Precision medicine, the future of medicine, starts here. And I am super-excited to share this!
I have been using this systematic approach with my patients for a decade. People get better. They turn around so many conditions. And the most exciting thing is that you don’t need to be a doctor to use it. The thinking and practices shared here are available to anyone who has a computer and can read. This is the first step of the democratization of medicine.
It works like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs– but it’s based in biology and biochemistry. By optimizing the lower levels of the pyramid, the higher-level ones can operate fully.
We all want our brains to work well, right? After all, fatigue is a perception of the brain. For a healthy brain, we first need to establish a sound nutritional foundation. All biochemical pathways rely on some nutritional basics. With today’s foods and dietary choices, it’s easy to come up short on some of these important nutrients.
Let’s start with the right kind, and that right quantity of fats. The brain is 70% fat, and 20% of these fats are the Omega-3’s. How often does a doctor working up a patient for fatigue measure these? Correct. Never!
The brain needs B6 and B12 to make energy; it needs magnesium to maintain electrical gradients, and zinc to drive immune function; too much iron simply causes the brain to rust. These few examples are foundational to proper brain function. All can be measured, managed, and optimized.
The Future of Medicine: Energy for Life
Next, we need to provide energy for the brain. The Energetic strata considers the three hormones cortisol, insulin, and thyroid. Together, these work together to provide a steady flow of glucose and power to the brain.
But too much cortisol literally melts the brain. Too little thyroid hormone dulls brain sharpness and function. And Alzheimer’s, the crown prince of brain degeneration, is becoming known as a ‘type-3’ diabetes—confirming that balanced insulin function is critical to brain health.
All three of these hormones play off each other and need to be considered together. And they all rely on a sound underlying nutritional foundation. Here’s where we begin to see the first steps of biochemical “stacking” within the pyramid.
Good Fences make Good Neighbors: Barriers
Our body maintains barriers to the outside world, namely our gut lining, skin, and lungs. There’s a blood-brain barrier that protects the brain, too. Disruption of yet another barrier, the sub-endothelial barrier that lines our blood vessels, is a causative factor for heart disease. Our immune system’s job is to protect us from the microscopic outside world, with the majority of our immune cells resting just beneath these barriers.
We need to maintain healthy barriers. And to do so we need … you guessed it… to have adequate nutrition and with balanced energy to maintain these delicate cellular layers.
With intact barriers we can protect our body’s “castle”. The single-cell layer gut lining regenerates itself every 3 days, requiring energy and adequate nutrients (like amino acids). It’s said that this layer, spread out, has the same surface area as a tennis court. Obviously, it requires a lot of energy and nutrition to maintain it.
Recall how cortisol melts the brain? It also diverts blood from the gut. Low thyroid function slows gut transit and function. And so much current research is showing that the gut is like our ‘second brain’. So it makes sense to consider this strongly when addressing fatigue.
Toxins in the Body
We are awash in toxins and inflammatory molecules! These arise both from chemicals in the environment and from our own biochemical processes. To detox well, we need a healthy gut, healthy skin (sweating) and a healthy liver. This all works when we establish sound underlying barriers to these toxins (and avoid exposure to them).
Proper detox also requires balanced energetics. In times of stress, we divert blood flow from our skin and gut to our heart and muscles. Detoxification through these organs takes a back seat to survival. Our biology and biochemistry always prioritizes survival; we can clean up the mess we’ve made in the future– providing we survive.
With poor gut function, we don’t absorb our nutrients well. Without nutrients, we are unable to make molecules like glutathione that we require to complete the detoxification process. All of these processes are connected, and all rely on the satisfaction of the underlying levels.
A Sex Hormone Definition that Works
Now that we have sound nutrition, balanced energy, intact barriers, and are eliminating toxins, it’s time to reproduce! Reproduction is a highly energy-dependent process. If a woman is stressed, starving, migrating or just fighting to survive, it makes sense that now’s not the time to ovulate normally and get pregnant. Our bodies are built for survival of the species, not poor timing on a pregnancy when life has turned hard.
When the lower pyramid levels are all out of balance, the balance of sex hormones goes off in both men and women. By aligning the lower levels of the strata, the body relaxes into steady sex hormone production. And our brains relax into the desire to have intimate relationships.
How many suffering with fatigue have zero libido? Now you understand why. Their pyramid is “out of balance” and the higher-level processes, namely thinking and mating, suffer.
The heart and mind reside at the top of the pyramid. The heart is really only a pump, a clearly valuable one at that. But its clarity of mind that gives us energy, hope and vision.
Inflammation in the Body Affects Everything!
You’ll notice a small dot underneath the pyramid. This represents inflammation. With low levels of inflammation, the upper levels stay in balance. But with high levels of inflammation, the whole structure destabilizes. The first thing to tumble is the peak of the pyramid– brain health and function.
Inflammation is the “tie that binds” for all aging and disease. Measurement and management of inflammation is the single most important thing we can do to optimize our health and longevity.
The Future of Medicine: Conclusions
I haven’t found a “diagnosis” that doesn’t fit into this structure. The beauty of all this is that it deconstructs our physiology in to smaller, discrete, measurable components that can be taught in smaller, discrete bits.
Everyone can learn it, and all can access the testing and treatments to get well. Over time, I’ll explain this all, and show how you can access and use this process to really get well.
The future of medicine starts by revamping our thinking. This is the first step to change, advance and democratize medicine. Let’s put the power of health back into the hands of the people—you—and out of the realm of the short-sighted medical boards and self-serving pharmaceutical companies.
The future of medicine starts today. And it starts with you.