Sure, your body has detox organs, but we’re bombarded with toxins all the time plus we’re stressed and don’t always eat well, which can lead to inefficient detoxification. In this episode, functional medicine doctor Wendie Trubow explains the common signs and symptoms of toxin overload (such as fatigue, hair loss, rashes, and bloating), and how to support your body’s natural detoxification system through diet and lifestyle. Whether you’re battling mold, mercury, or other chemicals, Dr. Trubow’s practical advice will help you ditch the toxins and feel better.
Functional Medicine Gynecologist
Wendie Trubow, M.D., MBA is a functional medicine gynecologist. She received her M.D. from Tufts University in 2000 and has been practicing functional medicine since 2009. Through her struggles with mold and metal toxicity, Celiac disease, and a variety of other health issues, Trubow has developed a deep sense of compassion for what her patients are facing. Dr. Trubow co-authored the book "Dirty Girl -- Ditch the Toxins, Look Great and Feel Freaking Amazing!”
Maria Marlowe: [00:00:05] Welcome back to the Glow Life. I’m your host, Maria Marlowe, and today we’re talking all about toxins and how to get rid of them with Dr. Wendie Trubow. Dr. Trubow is an M.D. and functional medicine gynecologist. She received her MD from Tufts University in 2000 and started practicing functional medicine about nine years later. She is an expert in helping people reduce their toxins, whether that’s mold heavy metals, or other chemicals. Today, she’s going to be sharing tips from her book Dirty Girl: Ditch the Toxins, Look Great and Feel Freaking Amazing.
Maria Marlowe: [00:00:44] This episode is brought to you by the Clear Skin Plan, my 90-day program and meal plan to clear your skin from within naturally, through dietary and lifestyle changes. Skin issues like acne are not only skin deep, they start deep within with internal inflammation and imbalances. The only way to clear your skin is to address those underlying root causes, and the Clear Skin Plan will help you do just that. With the plan, you’ll discover the potential underlying root causes of your breakouts and how to remedy them through dietary and lifestyle changes. You’ll also get over a hundred delicious skin-clearing recipes, which you can mix and match or follow the weekly sample meal plans with shopping lists. This program is science-backed, dermatologist-approved, and doctor-recommended. To get it head to mariamarlowe.com/clear-skin-plan.
Maria Marlowe: [00:01:44] Wendie, thanks for being on the show.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:01:46] My pleasure, thanks for having me on.
Maria Marlowe: [00:01:49] So let’s talk toxins. This is a bit of a controversial topic, especially in the more conventional medicine sphere where I feel you often hear, oh, toxins. Your body already has a detox system and has detox organs. You don’t need to do anything else to detox. So let’s start there. What do you say to that?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:02:12] So half the statement is accurate. Your body has detox systems. No question about it. The part that I would take issue with is the part where you say you don’t have to do anything about it because that was probably true, I don’t know, a thousand years ago when we didn’t have any toxins and we didn’t sort of… Look at all of our lives, so we didn’t have plastics, we didn’t have gasoline, we didn’t have beauty products, we didn’t have anything unless it was natural. So in that setting, sure, you have detox and it’s going to do just fine. But where it doesn’t do just fine is when you start to load the system up.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:02:55] Think of the body like a rain barrel, and the more that you add to it, the more full it gets. And there’s going to be some point where you’re going to overexpose your body to toxins, and it may not keep up with the excretion. So it’s going to overflow with symptoms. And that’s when we get involved in functional medicine and say, OK, well, you know, those headaches and rashes and bloating and gut issues and weight issues, those have a cause. Sometimes they’re not toxins, right? Genuinely, sometimes you’re just eating the wrong foods, but sometimes it is toxins, and that’s really where we dive in and figure it out.
Maria Marlowe: [00:03:29] So let’s start there. How does someone know that they may have been exposed to too many toxins or they have toxin buildup? So you named a few of the symptoms they may have, but let’s go through it. What are some signs that you might have toxin overload?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:03:44] Ok, so I would say for women in particular… So men are very different and men, if they change their diet, they lose weight. So I’m going to sort of set the men to the side for the moment and say, OK, if a woman has said to me, I have done everything, I am eating right, I exercise, I get enough sleep. I love my job. Sort of the perfect scenario for her life and yet she can’t lose weight, that’s when I start to suspect toxins. That’s sort of an easy, low-hanging fruit. You go, oh, I’m doing everything right and I’m not losing weight. Either you’re eating the wrong foods or there’s a toxin involved. So that’s a that’s an easy one.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:04:24] Hair loss. Once you’ve ruled out that there’s no thyroid issue, hair loss and no thyroid issue and no celiac because I lost my hair with celiac too. So hair loss is another big one. Persistent fatigue, persistent gut issues. And again, you’re doing everything right. You’re supporting the adrenals. You’re eating a great diet. Either there’s parasites that we haven’t found or there’s toxins, and it’s just a matter of sleuthing it out. A lot of people come to us already having done the work on their gut, and they’re not where they want to be. That’s when I start to go, OK, this is a toxins issue. Autoimmunity, skin issues, rashes, lichen sclerosis, anything that changes the skin is often a toxin.
Maria Marlowe: [00:05:10] And so when patients come to you and they have some of these symptoms, then what kind of testing do you do? How do you figure out which toxins they’ve been exposed to? What the issue actually is?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:05:23] Such a great question. I love this question. So let’s set aside, I think, and my mom always teases me, I think linearly. If A then B, then C. And so typically we don’t start with the toxins workup unless you’ve done everything, you’ve already had all the testing. Then we start with toxins, but you really need to make sure that the body’s optimized and that it’s got the nutrients it needs. Otherwise, if you started on toxins, people feel even worse. That’s not nice. You don’t want your patients to hate you. So set to the side that we’ve already done the full adrenal and gut and food sensitivity and minerals nutrients workups at that side. It’s already done.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:05:58] The toxins work is pretty straightforward. We use urine testing and we do the heavy metals test in one group. That’s a pre-test. So you get up in the morning and you pee. That’s it. That’s the test. That’s just showing what’s kind of floating around the system. And then we give you a medicine that provokes the metals that are in your bones and your fat and your organs to come out. It binds to it and then you pee it out and then you collect. So you do a new test that collects your urine for six hours with that provoking agent. That’s the metals. And really, what we’re looking for are lead or mercury. Those are the big ones. I mean, I’ve seen a couple of patients with arsenic and we have to talk about eating a lot of rice or do you have a partner who doesn’t like you? You know, one of those two scenarios. And then we see Thallium a lot that’s elevated from people who eat organic food from California. So those are the metals that we’re looking at.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:06:48] But I will say I think it’s better to eat the organic food and deal with the Thallium as opposed to not eating organic and dealing with the chemicals. So it’s always like, what’s a better option? And then the other toxins we do in another urine test that is mycotoxins, which are the toxins from mold, environmental toxins. That’s things like gasoline fumes, beauty products, beauty product toxins, I’ll say that are endocrine disruptors. Plastic. Styrene. Anything in the environment, things to prevent fire flame retardants. So all of those things are the environmental and then the pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and glyphosate. So all of that’s in one test and that’s a urine test. We provoke things to move by giving you glutathione and having you take a hot bath and then you pee. That’s the test.
Maria Marlowe: [00:07:40] Ok. So it’s pretty easy to figure it out. But it’s a little bit overwhelming because you know what? All of the things that you said, we’re exposed to all of these things, right? Yes. And so modern life, it seems is designed to expose us to all of these things, all these different toxins. So I’m curious, how common is it in your practice, for example, for people to have high toxin levels, whether it’s high mercury or mold toxicity or whatever it is? How prevalent is this issue?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:08:13] I’m seeing a skewed group because people who come to me, either they really love functional medicine or they’ve failed conventional medicine. So that’s a pretty winnowed-down group. But I mean, we wrote our book because I am the poster child for healthy living. And I mean, I stopped painting my nails because… actually someone just told me about a really clean one that I haven’t had a chance to look up. But basically, I’m the poster child and I have all these toxins. So I think it’s really prevalent, especially because when you layer on the way we live and the way we don’t sleep enough and the way we stress a lot and then layer on that, we just have been in almost two years a pandemic that’s changed people’s lives and the impact that’s had around anxiety and sleeplessness and financial concerns.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:09:01] And then layer on that there was a racial justice movement, and there’s just been a lot that people are exposed to. And so then you layer on the toxins. We haven’t even gotten to the toxins and already the system is stressed. So I think it’s pretty common. I mean, especially that most parts of the world, or I’ll even just stick to the United States. A lot of parts of the country aren’t eating organic food, so they’re getting exposed to all the toxins. So it’s pretty prevalent.
Maria Marlowe: [00:09:29] And I would agree, even just among my own friend group, for example, I know a lot of people who have mercury poisoning and people don’t realize it from sushi. And I remember reading an article in the New York Times so many years ago that was saying that they went around to all the sushi spots in the city and they took samples and one serving of the tuna tartare, which everybody orders was way over your the mercury limits, probably for the month. And so a lot of people are walking around with these things and just don’t realize it. They just think, Oh, I’m tired or I don’t have energy and blame other things and not realizing that it can actually be these toxins.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:10:09] People chalk it up to age. I’m just getting older.
Maria Marlowe: [00:10:12] Yes, and I love that, I believe you have this in your book, something along the lines of like, we’re kind of socialized to think that when you get older, you get sicker, you get worse, you get tired, you gain weight or you have all these diseases, right? It doesn’t have to be that way. We can actually just age chronologically, but we don’t have to develop all of these issues.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:10:36] No, we totally reject the idea that you’re supposed to fail every decade and in fact, flip it on its head and say, we believe you’re meant to be vital, vibrant, healthy, alive. Here’s the part where I always debated with my partner because he would say, able to have sex and I’m like, you have just irked the entire female audience because the whole female audience can have sex but has no sex drive. So we added in the not only able but interested in intimacy until at least a hundred and every decade, you get better and better. That’s the goal.
Maria Marlowe: [00:11:06] So let’s talk about that. So that’s an interesting symptom and probably a very common symptom as well. So how do toxins impact your sex drive?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:11:17] So it’s not a direct A to B, you have toxins, you have low sex drive. However, when you have toxins, if you’re not excreting them, it creates an environment of inflammation. And then that inflammation for women gets manifested in a million different ways. So head to toe, hair loss, brain fog, thyroid dysfunction, other endocrine dysfunction leading to menstrual dysfunction. Hot flashes, perimenopausal issues, weight gain issues, gaining weight, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, heart palpitations and when you don’t feel well, sex and intimacy aren’t a priority. They’re nice to have.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:11:57] So when your body is out of whack, sex becomes… It’s definitely not evolutionarily needed. It’s not a survival-in-the-moment thing, so you set that to the side. Your sex drive goes down, but it’s not oh, I have toxins, so I have a low sex drive. It’s oh, I have toxins, it’s messing me up and that’s tanking my sex drive. And we can’t forget for women, especially, we’re really sensitive to, I’ll call it, alterations in the relationship. So if there’s anything incomplete or out of whack or not working in your relationship, that’s going to impact your sex drive. So there’s a lot that goes into it. And then I had a lot of women say to me, oh, you know, I just can’t even concentrate on sex because I’m so busy and I’m like, well, yeah, you’re too busy. It’s time to offload and delegate a little bit.
Maria Marlowe: [00:12:48] Again, in modern life, it just seems like is set up to stress us out and expose us to toxins. So we really have to kind of actively work on bringing our body and our life to a place where there is balance.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:13:03] Yeah, really. And I think it’s important to, I’ll call it offload. But the balance in relationships is often so different and I’ll speak to actually any relationship. Male-female, male-male, female-female. There’s always someone who assumes more of the thinking work, but that thinking work can be devastating for your sex drive because your partner wants to fool around, and all you can think about is what you didn’t get done. And so those are the opportunities to offload a project that you can’t get out of your brain to your partner so that the balance is a little more even.
Maria Marlowe: [00:13:39] So I know you are a traditional medical doctor, M.D., but later on went to study functional medicine. And the reason for that is because, like you said earlier, you were the poster child for healthy living, but then you started having a lot of issues as well. So can you share a little bit of your journey and your story and how you came to functional medicine and being such a proponent of getting rid of the toxins?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:14:07] It feels like my story has two parts. So the first part is where you learn about how I have terrible genetics and have two genes for celiac disease and was a child of the 70s. So we ate a lot of casseroles and sloppy joes and was a child of the 80s with microwaves and microwaved plastic and processed, you know, prepackaged food that was so great and so quick and then decided to be a doctor, which was super stressful. And my brain has high stamina, but my body does not have huge stamina so I chose a specialty that wasn’t the best choice for me from a physical standpoint. I’m not meant to be up 36 hours in a row. I just don’t do well.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:14:54] But I love taking care of women, so from the brain standpoint it worked but what’s it like from the boots on the ground? Those are the layers. So the first part of the story, I got really sick and had difficulty conceiving and was able to get pregnant twice, actually. But really, I felt awful, so I had pretty much every symptom that I listed to you about 10 minutes ago. Hair loss, brain fog, thyroid dysfunction. I had anxiety and I’m not really that anxious. I’m high strung, but I’m not anxious and heart palpitations, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation. I was wasting. I was like 10 pounds lighter. My joints hurt. My periods were messed up. I had trouble getting pregnant. So it just was like, I don’t know what’s going on.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:15:38] And that’s when I was diagnosed with celiac. So that was about 16 years ago. Then I went gluten-free. And really, that was my introduction into functional medicine. And I became a functional medicine provider because I felt like I need to do that for people. You know, I need to do for people what he did for me. And so a few years later, I left my regular practice and went into a functional medicine practice. And then the second part of the story is that so am I’m now perimenopausal, which I feel is a cruel and unusual punishment if you’re stressed at all because it makes it worse. And that’s actually the next book we’re writing is on how to transition into menopause gracefully because we need to.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:16:20] So anyway, our family took a vacation to France and London, and when we were in France, it was 10 days after Notre Dame burned and we were slogging through all this dust. And I said to my husband, we’re going to need to clean our sneakers, and it’s so dusty here. And about, I don’t know, a month after I came home from France, I gained nine pounds, overnight. I sort of just plumped up and my hair started falling out in just tremendous amounts and I was like, what’s going on? So I just kind of figured, OK, well, maybe I’m tired.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:16:59] I checked my thyroid, the functional medicine baseline approach and everything was normal. And about two and a half months after we came home, I heard this report on NPR that said, Oh, when Notre Dame burned, it released 500 tons of lead dust into the air. And I said to my husband, I got a lead exposure. And in that last year also my neighbor had taken his house down and it was a post-war 1940s house. And when he took it down, I remember freaking out, being like, shut the windows, shut everything. There’s lead in the air. So there was a little exposure there. But then after France, it went crazy. And so I did the test for lead, and I had been mildly positive in the past, but this time I was clearly positive. And so I said, Oh my God, I have to do this treatment.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:17:46] So I started the metals treatment. And within three months, my hair loss slowed, pretty much starting the program. Now, that doesn’t mean my metals were gone. It just means that I was able to start compensating, so my body wasn’t protesting, essentially. But it was only about six months ago that I was able to lose the weight. And I mean, we’re talking 20 months in. So the weight I would say to people is the thing that’s going to drive you craziest, but it’s going to be the last to be fixed because it’s just your barometer for what your body telling you that it’s in a state of stress. So it’s not going to move until you fix it, which nobody likes to hear.
Maria Marlowe: [00:18:25] But yeah, I know. Wow. I mean. What timing you had to be there to have that exposure.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:18:34] But actually, I will say, I feel, that’s such a great point, Maria, because I feel really grateful that I got that exposure because it got me to my bad enough point. I call it the bad enough point, right? It’s not bad enough to do anything about it until it gets bad enough. So I hit my bad enough point. Hair loss and weight gain and also a rash on my face. Those are the things that I was not willing to put up with, and they got me to take action, which I feel a lot better now than I did two years ago. So that’s good.
Maria Marlowe: [00:19:03] So, heavy metals I feel are very prevalent. So you mentioned also Thallium in the organic vegetables, grown in California, which is a really interesting one, which I’d love you to speak about a little bit more because I know Dave Asprey is a big influencer. I don’t know if you follow him, but he has this crusade against kale and how kale is the worst food you can eat. And one of his arguments is that it’s high in Thallium, at least the California grown or grown in specific areas. And the Thallium is coming. It’s not intrinsic to kale, but it’s coming…
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:19:37] In the soil.
Maria Marlowe: [00:19:39] Well, it’s in the soil. And it’s areas that are close to coal mining plants or industrial pollution because it’s the industrial pollution that’s depositing it in the soil. Exactly. That’s why it’s there. So really it’s not the kale’s fault, it’s the people’s fault who are creating this pollution. But can you speak a little bit to the sources of heavy metals and foods, for example, organic farming and then even the rice? Because I feel people kind of hear about it a little bit, but maybe don’t fully understand. So where are the sources and then how do we avoid that?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:20:09] Yeah, I love this. So it’s a long list so brace yourself, Ok? So and let’s just preface this by saying Rome wasn’t built in a day and you are not going to clean it up in a day. Don’t try. It’s overwhelming. Someone said to me this morning, I drive the carpool and she said to me, I’m on Chapter four and it talks all about stress. So now I’m going to start meditating. I’m like great. She goes, I’m going to be like you someday. I’m like, buddy, I’ve been working on this for a long time. Don’t compare yourself to me, compare yourself to you. Only make change that works for you and don’t overhaul your whole pantry overnight. Just level up as something expires or you run out of it. That’s really important for the listeners.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:20:48] Don’t try to do this overnight. It’s not worth the stress. You’ve been living in with it for this many years, another month isn’t going to change anything. Ok, let’s go heavy metals. So for the Thallium, that’s the leafy greens, particularly from California. For lead, the sources are generally environmental. So pipes, living in an old home, doing construction on an old home or living next to an old home that was demolished, like I did. So those are usually clear exposures. Mercury is heavy metal fish like you mentioned. So the tuna, mahi-mahi swordfish, Chilean sea bass, which used to be my favorite – used to be being the keywords. And then fillings, if they’re amalgam. So if they’re silver in your mouth, they have mercury in them. If they’re white in your mouth, there’s no mercury. You don’t have to worry about it.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:21:39] And then arsenic for rice. Typically brown rice does have arsenic in it, and then I think the jasmine rice does not, but it depends where it’s grown. So rice. Well, let’s keep moving because that’s a whole rabbit hole unto itself. There’s glyphosate, which is the most commonly used herbicide. It disrupts the microbiome. It’s been implicated in different cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s pretty much not in your favor. The nice thing is the body will get rid of it if you stop exposing. But the downside is it’s really hard to stay away from it because all the grains are contaminated. Drift back to drift.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:22:19] One field sprays, the next field doesn’t, but it drifts into the field. So even organic grains are often contaminated. And horrifyingly, even the organic chickpeas are contaminated, all of them with glyphosate. So what you want to do is not say, OK, I’m never eating hummus again. Someone called me. One of my patients, she called me and said, my son eats a container of hummus every day. I said, OK, test his levels. See how he is and don’t pick a fight until you test the levels. Let’s get the data first. So that’s another source. So foods that are not organic, you’re getting exposed to the herbicides, insecticides, pesticides. People don’t think about their lovely landscaper who comes. You’re in New York so this is less of a concern, although your other concern is smog and plastic and fumes from the cars. But you don’t have to worry about what your landscaper is spraying on your lawn because there’s no lawn. So there’s an upside to everything.
Maria Marlowe: [00:23:15] Actually, I remember going to Central Park. This is a couple of years ago and there were signs on the fences by the grass sprayed with glyphosate. I was like, Oh, great. And everyone’s sitting on the grass, walking on the grass. The dogs’ walking on the grass and coming in, you know?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:23:30] Yeah, OK. Yeah. Be careful with that.
Maria Marlowe: [00:23:32] So I feel like it’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:23:36] That’s the thing that I would say is, I mean, it makes you crazy when you think about all the exposures. And so the goal isn’t zero exposure. I went out to dinner with my best friend who flew up for my birthday and surprised me, and we’re at dinner. And just as a preface, I don’t go out to dinner because I’m severely allergic to gluten. So if I get a gluten exposure, it’s awful. It used to be three months long, but since I’ve dealt with the toxins, it’s now 12 to 24 hours, which I think is pretty manageable. But I never eat gluten, but I don’t like to be exposed, so I usually get my food in a takeout container because I don’t want to be exposed to the forks and knives and platters and cooking utensils and all that stuff.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:24:17] So he said to me, that’s plastic. I said, I know. I said, you have to pick your battles, right? So a gluten exposure to me ranks worse on the what’s the worst choice than a plastic exposure because A – my food’s not that hot. B- it’s lined with paper. And C- I know I’m going in the sauna every night and I’m going to get that out and I sweat and I move around and I do glutathione. I’m really actively working on detox, so it really can be crazy-making. And the goal isn’t zero. It’s, make a better choice.
Maria Marlowe: [00:24:50] Exactly. Make the best choice that you can in the moment. And then you just mentioned, so you’re actively detoxing, so you’re adding habits or practices to your daily life or foods to your daily life that are helping your body actively detox. So can you share what a few of those things are like? And what do you do? What are you doing on a daily basis to make sure that your detox system is working properly?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:25:11] Sure, I will say, Maria, we didn’t actually finish the conversation about foods and toxins because you can get exposed to okra toxin, which is a micro toxin through a lot of foods, grains, moldy food, leftovers. So my daily life is organized around detox. So backing up, I don’t eat any grains. I do eat rice twice a week, probably, and I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t eat sugar. So those are for me, background. Meaning I’m not thinking about that on a daily basis. That’s just the way it is, and I’m really lucky my husband’s extremely supportive and it upsets my mother-in-law when I don’t eat her food. So she stopped cooking a lot of things that I don’t eat because it upsets her. So she makes more things than I do eat.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:25:57] So I get up in the morning and I’m still… It takes a really long time to get rid of mycotoxins, so I’m still working on my mycotoxins, two and a half years in. So I get up and I take my binders and then I go wake my kids and I go stretch. And about an hour, hour and a half later, I start working on the metals protocol. So I’m taking a silicone binder and glutathione and vitamin C, both liposomal because they’re absorbed through the skin. I do intermittent fasting so that I can give my body a chance to rest. And I also do that because that gives me an opportunity to get all my treatments in because some of them you can’t have with food. So on the way to work, I take DMSA, which is a metals binder, and I can’t eat for two hours
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:26:45] So I get up at seven and take the first set of binders, wait a couple of hours, take another binder. And then at lunch, I have my first meal, which is BioClear, which is our product that is designed to improve phase one and phase two in the liver. So that’s a protein shake that naturally detoxes me, sort of supports ongoing. And I do that for lunch and I do that for a snack around three o’clock and it’s got about 20 grams of protein and it helps detox. And then I do more of the silicone binder and more of the glutathione, and I do supplements to replace what I’m pulling out for the binding. And then at night, I go in the sauna and I take niacin to help me detox, and it also causes a flush, which is sweating. So it’s kind of like the whole day.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:27:28] I do exercise probably two to three times a week for cardio. I’d like it to be more, but I just haven’t had the time. And then two to three times a week with a trainer, I do weights. So it’s all about I mean, it’s all focused on how to detox. And then for food, I eat leafy greens and lots of vegetables. I do eat meat. I know for vegans that’s not something that’s negotiable, but meat and flesh does give you phase two detox support, which I really need. So I do eat meat.
Maria Marlowe: [00:27:57] And do you have any emphasis? So you mentioned the leafy greens, but cruciferous vegetables are also great for detoxification.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:28:03] Yes, all of them, I eat. Yes, I highly recommend them. I eat them. Absolutely.
Maria Marlowe: [00:28:07] So cruciferous veggies are things like broccoli, cauliflower, radishes. I mean there’s a whole list of them. Cabbage. You can look them up online. They’re usually the ones that have a little bit of a bite, that sulfur smell.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:28:21] Yes, and one thing that I’ll say is people who have a thyroid disorder, it’s better to lightly steam or cook the cruciferous because that can, at high doses, interfere with the thyroid. But generally, you’d have to eat a lot to really interfere.
Maria Marlowe: [00:28:35] So besides for the food… Ok, so you mentioned the sauna. Can you talk a little bit about that? Why is it really important to sweat and how does that help us remove toxins?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:28:49] Your skin is your biggest detox organ, actually, and so when you sweat, well, so there’s two parts of that. But one is what difference does a sauna make? And the other is why does it matter to sweat? So the sauna, especially if it’s a near mid and far infrared sauna, is penetrating deep into the cells and helping the cells to pull out toxins? And then it’s important to sweat because it gets it out of your body and then it’s important to shower so you get the toxins off you so you don’t reabsorb them because your skin will both detox and absorb. So that’s why, when I played with Mercury in my hands as a kid, that was super unwise because I absorbed it in my skin and sauna might not be accessible for everyone.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:29:33] So there are portable saunas that I usually recommend. Try to let them off-gas because they’re made of PVC. But there are portable saunas that break down that are like a pod. It’s kind of like a seated pod, and that’s great for people, for small spaces. You can also do Epsom salt baths. If you’re super sensitive, you can do an Epsom salt foot bath, but then just sweating, going out and exercising will get you what you need. Also, it’s everything. Everything helps. Everything is better than nothing. I’ll say that.
Maria Marlowe: [00:30:03] And there’s just so many things that you can do. You mentioned earlier, you don’t have to do everything all at once, right? Just start to one habit at a time and then kind of gradually build that up. And what about EMFs and wi-fi and all this kind of stuff? What is your take on that?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:30:22] So it’s funny, I used to live in a house that was across from a radio tower, and I never slept when I lived in that house. And then I moved out and I was like, oh, maybe it is the house. So I do think that some people are sensitive to it and some people are not. I would say generally at night I turn off my Wi-Fi. I don’t turn off the Wi-Fi in the house, but I turn off my phone’s connection to the Wi-Fi, so it’s not transmitting and the Bluetooth, so it’s not transmitting. I think that for some people, it can really be a huge source of stress, and for some people it doesn’t bother them as much. So you have to figure out where you are. I know I have a patient. I recommended she move, I want to say it’s Virginia. Don’t quote me on that.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:31:06] There’s a place where there’s a government facility with the telescope and it needs like a 10-mile radius of nothing. Everything is wired. So there’s no Wi-Fi. There’s no connections unless it’s wired. And I said to a patient, you should go on vacation there to see if you feel better when you’re there, because I think you have a huge issue with all of the energetic EMFs that you’re getting. And we’re still waiting. I don’t know that she’s gone there yet, but some people are really sensitive. But then some people aren’t.
Maria Marlowe: [00:31:36] Yeah, so I feel just turning on like your airplane mode at night or maybe unplugging your Wi-Fi router, just simple things. You could even try and see if it makes the difference, maybe it will. Maybe it won’t.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:31:49] A hundred percent.
Maria Marlowe: [00:31:50] And are there any other maybe habits that people don’t realize, you know, may be contributing to them not feeling great or overloading their body with toxins?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:32:02] Yeah. Tons, Maria. And this is great because there’s the part of toxins where you say, don’t get exposed to them. Try not to put it in your body and work with a functional medicine provider to get it out of your body. Ok, so that’s like the funnel and the excretion. But then things that you do can shut down detox because detox is a thriving behavior. Detox is not a survival behavior. So if you’re in survival like on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, if you’re worried about your safety, where your next meal is going to come from, you can’t pay your rent, that is not a body that’s going to be able to focus on detox. So the more things that you can do to make the body feel safe, so that’s get enough rest. Eat food that works for your body – minimally processed. If you’re going to drink alcohol, don’t drink too much too often. Sugar is really a special treat as opposed to a daily thing.
Maria Marlowe: [00:33:02] Actually, I wanted to ask you about the sugar. I mean, we all know sugar is not great for our health, but I’m curious from the toxin perspective, is it just that it’s weakening our immune system and not good for our gut, or is it a toxin itself? How would you describe that?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:33:17] I’ll characterize it in a couple of ways. Anything can be a toxin. If there’s too much of it, it can act as a toxin on you. So alcohol. Toxin. If you drink enough of it, you could kill yourself. Sugar, it’s harder to directly kill yourself, but you’re going to shut down the systems. So sugar will throw off your microbiome. Sugar also feeds yeast, which throws off the body, and yeast love when there’s metals, so they like to grow when there’s metals. So you often see yeast with metals. So sugar, what it does is it’s a distraction. It’s not, I mean, it can act as a toxin, it can make your skin bad but it’s really more of a distraction for the body.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:33:54] Because if your body is busy dealing with, oh, I have to deal with the gut dysfunction, it’s not doing detox because again, you kick yourself back to survival as opposed to thriving. So it’s just a distracting agent. So being a stress ball, if you’re anxious or worried about things or perseverating or stuck on what if, what if, what if, what if, what if, you’re not going to do detox because that activates your adrenals and when your adrenals are activated, it puts you in a fight, flight or freeze. Fight, flight or freeze says to the gut and the liver. Stop the presses. We don’t need to focus on this right now.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:34:31] We need to focus on running from that lion that’s about to eat us because our bodies are super primitive and it’s not thinking about, oh, it’s just an infection or it’s just a bad boss, or it’s just a bad job, or it’s just a bad day. Our bodies don’t recognize that it’s like an on-off switch. So making sure you manage your stress either with meditation, training, cognitive behavioral therapy, training the brain so that it’s working in your favor instead of against you. It’s hugely important. So making sure that you’re not in survival, that even opens the door to being able to do detox.
Maria Marlowe: [00:35:09] And I think that’s an important part that sometimes we overlook and we kind of just hope, oh, we can just eat the food or go into the sauna and then we’ll be good. But dealing with that stress piece and calming ourselves down is sometimes the most difficult one.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:35:26] And it can be the most impactful because you can have a thought. And if that thought is disempowering, you will shut down your digestion and shut down your detox pathways because it’s not a priority right now. If you go into fight, flight, or freeze, your body thinks, Oh, I really need to survive. So you’re not doing detox. It’s critical.
Maria Marlowe: [00:35:50] And I feel Candida, this is also another one that we hear about a lot, and that’s quite common. Obviously, sugar is a big contributor to that. But I guess in terms of Candida, what should people be thinking about?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:36:06] I usually recommend people work with someone for Candida because Candida can be persnickety. You can get rid of it and it continues to be your Achilles heel and just the slightest thing for some people will bring it back. So typically, think of it like a bar stool, which you won’t be drinking beer on a Candida protocol. But one part of it is don’t feed the Candida. That’s eliminate anything that converts quickly to sugar. And I had Candida years ago in my gut, so I stopped eating cake, candy, cookies, bread, pasta, cereal, beer, wine, sugar, all the fun stuff, right?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:36:38] So one part of it is don’t feed it for about a year. And the caveat is you’re human. You’re going to have excursions. Just don’t let those excursions be the excuse for not going back on your program. Have the excursion. Get back on. Ok? The next part of it is to actively kill off the yeast because it doesn’t belong there, so you kill it. Usually, we use NICE statin. You can use Diflucan but if you take Diflucan for long periods of time, it can impair the liver. So we don’t want to do that. So typically, NICE statin is safe. It’s tolerated. It can cause stinky gas when you first start using it but other than that, it’s really safe and it’s well tolerated. You take that for three to six to nine months, depending on how you do, and then you inhibit it by herbals and keeping it from growing back.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:37:24] And then the fourth part of it is build up the good bacteria. So take great probiotics, wide spectrum, high dosing and eat the foods that are going to build up the probiotics in the gut. So those four components help you deal with yeast. It can come back, if you go back to your old ways, it’ll come back. If you have metals that aren’t dealt with, it’ll come back. So you’ll have some ways that it can return or it won’t or you can’t get rid of it, if you have metals. That’s the hardest part. But it can grow pretty fast. It’s annoying.
Maria Marlowe: [00:37:57] I think that’s why it’s so important to work with a functional medicine practitioner to really figure out what’s going on in your body. Because if you just try… there’s so many like anti-Candida products on the market just taking some herbal, it might not be enough. For example, let’s say you have heavy metals or whatever the other additional issues are, maybe you’re not reseeding your gut with the good bacteria, so it really takes a multi-pronged approach. And so that’s why I think it’s important to work with a functional medicine practitioner or get the data. Do some tests to see what’s actually going on there and then have a more personalized protocol.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:38:33] Yeah, I would 100 percent echo that. That’s critical.
Maria Marlowe: [00:38:37] So functional medicine is a area that I feel is growing, but it’s still new to a lot of people. So for anyone listening, you obviously have a functional medicine practice, are you able to take people anywhere in the States? Can you just speak to it a little bit? If someone is looking for a functional medicine practitioner, how would they go about finding one?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:38:57] So the ifm.org is a fantastic reference to use because it has listings of all the functional medicine doctors in the country and actually world, who have taken the programs and signed up and are members. That’s a great way. Most functional medicine practices do not take insurance. They’re cash-based. So we have, I would say, we have a bigger vision. Our vision isn’t just do practice and retire. Our practice is bring functional medicine into typical use so that it’s the way medicine is practiced. So that’s our overarching goal. And so when we looked at how we would practice, that led to, well, we can build a cash practice, but that’s not going to bring our overarching goal into fruition. So let’s build an insurance-based practice. Get the word out there, get this accessible.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:39:48] So we have an insurance-based practice and we have a membership. Because insurance does not cover the cost that the time it takes to do functional medicine, it takes a lot more time. And there’s a lot more testing and it’s a whole training. So people can work with us. Covid has expanded telemedicine. It is state by state if you’re allowed to see someone in another state, so that’s kind of an offline conversation. But there’s also a cash pay for anyone so people can find someone close to them or find someone remote, and either way, you’ll be able to be taken care of.
Maria Marlowe: [00:40:19] And I like that you brought up that part even about the insurance because I was having dinner with a friend last night who is looking for a functional medicine doctor, and she was saying, I’m looking and it’s so expensive to go to any of these doctors because they don’t take insurance. And then you have to buy all these sessions and stuff, and then it kind of becomes out of reach for a lot of people. And I feel it’s such important work, and it does take more… I know, typically going to a regular doctor, you maybe have 15 minutes if you’re lucky, whereas when you go to a functional medicine doctor, you could have an hour, an hour and a half to talk. So there’s obviously some differences. So that’s interesting that you kind of recognized that doing it all cash is not going to necessarily spread the message and get more people into functional medicine. So that’s cool that you kind of have that hybrid model.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:41:10] Yeah, it works for our practice, and I think it works for the patients. It’s not to say it’s cheap, but it’s accessible.
Maria Marlowe: [00:41:17] And I guess, I think where people are skeptical or what my friend was saying, she’s like, you know, if I knew that I could fix, solve my problem, then I’m happy to pay whatever it takes. But I think also people are used to kind of the traditional model where it’s like, oh, we’re not really sure what’s wrong with you, but here, take this prescription and let’s hope that it works, you know? And so they’re a little bit disillusioned.
Maria Marlowe: [00:41:43] And so I think functional medicine offers a completely different approach where you really dig a lot deeper under the surface. So, you know, when you say my head hurts or I have a rash, you’re not just looking at the rash, you’re looking at the gut, you’re looking at the toxins, you’re looking at a lot of different things to really get to the root of the problem.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:42:01] Yeah, you said it beautifully. That’s exactly it.
Maria Marlowe: [00:42:03] So is there anything else, is there any question I didn’t ask or anything that you want our listeners to know about toxins and detoxing?Maria Marlowe: [00:42:03] So is there anything else, is there any question I didn’t ask or anything that you want our listeners to know about toxins and detoxing?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:42:13] I think the most important thing is to not stress about it. I mean, everyone who reads the book says, I just didn’t realize how much there was to do. And I’m like, don’t stress. One thing at a time. So that’s the most important thing is don’t stress. It’s not meant to be stressful. It’s meant to be joyous. It’s meant to be freeing. It’s meant for you to take back control. So do that as fast or as slow as you want. Just make an improvement. Level up every week in some way so that at the end of the year you go, whoa, look at all the ways that I’ve made improvements and you can pat yourself on the back and be proud of it. You’re never, ever going to be perfect, and perfection is not the goal. Improvement is the goal. Continuous process improvement. Don’t give up on yourself.
Maria Marlowe: [00:42:58] I think that’s really well said and really puts things into perspective. So thank you so much. So, Wendie, I know you have a free gift for our listeners, so do you want to share what that is?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:43:07] I do. So we know that when you’re listening to this and you go, oh, where do I start? That it can be a little bit overwhelming. And so we spent a lot of hours putting together a guide that we normally sell. But we want to give away to your listeners, and it’s all of the ways that you can level up with your cookware and your beauty care and your furniture. And what are all the things that you can start to look at and again, one at a time as it works. Don’t do it all at once, but if they go to fivejourneys.com/promo, they can get the guide. It’ll be emailed over to them.
Maria Marlowe: [00:43:46] Awesome. And I’ll include that link in the show notes. And you can also find Wendie on social media, on her website. So I’ll include all those links below.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:43:55] Awesome. Thank you, Maria.
Maria Marlowe: [00:43:56] Thanks for coming on the show.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: [00:43:58] My pleasure.
Maria Marlowe: [00:44:16] Thanks for listening to the Glow Life. If you have questions, comments or topic ideas, head over to Instagram @mariamarlowe and drop me a line. If you enjoy the show and think others might too, please share this episode and take just one minute to leave a review on iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify or whatever platform you listen on. Your review truly helps the podcast grow, reach more people and bring on incredible guests. As a thank you, send a screenshot of the review to [email protected], and you’ll get a free copy of Glow From Within, a three-day reset plan to nourish your body, calm your mind and ignite your soul. It comes with a delicious three-day meal plan to help you bring out your inner glow. P.s. You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, Amazon Music, Audible, Spotify, and even watch the video interviews on YouTube.