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Dr Brian Brown – How to Beat Burnout & Reclaim Your Health

Content by: Brian Brown MD

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week I’m excited to welcome Dr Brian Brown. After overcoming a battle with depression and a 390 pound life Dr Brown shut down his traditional psychiatric practice to start his own integrative medicine clinic. He now helps others escape the boxes of the broken conventional medical system, allowing him to meet the needs of his clients more deeply, spend quality time with them and get to the root causes quickly. In this episode we talk about the most common signs of burnout, where to start if we feel like we’ve hit the wall and he explains the seven cardinal principles of wellness. Over to Dr Brown…

Audio Version

 

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • What baseline tests do you recommend for your clients who are feeling burned out? – 19:08
  • Where would you start with the road to recovery? – 21:25
  • What are your non-negotiables to keep fit and healthy? 40:39

Get More of Dr. Brian Brown

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Full Transcript

Stu

02:10 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of the health sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health.

Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of super foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180nutrition.com.au and take a look.

Okay, back to the show. This week I’m excited to welcome Dr Brian Brown. After overcoming a battle with depression and a 390 pound life. Dr Brown shut down his traditional psychiatric practice to start his own integrative medicine clinic. He now helps others escape the boxes of the broken conventional medical system, allowing him to meet the needs of his clients more deeply, spend quality time with them and get to the root causes quickly. In this episode we talk about the most common signs of burnout, where to start if we feel like we’ve hit the wall and he explains the seven cardinal principles of wellness. Over to Dr Brown.

Stu

Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I’m delighted to welcome Dr Brian Brown to the podcast.

Dr Brown, how are you?

Brian

03:41 I’m doing well. How are you doing Stu?

Stu

03:43 Very well thank you. I really appreciate your time, well, this morning for me, no doubt this evening or late afternoon for you. Got a great story, but first up, before we get into that, and for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work, I just wondered if you could tell us a little bit about yourself please.

Brian

04:02 Yeah, so I am a peak performance and longevity strategist. I help high level entrepreneurs, influencers and CEOs go from great to extraordinary.

Stu

04:16 My word. Well, peak performance, longevity. Everyone wants that-

Brian

04:21 Yeah.

Stu

04:22 Super interested then. Now I understand you’ve got a bit of an interesting journey as well from, is it psychiatry to functional medicine? So I’m keen to hear about that shift.

Brian

04:35 That is correct. That shift occurred about 10 years ago. I was having a professional midlife crisis we might call it, and I had spoken for pharmaceutical companies promoting their big pharma multi billion dollar drugs for years. And received about 40% of my annual income speaking for these companies. Because it’s big money in that. And as a solo practitioner, you wear multiple hats and you look for any way to get revenue into the practice that you possibly can.

So I had done that for years and then came to the realization with my own health challenges that the system had failed me. My own medical training had failed me. And that speaking for big pharma was actually, it kind of felt like selling my soul to the devil in a way. So I went through that crisis moment. And I actually remember going home and telling my wife that, okay, I’m quitting practice altogether. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll go into banking, I’ll do something. But I can’t do this anymore, ethically I just can’t do it. And she said in her wise patience she said, “maybe we need to think about this. You’ve got a lot of years invested, you’ve got a lot of knowledge. Maybe there’s something that [inaudible 00:06:07] too.”

So I had the privilege of sitting in a lecture with Dr Ernie Schaefer about three weeks later, continuing medical education in Boston, Massachusetts here in the States. And he started talking about natural treatment alternatives for cholesterol lowering. Well, this is a man who, I know for a fact, has spoken for pharmaceutical companies and he’s totally going off script. And so I caught him after he spoke and I asked him, why were you able to get away with that because pharmaceutical companies are very strict. You speak about their topic and their topic only. That’s what you’re getting paid to do. And he said, “well, I’m 72 years old, I can do whatever I want to do. I’ve literally written the textbook.” And we struck up a long conversation and he said, “you seem really interested in natural treatment alternatives.”

I said, “well, I think my medical training has let me down in so many areas,” not 100%, there’s a place for it at times. But he turned me onto a friend of his who taught functional medicine and integrative medicine. So I went and studied under his friend for two years, Dr Neil [Roseay 00:07:31] out of California.

And literally after the first course that I took, I came back and within 90 days had my practice closed. Pulled back into inpatient work just to pay the bills. We had mouths to feed at the time. And did the inpatient work for 15 months. And then reopened the doors of my new practice as it stands today, doing functional and integrative medicine.

Stu

07:58 Fantastic. And it’s been an interesting journey I think from a functional medicine perspective as well, because we’ve been running this company for a decade now and 10 years ago if you mentioned gut health in the medical circles, you were looked on as kind of crazy. It was a woo woo topic. And now, it seems to be the cornerstone of health.

Brian

08:22 Yeah. Can I speak on that just a second?

Stu

08:25 Please, yeah.

Brian

08:26 So you may know this and your listeners may know this, but the progression of going into gut health really came out of the human genome project. The genomics project didn’t give us the answers that we anticipated that it was going to give us. In fact, roughly less than 8% of all diseases can be accounted for through just pure genetics. So what they started looking at was the external factors that influence the human genome or the genetic profile of a human. There’s multiple names, if you’re studying nutrition and gut health, it’s nutrigenomics. But out of the human genome project came the human microbiome project. And it’s been an eye opening experience as far as research is concerned.

They’re starting to map out the human gut and understand the balance between all the different players in the bacterial biome in the gut. And they used to say good bacteria and bad bacteria. But even in the past 12 to 18 months, they’ve gotten away from that terminology, because now they realize that what used to be thought of as bad is actually really good. And gut health is so important for inflammation control, for actually mood control.

When I went through my psychiatric training, they taught us that 100% of your neurotransmitters were produced by cells in your brain. And now we know that roughly 80% of your serotonin is produced by your gut. So they call it your second brain. I would argue if 80% of your serotonin is produced by your gut, it’s probably your first brain.

But gut health is so important and the human microbiome project is so important to our understanding of functional medicine because it’s the basis of pretty much everything that we do. When we’re controlling inflammation, we’re controlling mood, we’re controlling pain, whatever the case may be. If we’re treating an autoimmune disorder, it all boils down to the gut.

Stu

10:36 Yeah. And I would love to fast forward into the future by 50 years and see where we are at the moment. I would imagine that we’d just be in a space that we probably couldn’t even imagine. So, I mean, personally at the moment, I’m on a second round of viome, so just understanding the microbiome and changing my diet accordingly. And finding that there are … having profound shifts in my health in terms of mood, sleep, energy, digestive. All of that stuff is just slowly starting to fall into place with a little bit of tailored guidance from raw data that is unique to me. So it’s really, really interesting. Such a fascinating area to be exposed to. So you’ve got a focus on CEOs, entrepreneurs. So I guess quite an aggressive crowd in terms of their passion and vigor and energy and drive to want to succeed. Why focus on that particular subset?

Brian

11:54 Yeah, that’s a great question. And that’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to. When a person goes through medical training or nursing training or whatever medical discipline it is, I think we have these lofty ideas that we can save the world. And we realize very fast that we can’t save the world. And so over the past 10 years as I’ve been going down the road of functional and integrative medicine, I’ve treated thousands of clients that are every day Joe’s just like you and me. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But what I came to realize is that the CEOs, influencers and entrepreneurs that I had in my practice, they were spreading the word like crazy. And I paid attention to that. And it dawned on me that if I want to make the largest impact in my life, then I need to influence the influencers. Because ultimately industry will be the one that brings about change in culture for the better.

And I think more and more people are realizing that the health system, as we know it, is there for a safety net. It’s there for catastrophic events and things like that. But it’s not there for the every day management of who you are and putting yourself at an optimal level.

So I think in the short term, at just this point in history, it’s going to take some focus on influencers, whether they be a podcaster or an Instagrammer or a CEO of a corporation or a high level entrepreneur. It’s going to take those influencers to say, whoa, wait a minute, yeah, this medical system is broken, but we can do something about it. I’m personally experiencing this level of care, and they shout that message from their platform. So for me it was about influencing as many messengers as possible.

Stu

14:15 Excellent. Yeah, I like it. It’s a perfect vessel to amplify the message and just, yeah, I guess reach as many people as you can. And it’s an interesting circle as well because we’re in this crazy world, I mean, and before we were recording we were talking about simplifying and the old days when life was a little slower. But nowadays life isn’t slow at all. Life doesn’t generally switch off. It’s very hard for us to get a rest. We’ve got social media, it’s constantly chattering in our ear, 24/7. We’ve got all of the tech devices that keep us awake, disrupt our sleep because of all the craziness, blue light and wireless radiation that they’re pumping out as well.

Very, very easy if you’re a Type A personality to feel like you’re, I guess, triumphant with all of this tech that manages, or you can manage, that is actually kind of managing you. And keeping you so far away from this rest and reset system that we so deeply need.

So I’m interested to talk about corporate burnout because I think, after speaking to lots of people as well, it isn’t something that just happens. It’s not like bang, I’m burnt out today. It’s a slow process and it’s like putting another rock in your backpack. You kind of wear that burden on your back and then you’ll get to a point where, you know what, I just can’t carry this anymore. What are the most common tell tale signs do you think that would help us to try and associate and realize that maybe I do have a problem. Maybe I need to look at what I’m doing.

Brian

16:14 We’ve already talked about gut health, so I’ll only touch on that briefly just a few seconds more here. But when you start noticing any disturbance in the GI system, whether it be acid reflux or indigestion or bowel movement type problems, any of those things are early indicators that your body is trying to tell you that something’s wrong.

I think the second thing now, and when days were simpler we didn’t have this technology, but now we do. And most everybody wears some type of biometric device that measures heart rate, whether it be an Apple watch or a Fitbit or whatever the brand is out there that you personally ascribe to. And measuring your heart rate, your heart will tell you exactly how much stress you’re under. And I have a client that years ago before I started doing functional medicine, when I was practicing psychiatry, he owned his own business and he said, when my heart rate hits 92 and my blood pressure hits 150 over 80 he said, “I go home, I leave the office.”

And I thought, wow, what wisdom is that? And this was an older gentleman and you could say he was past the technology age. But he really ascribed to monitoring his heart rate and blood pressure. And when it reached a certain point, he left and went home. So the gut will tell you, your heart rate will tell you. And we can monitor that, that’s something as simple as marrying the two, the gut and the heart rate together, is monitor after you eat. Don’t be obsessive about it,

18:00 But 30 minutes after you eat, look at your heart rate. If your heart rate’s higher than it normally is, chances are, you ate something that your body didn’t necessarily agree with, something that you were sensitive to, something that made your adrenals fire. Overstimulating the adrenal glands is not good for you.

I think CEO burnout, entrepreneur burnout starts with the adrenals. Then I think the, the third thing there would be the mind, the power of the mind. If you start experiencing brain fog, you start experiencing short term memory issues, you start experiencing sleep issues or depression or anxiety, I think those are other indicators from the brain standpoint, that something is off, and we need to pay attention to that.

I think, you talked about how busy CEOs and entrepreneurs are, a lot of times, they ignore those signs, those early signs, and they wait until they’re too far gone and it takes forever to recuperate.

Stu

19:08 Yeah. It’s interesting, and oftentimes, it can be thought of as a badge of honor. I’m striving through the night, burning the candle at both ends, but look at me, I’m a hero. I’m the captain of the ship. If I came to you, feeling burnt out, do you prescribe to any baseline tests in particular, to be able to get your, I guess, markers as to where your client actually is?

Brian

19:38 Right. No, I absolutely do. I use the, what I’ve termed the de novo, D-E N-O-V-O pathway. De novo is just Latin for, to make anew, and the D in de novo is the discovery process. I think so many times when we go to a general practitioner, even a specialist, they only check just a few laboratory markers. In this particular case, I’m checking everything from genetics to gut health, to cortisol health, to a labyrinth of blood work.

Really, honest to goodness, it takes me about 90 days to get all of that data back, because genetics takes six to 12 weeks with some of the companies that we work with. We’re looking at everything, and as best we can, trying to leave no stone unturned when it comes to looking at the person literally from the top of their head to the tips of their toes. Yes, definitely do that.

Stu

20:49 In terms of the road to recovery, and I know we can’t generalize symptoms, but if we were to try and generalize corporate burnout, where would be the best place to start? If we have, sure, we’ve got compromise, maybe telltale signs of leaky gut, our adrenals are out of whack, and we are experiencing all of the signs, maybe disrupted sleep, brain fog, cravings, food intolerance, all of the above. Where would be the starting point for that?

Brian

21:25 Where would be the starting point for recovery?

Stu

21:27 For recovery, yeah. Any protocols that we go, right, first up, we’re going to adopt this type and style of diet, and we’re going to fix the gut.

Brian

21:38 Right. No, typically I address the gut in the very early stages, in the first stages, because I just consider that the foundation. When we come out of the discovery phase, we actually, there will be certain things within the diagnostic workout that just stand out like a sore thumb. I call those the urgent things that have to be extinguished right now. We go into that extinguishing phase of, whether it’s the gut or whether it’s something going on with the blood, the cholesterol system or whatever the case may be.

It kind of is a balance, because you have to take the person’s history, their personal history, their family history, and then their diagnostic workup, and marry all three of those to come up with a list of, okay, these are top priority and it’s very, very custom tailored, very bespoke to design and craft a wellness plan for somebody.

To say that I’m going to start with the gut 100% every time on everyone, not necessarily true. Do I get them eating correctly from the beginning? Yes. We start there. I want the person eating good, clean, healthy, organic food. I want them hydrating, if they’re women, three liters of water per day. If they’re men, four liters of water per day. I want them getting an adequate amount of sleep, and I want them exercising.

We set that foundation, that’s just a given in that discovery phase, where while we’re waiting for test results to come in, we’re educating, okay, these are the foundational principles and from this, we will build everything else.

Stu

23:28 Great. You mentioned nutrition, which is, it’s such a contentious topic. It’s like religion and politics. Everyone has their own view.

Brian

23:39 Yes.

Stu

23:41 What’s right for you may not be right for me. It’s certainly very personalized. In terms of principles for nutrition, paleo, keto, vegetarian, pescatarian, low fat, high fat. Where do you sit on that spectrum of misguided diets, dietary advice, that seems to be coming out everyone?

Brian

24:07 Yeah. I’ll have a person come up to me and say, I’m paleo. I’ll say, I’m Dr. Brian Brown. I’m not any of those.

Stu

24:15 No.

Brian

24:15 I’m a varietarian.

Stu

24:17 Yeah.

Brian

24:18 I follow my body’s intuition. There are days, maybe even weeks that I’ll go and I’ll eat vegetarian, and then there are times that I go and I intermittent fast, sometimes as much as five days. I just came off of a five day fast myself. It’s what I felt in my intuition that I needed to do.

I’ve learned that if I ever tried to go against that intuition, I don’t need to do a fast, but I’m forcing myself to do it, it’s almost impossible. A five day fast, somebody asked recently this past week, how did you do that? It’s easy if you follow your body’s intuition. Your cells know what they need.

That being said, when we genetically profile people, we can look with about 85% certainty about how that person is genetically programmed to eat. Ancestrally, if we look at a paleo genetic standpoint, if you eat according to your ancestors, then you’re ahead of the game as well. For example, even my last name is spelled Brown, B-R-O-W-N, we’re actually German. It was Braun, B-R-A-U-N. My ancestors are German, and I don’t think that my ancestors had a lot of access to fruit other than berries.

That typically is all the fruit that I will eat, is just berries. I do that sparingly, because fruit is seasonal. I think one of the biggest things that has helped hunger in the world, but the worst thing that has attributed to obesity, is grocery stores. We have 365 day per year access to fruit from around the world that we wouldn’t normally have access to in our genetic makeup.

That’s so important to realize, because we’re now learning through nutrigenomics that cells have a seven generation memory. 70 years is a generation, so that’s 490 years that our cells have a memory. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think 490 years ago, our ancestors had refrigerators or grocery stores. I think we lived subsistence-level, farm to table, and that’s how we survived. I think that’s way the way we should survive today.

I used to be 390 pounds and everybody says, how did you lose the weight? I started eating like my ancestors. I can’t say that it’s paleo, I can’t say that it’s keto, it’s varietarian, but it’s eating as if my body was 490 years old. I know that sounds crazy, but I think that’s the … We’ve got to shift our mindset around this, because processed foods and things we have access to today are just destroying our bodies, and they’re destroying our gut health.

Stu

27:27 Yeah. I love that you touch on genetic heritage as well, because I think, we have so much to learn. I always rewind to my grandparents and look at how they ate, look at how they moved and interacted with friends, family, community, all of the above. I think there’s so much to learn, because it was pretty simple. They grew their own vegetables as did most people in that era, because they were wartime, so food was scarce. You grew your own food. It’s not to say that they weren’t stressed, because they went through war. What could be more stressful?

Nowadays, we’re exposed to 24/7 media that tells us, don’t eat fat, and then, oh, now we can eat fat. Fat’s really healthy. The paleo fraternity adopt coconut oil and put your fat in their coffee, like it’s going out of fashion.

You do wonder, thinking about genetic heritage, I wonder whether my ancestors scooped spoonfuls of saturated fat into their mouths at every opportunity, to try and dial into the next best thing. I kind of think no, maybe if we’re from the Polynesian islands where we grew up on coconuts and all of the oils that they produce, and maybe that’s a little bit different. It’s really, really fascinating for me to see these fad diets come and go.

Ultimately, what you said is this has so much weight to it. It’s, where did we come from? Because we don’t evolve over the course of 50 years. Evolution takes a really long time.

Brian

29:20 Very long time.

Stu

29:21 Yeah. I certainly, I think it’s great just to look back at the past, and figure out where you came from, how did those people eat, what was their life like? Then like you said, apply it to yourself, see what your body feels and thinks. I guess that term gut feel as well, it lends so much weight to this conversation, because as you said, a lot of the intelligence actually comes from our gut in the first place.

Yeah, fascinated, fascinated. I picked up on a term on your website and it was the seven cardinal principles of wellness. I was fascinated by that, and just wondered if you could just run us through what and why you use this term?

Brian

30:15 Absolutely. I’m going to get those pulled up, so I don’t get it wrong, if that’s okay.

Stu

30:21 No, please.

Brian

30:39 All right. Yeah, the seven cardinal principles of wellness. No magic bullets. That is first and foremost, speaking to the mindset there. I think everyone, you were talking about media, and we’re just bombarded every single moment with this diet and that diet. Not only that, but the commercials that we see, bombard us with either one of two things, food or drugs.

Now, I don’t know how it is down under in Australia, but here in the United States, we see commercials about pharmaceutical agents, drugs and food all the time. That’s pretty much all we see. It brainwashes people into believing that there’s one pill that can fix everything. Just give me a pill to fix this.

I got to be honest with you, those people that come in with that mentality, and it’s unshakeable, they do more poorly on this type of program than any other person. The person that’s willing to lay that down and say, “You know what? You’re right. It took me five to 10, 15 years maybe to get here. I don’t expect this to be reversed overnight.”

Now, just because it took five, 10 or 15 years to get there, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to take that long to reverse it, but the body is amazing at healing. I see people with severe autoimmune disorders, will turn around within six, 12, 18 months, and be a totally new person.

There are no magic bullets. Along the lines of that is, we have to take ownership. No more blaming. That’s one of the other cardinal principals, those who take full ownership of who they are, and take ownership of their wellness journey, will get the furthest. They’ll reach peak performance levels, they will improve their longevity.

Now, I say that carefully because I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t predict that somebody’s going to live longer by doing this, but I do know from research that people who are morbidly obese, people who have certain things going on in their health, they live shorter lives. We can say if we can reverse that, we’re reversing risk, and we have to take ownership of that. Nobody’s going to go ride a bicycle for you. Nobody’s going to go to the gym and lift weights for you. Nobody’s going to go to the grocery store and buy the right things for you.

I always tell people there’s this amazing thing that happens. They’ll come in and say, “My weakness is a potato chips.” I think you guys call them crisp, or M&Ms, peanut M&Ms, and I was like, where did those come from? The commercial, the M&Ms commercial shows them with little legs, but I don’t think they sprout legs and come from the grocery store to your house. I think somebody had to help them get there.

There’s this mysterious thing that happens, if you don’t buy that and put it in your home, when you have that craving at 10:00 at night, chances are, you’re not going to go to the store and get that. You’ll do without, and you have to take ownership of those things.

I firmly believe from a functional medicine standpoint, that every cell in your body desires to be in balance. It desires to be in a state of health and wellbeing. We do things to damage that, and there are certain things we can control, and there are certain things we cannot control. We can’t control the amount of satellite EMF, electromagnetic frequency, coming through our house, beaming right into our living room. We can control a Wi-Fi router. Those are things that we can control.

Doing the things that we can control, and managing the things that we can control by turning off a Wi-Fi router at night … A sheet that’s grounded to the outside. Doing those little bitty things make all the difference in the world. Wearing a blue blocker lens in the evening hours, if you’re going to be watching TV, or on your computer or anything like that.

There are a little bitty things that we can do to help the cells in the body do what they were programmed to do. Our cellular brain is smarter, I believe, than our human brain, because it just functions on autopilot. It’s only when we throw roadblocks in its way, that it totally gets off track, and illness occurs.

Blaming. I think one of the biggest issues, not the biggest issue I see, but I think so many sick

36:00 Sick patients in the traditional medical system. When they do not get the result of reaching a state of wellness, they tend to blame their doctor. They blame their ancestry, they blame this, that, and the other. And you know what? A part of that may be true, but a large portion of it goes back to the ownership. We have to take ownership of that and stop the blaming because from a mindset standpoint that does nothing but increased stress and cortisol in our body, and blaming just propagates more sickness and we have to have patience in the process. Oh, my gosh. It goes back to what I said just a moment ago that people who have been working on their state of dis-ease, and I say that with the hyphen, not that they have disease, but they are in a state of dis-ease, unease and they’ve been working on that for five or 10 years.

They need to be patient with that recovery process. It takes time. It takes a diligent person to do what they’re supposed to do. And we have so many temptations around us to throw us off track with food and lack of hydration or, and I include drinking the wrong things and lack of hydration because alcohol dehydrates. Sodas dehydrate. Caffeinated products dehydrate, and I know the Bulletproof community would not like to hear that, but it’s true. Not that I’m against Bulletproof Coffee, it’s just … so got to … everything in moderation. We’ve got to be patient in that process.

Stu

37:57 Absolutely.

Brian

37:59 Apples and oranges, comparing apples and oranges is the sixth pillar. And this is just the matter of looking at their traditional medical system as an apple and functional and integrative medicine as an orange. They’re two totally different things. One ascribes pretty much to a sickness care model. The other ascribes to a wellness care model or helping a person reach a peak performance level or an optimized level.

And then the last one is predicting time. Nobody can predict whether a person is going to be diagnosed with cancer tomorrow. And if they’re doing everything that they’re supposed to do from a functional and integrative medicine standpoint, they’re eating right, they’re hydrating, they’re sleeping, they’re getting enough sleep, they’re doing everything they’re supposed to do, and they’re diagnosed with cancer three years into that, it’s just … nobody has the ability to predict that. What we do have the ability to predict is the outcomes related to that lifestyle. There was a recent study that was published at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and it looked at one of the most severe types of brain cancer that a child can have, and they actually looked at those who ate a standard American children’s diet versus those who ate an all-organic paleo or keto-type of a diet.

Stu

39:39 Yeah.

Brian

39:40 And it did not change the death, but it did prolong the amount of time that those children lived. The ones that were in the healthy organic eating group actually lived 45% longer.

Stu

39:54 Wow.

Brian

39:54 Now that’s a microcosm of the grand scheme of life in general, but I think it … we’re seeing more and more data come out about the impact of food and stress and electromagnetic frequencies and gut health on the human body. But there’s no way to predict time and know how long it’s going to take you to recover. And there’s no way to predict time and know and say for a fact that you’re not going to ever have this disease or that disease.

Stu

40:28 Yeah.

Brian

40:29 What you can probably say is that it will be less of a risk for any of those and less severe if you do have one of those diseases.

Stu

40:39 Fantastic. Boy, oh, boy. Lots of information there for people to digest and think about. But so many key gems, I guess, if you like of information to consider at a deeper level, too. So I’m conscious of time and we’re kind of coming up on time, but I just wanted to throw this then over to you personally because you’ve had your own health journey and you have amassed so much information in this space of functional medicine that offers us a real chance to grasp our best lives. I’m keen to understand which key elements do you do you have in your quiver. Which of these elements are you fastidious on ensuring that you integrate into each and every day? Almost your non-negotiables. I have to do these things each day because of what I’ve learned, because of the effects that I’ve seen that it has on my mind and my body and spirit and so forth.

Brian

41:49 Right. No, that’s a great question. Having come out of a journey myself, it was a … people often say, ” Oh, man, that’s a horrible story that [inaudible 00:42:05] came from.”

Stu

42:06 Yeah.

Brian

42:06 And I said, “But it’s the story that made me who I am.”

Stu

42:10 Yeah.

Brian

42:10 It’s the story that led me into functional and integrative medicine. Had it not been for that story, I think I would still be practicing traditional psychiatry today and would not be where I am today helping the people that I am, and so the non-negotiables for me … when we’re around for men around age 32 and for women around age 35, we start experiencing about a one to two percent decline per year in hormone activity. Now some of that can be overcome with exercise and nutrition and things like that, and then some of it is just age-related advancement.

Stu

42:52 Yeah.

Brian

42:53 We know from research studies that people who have healthier hormone levels, whether it be naturally or they’re taking bioidentical hormones, they live longer. They have a six to seven times less risk of heart disease and stroke and Alzheimer’s and diabetes. So a non-negotiable for me, and I started this several years ago, is bioidentical hormones.

Stu

43:19 Okay.

Brian

43:21 Yeah, I do take bio-identical hormones every day.

Stu

43:23 Yeah.

Brian

43:24 They are well-balanced. I don’t do anything in excess like you would consider a bodybuilder’s level of hormones, and they don’t use bioidenticals anyway. They use horse testosterone and things like that that our body was never meant to process. But yeah, bioidentical hormones are non-negotiable for me. For me, because I have a genetic profile that my vitamin D level, I don’t absorb vitamin D very well, I literally have to take 15,000 units per day of vitamin D in order to have a normal vitamin D level. So vitamin D for me is non-negotiable. It’s the difference in daylight and dark when it comes to my mood. If I don’t take my vitamin D, I get brain fog, I don’t feel right, and I’m more melancholy in my mood. If I go a week or two without it, I become downright depressed. And I have a 16-year battle with depression and was on non-different antidepressants that didn’t help. They actually made things worse. So I’m speaking from experience here that I know those things are non-negotiable.

And exercise. Do some form of exercise daily. I have a courtyard out back behind my office, and eight laps around is a half a mile. I’ll go out there and do a half a mile during my lunch break or first thing in the morning when I get here. I lift weights three to four times a week depending on the cycle that I’m on.

Stu

45:00 Yeah.

Brian

45:01 And I do high-intensity interval training on a stationary speed bike.

Stu

45:06 Brilliant.

Brian

45:08 And hydration. Hydration is a non-negotiable. Four liters of water per day. No questions asked. Most days I’ll drink five. Some days I’ll drink six. And eating organic food. That’s one of the things that I can control that my body is exposed to, and I do not want to eat anything but organic food.

Stu

45:33 Great, fantastic. And I love that there’s a whole mixture of things in there that are unique to your biology, your genetics that for instance, the hormones and the vitamin D levels. We could wander into a drug store and just be faced with a wall of supplements and it’s like, “Well, which one do I take?” Which one has got the flashiest marketing messages, but ultimately could be expensive you’re on, probably is expensive you’re on, and this you know what’s actually going on. And of course with the food and the water as well, you mentioned that we’re exposed to so many external factors that we just have no control over with all of the crazy wifi signals coming in, air quality, and pollution. But what we can control is what we put in our mouth. And that’s empowering, especially when you realize that when you nourish your body, your body thrives or can thrive. So, yeah. Excellent, excellent to hear that advice. So for all of our listeners then that want to find out more about you, want to follow your journey, where would we point them?

Brian

46:45 Yeah, so I have a podcast called The Optimal CEO Podcast. It’s available on any platform you can imagine.

Stu

46:55 Yeah.

Brian

46:55 So look for The Optimal CEO Podcast. You can reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram at The Optimal CEO, and my website is www.briangbrown.com. briangbrown.com.

Stu

47:17 Fantastic. And what’s next? What’s in the pipeline?

Brian

47:22 So the pipeline at this point is a book that’s coming out in December. It was supposed to be out in the spring and then publishing errors with the editor. It’s just a process that’s supposed to be out next-

Stu

47:37 Is that Happiness Hijackers?

Brian

47:40 Happiness Hijackers, yeah.

Stu

47:42 Fantastic.

Brian

47:43 So basically it teaches the average person how the medical system is broken and why, and why there’s so much misinformation out there. This book is going to focus only on bioidentical hormones at point as well as vitamin D and DHEA. We didn’t talk about DHEA today, but it’s also another bioidentical hormone that comes from a plant extract. So the book is going to talk about male and female bioidentical hormones, what proper levels are when they’re optimized, what messages you will likely hear from your primary care provider or specialist, and why those messages are wrong and what you can do to counteract that with the information that you now have. So that’s what that book is about. A future book that’s going to be coming out will be about peptide therapy.

Stu

48:41 Okay.

Brian

48:41 Peptides are just amino acids, and amino acids that are linked together in a chain. The the Germans and the Russians have been using peptides for quite some time with great success. There are some peptides out there that actually promote longevity as much as 60% of people in the peptide group for this one particular peptide lived 15 years longer than the people who were not in the peptide group. So we’re talking some long-term data coming out of coming out of parts of Europe and they are just now hitting the United States in the past 18 months, and my understanding is is that peptides are now becoming recognized and legal also in Australia.

Stu

49:32 Yes. Yeah, correct. Interesting. Wow. Boy. Well, I will keep an eye out for Happiness Hijackers. Hopefully you remained happy when you were writing the book as well because I know I’ve spoken to many authors who said it is just … it can be such a soul-destroying journey burning the candles at both ends trying to get this book to the publishers, so congratulations on that.

Brian

49:55 Thank you.

Stu

49:56 You’re on top of everything else, so I guess that’s how you can still smile and talk about that journey.

Brian

50:03 Absolutely.

Stu

50:04 Brilliant. So look what we’ll do, all of the links that we’ve spoken about and the information today, we’ll put in the show notes so our listeners can access all of that and they know exactly where to go. And again, thank you so much for your time. Cannot wait to share this information with our listeners.

Brian

50:21 Absolutely.

Stu

50:23 Great. Hopefully we will speak and connect at some stage in the future, but again, thank you so much for your time.

Brian

50:30 Absolutely. Stu, I do have a question for you.

Stu

50:32 Sure.

Brian

50:33 Do you know when this show will air? I would love to co-promote that with you on my social media platforms.

Stu

50:40 Yes.

 

 

Brian Brown MD

This podcast features Dr. Brian G. Brown. After overcoming a battle with depression and a 390 pound life, Dr. Brian Griffin Brown shut down his traditional psychiatric practice to start his own integrative-medicine clinic, allowing him to meet the needs of his clients more deeply, spend quality time with them,... Read More
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