora and that's, what's coming out of it.
Yeah. A lot of the digestive, so all sort of colitis Crohn's, that's some of the research that's coming out on that, and that's really, really hard to treat because your immune system has a memory. So if it's creating a memory against your own bacteria, Then we really have to do a lot to calm the immune system, as opposed to just remove that bacteria.
Cause we can't. Fungal is another one that is a natural floor within us. And for a lot of people, especially firewood Hashimoto's, they have an immune response, Easter candy at Alva, Ken, which is a fungal mold is another huge trigger, which is a whole nother episode. Probably we could talk for hours about that, but mold is a really big trigger that compromises the immune system, and we're all exposed to mold, but mold is kind of one of those things that trumps everything.
And when your immune system has now picked it up as a problem, every time you're exposed to mold. It, your immune system is upregulated or, activated. And so you're absolutely right. It can be good. It can be bad. It can be anything that you're being exposed to on a regular basis as well.
Bryan Carroll: [00:14:08] Are there specific autoimmune conditions that are the most common?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:14:12] Absolutely. So some of the most common ones that I see in a practice are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus. I see a lot of Hashimoto's or a lot of undiagnosed Hashimoto's and we actually, people come in with thyroid conditions and we'll run the antibody panel and find out actually it's Hashimoto's, which is the autoimmune hyperthyroid.
I treat a lot of graves Trojans. ankylosis funder, locis, PCOM. the one I've seen a lot more of is mixed connected tissue, which is, more, yeah, the muscular pain and a traveling muscular pain. so we need to kind of figure out what is causing that and what's triggering the immune system.
Awesome. And I see when we do testing for that, we see a lot of bacteria mold, Lyme coming back for that one. Interesting.
Bryan Carroll: [00:15:00] So for that one Mex connective tissue, can you talk about, what are some of the symptoms with that? And then, if you do have that, what's going on in the body, I'm really curious about that one.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:15:09] Okay. So I think you and everyone else are as well because it's, it's a really, it's, it's one of those that I feel is we don't know what's going on. So we're going to give you this. I've had a lot of clients come in from multiple doctors. Yeah. And they're not sure, but they think it's an auto immune condition, so they can have some anti marker antibody markers show up, but it's not consistent with lupus is not consistent with RA.
It's a lot of traveling, joint pain. a lot of fatigue, stiffness can happen. It feels more like it's in the muscles though. So a lot of, kind of, this muscle ache or, you know, Pain. So it's, it's different. It presents differently than a lot of the other conditions. You're not seeing degenerative changes on the joints.
but that's typically what I am seeing a lot of is the fatigue and the pain and the pain will move in different places or is it overall entire body pain? I almost think it's kind of like a, Fibromyalgia pitcher as well. So I think they're, they're closely similar, characteristics to it. And once again, fibromyalgia is another one that we're like, well, we don't really know.
We don't know. I have a lot of tests we're testing for the points, but what's causing this. And I think that's the whole main thing is that we have to look at is the location is one thing. So. Lupus RA, they all have different locations that they're attacking. And that's one of the ways that we get the diagnosis, but the underlying cause is always the immune system.
It's always upregulated and it's causing damage. And you're seeing a lot of kind of auto antibodies. Now, one of the interesting things that research has shown us is that people that are living to, Well, over a hundred years are coming back with antibodies to a lot of different things, but they're not having the symptoms that are associated with auto immune.
So the auto antibodies are present, but they're not having the overactive, the immune system to the extent where they're seeing damage. So it's really fascinating that, but underlying causes always immune system. And so we always have to kind of look back, not necessarily at the area it's targeting because it's only a matter of time before it targets other areas when it's not resolved.
Bryan Carroll: [00:17:15] Yeah. So if the immune system's up regulated and it's, I, you know, working so hard to try and clear out whatever it is, that's in the system. how do you know first off that it's. Bad for the system to do that. And then second, how do you start to get the man's system to calm itself down?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:17:34] So, how do we know it's bad is based on symptoms.
And so testing is one thing. So testing we've, we've had people come back with positive antibodies, That are slightly elevated, but they have symptoms. So whether we were definitely kind of, not as aggressive with that, like we're still making some really great lifestyle changes. We're still making a lot of things to prevent that from going further.
And we do see a lot of times those will drop down. But if we're starting to see a lot of symptoms and most of the people, I would say that come into my office are pretty advanced symptoms at this point. because it's debilitating, it's changing their life and they don't like how it's changing it.
And they also don't want it to progress further. cause the fear of what is going to happen is there and sorry, what's the second part of, how do we address this?
Bryan Carroll: [00:18:20] Yeah. If the immune system is upregulated, how do you calm it down?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:18:23] Okay. So that's so that's what we're starting to look at. Okay. What are we looking at?
We're looking for the cause. So we'll do testing to identify the cause there's a lot of great functional tests that are out there now that are looking so you can look at the GI map. stool analysis are great. Just because it's in the gut though, doesn't mean it's causing an immune response. So the one that I typically use is Kira XRA 12, which is looking at the chronic, the IgG reaction to, I think it's 28 different pathogens.
They might have add a few more, but it's looking at the most common pathogens that are out there that could be elevating the immune response. So what we start to do is once we can kind of identify based on their health history of what they've gone through, like, did this all start happening after you traveled and got food poisoning?
Well, that's a huge clue to us. So depending on what their health history is, is kind of where we would go functional testing. some of the first things that I always do for every single person is we look at diet and I, so I'm certified in the autoimmune paleo diet. And I will start there, whether we do the full autoimmune paleo diet or not is really case dependent.
So we may just start with more of a modified paleo or, we may do the full autoimmune paleo. Start with diet, always look at hormones and for women, since most of the population is women. That's who I see, I would say probably 80% of my autoimmune clients. We'll probably hire almost 90% are female. I see a lot of men with ms.
More so than any other autoimmune condition. So we start to look at hormones and how much is stress playing into it? We start to look at routines so bedtime. What, what time are you going to bed? that was one of the biggest triggers for me with my autoimmune condition is I was staying up late to study.
It was in my fourth year of board exams, working three jobs, just trying to get through to the end of my schooling. And that was a huge trigger. So we start to look at the lifestyle and we just start making small changes. there are probably about a hundred changes we could make, but I find that if we can just start making small little steps forward, those are the ones that get the best results.
Those are the ones that are gonna actually help propel people and encourage them to make more lifestyle changes. And that's when we start to see the immune system, just almost taking a breath like the central nervous system comes down, our hormones start to balance. Digestions starts to improve. Energy then starts to improve brain fog goes away.
So once we start addressing all those underlying causes,
Bryan Carroll: [00:20:51] Yeah. So it's not a super easy process. Right. And there's a lot of complication to it.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:20:58] There, it is definitely not an easy process. And having gone through it myself, it was, there was ups and downs, but I will say within the first month of my own condition, I noticed a huge, I feel like I have my life back.
I felt like I had my energy back. I could actually stay up for 10 hours a day. I could actually focus and think my, it just, the difference that it made within the first month was enough to motivate me, to keep going. And then I was able to put it in remission and it's always something in the back of mind.
Cause it could pop back up. And so I'm testing. I test now every two years I used to test every year. I've gotten to the point now where it hasn't, my, my antibodies are really controlled. Some pen testing every two years. am I a hundred percent with what I did back 14 years ago? Absolutely not. Like I've introduced a lot of different things into my diet, but I'm still mindful that this is there and I do need to keep the balance.
Within my life. And that's how I kind of describe it to a lot of my clients is doing a complete overhaul, like a 12 week program is just so overwhelming. So that's why we take like a full year to just kind of go through this journey. And every month we're kind of working on something new, so it's not overwhelming and you're still moving forward and getting success.
And once you get a few milestones back of like feeling better, seeing improvement on labs, reducing medications, you're really motivated to keep going. Could you feel great? I feel like you're 20 again,
Bryan Carroll: [00:22:22] we all want to feel that way. Right?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:22:25] I think that's the key to anti-aging as well. Not just auto immune, but yeah, it's really the power of feeling.
Good. Really can motivate you.
Bryan Carroll: [00:22:34] So, you mentioned a few times now that you can test for antibodies, do you recommend pretty much everyone go and do some antibody antibody panels just to have and see changes as a age? Or is it just too expensive to do that?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:22:51] Well, so it is expensive. It can be expensive to do it.
so I think it depends on your mindset, if you were okay, so this is the thing is it could come back positive. You have no symptoms and you don't necessarily, it doesn't mean it's ever going to develop into a problem. so it could. I, I don't, everyone has to answer that individually for them, for me.
Do I want to know if I have all the antibodies I'm okay with knowing that, because then I know I can be proactive. I have other clients though that have done it and it scares them. So it, it creates this more anxiety, fear of the unknown and what's going to happen. So if you're in that mindset of, you know, that health stuff scare you, then I don't necessarily think going and getting a baseline antibody test is the best thing, unless you're having symptoms.
But this is, that's a really, it's a great question, but I think it's a very personal question based on, your personality and how you can cope and your support system. Cause I've had patients that we've done that. And it was definitely the wrong decision for them because it created so much more anxiety.
Whereas I've got other clients that are like, great. I know I need to know this to keep me in check. So everything is very individually based on that. And it is expensive. So it just depends on how much, I will say though, if you have autoimmune in the family, I would definitely, if you start to notice that you're having fatigue and you're having a little bit more pain, Then instead of making excuses, well, I have this because of this, then I would go get tested and just kind of rule out, make sure that it isn't something that's going on in the background.
because it is a lot easier to prevent than to try to reverse.
Bryan Carroll: [00:24:32] Yeah, that reminds me of like gene testing when you do like a 23 and me, and they always ask and then double ask, are you sure you want to know if you have the gene for Alzheimer's and so I'm going to assume that came from, you know, a lot of anxiety and stuff that approached when they first started doing those tests.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:24:52] I agree. I think it's very individual and personality based on whether you want that. I do love baseline testing, just so then we can see. but I usually encourage, and I'll be honest because we are private, private practice. So it's cash based practice up in Canada. a lot of people aren't coming in for preventative.
They're coming in more of I'm at this state, what can I do to help it? So it's more of a reactive state than a preventative state.
Bryan Carroll: [00:25:19] Yeah. so can you have symptoms of auto-immune but also have, labs that are showing that you in the normal ranges and everything looks good? Or is there always going to be something that's going to stand out?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:25:33] No worries. I think you can have that. So, and, and this is the thing is, so we only know what we can test, but like, we don't, there's so much more that we could probably test for, but the tests haven't been identified. So for example, the Hyrax array 12 that I'd mentioned earlier 28 pathogens. Well, there's probably hundreds of pathogens that are out there.
but we, I only know the sequence or the testing for those ones. And so I think that there is a lot more that we are not able to test for. So I think more, so this is, these are the clients that I get that are the unknown autoimmune. They have autoimmune light conditions, but they don't have the antibodies, or they don't have certain markers to get them that diagnosis.
So you can definitely still have this symptoms and, I have an autoimmune condition and for people to, and I just think that that's because their genetic potential isn't necessarily an autoimmune response. It's more of like an inflammatory response or, more of a like methylation issues. So we just have to look outside the box of like, okay, well, why are you having this?
And that's why I really don't love. Labels on conditions. It's more of, okay, what this happening? Why is it happening and how do we fix that? How do we stop that trigger or that cause, and put everything back, back into a normal state. And that's so it's the same detective work that we're doing, whether you've been an automated diagnosis or just symptoms like.
Bryan Carroll: [00:26:55] Let's do a little just mock scenario of that. They've tacked of work. So let's say I've found, surround from a doctor to doctor for the last five years, trying to figure out what the heck is going on with me. And finally someone thinks I might have Crohn's. So I'm coming to you. What would the next steps be?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:27:12] Okay. So the first step is always, we do a least an hour to an hour and a half. Full history. So we go through every system in your body. So we will talk digestion probably for most of that visit. Find out your history. Have you ever had food poisoning? Have you ever had, foul symptoms? When did that start?
Was it in high school at puberty? Was it when you were a child, did you have food intolerance as a baby? Did you tolerate formula? Well, like we go into full detail. I want to know everything about your digestive history. Then we look at all the other symptoms or systems. So, you know, are you having any pain anywhere else?
do you ever been bit by a bug and had a reaction whether it's Lyme or sand fleas, these are mosquitoes. have you ever were traveled and had diarrhea? So we just look at everything in your life. Every possible question. Have you had mano. In the past. Did you ever feel well since then? And because the way I look at it is we want to see how full your bucket is and the more that we can remove from your bucket, the stressors from your bucket, the less symptoms you're going to have.
we will definitely talk nutrition and diet. We will talk activity level for Crohn's. So are you a marathon runner? Are, do you enjoy excess of exercise, all those different things. And then what we'll do is for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. Typically, what I do is some sort of GI testing because it's in the digestive tract.
So whether, based on what you've told me in your initial visit, I will either do a GI map or a doctor status, co with a culture. I don't do a lot of CBO testing unless it's really, really clear see vocation, just because there's a lot of controversy with the false positives and the false negatives, depending on which one you're using.
but we'll do testing and figure out kind of what do we need to do or where, what, what is living in your gut and how is your gut function and how much inflammation do you have? and then from that point, once we kind of figure out we'll make some lifestyle changes while we're waiting for the results to come back, a lot of people kind of settle digestion settles.
and then from that point, we'll just see what the results come back and then start treating what the cause is. So we're looking for the cause. Balancing stress, getting your sleep, doing all of the things that we know that we need to do, I'm going to now hold you accountable, do them. And all of those things impact how it's like the butterfly effect.
You know, you get a good night's sleep. Well, let's just change the way you deal with stress. The next day, it's also changing the way you're eating the next day as well. So it's, it's amazing with small little changes can make to an overall complicated condition.
Bryan Carroll: [00:29:44] Well, I feel very confident that you're going to take care of me.
So that sounds much better than all the 45 doctors that I just went to.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:29:52] Well. Yeah. And, and, and, and no disrespect for them, because I think that they're definitely doing an incredible job, their goal. And this is where this was my big aha. When I got diagnosed with an autoimmune condition is understanding difference.
Positions in the medical care system. And I get a lot of referrals now from specialists saying, okay, I know that there's more that you need to be doing. I just don't know what that piece is. And so they'll refer them to me. So they'll do the medication piece. They'll make sure that this person is not in danger anymore of further destruction or even death.
And they've ruled out a lot of the really. Scary stuff like cancer. So their main goal is medicine. Whereas ours is more of, okay, now you've got this diagnosis or let's prevent it. Now let's start to look at how we can make your quality of life. That much better. You may never get off this medication, or we just may make it so you don't need three or four next medications or higher doses.
and we just help you manage through it. And our ultimate end goal for everyone is always hopefully to get off the medication, but for some people it's just not a reality, but that's, that's kind of how I look at it. And that was my big aha moment. I was expecting my specialists to have all the answers I'm like, why do I have this was the stress levels.
Was it diet? And she didn't have those. And when I start to look back at her education, she wouldn't have those based on her education. Like they're only given four or five hours of nutrition. So why would I be asking her nutrition questions? Of course she can't answer that. and so I think that's really the big thing for people to understand is managing your expectations when you're going into your doctor's office and you starting asking them questions about hormones and diet and this supplement, they're not going to know those.
And it's not fair for you to be asking them that because they, they don't have, that's not in the realm of education.
Bryan Carroll: [00:31:38] You know, honestly, they don't really have the time to dig deep into that too, because they have, you know, they only have six to 10 minutes says, see someone, they don't have that hour and a half that you spend with someone on their first visit.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:31:49] Absolutely. You're absolutely correct in that. And, and their schedules, they just didn't, they don't have the time to do a lot of that research as well because their priorities are a little bit different than what my priorities are. I. I can spend hours on pub med looking through like melatonin and autoimmune conditions.
And so it's yeah, they just don't have that luxury as we
Bryan Carroll: [00:32:08] do. Yup. They just gotta make sure that you don't die tomorrow.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:32:11] Exactly, exactly. So we know what to expect from them. Then I don't feel like we have that frustration or disappointment as well.
Bryan Carroll: [00:32:20] Well, Alison, is there any final things you want to touch on?
just with auto-immunity in general before we wrap up here?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:32:27] I, I think the main thing is, is, so if you suspect, if you haven't already been diagnosed with a condition. And you suspect you have a family history of it and you just haven't been feeling great, then reach out because there's so much that you can do in that way and kind of wait and see phase that you can do to prevent you ever from getting to that point to ever get into the point where the immune system is so fired up.
And if you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, I want you to know that there's so much that you can do to help manage it and to help get the quality of life back. And for you just to, I feel good. It does take work. but it is well worth it. Trust me, I've got tons of clients that have gone through it and all of them would do it again in heartbeat, including myself.
I would, if I had to go through that journey again, I would do it again in a heartbeat. And one of the things that I often find is a lot of people will go through this journey. I actually call it the lottery phase. So they've gone through the journey and then little other things crop back in. So diet starts to go back to the standard North American diet stress levels start to get really high again.
And it's the same as, you know, 85% of the population that wins the lottery goes back to the state. They were three to five years later. The same with auto immune, I find is this something we have to stay on top of, and really just make sure that we're, we're mindful of our habits. Can I eat whatever I want right now.
I can, I still like, you know, I still follow my diet plan. I would say 90% of the time. But if I find a fun event coming up, I'll enjoy certain foods and I won't have a flare because I've gotten to that state. So there's so much that we can do and get you there.
Bryan Carroll: [00:34:07] And then my final question is what do you do every day to improve your own health?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:34:13] Okay. So every single day, I make sure I walk the dog for my balance. I really try to focus on clean eating. So, you know, eating. Yeah, lots of vegetables, making sure that my calories are empty calories and that their County with a lot of nutrients and I have a killer bedtime routine with gratitude, and I had to put this in place because I am a Nighthawk.
So if I didn't have a really exciting thing for me to get to bed, vote, like my nice fluffy dovey and my gratitude and my book, then I probably would be staying up way too late and it would compromise my health. So I have a killer bedtime routine.
Bryan Carroll: [00:34:51] Awesome. Well, people can find [email protected] You're also on Facebook and Instagram.
Is that correct?
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:34:57] Yes, I am. Yes, you can find me there. And the auto immune Academy is another area in Facebook that I have. we have a group that you can join where we just talk through some strategies and, simple little steps that you can do to improve your health.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:13] And if people want to work with you, one on one, do you only do in person or also
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:35:18] we do have virtual.
we do have limitations on who we can work with, but definitely reach out to us and we will find the best approach for you based on where you're located and, how we can work with you.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:31] Perfect Allison, and thank you so much. I mean, auto-immunity seems to be growing more and more. So this is a information that definitely needs to get out there.
And especially if it takes, you know, five years for someone to figure out what the heck's going on with them. hopefully this can shorten that timeframe down a little bit so they can get the help they need.
Dr. Alison Danby: [00:35:50] I agree. Thank you so much for having me on Bryan and for getting that information out there to everyone.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:55] If you have an auto immune condition and what some help to figure out the best course of treatments for you, check out the work dr. Alison is doing at Alison dam calm. And if you liked this episode, share with a friend and leave us a quick review, those reviews help out a lot in the podcasting world. And if you want to join the squat challenge for October, then make sure to join SAP so you can fully utilize the entire duration of the challenge.
So go to summit for wellness.com/squat challenge. To learn more squeak. I have Ashley van Howten on the show. Let's go learn who she is. I am here with Ashley van Howten. Hey, Ashley, what does one unique thing about you that most people don't
Ashleigh: [00:36:38] know? Oh, you sure warned me about these things. It was like quick fire. I got to know. Okay. One thing that people don't know. okay. I'm a huge like scifi nerd and I read a lot of science fiction books and I was obsessed with the X-Files when I was a kid. So
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:56] do you watch the new versions of X files?
Ashleigh: [00:36:59] Is there a new one? Like I knew the latest season. I probably watched it just cause like I'm in love with Mulder, but like it's not as good. The new stuff is never as good.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:06] It's never as good. Now they try too hard. Yeah. Well, what will we be learning about in our interview together?
Ashleigh: [00:37:13] You are going to learn about why eating organ meats is the smart way to go and why eating more protein and animal protein is good for your health and your muscles.
And you're going to learn about why doing pull ups is one of, I think one of the most important physical exercises that anyone can do.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:32] And what are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness?
Ashleigh: [00:37:38] My top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness would be first focus on getting the best quality and.
Optimal amount of sleep that you can, people like to ignore this one or put it on the back burner because it's not as fun as working out, but it is crucially important and it will affect every other part of your health. That's right. First one, the second one is to try to eat. as much whole foods as you can, a variety of unprocessed, whole foods and protein, don't forget protein, protein first, always ideally animal protein.
but just trying to stick to the, the outskirts of the grocery store instead of those middle aisles, with everything in packages and preservatives is going to be a huge step in the right direction for most people. And then lastly, maybe the biggest one, to improve your overall wellness. I would say too.
Just, don't be afraid to pick your own path, to do the work, to test things out for yourself. Don't follow somebody just because they're buff or popular on Instagram or because everyone else seems to be doing it doesn't mean that it's good for you. So it's going to take more work and more effort to find out what you are offering.
nutrition and workout plan is, but more work is worth it in the end and you'll be happier and it'll be more sustained. So do your own thing. Do the work and it'll pay off in the end.
Bryan Carroll: [00:39:01] If you were curious about how to add different organ meats into your diet, the next week's episode is for you. So until then keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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