Functional Medicine Research with Dr. Nikolas Hedberg, D.C. covers cutting-edge research with practical health information that you can actually use in your life to understand your body and get healthy. Dr. Hedberg covers Functional Medicine, thyroid disorders, gut health, autoimmune disease, nutrition, hormones and much more. If you're tired of long-winded podcasts without useful information that actually works then this show is definitely for you.
Dr. Theodore Belfor on Cranial Facial Development
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Dr. Theodore Belfor in a discussion on cranial facial development and airway resistance. If you have read James Nestor's new book "Breath" then you are aware of Dr. Belfor's work.
We talked about the causes of abnormal cranial development and how this causes airway resistance and a number of health problems including sleep apnea, insomnia, IBS, bruxism, and more.
Our cranial bones don't form properly when we aren't breastfed and eat a modern diet of processed foods. Dr. Belfor's oral appliances help to correct these abnormal developments to restore proper facial bone structure and improve the airway.
Full Transcript with Dr. Theodore Belfor
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome everyone to "Functional Medicine Research." I'm Dr. Hedberg, very, very excited today to have Dr. Theodore Belfor on the podcast. I first heard about Dr. Belfor in James Nestor's new book called "Breath." And we're gonna be talking about all of that today on the show.
And Dr. Belfor, he's a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry, and a senior certified instructor for the International Association for orthodontics. In the 1960s, Dr. Belfor was sent to Vietnam to work as the sole brigade dentist for 4000 soldiers of the 196 Light Infantry from the jungles of Vietnam to Park Avenue in Manhattan. Upon his return, he opened his own private dental office in New York City, and has been in private practice for more than 40 years. And Dr. Belfor specializes in the treatment of the cranial facial system, and that's what we're going to be diving into today. So, Dr. Belfor, welcome to the show.
Dr. Belfor: Well, thank you for having me. It's my pleasure.
Dr. Hedberg: Excellent. So, why don't we start by talking about how this all began, and go back to, you know, what happened that changed the cranial bones, the cranial structure, our skulls, that led to this epidemic of airway issues, breathing issues, and all of the health issues that come with that?
Dr. Belfor: Well, how we develop, how we grow and develop is based on how we breathe, how we swallow, and how we chew. So, just looking at how we chew, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture today, in the U.S., 63% of our diet is processed and refined foods. So, without the proper stimulation to the body, we are not fully expressing our genes, we're not developing to our full potential. Because of that, particularly when our jaws do not grow forward enough, the retrusion of those jaws helps to push the tongue backwards into the airway and down the throat, so now we have compromised sleep and breathing.
Dr. Hedberg: So, it's a combination of things. I know Dr. Nestor talks about it in his...or James Nestor talks about in his book, the changes in diet, soft food, not enough hard foods, not breastfeeding. Can you talk a little bit more about these changes in our society and some of these predisposing factors that can cause an abnormal airway?
Dr. Belfor: Well, for me, the enlightenment came, when almost 20 years ago, I was treating performing artists who couldn't wear braces and they wanted straighter teeth, and I used an appliance and had a unilateral bite block, which basically, in essence replaces the missing hard food in our diet. And guess what? The actors, performers were coming in, and their makeup artist was telling them that their faces are changing, and the singers were coming in and saying they were reaching higher notes. So, that's what set me on the path.
You see, the concept in dentistry is to balance the bite all the time. And it's kind of an anathema to have, when you bite down, to hit on one side. However, if I give you a stick of gum to chew,
COVID-19 Mental Health Crises
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Dr. Ron Parks in a discussion about COVID-19 and the mental health crises. Dr. Parks has written a new book "COVID-19 and Mental Health Crises" which we discuss as well as a variety of other topics that can help those afflicted by this pandemic.
The mental health aspects of COVID-19 are often overlooked with more of a focus on the physical aspects of the illness, medications, vaccines etc. As usual in the United States, mental health is pushed to the back of the bus with little to no dialogue or support for those who need psychological support. Dr. Parks provides a voice for those in need with his excellent new book.
Full Transcript on COVID-19 Mental Health Crises
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome, everyone, to Functional Medicine Research. I'm Dr. Hedberg. Very excited today to have my good friend and colleague, Dr. Ron Parks, on the show. And we're gonna be talking about his new book. And Dr. Parks is a respected physician, teacher, book author, writer, and mentor, with an integrative and holistic perspective. He especially trained in internal medicine, nutrition, preventive medicine, and board-certified in psychiatry. Currently, Dr. Parks is the medical director and psychiatrist for The Center for Spiritual Emergence and Katharos Sanctuary in Asheville, North Carolina. He has an MD from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in public health and health service research from the University of California at Los Angeles. He has completed specialty training and internal medicine at George Washington University, preventive medicine at UCLA, and psychiatry at the University of Maryland. Dr. Parks is a former assistant professor at the Albany and University of Miami Medical School, chief of internal medicine at the Homestead Air Force Base Hospital in Florida, former director of the Center for Preventive and Nutritional Healthcare in Baltimore, Maryland, and founder of the MacroHealth Medicine, a comprehensive and holistic consultative and treatment service, formerly in Asheville, North Carolina. Dr. Parks, welcome to the show.
Dr. Parks: Well, thank you, Nik. Thank you for having me.
Dr. Hedberg: Yeah. I'm looking forward to this. So, you've written a new book, it's called "COVID-19 and Mental Health Crises." So, we're gonna dig into that. But before we do that, can you just talk a little bit about how you got into integrative functional medicine and psychiatry?
Dr. Parks: Well, that's a good question. Actually, it started when I was very young. I think I write a little bit about this in the book. I came down one summer as a kid with polio. And it was very upsetting, of course. And I compared it to the current COVID crisis. Back then there was no treatment and everybody had been waiting 10 years, 8 to 10 years for a vaccine. But here I was, a young, healthy, athletic kid that suddenly was running high fevers and a stiff neck. So, I ended up in the hospital at a children's ward. And back then the only treatment they had was more of a natural treatment called the Sister Kenny treatment. It was like a heat treatment. They wrap you in warm towels. And so that was my first exposure to, you know, what I would call functional medicine or holistic medicine. Though I had a sweat through it, but luckily, I didn't end up with the paralytic form of it, but sometimes I do think I have some of the long...they're talking about with a new virus, the long hauler syndrome. But with polio, there were some aftermaths there, and I think maybe some of the weakness I had some ti...
GI-MAP Stool Test Interpretation
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Tom Fabian, PhD in a detailed discussion about the GI-MAP stool test interpretation. We covered virtually every aspect of the GI-MAP stool test including what the test results mean and how to use them in clinical practice.
Dr. Fabian has tremendous knowledge of the gut microbiome and the intricacies of the GI-MAP stool test markers. This is a vital interivew to listen to if you're utilizing the GI-MAP stool test in your practice.
Full transcript of the GI-MAP Stool Test Interpretation interview with Dr. Tom Fabian:
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome, everyone to Functional Medicine Research. I'm Dr. Hedberg, and I'm looking forward today to my conversation with Dr. Thomas Fabian. He is a PhD., and he's a clinical laboratory consultant, translational science expert, functional nutrition practitioner, educator, and speaker. He is a former biomedical research scientist and deep expertise in the role of the human microbiome and health, chronic disease and aging. As a leading expert in translational applications of microbiome research and functional medicine and integrative health settings, Tom's primary focus is on providing educational resources and consulting services for practitioners and scientific advisory and consulting services for clinical testing laboratories. Dr. Fabian, welcome to the show.
Dr. Fabian: Thanks so much, Nik. It's great to be here today, and I'm looking forward to the conversation.
Dr. Hedberg: Excellent. So, we're gonna be talking about the diagnostic solutions, lab, GI-MAP test, and we're gonna cover interpretation, you know, what these markers mean. And so, for all the practitioners listening, they'll have a strong idea of how to approach this test and how to use these things clinically. So, why don't we start with...take it from the top in the pathogen section? And I wanted to ask you specifically about C-diff. There's toxin A and toxin B Clostridium difficile markers on this test. And what is your interpretation of this if it's positive and the patient is symptomatic, and then you treat them, and then they're no longer symptomatic, but the toxin still shows up on the stool test? Can you elaborate a little bit on that type of presentation?
Dr. Fabian: Sure. No, I haven't personally seen that particular scenario but, in general, it's important to keep in mind a lot of people can be carriers of C-diff. So, the majority of the time that we see it detected positive, whether it's low levels or high levels, typically, patients don't have the classic symptoms. So, that suggests that they're probably just a carrier. And there's, sort of, kind of, a gray area in between where there still may be some effects of C-diff. Of course, that's one of the purposes of looking at the markers on GI-MAP like calprotectin, zonulin, etc. to see if there seems to be any evidence that may be have an impact, even if there aren't symptoms. So, we're also learning a lot more from research about factors that can control or influence the ability of various pathogens to thrive and also whether or not they can cause infection or if they have their, you know, typical pathogenic effects. So, that's essentially factors that influence virulence.
So, one of the first things I want to mention is all the microbial markers on GI-MAP are assessed based on detection of DNA. So, when you're looking at DNA, you're looking at detection of the organisms or the genes but not necessarily whether the genes are being expressed. And that's definitely true for toxins. So, lots of research has been coming out in research years in terms of, again, as I mentioned,
Sacred Cow with Robb Wolf
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Robb Wolf about his new book and documentary Sacred Cow. We had a great conversation dispelling some of the myths about meat and saturated fat as well as climate change, plant-based diets, sustainable agriculture, veganism, cattle and methane, and the ethics of eating animals.
This was a well-rounded interview packed with information that should help people make better decisions about what they eat but also become educated about the facts around meat. I highly recommend watching the Sacred Cow documentary and reading the book which goes into tremendous detail on these issues.
Full Transcript of Sacred Cow with Robb Wolf Interview
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome, everyone, to "Functional Medicine Research." I'm Dr. Hedberg. And I'm really looking forward to my conversation today with Robb Wolf. And Robb is a former research biochemist, and he's a two-times "New York Times," "Wall Street Journal" bestselling author of two books, "The Paleo Solution" and "Wired to Eat." And he coauthored a book with Diana Rodgers, which we'll be talking about today, called "The Sacred Cow," and that explains why well raised meat is good for us and good for the planet. Robb has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast, books and seminars. He's known for his direct approach and ability to distill and synthesize information to make the complicated stuff easier to understand. Robb, welcome to the show.
Robb: Doc, a huge honor to be here. Thank you.
Dr. Hedberg: Great. Yeah, I had Diana on last year. And we talked a little bit about plant-based diets and meat and things like that. And then since then, we've had the "New Sacred Cow" book that you co-authored, and the documentary, which is excellent. And so, why don't we begin by...I'd really like to focus on helping the listeners understand some of, you know, the misunderstandings and the truths and the myths about eating meat versus plants and things like that. And so why don't we start with a discussion about why meat has become a scapegoat. And I think, and you can expand on this, of course, but I think part of this probably goes to Ancel Keys' work in the 20th century, his promotion of misinformation on saturated fat. Can you take us from that point up to where we are now, and why you think meat has been getting such bad press?
Robb: Yeah, you know, it's interesting and worth noting the book covers the health, environmental, and ethical considerations of a meat or animal product-inclusive food system. You know, so the raising and the selling and the slaughter and the whole deal. And all of those points are important, and all of those points have some really interesting, historical antecedents, I guess, kind of describing why in different cultures meat would become vilif...
Limbic System Retraining with Ashok Gupta
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Ashok Gupta about his limbic system retraining program. Trauma of any kind can change the brain and nervous system in a way that prevents one from getting well. Many people never get well because they don't address the underlying trauma that has triggered or contributed to their health challenges.
If you've tried eating right, exercising, sleeping well, taken the best supplements, and managed your stress, but you still aren't feeling well, your brain and nervous system may be out of balance. The Gupta Program is designed to change the neuroplasticity of your brain and nervous system so you can heal and feel well again.
We discuss a new and exciting published paper that validates this method of limbic system retraining.
Full Transcript on Limbic System Retraining Interview
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome everyone to "Functional Medicine Research." I'm Dr. Hedberg, and I'm very excited today to talk to Ashok Gupta about limbic system retraining. And Ashok is an internationally renowned speaker, filmmaker, and health practitioner who has dedicated his life to supporting people through chronic illness and achieving their potential. Ashok suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome about 25 years ago when he was studying at Cambridge University, and through neurological research that he conducted, he managed to get himself 100% better. He then set up a clinic to treat others and then published the well-known recovery program known as "The Gupta Program" in 2007. He's published several medical papers and he's continually researching these conditions. You can find out more information at guptaprogram.com. Ashok, thanks for coming on the program.
Ashok: Thank you so much for inviting me. Very excited to be here.
Dr. Hedberg: Yeah. So, the limbic system is something that I've been interested in since I started practicing 17 years ago, and you know, I have a variety of recommendations that I give to patients for that. You know, things like meditation, mindfulness training, therapy, or just a number of things, but your particular limbic system-intensive program, I heard about it recently and became very interested in it. And why don't we begin by talking about just the limbic system itself? Can you give people kind of an overview of what the limbic system does and why it's important?
Ashok: Yes. So, there are many different ways of describing the limbic system. I think primarily if we start with this idea of it being a defensive system to ensure survival, right? So, most people would associate the limbic system with our emotional responses and medicine often separates the kind of psychology and the emotional responses from defense responses as if they're something different, you know, physiological defense responses versus emotional defense responses. But I see the limbic system as the automatic survival systems that we've inherited over generations of different animals and whatever that actually create responses that ensure survival. And so, a fight or flight response, a fear response, an anger response, a memory of a previous experience, all of these things are designed to ensure survival. So, that is for me the primary motive or motivation of that limbic system. And within that limbic system, there are different structures that play specific roles. And a lot of our research focuses on the amygdala, which are two almond-shaped structures that sit behind our eyes that essentially are taking all the incoming information from the outer world and the inner world, process it according to the previous experiences we've had in life, our memories,
Male Sexual Performance with Dr. Deb Matthew
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Dr. Deb Matthew about her new book on male sexual health "Why Can't I Keep Up Anymore?: A Guide to Regaining Energy, Focus, and Peak Physical & Sexual Performance for Men Over 40". We discussed the causes of male sexual dysfunction, lab testing, causes of low testosterone, stress and cortisol levels, sex hormone binding globulin, testosterone replacement methods, how sleep affects hormones and much more.
This book isn't just for men. If your male partner is showing signs of low testosterone then this book is a must-read with resources on how to find the right kind of doctor to get well.
Male Sexual Performance with Dr. Deb Matthew Interview Transcript
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome, everyone, to "Functional Medicine Research." I'm Dr. Hedberg, and I'm really excited today to have Dr. Deb Matthew on the show. Dr. Matthew is a medical doctor, and she's also known as the happy hormones doctor. She's a best-selling author, international speaker, educator, wife, and mother of four. And after suffering for years with fatigue and irritability, her quest to resolve her personal health led her to change everything about her practice of medicine. She has been featured on national podcasts, radio, and broadcast shows, including NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. Dr. Matthew, welcome to the show.
Dr. Matthew: Thank you so much. It's great to be here.
Dr. Hedberg: So, we're going to be talking about your new book, "Why Can't I Keep Up Anymore?: A Guide to Regaining Energy, Focus, and Peak Physical & Sexual Performance for Men Over 40," which I read recently. It's an excellent book. Wanted to have you on and talk about something that is...well, I would say most male issues are overlooked, but testosterone is really a big one and so is sexual performance and male hormones. So, why don't we begin by talking about why testosterone is so important for men?
Dr. Matthew: Yeah. You know, hormones, in general, play a big role in how we feel on the inside, how we relate to the world around us, how we react to other people. And so, testosterone drives a lot of how men feel and even behavior, and it really plays a role in men feeling like a man. So, it's important for drive and for motivation so that when you wake up in the morning and your boots hit the floor, you're ready to take on the world. And when testosterone levels are not quite right, men just don't quite feel right. And for women, when we go through our hormonal changes, it's pretty obvious. We either get menstrual problems or, you know, we get hot flashes. And so, there's some pretty obvious things that happen at some pretty obvious times in our life in order to notify us that our hormones may be changing. But for men, it's much more subtle.
So, it is something that often happens gradually over time. And so, what I hear men say a lot is, you know, "I just don't quite feel like myself anymore. I'm just not quite keeping up the same way that I used to. But you know, maybe it's just my age." I hear that all the time, "It must just be my age. I'm not 18 anymore." And so, you know, maybe it's not fair to compare to an 18-year-old, but if you're 40 or 50, like let's not blame it on age. If you're 95, okay, fine. We'll blame it on your age. But when you're younger, even though things change, they don't have to feel that way. And so, one of the things that could be contributing to not quite feeling like yourself anymore is low testosterone.
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