Autoimmunity is where the immune system starts to attack its own healthy cells and tissues.
For instance, Hashimoto's Disease is where your own immune system starts to attack your thyroid, and Lupus is where the immune system attacks its tissues.
If you have a conversation with someone with autoimmunity, they will tell you that it can completely control your life.
How Many People Have an Autoimmune Disease?
Right now, over 23 million Americans are suffering from autoimmune diseases. However, those are only the ones who have been diagnosed.
Getting an accurate diagnosis can take decades, and it is believed there are many out there who have autoimmune conditions but haven't been diagnosed yet.
Christina Tidwell has a way to reduce autoimmune flare-ups though, and she shares with us how she does it!
What To Expect From This Episode
- [4:00] What does it mean to be a Functional Nutrition Coach
- [6:45] Christina has been living with autoimmune conditions since she was 18 years old
- [11:00] Getting a diagnosis creates a lot of emotions around the symptoms you have been feeling
- [13:45] What kind of indications leading up to Christina's diagnosis could have given insight into what was going on with her health
- [19:30] How does our gut health influence autoimmunity and overall health
- [22:15] What is Leaky Gut and how does it correlate with autoimmunity
- [27:00] Christina Tidwell has 5 steps to improving your gut health
- [30:45] Do you go gradually into a protocol, or all in from the beginning
- [33:30] Slow progress can make huge changes
- [34:30] Our microbiome is extremely important for gut health
- [37:30] How do you like to get probiotics into your system
- [41:30] Can autoimmunity be reversed, or only pushed into remission
- [44:45] Does one exposure to a potential trigger cause full symptoms to come back, or does it take more exposure
- [48:15] What is Christina's morning routine
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan: [00:00:15] back to the Summit For Wellness Podcast. I know it's been a little while since I've released any new episodes and that's because at the beginning of every year, I usually take a couple of months off to focus all my attention on all of our new nutrition and fitness clients, you know, because of new year's resolutions and stuff.
And so far this year, our clients have already lost a combined total of over 560 pounds. And while weight isn't the most important thing, most people do have some sort of body composition goal to go along with all of their other goals. But more importantly than that, we have people feeling the best they've felt in decades.
People getting back to the ski slopes and staying injury free and people gearing up for some big adventures later this year. And when it comes to health. We tend to put our own on the back burner, especially when life gets busy and after some years you forget just how much more you can do in life when you are feeling good.
And that is the ultimate purpose of these shows to provide you with different snippets and ideas on how to change your health. Just one step at a time, which leads me into the topic of today. Autoimmunity and the gut. Auto immunity is literally when your body is fighting back against itself, which anyone who has an autoimmune condition will tell you how it can control their lives.
And so my guest today, Christina Tidwell, teaches how to reduce autoimmune flareups so that you can enjoy life again. So let's dive into my conversation with Christina.
Christina Tidwell is a registered nurse, functional nutrition coach and the owner and founder of live well with Christina, a holistic health and nutrition coaching practice, specializing in serving clients with chronic autoimmune disease.
She helps people take control of their health through diet, lifestyle shifts, and personal empowerment, and that she is a dinner party enthusiasts and fermented foods lover who just once you eat, drink and live. Well. Thank you for coming onto the show, Christina.
Christina: [00:02:17] Thanks for having me.
Bryan: [00:02:19] Well, now, I'm super curious.
What do you mean by dinner party?
Christina: [00:02:23] I know, I in, in that all I ever want to do in life is have friends and family over and cook beautiful meals and enjoy. Amazing whole foods together, like that's all I ever want. When I think about my goals and my dreams, that's just like when I'm most happy is when there's a bunch of people around just sharing a meal with really, really good whole foods.
Bryan: [00:02:53] Are you one of those creative people that are really good at creating your own recipes or do you like to follow other recipes that's already been created.
Christina: [00:03:00] Oh, I absolutely follow other recipes like I, but I, I will say I keep it so simple and I ha, I don't really follow recipes per se anymore, but I am definitely not a recipe creator.
I leave that to people who can make these beautiful, beautiful recipes. And for me, it's just all about like really using. Good quality, natural ingredients, and I just throw stuff together and make sure that I have, you know, really healthy, nutritious food, but I am, it has to be so simple. There has to be like five ingredients or less, or else I'm not, I'm not doing it.
Bryan: [00:03:39] Yeah, I'm definitely one of those people that I'll look at a recipe and think it's a great idea. And then once I get going, I'm like, Oh, I don't want those ingredients. I want these and completely change it on the fly. So, and I also like to keep it as simple as possible.
So let's dive into your background a little bit.
So tell us a little bit more about you, just kind of the direction you're going as a functional nutrition coach and what it is that you are trying to teach your audience when you're working with people.
Christina: [00:04:10] Yeah, absolutely. So I have been a registered nurse for about eight years, and I worked in, I got my training in intensive care and cardiothoracic intensive care.
And then I worked a lot of different areas in the hospital, like longterm patient rehabilitation, palliative care, you know, postop surgical care. And then more recently I worked as a cardiac specialist in outpatient cardiac care. So I've done a lot of different, you know, been in a lot of different areas in nursing.
And. As I was working in the hospital in the conventional medical system, I just kept thinking, what can I do to help people before they get to this place? And I was like taking care of people that were really, really sick. After having, you know, quadruple bypass surgeries or, in the intensive care unit.
And a lot of what I was doing was cardiac focus. And I just kept thinking like, I really want to be at that place where we're in the more preventative realm where I'm helping people at that end before it gets to this place. And so as a nurse, right, you don't have that many opportunities necessarily to do that.
So I kept really trying to find like. How can I do this and where will my services best be used? And so I ended up then is about four years ago, becoming a health coach and then doing further training as a functional nutrition coach, which I can talk more about what that actually means. and starting my own.
Business, supporting people with chronic autoimmune disease to really use diet and lifestyle and, and, you know, really get empowered to support themselves in a more holistic way, in a more preventative way, and in a way that I wasn't seeing happening in our conventional medical system so much. So it was really kind of born out of.
Not only my own experience with chronic illness, which I can talk about, but also, my experience, you know, working in that conventional system and seeing where it really does serve us. And then seeing where it really does at, at sometimes let us down if we have more chronic. Ongoing.
Yeah. So let's learn a little bit more about why you chose auto-immunity as the topic that you want to focus on.
And I'm assuming it has to do with your own chronic illness that you just mentioned. Is that correct?
Yeah. So I have been living with autoimmune conditions since I was 18 years old, and for me, that started, I was really, you know, a pretty healthy kid. Growing up. I didn't have a lot of medical issues or anything.
looking back, I can kind of see some things that might have predisposed me to what was going on later, but. You know, I was playing a lot of sports and I was, this is my final year of high school, and I got really sick. Like I felt like I had a really bad flu. And I just thought, okay, I just need to rest.
This will get better. I just, I had, you know, body aches, fatigue. I was having some fevers, and it kept getting worse and worse and worse. And it would probably, I let this go probably like three weeks or so, just thinking like, man, I've got a really bad flu. Like I this, I just can't kick this flu. And it.
Got to the point where I was having horrible chills, these high spiking fevers to like one Oh four then these drenching sweats and it was coming in this like cyclical pattern and I was so inflamed. My body was so inflamed, I was like puffy and red, and it's like something is, you know, like this is really bad.
And I ended up going to the hospital. Because I got a pulmonary embolism or a blood clot in my lungs and this I kind of known, it seems like quite an unrelated thing, but it was all just a real perfect storm of inflammation going on in my body. And I had this pulmonary embolism that was a very, very scary thing that happened and I couldn't breathe and I had so much pain.
And so that sent me straight to the hospital. For the treatment of that in the midst of this, like really confusing, unknown, you know, flu like illness that I had and as I was in the hospital, I, you know, I'm, I live in Seattle and Washington. We've got great healthcare, you know, and great doctors and practitioners.
and so I was diagnosed pretty quickly with an autoimmune condition. I mean, I was tested for a lot of different infectious diseases and, and all of these different things. But. I was diagnosed with in the hospitalized, diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which later they changed to something called adult onset still's disease, which is an auto inflammatory condition that is, marked by high spiking fevers, rashes, joint pain, inflammation.
Yeah. Even later on, this has been like, you know, 15 year journey with this autoimmune autoimmunity. but you know, I have also, it's been identified of underlying infections like chronic Epstein, BARR, chronic Lyme, all these different things that cause my immune system to really, activate and kind of go on overdrive and have this huge immune response.
So. For me, it was a really big, like, you know, from one moment to the next, I was like totally healthy to like, Whoa, something is completely wrong. And my life was totally changed. I was on so many different medications. and for me that was kind of the start of this journey to figure out, okay, I have been given this diagnosis that has, you know, changed multiple times.
But. I have been given these medications to help suppress my immune system, but I'm still left feeling. Really inflamed. My digestive system is a mess. Like, you know, emotionally and I, you know, was feeling so much. Anxiety was just really feeling off and I had to figure out on my own, what can I do on a daily basis to help support my body in, in this way, in a way that I wasn't necessarily getting from my, you know, my amazing doctors at the time.
Bryan: [00:10:43] What was it like to receive your first diagnosis? Was it relieving to know that there is something wrong and they might have an option to help you out, or what was going through your mind when you first got that diagnosis?
Christina: [00:10:57] Yeah, so you know, I have a lot of clients where a diagnosis feels really relieving because they've lived for so long, feeling like things are in their head or they're, you know, they don't feel.
Like, you know, like they've really been legitimized for what they're feeling, which are really, you know, intense, strong symptoms, but they may be vague, like they may be brain fog or fatigue or all these things. For me, it wasn't necessarily the case that that diagnosis was like a relief because it was for me so sudden.
From one moment of being really healthy to another moment of like, Oh yeah, you have this crazy autoimmune disease and this is what you're going to have for the rest of your life, and you're going to be on these drugs for the rest of your life. Like for me, it was terrifying and I was shocked because it was so fast for me.
And. I came out of that experience, just feeling so rattled and you know, I remember coming out of the getting out of the hospital in time to graduate from high school. Like I wanted to go to my graduation and I was on so many drugs. I was just like a shell of a human. I felt horrible and I felt like everyone else around me.
Had no idea. You know, what, what was going on? And everyone was happy and enjoying graduation. And I was like, you know, on super high doses of steroids and, and trying to keep it together. So for me, a diagnosis was totally terrifying. And I had no idea. And I think the hardest part was my notion of. What it meant to interact with doctors or the healthcare system was like, okay, if I'm sick, like if I have strep throat, I go to the doctor, I get a an antibiotic or a medication and the problems fixed, and in this case I was expecting, you know, as an 18 year old to interact with the system like that.
I thought, okay, I'm really sick, but I'm going to just go to my doctors and they're going to tell me what to do. I'm going to be fine. I'm going to go back to my. Regular life. And that wasn't happening. And so that was really jarring for me, was like, okay, well what do I do now? This isn't working right. I don't have this quick fix.
I'm not getting better. I'm not going back to my normal life. and that was a really interesting. I guess new, new way of being.
Bryan: [00:13:27] So with hindsight being 20, 20, was there any good indications leading up to when you got sick? that could have explained where all this was coming from? Like you mentioned a Lyme as a potential cause.
Do you remember ever having a tick bite or anything similar to that or, anything else that could've given some insight into what was going on.
Christina: [00:13:50] Yeah, it's such a good question. And I thought about it a lot. And you know, with autoimmunity, one third of our likelihood of developing an autoimmune condition is genetic.
two thirds are more due to the environmental influences and diet and lifestyle. We can talk about more, but. The genetic piece, like my family, lots of people in my family have autoimmune disease. my mom has Hashimoto's. you know, I have cousins that have Kawasaki is an autoimmune condition like that.
It runs in my family, but we never really thought, I mean, you know, I never really thought about, Oh, that because my family has this. That might be something that will come up for me. Looking back, I now see, cause what I do a lot with clients is we do functional timelines where I look back from birth until present day to see what are all the things that happened in your life to lead you up to where your lead you up to where you are now.
And so I've done one for myself, right? And it's a lot of things like, you know, like I was born in C-section. Obviously that's not everything, but that we know from the research can influence our gut microbiome and what's going on in our gut. I took a lot of antibiotics for chronic ear infections, and for skin, for acne.
I took antibiotics for like years and that really disrupted what was going on in my gut. And I, I knew, right? Like I had chronic infections and I had eczema, I had allergies, I had all these things that. We think of as so common. but what I now know is that a lot of those things, it wasn't like that necessarily caused, you know, my autoimmune condition, one-to-one, but they kind of predispose you.
to, you know, have, immune dysfunction later on. So for me, it had a lot to do with that. Hell, I just had my, like, I just ruined my gut with a lot of different things. definitely genetics. You know, I was predisposed in terms of the environmental factors like chronic infection and chronic Lyme. I never remember having a tick bite.
I know chronic Lyme is a totally, like, kind of confusing. Diagnosis and there's a lot of like skepticism or, you know, there's a lot of different thoughts about it. I never remember having a tick bite and having, having Lyme isn't something I actually found out until much earlier this year. Even. So when I talk about like a journey of like peeling back all of these different layers, it's, I've learned a lot.
So. The biggest piece is really, you know, and now I know that there are other genetic things I have like an MTHFR mutation or you know, these different things that aren't one-to-one causative factors of autoimmunity, but they kind of work to, to make sense to see, okay, what are some of the things that may have set you up?
And for me, the biggest help was really sorting out what was going on in my gut. That's why I care so much about gut health for autoimmunity. Really addressing, got health as a way to support the immune system. and just optimizing my different body systems, right? Like, that's where the term functional comes from, is like supporting your different body systems to function properly.
So it was really for me, supporting my digestive system, supporting my immune system, supporting my liver, supporting my hormones. That has really helped, helped my body so. Yeah. It's like with autoimmunity, it's never just like one you, it's usually kind of like a bucket and you put in a glass of water for genetics.
You put in a glass of water for, antibiotics that mess up your gut microbiome. You put in a glass of water maybe for, you know, chronic infections. And maybe it's a stressful event where you put in a glass of water and it tips over for you to manifest.
Bryan: [00:17:41] Yeah, it definitely compounds together, which I think is why it's so important that we had talked about this a little bit and going into your history, just your emotions going through the process and how 15 years of dealing with this, and you're still learning stuff. Just like a year ago, you learn about the lime.
so I think a lot of people want answers right away. But that might not be the case every time. And that you're just constantly learning as you go through the process of it.
Christina: [00:18:09] yeah, we, I, I, and I, I wanted those answers to, right. And I have a lot of clients do we want the answer? We want the quick fix. We want to interact with our healthcare system in that way of like one problem, you know, one doctor, one solution.
And when it comes to more chronic. Conditions like autoimmunity or other chronic illness. Yeah, it's a little bit different.
Bryan: [00:18:34] Yeah. And a lot of the stuff that you had mentioned. So like the chronic antibiotics and being born this area and, and I haven't, that vaginal gold badge, you come through the vaginal canal, all leads to a gut dysfunction.
And that's one of the main keys that you talk about with your community when it comes auto immunity is how important your gut health is to reducing the symptoms of auto-immunity. So can you just talk a little bit about why is the gut so important when it comes to autoimmunity?
Christina: [00:19:08] Yeah, absolutely. I know I talk about gut health all the time and it's because, and we hear so much more about it now.
You know, we're always, and I always questioned things that we hear tons about. I'm like, Hmm, is there something to this? Is this a fad? Is it? But gut health is like, you know, it goes back so, so far, and we're now just really re. Remembering, the importance and the impact that the gut has on her overall health.
And one of the main reasons is because, especially with autoimmunity, is 70% of our immune system lies in the area surrounding our gut in that gut associated lymphoid tissue G alt end. So that is. Whenever there's immune dysfunction going on, we really want to look to that area to see what is going on there and the, you know, that makes sense.
Because our digestive system is the most intimate contact we have with the external world in the form of the food and water and things that we ingest, right? So our immune system is there and it's ready to protect us against foreign invaders. And that's wonderful. We want our immune system to be able to.
to be able to turn on. And that's what inflammation really is, is like that first response of our immune system. So, you know, in nursing school, that's one of the first things we learn is inflammation, is redness, heat, swelling and pain. And that we want that as part of an immune response, but we want it to turn off.
And if there is immune dysfunction where our immune system is on overdrive in the case of autoimmunity or producing auto antibodies to. Our own tissues. We really want to look and see what is going on in the immune system and really looking to the gut because so much of it lies there. And a big part of it is the concept of leaky gut or intestinal permeability, which I'm sure people listening to this have probably heard of.
It's, you know, more and more prevalent in the world. I remember I was like doing a talk. This made me like four or five years ago to hospital. And, Leaky gut or intestinal permeability is, was totally like, woo, woo, you know, not founded in science, any of this. And it's now become much more recognized due to more research, in the field that it really is something.
I mean, there's still a big gap in there of people that might not, you know, believe that it's something that's going on, but it really, it really is something that is affecting our body and our immune system. so I can talk more about leaky gut too, but that's one of the biggest, . Yeah.
Bryan: [00:21:45] So go ahead and talk a little bit about what leaky gut is and then how can that influence the autoimmune response in the body?
Christina: [00:21:53] Yeah. So the, the lining of our, got it. I mean, you can really think of it as like the first line of defense of our immune system, like our skin. That's the first line of defense of our immune system. The skin on the outside of your body. So if you get a cut, your immune system is breached, right? And, you know, all these white blood cells and things flood to the scene to help just support that.
And that causes inflammation and an immune response. It's the same on the inside of our body. It's like our inner skin. And so in the case of leaky gut, we want to have this semipermeable membrane that lets you know that keeps in undigested food particles, like bacteria, toxins, whatever. That we get from our external environment, but we want it to allow us to absorb nutrients from the food we eat into our bloodstream.
So we can use those as fuel. And in the case of leaky gut, these, these barriers or these tight gap junctions are widened. So we want them to be like a fine mesh strainer. I'm in case of leaky gut, they get widened a little bit, and the integrity of that barrier system is weakened. So the things that we want to protect from, you know, like under bigger undigested food or protein particles or bacteria or, you know, toxins leak out into an area where we don't want them to be.
And this was at like a cellular level. I feel like when I say it, sometimes people are like, Oh my God, there's like chunks of stuff floating out into my blood. Like it's more, it's really small, you know? So, and what happens there is our immune system is laying right around there and it's ready to go because it's, you know, it's trying to protect us.
And so it starts this immune response, that. You know, if we let it go on and on, it causes this sort of more like longterm chronic inflammation or immune response rather than this acute response that we want. But then we wanted to turn off. So that's why, you know, leaky gut or you know, also even the food we eat.
Can play a big role. So sometimes if people get back, do a food sensitivity test, right? That we, you know, many of us have done and it comes back that you're sensitive, like for an IgG test to all the foods you've just been eating, or tons of different foods. It's not necessarily that you have, you know, any sensitivities or allergies to all of these foods, but it's really rather that.
You have a leaky gut and that your immune system is kind of flagging or reacting to all the things you have been eating because it's got Verrier membrane, has been kind of breached, I guess.
Bryan: [00:24:33] Yeah, that's a really good point because a lot of people, they'll do those tests and think, Oh, I have to. I'm completely avoid all of these foods, and they get overwhelmed because it's like I just came back with a 160 foods that I can't eat anymore.
And it's like, no, there's a bigger issue going on. We have to look at the gut lining because this food should not be floating through your system like it is to have that many foods that you're reacting to. So it's a really good point that you brought that up about a food sensitivity tests.
Christina: [00:25:02] Yeah. And my, the woman I did my nutrition training through, she, she says that reading nutrition or reading food sensitivity tests is kind of like reading taro cards.
You know, like you gain information from it for sure. But like you said, yeah. If you're like, okay, you have to eliminate all those 106 foods you were sensitive to, that's like not actually necessarily getting to the root of it, so you can see that read it like. Terrible card kind of and get information from it and then move forward with what you need.
Bryan: [00:25:35] Yeah. The same kind of goes along with a lot of blood testing when you're looking through the scope of functional medicine as well, because a lot of, a lot of conventional practitioners, they're looking at just individual markers and potentially what that could mean. Whereas a lot of functional practitioners are looking at the entire thing and going, well, this.
Ban at this level on this here. Now we need to be looking at all these other situations that could cause that to happen. So that's where these type of tests can get super complicated.
Christina: [00:26:05] Totally. Yeah. You're so right.
Bryan: [00:26:09] So, let's talk more about, some of the steps that we need to take to create a healthier gut environment.
So can you, you have what, a five step approach to that. Can you walk us through what those are.
Christina: [00:26:21] Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So, yeah, the five, the five Maine, the steps are kind of the framework I think of with gut health or supporting the gut or the five RS. So that's not something I invented. It's something that's out there.
but I'll kind of talk through what those are and what we can, what we can do, what we can start doing with that. So the, the five R's, the first one, so they're remove, replace. Reinoculate repair and rebalance, and the first R remove is really centered around removing anything that's inflammatory or irritating to the GI tract.
So a lot of times that's, you know, foods or that it's where we can start to experiment with things like elimination diets. You know, if we're dealing with. Got issues. Or if we're dealing with more systemic things like autoimmunity or inflammation, right? And maybe we don't have over gut issues. but we just want to support that because we know that these more systemic symptoms are telling us that we might want to look to our gut.
So, and I, I'm a big fan too, cause removing is important. Like removing food sensitivities. Some of the big ones, like the top three, that if you're having gut issues or autoimmunity you might want to look at are refined sugar and processed foods. Gluten and dairy can be ones. there's also different types, you know, tons of different types of elimination diets that you could consider where, you know, depending on where you're at, I'm a big fan of first making sure that you're.
Eating tons of good nutrient dense foods, kind of like flooding the body with good stuff, making sure your blood sugars balance, like, are you getting enough good fats and protein and fiber? And if you're at that place, then maybe starting to think about like elimination diets and things like that. But I'm kind of always like to make sure that we've, we've got stuff to eat first before we remove everything and make ourselves miserable.
so yeah, so the remove piece, Gluten, dairy, refined sugar are really big ones. There's, you can go a bit further. Some of the top, the top seven food sensitivities that you may want to look at. Also include, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts was for some people, shellfish. So it's kind of looking at those sensitivities and then also thinking about things like.
Caffeine or alcohol, which can be irritants. everyone's probably like, Christina, stop telling us to remove everything and you don't have to like remove, you don't have to remove your coffee or alcohol or whatever. But just knowing that those are things that can be irritants and if you're trying to troubleshoot things, looking to those as well.
So those are kind of like the, you know, that's kind of the idea with the remove, right? You'd want to remove those things that can give your, your tissues, your digestive system, your immune system, a bit of a break. and then the second piece is replaced. So like I'm kind of talking about before, sometimes I like to do replace first.
you don't have to do these in the exact order necessarily, but. You want to replace with, you know, good nutrient dense foods that are going to give your body the, the tools and the nutrients and the fuel it needs to thrive. And the replace can also be things that you might be missing, like, like stomach acid.
Maybe you don't have enough stomach acid or you don't have enough enzyme stable to actually break down and absorb your food. so it's kind of just doing an inventory of, you know, what do I need to. Add in,
Bryan: [00:29:54] when you are getting people to change their diets, especially if you're pulling out all those different types of foods, are you doing a gradual process to get them to change their diet or what the people that you're working with, are you going all in with
Christina: [00:30:08] them?
Yeah. So everyone is so different, so, so different. And I, what I do as a coach is really assessing. Where are you at? What are your goals and what do we need to get you there? Right? Cause if you're, like I was saying, if you're at the place where you're so busy and you're just trying to like eat some good food and you're having big energy crashes and you're totally stressed out all the time, our first work is really just going to be.
How can we work on getting you some good foods in your body? How can we stabilize things for you? How can we make you feel confident, about, you know, having good snacks throughout the day and what meals you're going to eat? So, you know, it really is about assessing where are you at and what's actually going to be helpful and supportive for you.
Because if I was just like, okay, Brian, you have to go on like a super strict. Autoimmune paleo diet. Right now, you have to remove all these, you know, the top 10 food sensitivities and you're not ready for that. That's actually could make you feel worse and could do worse things in the body than if we were just to focus on flooding the body with good nutrient dense food.
So everyone is totally different. It's really important to. Work together. I w you know, whenever I work with practitioners, I feel so much more cared for when they meet me where I'm at, right? And they don't meet me where they want me to be. So I really work to do that with people is just, let's figure out where you're at and where you want to be and how we can get you there in a way that feels really good.
It doesn't feel scary. It doesn't feel like you're flipping everything upside down. So for some people. That could be an elimination diet, right? And guiding through something like that. for others it is a lot slower. And maybe the first step is really figuring out how to cut your sugar cravings. You know, how to really reduce sugar.
That's, I mean, that's a big thing, right? Sugar addiction is real. So maybe that's the first step for someone. yeah. Really, really different depending on where you're at.
Bryan: [00:32:09] Yeah. I've noticed if like you tell someone they, you know, to go gluten free, then typically the first response is, well, I need to go to the store and get all my gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, gluten free, this and that.
And it's not necessarily, changing the habits. It's just replacing one item with another item that's probably not. Too much healthier than the one they were having before. So yeah, slow progress makes big changes or slow. Yeah. I think that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah.
Christina: [00:32:43] I gotcha. No, you're 100% exactly. Cause it's like first, then you want to do the work of, yeah.
Figuring out how to make a couple of easy meals. Some of our easy meals, not complicated, you know, recipes, but. It's absolutely, and I think that's where sometimes people feel bad, you know, or start to feel like, Oh, I failed. Or like, I can't do that because you dive straight into trying to do a gluten free diet.
Never done it before. You don't cook. You're so busy. Yeah. And then you kind of might gravitate towards, okay, I'm just going to load up on all the gluten free pasta and that should be doing it. Right. And, and then you feel bad if you can't. If you don't have success with that, and you know, that's not the goal, right.
We should just be able to say, okay, wherever I'm at is great, and how can I take a couple steps forward, to get where I want to be. Yep.
Bryan: [00:33:36] And working on tiny little successes along the way. So what is that you focus on?
Christina: [00:33:43] Yeah, so that's reinoculate, which is just a fancy word for get in good bacteria. you know, the microbiome is something we also hear about a lot, which is basically just the ecosystem in our gut.
The bacteria in our gut, which, you know, can wave from like one to six pounds. Like we've got a ton of bacteria in our gut, and it does a ton for us. I mean, there's. Like so much research we hear all the time. And you know, even in like mainstream, you know, media and stuff, there's, you know, evidence that, the bacteria in our gut influence things like autoimmunity, but also our metabolism or weight.
Sometimes, you know, cognition, mental health issues as well. So I think there's like, there's a lot, we know there's a lot we don't know. I'm sure there's like, we're just going to keep learning all these different things about. The bacteria. But having a good balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is, is really, really critically important.
And not only helps us to digest foods, like they literally help us, they, you know, help with different enzymes to help break down and absorb foods. So we're actually getting certain nutrients from our foods. And they, you know, influence our immune system as well too. So being able to, get in some good bacteria and just help with that, whether that be through taking probiotics.
I personally love probiotic foods, like fermented foods. you know, sauerkraut, cabbage, kimchi, like all these different things that you can start to bring into your routine to just. Give your body. It's more of a consistency thing, right? Like if you just have a bunch of probiotics once a month, that's not going to do as much.
We kind of have to keep, you know, helping to support this environment because the bugs don't go in and like colonize. They kind of are like, they go in, stay a little, go out. So we want to just keep supporting that. And having good bacteria and can be a, they're almost like placeholders so that we don't have an overgrowth of bad bacteria like, or, or fungus, right.
In the case of like, candida or yeast overgrowth or SIBO, small intestine bacteria overgrowth, or even just like dysbiosis in the colon. So that's just, Yeah. Getting in, getting in a bunch of, you know, good, good bacteria there. and start low and go slow. That's what I always say with that.
Bryan: [00:36:05] Yeah. The microbiome is probably the one area of health that I am absolutely fascinated by, and it's the one area that we don't know a whole lot about.
We're learning a lot, but we don't know, like what is a perfect. Microbiome, we don't know. But I like your idea of getting a lot, lots of different types of probiotics into your system, because that's just helping to colonize, your microbiome and a lot of different ways, which I think is important.
Christina: [00:36:34] Yeah, yeah.
So you can, you can just start by like, yeah. Trying out the probiotic foods, little by little and, and then I have some recipes too. I have some I can, I'll send them to you to give to your listeners, but I'm like some simple little, probiotic food recipes, like coconut yogurt or sour easy sauerkraut, stuff like that.
So, yeah, there's that. And then there is the, Fourth hour is repair. And that really has to do with that lining of the gut that we were talking about. So it's a really thin lining of the gut. And I think this, the cells in their turnover, like a regenerate like every four days or something. So it's kind of, you know, it's kind of a dynamic thing, but.
Sometimes if we have a lot of inflammation in the gut, if we're eating a lot of inflammatory foods, and it's just irritated and inflamed in there, we need to work to just soothe and repair that lining of the gut. Kinda like they'll say, like heal and seal the lining of the gut. And it has to do with that, you know, intestinal permeability that we were talking about.
So that is, you know, that can be helped through things. The other ares that we've been talking about, right? Like taking away some of the inflammation, giving your body good nutrients, giving some good probiotics. but there's other things, you know, people will drink phone bras for that, or collagen can be good for suiting the lining.
there's a bunch of different types of herbs. Like I make a little marshmallow root tea. that can be good for some people too, to help kind of just Sue that skin.
Bryan: [00:38:00] Then what is a final are,
Christina: [00:38:02] yeah, so that's rebalance. That's a little bit more of like zooming out and looking at the whole picture. And it's really looking at core basics of things like hydration, movement, stress, sleep, all these things that influence our whole body and our gut.
So, you know, we sometimes get really, really focusing on the foods and the food is really important. But also if you are so stressed out. All the time in a fight or flight response, you're going to feel it in your gut and your body and your immune system. So putting just as much importance on some of these pieces, I'm just highlighting stress. There's a couple other ones, but like really focusing on that makes such a big difference. And not, not discounting it as like an afterthought. Like, okay, well I'll do all this stuff with food and then, then I'll work on the stress. Really bringing it in with it, because as I've seen, I've worked with hundreds and hundreds of people with chronic, you know, autoimmune issues and gut issues, and really addressing this stress piece is.
Is everything. It makes all the difference.
Bryan: [00:39:08] We definitely live in a very, very stressed out society.
Christina: [00:39:11] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. We are. So this busy-ness is like an epidemic and I, I mean, I'm in it too, right? I'm sure you are too. We're like, it's, it's really, it's one of the most detrimental things to our health right now.
And it feels like one of the hardest things to. You know, address, because, you know, it's not as like black and white as the food, but when I work with clients, I, we always, always, always take inventory of stressors. What's going on stress wise, and build that into part of healing as well. Because you can't, you can't do just one or the other.
Bryan: [00:39:52] Yeah. We released an episode back in November that was all about stress and stress management, and a 75% of doctor visits are stress-related conditions or complaints. So that's a large percent of doctor visits that are stress-related.
Christina: [00:40:08] Wow. That's crazy. Yeah. Yeah.
Bryan: [00:40:13] Yup. well, here is the ultimate question.
And if you are diagnosed with autoimmunity, can it be reversed or can you only put it into remission?
Christina: [00:40:24] Yes. That is such a good and tricky question because, I think we, you know, when we are reading about autoimmunity or knowing about autoimmunity, I mean, there's no cure, quote unquote, cure currently for autoimmunity.
But what does that even mean? Right? Like so with autoimmunity, I mean. I've worked and myself, you know, putting a lot of these practices in place to really support the body at a functional level, at a root cause level. I mean, that has has helped if we're looking, it depends on what we're looking at, right?
Like what are the markers of remission or cure when it comes to autoimmunity? So. If it's blood work, like your CRP or you know, inflammatory markers are lower. Okay. Maybe that's part of it, right? We're seeing inflammation go down, but that's just one piece of the puzzle. Maybe if you have auto antibodies, like in the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis or something, maybe your antibodies are coming down and that is telling you, your immune response is lowering.
Or is it just how you feel in your body? Right? Like is it just you can move more, you can do your activities of daily living. Like you can feel good in your body. You can go on a hike or something, you know? What are these markers that for, you mean healed or, or cured? it's a little more, I guess, like nebulous with autoimmunity than it is.
I think we like to put the cure remission on like things like cancer or something. But autoimmunity, I mean, you'll hear a lot of people say like. Work with me and reverse your autoimmune disease. and I do think I have, I mean, there's a lot of clients I've seen who could have, who have quote unquote reversed where they're inflammatory markers have come down a lot.
They're feeling so much better in their body. their pain is gone down. You know, they're like these systemic markers that move inflammation or rashes or things like that have gone away. So in that case, I guess we can say that reversed, but to me, autoimmunity has always been management. And I, I wouldn't say necessarily that I am.
Cured of an autoimmune condition. but aye, no, so well, how to manage it. But I know that if I were to go like binge on donuts and drink so much alcohol and like worked 20 hours a day, I would feel horrible and it would, all my inflammatory symptoms would come back. So it's more a case of management. And that really is learning deeply how to care for yourself, how to take care of your body.
And when I work with clients, we really work on identifying what are the triggers. For autoimmunity. And then what are the mediators? What are the things for you that make it better or worse, which are different for everyone? So totally long winded answer of like, I don't necessarily know that we can say remission, but what is remission actually means.
So hopefully that gives a little bit of clarity.
Bryan: [00:43:28] I'm sure this is different for each person, but, if you have one bad day, like you'd go out and eat a lot and you drank a lot and you have a super stressed out day, can that bring up the symptoms pretty quickly or do you have to have multiple events for that to come back?
Christina: [00:43:45] Yeah, it, it, it totally depends. I mean, I think for some people, if they've identified that some of their triggers say it's something like gluten, You know, just, let's just say something like gluten, I don't know. And they go out to dinner and they eat, you know, a delicious pizza. The next day they wake up really, really stiff and achy because gluten is a big trigger for them, for their autoimmune symptoms.
Right? For me, if I went and ate a piece of pizza, I don't have that same reaction the next day. but if I were to. Like for me, if I were to, you know, work crazy hours, not sleep at all for a week, I would be, I would be a shell of a human. I would like, yeah, I would feel more inflamed. I would feel worse.
And I don't know if I'd necessarily get a flare, like a fever flare, but I just, I might. and so everyone is totally different, but I, what I want to highlight is that. Bad days happen and they don't mean that you, or a failure, and they don't mean that you've messed up and what even is messing up, right?
Like, I hope that pizza was amazing and delicious and you loved every minute of it, you know? And it's just kind of learning those things and learning your boundaries so that you know where you can kind of push them. I pushed my boundaries all the time and know where you shouldn't push them. And you know, it just really figuring out those pieces so you can feel empowered.
And as opposed to like that disease state controlling you, you're more controlling it. And you might still have bad days because we all have bad days and we all have setbacks and we all have players. And you know, it doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong, but it's just sort of gathering information from that and saying like, okay, I think what this was showing me was.
I stretched myself too thin, or this food is, is really making a big difference for me right now. Or, you know, I get gathering that information. Is there
Bryan: [00:45:42] any final thoughts that you want to make sure we touch on before we wrap everything up?
Christina: [00:45:47] Oh, I mean, I think, I know we focused a lot on a lot on gut health, and I think that is a really big, area of focus, especially if you have out of immunity or chronic illness.
But I think the biggest piece, or anyone dealing with autoimmunity, chronic illness, chronic digestive issues, or just. Anyone in life is really connecting to tuning in to what works for your body. So it's a muscle that needs to be strengthened, and a lot of times we rely on external information, even from people like you need, right?
Like we were like, okay, what do I need to do to be healthy? And it can get really overwhelming. And there's a lot of conflicting information. So the biggest, most important piece is strengthening that muscle of tuning into your body, whether it be through daily body scans, agitation, sometimes symptom journaling, whatever it is.
So you can start to understand and filter all the external information you get through your own system. And. This is something I guide all my clients through at the beginning because it's the most important piece in terms of feeling empowered to care for yourself.
Bryan: [00:46:56] Then my final question for you is, do you have a morning routine, and if so, what does it,
Christina: [00:47:01] yes.
I just recorded a podcast episode myself on a morning routine. I think a morning routine is really. Really important because like you said, we're so busy and we don't necessarily know where the rest of our day is going to take us, but the morning offers this opportunity. While before, you know, we, we have like gone into everything and we've started just doing everything for everyone else and gotten so busy that we get to decide.
How we show up for that day. It's literally making a decision. And so for me, my morning routine has kind of evolved and changed. Like I started out just having, taking two minutes in the morning before I check my phone to decide how I want to feel that day. So I just, you know, if it's, I want to feel. You know, calm or grounded or present with my clients that day.
or maybe I want to feel productive and energized, or, you know, how do I want to feel? How do I want to show up? That's the practice I started with and from him. Practitioner of mine. the kind of helped guide me to figure out what to do for a morning routine. And that's what I started. And from there I've kind of changed it, but the biggest thing for me is not checking my email or phone the first thing I wake up.
So it allows you that buffer time to decide how you want to feel so you can become a little more proactive and less reactive. So for me, I wait a little bit. I always do a morning meditation. That's what works for me. I make my macho. LSA is my favorite thing. and I just get into that feeling place again.
How do I want to feel today? How am I going to show up today? And then I check my phone and go into the day. So that is the most important piece of it, and it allows me to not. Immediately go into like comparison, stress mode, who needs me right when I wake up.
Bryan: [00:49:01] Awesome. Yeah. I wish I have figured out how to and not look at my phone first thing in the morning, but usually my morning routine involves listening to different podcasts, so at some point I do have to have my phone for that.
Unfortunately. Yeah. Well people can do at Christina tilde, wall.com. Where else can people find you?
Christina: [00:49:22] Yeah, so Christina tubewell.com is my website, and you can just learn more there about my one-on-one coaching. it has all the details you need to know. And then I'm also on Instagram a lot. My Instagram is live, well underscore Christina and I share it a lot.
Just daily tips on. How to support your body, how to support your gut. and those are the main places you can find me. If you want to learn more, I always offer free 30 minute discovery calls for people. They're interested in getting support, getting help. so it's a time where we can just connect. I can learn more about you and what you're needing, and we can figure out how I can best support you.
So those are kind of the main pieces. And then I will have my love your gut gut health program out by the time we are airing this. So that is, then that will, that what that is really cool is that really it's a five step program that kind of takes you through exactly these five RS that I just talked about today.
And you go through and we go a lot deeper into each one of them and what you can actually do, you know, to start bringing in some of these pieces into your life and support your digestive system. So that will [email protected] forward slash love your gut and you can learn all about it there.
Bryan: [00:50:48] And we will have all the links in the show [email protected] slash 99. Well, Christina, thank you so much for coming on. I know there's a lot of people that are battling autoimmunity, and there's a lot of people that don't even know if they have one because they're just trying to get answers at this point, and the doctors or whoever, they're going to haven't been able to make a diagnosis.
So there's a lot of people that's dealing with this type of stuff, and I'm glad that you're out there helping them any way that you can.
Christina: [00:51:16] Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It was really great to be here chatting with you
Bryan: [00:51:21] today. As you can see, the gut has huge impacts to our health and I have talked about that on many other episodes before, and we're going to keep on talking about it.
I mean, how many people do you know that complain about gut or digestive issues? Oftentimes our discomfort starts to become our new normal, and we forget how we should feel. So pay attention to how your gut feels and take notice of any weird issues like bloating or even brain fog, because that can be an indication something is off with your gut.
Next week is our big 100 episode, and on the episode I'll be giving away a lot of prizes. So listen in to see how you can win them. And so until then, keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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