A Functional Medicine Approach To Autoimmune Disease With Allison Samon: Rational Wellness Podcast 353

Allison Samon discusses A Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Ben Weitz.

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Podcast Highlights

1:33  Allison was suffering with chronic pain in her knees, her back, and her butt and had numbness in one of her feet.  She suffered with migraines and chronic fatigue.  Allison went to see orthopedists, neurologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and acupuncturists.  Exploratory surgery was recommended to her.  She finally saw an alternative practitioner who asked her what she had for breakfast and she answered that she had Special K and a glass of orange juice and it turned out that she was feeding a blood sugar dysregulated cycle.  He recommended that Allison eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice and stop eating pasta or cereal or lean cuisines for dinner and start eating whole foods and her inflammation started going down, her knee sopped hurting, her migraines went away, and she eventually regained her health.

9:07  Autoimmune diseases. There are three factors that can result in autoimmune disease, which are a genetic predisposition, gut dysbiosis/leaky gut, and some kind of insult to the terrain, such as an infection, trauma, or microbial imbalance.  Autoimmune is when your body turns on itself and the immune system attacks your own tissues as if it is an invader or pathogen.  Triggers for autoimmune diseases can include blood sugar imbalances and inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy.  One common autoimmune disease is Raynaud’s, which many patients have and ignore.   

11:50  Common triggers for Autoimmune Diseases.  Some of the most common triggers for autoimmune diseases are blood sugar imbalances and inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy.



Allison Samon is a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner who works virtually with people to get out of chronic illness, escape from mystery symptoms, and help re-design their lifestyle so they can be fit, energized, and pain free in ways that are easy, fun, and sustainable. Allison struggled with unexplained chronic pain for over 10 years. Her remarkable healing journey became the basis for her programs: Reboot from Chronic Illness and the Chronic Illness Recovery Blueprint. She’s also written an ebook “Detoxing Endocrine Disruptors: Essential Checklist” and is a featured author in the Amazon International Best Seller: Teach Your Expertise. Her website is AllisonSamonFunctionalNutritionist.com.

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.  Dr. Weitz has also successfully helped many patients with managing their weight and improving their athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111.



Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:            Hey, this is Dr. Ben Weitz, Host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field to bring you the latest in cutting edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates and to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me, and let’s jump into the podcast.

                                Hello, Rational Wellness podcasters. Today we’ll be having a discussion with functional nutritionist, Allison Saman, about autoimmune diseases and a functional medicine approach. Allison is a functional nutritionist and lifestyle practitioner. She works virtually with people to get them out of chronic illness, help them escape from mystery symptoms and help redesign their lifestyle so they can be fit, energized, and pain-free.  Allison struggled with unexplained chronic pain for over 10 years. Her remarkable healing journey became the basis for her program, Reboot from Chronic Illness, and A Chronic Illness Recovery Blueprint. But her proudest accomplishment is becoming a first time mom over 40 and inspiring other women to successfully have healthy pregnancies despite being considered geriatric. Allison, thank you so much for joining us.

Allison:                 I’m thrilled to be here, Ben. Thank you.

Dr. Weitz:            Can you start by telling us about your personal health journey?

Allison:                 Yeah. What’s funny about that is I considered myself to be healthy and active. I was active, but I was anything but healthy. As you know, the more active you are, the more you are prone to get injured, and that was the conventional wisdom is that I started limping.  I was having chronic pain in my knees, my lower back, my butt, I had numbness in one foot where I was constantly having to stomp my foot on the ground because I didn’t feel it. If I was sitting down, it felt like I didn’t have a foot, and it kept progressing. I had migraines, I had chronic fatigue, and I had an injury that was, I think the initial injury was a skiing accident where I got plowed down, my ski went one way, my knee went the other. That, I think maybe created an initial tear, but being young and active, you heal, or you think that you heal.

                                Several months later, I ran a race and took a nap after the race. I was in college and I was waitressing at night, and got up after my nap and I was limping. I knew that that was a different kind of ouchie, that I must have twisted something while I was running, but you know the difference between like ooh, and that’s not right, something is wrong here.  When I went to orthopedist at the time, he said, “You’re young, you’re athletic, you’re fine.” That was what I was hearing, but I just knew something was different this time and it eventually healed, but not in the same way, and again, over time it just kept progressing and then to other parts of my body.

                                I did everything from seeing neurologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, I basically went to every single person who had a lotion or a potion or some kind of thing to help, and none of it really worked. Acupuncture helped a little bit, but not everything. Didn’t help my knees. It helped my back, it helped my butt, it didn’t help my knees. Sitting was excruciating. I had a long commute, I was in New York City at the time in a completely different career, I worked in television, and sitting… Just having to sit in a chair was just miserable.  The irony is the one thing that all of these practitioners, I went to top people in New York City, Wayne Gretzky’s guy, and nobody ever once asked about what I was eating, not one person. I never made the connection because I thought I was healthy, but I was also thinking if I’m not fat, therefore I’m healthy. That was the mentality, and so I was like I can eat that because I’m just going to work out and it’s going to be fine.  Over time, that’s not true anymore and eventually your body starts to crap out when you’re feeding it such crap. That was a 10-year struggle for me that basically culminated with this top guy saying, “Let’s do exploratory surgery because your scans are not consistent with your pain.” I was like, “That doesn’t sound like a good idea. You’re just going to cut me open to look around and you don’t know?” I didn’t know any better at the time, I just knew that something felt wrong.

                                I was finally introduced to somebody who asked me, he was an alternative practitioner, and he introduced me to the energetics of food. Without even putting anything in my body, what food did just on my body. I was like that’s crazy. He asked me, “What did you have for breakfast?” I was like, “I had Special K and a glass of orange juice and a multivitamin.” Duh, a healthy breakfast. That’s what I thought was the way to go. I had no idea that that actually was just feeding a blood sugar dysregulated cycle that I was subsisting on, and it was fueling all of these symptoms that I had, but I had no idea because it fit the model of the time.

Dr. Weitz:            We’ve all seen that model of the healthy breakfast.

Allison:                 Right, and it couldn’t be more wrong. The funny thing is I don’t even like orange juice, I hated it always. I was drinking it because of the vitamin C. I thought I was being a good girl.

Dr. Weitz:            You regained your health once you started changing your eating? How did you change your eating?

Allison:                 The first thing I did was when he told me I didn’t have to drink orange juice and I was like that is insane, but okay. Thrilled, I’m thrilled not to. He’s like, “Why don’t you eat an orange or have broccoli or strawberries?” I’m like, “I can do that?” That was the first thing I did was I just stopped drinking orange juice, and my knee didn’t hurt the next day. I was like that’s crazy. What more can I try?  I wanted to see what other foods could I take out and I think that’s how it started. What can I take out and still eat because at the time, I was eating pretty much like a bachelor. Pasta out of a pot, cereal for dinner. I worked television, I didn’t have time to think about any of that stuff, but this is what opened my eyes to oh, maybe there’s something I’m missing. There was a lot that I was missing and I didn’t realize it.  The Lean Cuisines that I was having, all those microwave meals that I thought were healthy weren’t serving me in the way that I had hoped. When I started, it just opened my eyes to oh, yeah. That’s a lot of preservatives and that’s a lot of sodium. Maybe I’m not eating very many actual foods, like whole foods. What if my body likes that? Oh my gosh, it really did.  The inflammation started going down, I started not having pain in my knees. It didn’t happen overnight, let’s be clear, but it started this obsession of this new religion that I was taking on, which is nutrition. Why don’t people know about this? Nobody talked to me about it. I wasn’t having migraines anymore. I was on medication for migraines and I didn’t have them anymore, and I think it was because I was dehydrated, I was constipated, I was malnourished, and all of these things and exhausted, not sleeping. All of these things, it was ripple effect of like oh, you take one thing out and things start to get better, things start to improve. It sounds so simple, and yet it is.

Dr. Weitz:            You regained your health and now one of the types of conditions that you often see patients for, we discussed earlier, are autoimmune diseases. Perhaps you can explain what is an autoimmune disease, what is some of the most common ones, and what can we do about them?

Allison:                 Yeah. Autoimmune, it’s funny because when I was going through all… Nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. And they were looking at lupus, and I did have Raynaud’s, my fingers would turn white, I’d go and get a gallon of milk out of the refrigerated section in the supermarket because I was drinking copious amounts of milk as well, and my fingers were turned white. They were talking to me about a bunch of autoimmune.  Autoimmune, what I always tell people is you have to win the trifecta for autoimmune to occur. One, there’s a genetic predisposition, and two, there has to be some kind of dysbiosis in the gut. There’s something in the terrain that is there, whether it’s an infection, a microbial imbalance, there’s something. Three would be some kind of insult, some kind of trauma, some kind of event.

                                Autoimmune is when your body starts to turn on itself, it starts to think that its tissues are actually a pathogen or an invader. I haven’t seen anybody in my clinical practice who hasn’t had trauma as part of their story, even if they don’t realize it, that it was a triggering event, because sometimes pregnancy can be the triggering event because they had that predisposition and then it’s a physical and emotional trauma. There’s major changes going on, and the trauma could even be blood sugar swings. I mentioned that briefly before.  I was having severe blood sugar swings, and I didn’t realize it was an issue because that was how I kept my energy up was sugar. Some people use coffee, soda, cigarettes. I didn’t do any of that because I was a healthy person, but I used fat-free candy. That was my way. You have those high highs and high lows, and that is actually stress on the body, which if you have an underlying autoimmune condition, that could be a trigger.

Dr. Weitz:            What are some of the most common triggers for autoimmune diseases? You mentioned blood sugar imbalances. What are some of the other ones?

Allison:                Depending, inflammatory foods, so things like gluten and dairy, those were things that were absolutely staples in my diet and they’re inflammatory in the gut. Again, if you-

Dr. Weitz:            Are they inflammatory to everybody or just to some patients?

Allison:                I would say that they’re inflammatory to everybody. I don’t think that they manifest the same in everybody. I always say if you don’t have hormonal issues, if you don’t have digestive issues, then it can be okay for you.  There’s a lot of pushback about that, but if you have an autoimmune gluten absolutely must come out of the diet because of what it does, how it can contribute to a leaky gut situation, which also feeds this autoimmune pattern that we can have.  You asked what are common autoimmune diseases? I mentioned Raynaud’s. That’s one that I think is common, but it’s not something that people really pay a lot of attention to because it’s usually one of many. The saying goes if you have one, you get three because often, people are just living with it and don’t realize that there’s things they can do about it. They just think-

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah, no, it’s definitely the case that if you have one autoimmune disease, you’re more predisposed to a second or a third.

Allison:                Yeah, and especially because it usually goes untreated. It’s like well, you have it and there’s nothing else you can do. That’s what they said to me with my hormone imbalance. Your body’s always going to do what your body’s always going to do. Now I know that that’s not true. We can actually change the course the way that our body is working-

Dr. Weitz:            Or you can take injectable drugs that block your immune system.

Allison:                You could do that too. You could do that too, yeah. For sure. I, personally, we take a more diet and lifestyle approach. That’s the functional nutritional way, following functional medicine where it’s a bio individual approach, but knowing that the field of epigenetics tells us that we can influence the way our genes are working and using our environment, using our food, using our movement, using our mindset, all of these things can contribute to a stress response and different triggers and just how our bodies respond.

Dr. Weitz:            When you’re consulting with a new client and you’re talking to them, what are some of the clues that make you suspect what their triggers might be? How do you try to whittle it down?

Allison:                 I always do a really thorough intake. I build a timeline and a matrix. This is the functional medicine way-

Dr. Weitz:            This is the IFM, Institute of Functional Medicine, matrix.

Allison:                 Yes, absolutely. I have an adapted version of that, but that’s exactly where it comes from. Really extensive timeline and there’s often things in there that people don’t realize matter, because it all matters. They’re like I had my gallbladder removed, but that was 15 years ago, so that doesn’t really matter, right? It’s like, yes. I was on the pill for 25 years. That doesn’t matter, does it? Yes.  All of these things matter, and people don’t realize how all of these things add up to what brought you here today, and thankfully that you’re thinking forward enough to say, I want to change. I’m not on the right path, and there’s something else I can do, and I would like to do that. I’m looking at that. I’m looking for the traumas.

                                Again, it could be a lost job, a death in the family, a divorce. There’s always something, or it could be something like oral surgery or a lot of surgeries or a lot of infections. I’ve seen that a lot too where somebody’s like I had this mystery infection, I had this, I had COVID. It’s like okay, these are incidents where things can take a turn after. When I look at what their diet is and I see they’re having digestive problems, or they don’t think that they have digestive problems, but they have things like rashes or they have brain fog or they have joint pain, I’m seeing all this as what’s that connected to? It’s all coming from the gut. There’s always some kind of gut issue that needs work with autoimmune. I don’t know that conventionally, that’s ever looked at.

Dr. Weitz:            When it comes to after your consultation, I’m assuming in a lot of your patients, you’re doing some testing?

Allison:                 Not in the beginning. I always want to see if they have recent labs that were within the last six months. Definitely want to see because there’s information that we can learn from basic functional labs. I would like to see them, but I don’t order testing. I do, as a functional nutritionist, I don’t order testing right away because usually there’s a foundation that’s missing. That’s where I start them with, like getting them off of the inflammatory foods. The gluten, the dairy, the sugar, alcohol, if that’s an issue for them, taking those things out of the diet, making those shifts, making sure…

                                Really, it’s these three non-negotiables is are they sleeping? Are they pooping? Is their blood sugar regulated? Are they having mastery really over blood sugar? That’s where I’ll start. When I find that there’s no movement or enough movement… I always say, and I actually learned this from one of the speakers in one of the functional meetups, and I don’t know if it was Tom O’Brien who said I took it and I run with it, and it is great. If I don’t move the needle with you within the first two weeks of us working together, I know that we’re not on the right track, but I always do. Poop, sleep, blood sugar, there’s always something there.

Dr. Weitz:            How do you know they’re having blood sugar problems?

Allison:                 Because they will say that either they’re not sleeping or I look at a food journal. We do a lot of that, a lot of tracking in my world. I’ll look at that and go huh. Sometimes to myself, huh, because they’re not eating, there’s a lot of people who come in on intermittent fasting, and not that there’s not a place for it, but not for somebody who is chronically ill. We don’t fast a sick person.  I’m often trying to undo that and say, we can go back to that when we get you into a place where you’re not having these crashes, when you’re sleeping well, when you’re not having this digestive distress, when you’re not having anxiety, that’s another sign.  They’re so anxious. It’s this dysregulated blood sugar. You could just tell in how somebody presents or when you start talking to them about diet, how they get triggered by it and they get really defensive. You’re not going to take that away from me. I can’t do that, or I can’t live without that. There’s certain tells. And then after a few weeks, we will do hormone testing where I’ll take a look at where is their cortisol. They’re completely flat lining or look at their having a W.

Dr. Weitz:            You’re talking about salivary cortisol testing?

Allison:                 Mm-hmm. Depending, I might do salivary, sometimes I do Dutch, but it’s really easy to show them on a ZRT saliva to see those graphs where Dutch can sometimes be like what am I looking at? That can be overwhelming, and so it really depends on the person, what they’re able to handle because some people, you have the know it all clients and you have the I am so freaked out about this whole process and making these changes and we have to go really baby steps.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay. Do you do stool testing? You talked about the gut.

Allison:                 I will do stool testing, but again, not right away. I have to do all of the non-negotiables first and building that foundation but yes, I have done the GI 360, Biome Effects. Those are the two tests that I’ve done.

Dr. Weitz:            The GI 360 from Doctor’s Data and the Biome Effects from Microbiome Labs?

Allison:                 Correct. It’s only when I’m suspecting that there’s infection and oftentimes we might think that there’s infection right away, but there’s no foundation, there’s no solid foundation. To jump into, let’s say a kill, they’re not ready for that yet. We have to build so they feel like okay, yeah, I’m going to the bathroom, I’m sleeping through the night, I’m eating throughout the day, I have more energy, my brain can focus, I can work, I’m nicer to my friends and family, I’m happier, and then it’s like okay, now we can move to this stage. It’s really just a systematic way of peeling back those layers and then rebuilding them.

Dr. Weitz:            You mentioned your non-negotiables that you start with. Why don’t we go through what exactly are you non-negotiables?

Allison:                 They have to be sleeping, they have to be pooping regularly, at least once a day. Nice poops, we talk about that.

Dr. Weitz:            Now, what if they’re not sleeping? They say I haven’t slept for years. I try, I wake up, I can’t fall back to sleep.

Allison:                 We’re going to work on their blood sugar balancing. It all goes back to that. If they’re not sleeping, it’s likely because they had low blood sugar. What I might do is start off with… There’s a couple of things. Start off with let’s have a snack before bed. Snack, not a meal. I always have to say a snack is a snack. It’s not a meal. Something that’s protein and fat, small before bed so that they can sleep. That usually helps, but also bringing in mindset.  We do a lot of calming, a lot of parasympathetic, just calming the body because if you can’t calm the mind, you can’t calm the body and it’s just this vicious cycle. I give them some tools where they can hopefully fall asleep faster or stay asleep. And then of course, if they’re still having trouble, if there’s other hormonal imbalances like let’s say estrogen dominance, and it’s waking them up in the middle of the night, I’ll bring in some adaptogenic herbs to try to help them sleep.  There’s lots of tools. I guess that’s the beauty of the functional way is that there isn’t one way. There’s so many different ways, and it depends on the person and what they’re willing to do and what their body is capable of handling or what they-

Dr. Weitz:            Your non-negotiables are they have to be sleeping, so you work on their sleep, you balance their blood sugar. What are the other non-negotiables?

Allison:                 Poop. They got to poop. Have to poop.

Dr. Weitz:            What if they’re not pooping?

Allison:                 We’re going to get them pooping. That’s usually the first thing I think that that happens is we get them pooping pretty much right away.

Dr. Weitz:            How do you get them pooping?

Allison:                 We take a look at what they’re eating. It’s often maybe they’re devoid of real food. Maybe they’re devoid of fiber, maybe they’re devoid of food that they can actually break down, so we might be working on stomach acid. It’s not exactly the way they’re thinking, I need to take a laxative or I need to take fiber pills. It’s like what if you don’t have the stomach acid to break down that food so that you can absorb that food so that you can poop out that food?

Dr. Weitz:            How do you decide if they have proper stomach acid?

Allison:                 That’s a good question. Based on what their symptoms are, if they’re presenting with a lot of bloating or they’re not pooping, or they say that they have trouble eating certain foods like meat, let’s say, can’t digest meat and they want to digest meat, their stomach acid may be low. They might have acid reflux, which as you know can be an indication of low stomach acid rather than high. There’s lots of different symptoms there and honestly, anybody in the autoimmune population, I know that there’s some kind of dysfunction in their digestion.

                                Having low stomach acid is often… It’s just very common and so I’m going to make that assumption there, that they need to either bring in some stomach acid and/or digestive enzymes to help with that digestive process. That often, right away, they’re like wow, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t eating my food properly. I’m like isn’t it amazing when you actually absorb the nutrients in your food, what happens right away? You don’t need a substance, you have food. It’s wild.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay. You get them pooping by using stomach acid or digestive enzymes, and that works most of the time for your patients?

Allison:                 Yes. Sometimes it’s the kinds of food that they’re eating, or maybe they’re not eating enough. I’ve seen that too, where they’re so afraid of overeating or gaining weight because now I want them eating regularly throughout the day and they are not really eating and they’re concerned that they’re pooping. It’s like you have to eat food in order to poop.   Making sure that they’re having nice balanced meals, and for some, it might have to be smoothies and pureed vegetables or just steamed vegetables, things that are soft, things that are easier to break down. It depends. It just depends on the person.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay. Let’s say you do some of these basic things, you add some hydrochloric acid, you get their blood sugar balance, but now they still have this hypothyroidism. What do you do next?

Allison:                 We’re making sure that their blood sugar is balanced, so we’re making sure that they have… When I say say balanced meals to support blood sugar balancing, that’s protein, fat, and fiber. There’s a lot of education around fiber and carbs. Everybody’s still so crazy over carbs.  I like to explain it that, think of it in terms of fiber, because all plants are carbohydrate. It depends on what plant you’re having and which ones have more fiber. Just think in terms of fiber, how can I get more fiber? Don’t be so afraid of carbs. It’s the refined carbs that we’re wanting to avoid, but not carbohydrate. Bringing in fiber, protein, fat, and fiber, and-

Dr. Weitz:            Give me an example. What’s a fiber?

Allison:                 What’s a source of fiber? We have cruciferous vegetables are really good-

Dr. Weitz:            Vegetables, okay.

Allison:                 Yeah, vegetables. Also, there’s so many different ways you can get fiber. Your leafy greens, but also things like nuts and seeds also have fiber that they’re forgotten. I love nuts and seeds and I like to, as I say [inaudible 00:28:48] up your meals and your snacks. You can always add some nuts and seeds as long as they can tolerate them. That is another test that I actually will run is-

Dr. Weitz:            Do you like legumes and whole grains?

Allison:                 Love, love, love, love, love. More things like green like seeds, so amaranth and quinoa and buckwheat, those kinds of grains. Yeah, love them. So many different ways that you can get fiber. Fruit, forgot about fruit, don’t forget fruit. So many ways.

Dr. Weitz:            Great. Let’s say your patient is still struggling with this autoimmune disease. Where do you go next? Let’s say they have rheumatoid arthritis and you’ve done some of these basic things.

Allison:                I am betting that they’re already starting to see some improvement, but I love, love, love for things like rheumatoid arthritis, anything with pain, and that’s something that is near and dear to my heart is SPMs. Making sure that not only do they have good quality fish oils that are just part of their diet, I think that that’s really helpful for digestive health, it’s really helpful for joints, brain, eyes, skin, hormones, but also I love SPMs. I wish that I knew about them when I was struggling so because they’re fantastic for helping to resolve that pain. Bringing them on board regularly, and then as time goes on, they can just have it in the emergency kit.

Dr. Weitz:            These SPMs are derivatives from fish oil that help to resolve inflammation.

Allison:                Yes. That’s the thing is that there’s so many naturally anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, love, but the resolution of the inflammation to actually bring it to that other stage, the difference is noticeable. I love it all.

Dr. Weitz:            You see a noticeable difference. What kinds of dosages are you typically using for SPMs?

Allison:                Again, it depends on the person.

Dr. Weitz:            Of course.

Allison:                I will say two in the morning and two in the afternoon, so four. I’ve had people go up as high as eight when they had a lot of pain. The good thing is they don’t have to do that for more than a day or two, and then it usually comes down and that’s so wonderful about it. I definitely love SPMs as part of a chronic pain protocol, if you will. And then I love-

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.

Allison:                No, I was going to say, so I love bringing in… Using food as medicine and when I want people having snacks, having an anti-inflammatory tea that they can put protein powder in, they can put MCT in, they can put collagen in, whatever it is that they want to make it something more robust, but it feels really good on the hands, it feels tastes good in the body, and it just has all of these… Turmeric, and clove, and nutmeg, and cinnamon. It’s yummy and also just helps people. I’ve had people who hands were like this. It opens them up, which is amazing to see.

Dr. Weitz:            You’re saying if they make tea? What kind of tea is this? What are they putting in the tea?

Allison:                I have them make a turmeric tea latte.

Dr. Weitz:            Turmeric tea latte. Okay.

Allison:                Yeah. It’s absolutely delicious. What I also love about it is people sometimes have sensitivities to certain herbs or foods, and so because you’re making it yourself rather than a package, not that there’s anything wrong… There’s a lot of really great products out there, and not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you have to… I can’t do this one spice. Okay, fine. Omit it from the recipe, but you can still have these anti-inflammatory herbs. You’re having it with a high protein, you can add fat to it or not, you can have it just as a tea or you can make it a more robust snack and it’s more bang for your buck, I think.

Dr. Weitz:            Okay. I’m not sure where to go next. What else do you want to say about autoimmune diseases?

Allison:                I think that they can all be… I don’t think that they’re a life sentence. I feel like when you have the tools, every single autoimmune can be, I don’t know what the word is. You can mitigate the symptoms. You have the tools where the flare-ups are going to be fewer and farther between, and if something comes up, you know why. Because I didn’t sleep, because I ate that crap I wasn’t supposed to be eating, because I forgot to eat, because I had that really stressful event happening with my family, and that was my trigger, but I know what to do.  I have different supplements, I might use foods, I might do mindset things I might, do all of the above. It’s not one thing. It’s not one thing that got you here. It’s not one thing that’s going to get you out of it. I feel like once upon a time, I maybe was afraid of a lot of these conditions that I didn’t experience, I didn’t know what they were, but now I know because I understand how the body works. I know that get them pooping, get them sleeping, get their blood sugar balance, and I know that everything else, once they’re functioning optimally…

                                Because look, if you’re not pooping, you’re not sleeping, and your blood sugar is imbalanced, then your liver is not working properly, then you are not detoxifying toxins and hormones, that backs up… It backs up, backs up, backs up, backs up into all of these other issues, neurological, and hormonal, and mood, and structural. If everything is backing up and then you’re creating leaky gut or if you’re having structural issues, it’s creating leaky gut, which then creates inflammatory and immune issues. It is just this vicious cycle.  If we get everything working properly, metabolizing properly, then it’s more of a ripple effect of positive benefits instead of going down this everything’s falling apart, which is I think where most people go. That’s definitely what was happening with me until I had this… It can happen really quickly for people, even if they’ve been struggling for 20 years with these things, we can get them into a place of relief and getting their livelihood back, 100%.

Dr. Weitz:            That’s great. Any final thoughts for our listeners and viewers, and then give your contact information?

Allison:                I would say do the work yourself in knowing what your non-negotiables are. Meaning when you go to a practitioner, know that you are taking care of yourself and advocate for yourself. Are you doing the sleep, poop, and blood sugar balancing? If you are working on that and you’re stuck, then work with somebody on how to get around that. Just know that your body wants to heal and there’s probably things that you didn’t know that haven’t yet been uncovered or nobody asked those questions, and that’s what we do in the functional approaches is we ask those questions, we ask all of these other questions.  It helps for you to know yourself and just know that anything is possible as long as you advocate for it, and also are willing to think outside the box and take some steps that might not be so comfortable to get to the other side of this complex thing by doing these simple things and your body and life will feel much better.

Dr. Weitz:            That’s great. How can listeners, viewers find out about working with you or signing up for some of your… You have some courses available?

Allison:                Yeah. I have a gift for your listeners. If they go to allisonsaman.com, and we’ll put that below, I have my roadmap to roadmap to chronic illness recovery. Essentially, it’s the five steps that I took. It took me 10 years to figure it out. It won’t take you 10 years to figure it out, but the five steps that will help you with these non-negotiables that you can do today or to tomorrow to move that needle within the next week or two where you’re starting to see change and it covers all the things that we were talking about. I feel like that would be the first great step.  I’m Health Allie on social media, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook. I would love to just hear how it works for you, what’s going on for you, and what you found to be most valuable.

Dr. Weitz:            That’s great. Thank you, Allison.

Allison:                Yeah, thanks so much for having me.

Dr. Weitz:            You’re welcome.

                                Thank you for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast. For those of you who enjoy listening to the Rational Wellness Podcast, I would appreciate it if you could go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify and give us a five star ratings and review.  If you would like to work with me personally to help you improve your health, I do accept a limited number of new patients per month for a functional medicine consultation. Some of the areas I specialize in include helping patients with specific health issues like gut problems, neurodegenerative conditions, autoimmune diseases, cardiometabolic conditions, or for an executive health screen and to help you promote longevity and take a deeper dive into some of those factors that can lead to chronic diseases along the way.  Please call my Santa Monica Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition office at (310) 395-3111, and we’ll set you up for a new consultation for functional medicine. I look forward to speaking to everybody next week.


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