#153: Deb Heald, ND- Histamine Intolerance, Leaky Gut & Food Sensitivities

by Mike Mutzel


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Mike Mutzel Podcast High Intensity Health


About Deb Heald, ND

Dr. Heald's healthcare career began in 1979, when she trained as a registered nurse. In 2008, she graduated from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, a fully accredited naturopathic medical school in Vancouver, BC. She's board certified in acupuncture and minor surgery, as well as being certified in intravenous therapy, advanced cardiac life support, chelation therapy, neural therapy, ozone therapy, prolotherapy and has prescriptive rights in BC.

Dr. Heald travels across North America lecturing to healthcare professionals on detoxification and lifestyle medicine. She is completing her fellowship in Integrative Cancer Therapy and is commencing studies in a Masters Degree in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine. She achieved her fellowship in Functional and restorative Medicine in 2012.

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Show Notes

03:46 Managing Stress:
Find a way to relax, especially before bed. Ideally, you bring your mind to a place of rest. High cortisol disrupts sugar metabolism, insulin regulation, and stops blood flow to your GI tract, which unravels our health.

05:26 Implementing Meditation:
Yoga can be a good place to start. Stress junkies need to do ashtanga yoga so they are physically taxed when they reach the shavasana at the end, a bridge to meditation. A meditation retreat or workshop may be helpful.

08:30Over Exercise:
Dr. Heald is a former marathon runner. We weren’t built to run 26.2 miles. When you are taxed by your exercise, in addition to worry about your finances, your job, or your family you are doing more harm with your exercise than good. Exercise should be done in moderation.

09:29 Interval Training:
Dr. Heald does interval training on alternate days with resistance training in between. She commits 25 to 30 minutes each day. She does 8 all out intense intervals; one minute of intense exercise with breaks of 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Your heartrate should return to resting rate before starting the next interval. She makes each interval more intense than the last. It is the best way to assist your mitochondria in burning fat. It also helps ensure the health of your mitochondria. Some days you need to back off or reduce intervals when your body tells you to rest.

13:04 Yoga:
Dr. Heald tries to do one to two ashtanga practices a week after work. Your exercise needs to be something that you are interested in. If practitioners do not exercise, they generally don’t open a dialog about exercise with their patients. Sweating in hot yoga (and infrared sauna) is a great detox mechanism. The concern with hot yoga is dehydration, not just water, but electrolytes. It is also possible to over-stretch tendons and ligaments.

16:25 Digestion/Cortisol Cascade:
A rise in cortisol cuts blood flow to non-essential organs, toes/finger tips and digestion. When this happens, anything undigested sits there and ferments. This changes the environment in which our bacteria live, changing the type of bacteria that can grow. Plan the timing of your exercise and your meals. Adrenaline-based workouts should be done in fasting state.

18:53 HLA-DQ Gene:
The HLA (human leukocyte antigen) gene has a susceptibility to have polymorphisms. HLA DQ is generally effected in people who have celiac. It reflects an overreaction of the immune system to things that are not all that harmful.

19:19 Gut Immune Response:
Bean, seeds, nuts, grains, nightshade vegetables and eggs are embryos of another species. The plant does not want you to eat its young. Lectins, a chemical defense mechanism is imbedded within the seed, nut, bean or grain. You may have the genetic susceptibility for a particle of food turning on an immune response. The intestine’s immune system, immune globulin A, responds. If you do not have enough of an immune response in your gut, your gut requests support from immune globulin G in your blood. The only way to get immune globulin G into the GI tract is to open the junctions between the blood and the GI tract, producing leaky gut syndrome. Food particles travel through the enlarged junctions and into your blood. The blood reacts to these particles and steps up the immune response.

20:58 OverReactive Immune System Treatments:
Glutamine is helpful in feeding the proper enterocytes. Those of us with over reactive immune systems need to be continuously mindful of our food. Living on an autoimmune diet is restrictive and challenging. We can support the GI tract with immune globulins that are not dairy based. We can temper the immune response by deactivating histamine in the GI tract. Repopulate with good gut bacteria. It is a life commitment to keeping your gut happy

23:03 Zonulin and Intestinal Permeability:
The lectin in wheat is gluten. For those of us who are sensitive to gluten, our immune system kicks up a molecule called zonulin. Zonulin breaks down the tight junctions between the GI tract and blood. It is likely that similar molecules are created from other lectins in other foods.

23:53 Other Antinutrients:
Beans, seeds, nut, and grains have many antinutrients. Some of these attach to glucosamine. If you are sensitive to lectins in nightshades that bind to glucosamine, this could be the issue with your joint inflammation. Curcumin products are powerful anti-inflammatories. Eliminating the triggering foods may take away your joint pain. Eliminate nightshades from your diet for 2 weeks and see if your joint pain has improved.

26:02 Histamine Enzymes:
Histamine is a molecule whose function is to increase capillary permeability. Sometimes large amounts of histamine are released by immune cells in your GI tract. In addition, some foods contain histamine granules, such as moldy cheeses, leftovers or fermented foods. Your body produces the diamine oxidase (DAO) enzyme to help disable histamine. It is available commercially. Some of Dr. Heald’s very sensitive patients take this with each meal to keep capillaries healthy and decrease many symptoms, like bloating caused by your body using fluids to rid the body of toxins.

27: 46 Signs of Histamine Issues:
You awaken with a stuffy nose and it clears off over the day. A sign can also be when you are eating something and you immediately get a stuffy nose. Alcohol contains a large amount of histamine and it blocks DAO. In addition, the sulfites in alcoholic beverages can trigger a histamine response. Wine is not a health food.

27: 46 Signs of Histamine Issues:
Resveratrol is a natural fungicide created by the grape to deal with fungus. When we ingest resveratrol, it irritates our DNA, which in turn produces antioxidants.

32:04 Bone Broth:
People with Lupus may also be overloaded on protein with bone broth. If they have kidney manifestations, they should not be consuming bone broth or partake in the high meat autoimmune diet. It is all about balance, being cognizant of your symptoms, and adjusting your consumption accordingly.

32:36 Adults Drinking Milk:
It is a big debate. Most people have some sort of dairy sensitivity once they hit puberty. Mammals do not consume mother’s milk once they are grown, thus we lack the digestive enzymes to break milk down. Milk is preferable to soda.

33:28 Glutamate:
It should be balanced with other amino acids. It becomes destructive when it is extracted as an isolate and overwhelms the nerves, turning them all on. If you consume glutamate as part of the marrow in bone broth, there are other amino acids that should provide balance. Pay attention to symptoms. When MSG is added to food, the glutamate is isolated. If you are eating whole food, it will be in balance as nature intended it.

35:06Lifestyle Advice:
Enjoy nature as much as you can. Go outside. Prepare you food as a family. Do it ahead of time. You need 7 ½ to 8 hours of good quality sleep. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? If you are hitting the snooze button, you did not get the quality of sleep that you need. Your pillow may be too high. Stress interrupts sleep. If you are not getting into a deep enough sleep, it could be that cortisol (your morning wake up hormone) is keeping you awake or disturbing sleep quality. There is a histamine link to hot flashes/night sweats.

40:32 Dr. Heald’s Favorite Supplement:
Curcumin is her favorite because it has the ability to increase NRF2, which is key in healthy aging. Dr. Heald takes 500 mg every day. It is the only supplement that she takes consistently.

41:57 Dr. Heald’s Morning Routine:
Dr. Heald rolls out of bed and puts on her exercise clothes and heads to her home gym. She follows the workout with a big drink of water and a smoothie. She showers and heads to the office, seeing patients starting at 10 a.m. She is night owl and makes herself go to bed at 11 pm. You can switch your circadian rhythm to be more aligned with the sun

44:10 Dr. Heald’s Elevator Pitch: Pay attention to food additives. Try to get them out of food. The increase of all disease correlates to the increase in processed foods in our diets. If we could legislate better food, we would see a decrease in disease. MSG is seen as bad, so it is labeled as something else like protein isolates, soy isolates, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, hydrolyzed soy proteins, yeast extracts and natural flavoring. It overstimulates nerve cells. It is used in foods because taste buds are nerve cells and they are stimulated. You can become almost addicted to it. Kids with ADD and those of us prone to migraines are highly sensitive to it. Trans fats are worrisome because they affect every cell in your body, in particular your mitochondria

  1. Great interview with Dr. Heald. I like her ideas at 35;00 about bonding with the family over meal preparation: It is what the world needs now. Sounds so civilized.

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