Season 3 Episode 7 of Quiet the Diet Podcast with Michelle Shapiro, RD and Christa Biegler, RD
Eczema and Gut Health: A Functional Nutrition Approach to Skin with Christa Biegler
In this episode, Michelle sits down with Christa Biegler, functional medicine nutritionist and podcast host of The Less Stressed Life. Christa shares her personal journey with eczema, and provides relatable experiences that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled with skin issues.
Join them as they delve into the world of skin health and offer practical solutions to help you achieve a life with less stress and healthier, rejuvenated skin.
This episode is sponsored by Veri Continuous Glucose Monitor
$30 off your order with code VSM-MICHELLESHAPIRO by clicking HERE
In this episode, Michelle and Christa discuss:
- The relationship between gut dysfunction and skin issues, specifically focusing on eczema
- Skin as a detox pathway
- How treating skin issues requires addressing both internal and external factors
- The power of food and taking various approaches to what you eat
- The role of protein digestion in skin health
- The impact of mold and fungal imbalances on skin health
- The different categories related to food reactions: allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities
Podcast: The Less Stressed Life Podcast
Eczema quiz: https://quiz.tryinteract.com/#/5f898f7a8116760014048f49
Work with Michelle:
Connect with Michelle:
Eczema and Gut Health: A Functional Nutrition Approach to Skin with Christa Biegler
I am over the moon to have my friend, my colleague, my brilliant colleague, Krista Begler with me here today. You may know her as the anti inflammatory nutritionist, or you may know her from her amazingly successful podcast, less Stress Life. Krista, I’m so excited you’re here.
Christa Biegler [00:00:17]:
I’m so excited that I’m here too, because your podcast is really gaining a ton of like it’s just incredible. This is the right platform for you. Sometimes we try to hang out on the platform that’s not you actually do perfectly everywhere. But for me, podcast is the right place and I feel like that’s where the world has needed you for a long time. So I’m thrilled to be here. You’ve had a lot of amazing guests.
I’m not going to stand for these compliments. You’re the guest here today, okay? I’ll be complimenting you the rest of the time. Your podcast platforming. Podcasting is definitely a platform for you too. And the way that your beautiful brain works, I know we can go in a million different directions today, but the direction we’re going to start with and then roll with is skin. Because this is something that you’ve been the master expert in for a long time. I’m sure when you first started working on skin conditions with clients, from a functional nutrition perspective, it may have been less popular and people hadn’t heard of it before. So I’m curious to also hear just how you kind of came to be the amazing practitioner educator, teacher that you are.
Christa Biegler [00:01:23]:
I didn’t choose skin. Skin chose me. And it can be a frustrating thing if you’ve dealt with any skin issues. It’s the thing that sometimes breaks the camel’s back in terms of people wanting to actually get support because they don’t like when they have skin issues. Right. They may have had gut issues that they could hide, but then once they get skin issues, it’s a problem. So this all stemmed out of my own history when I was a contractor. I’m going to try to be brief. I was a contractor, I had a couple of small kids. I was starting a new business. And then there was the event that changed everything. I went to the pool with my kids five days in a row and I broke out in a severe rash. Now I had had wintertime, what I called we all do this must be genetic eczema in high school because I’d used a little cream in the winter, it would come and go. It was not a big deal because I thought it was normal. But obviously when your eye is like swollen shut, it is not normal all of a sudden. Right? So that was not very fun to overcome because there was actually no one that really knew what they were doing that could help. I did see a lot of practitioners and a lot of healers and ultimately had to do a deep dive into the research and just kind of ended up with the right things and got lucky. And another little piece of that story that you might appreciate is in between all that. As I was coming into private practice and as a dietitian, we went to food to be medicine. And that can get thrown a lot of ways, right? And so I wanted Food to be medicine. And I had just gotten done with this certification around food sensitivity stuff and I removed some food and that whole thing was like overwhelming in the midst of being really not okay, like all the emotions all of our clients experience. And I remember grabbing a handful of pecans and my eyes falling up and that had never happened before. So I actually made everything worse through diet restriction, which was pretty cool.
And I know we’re definitely going to talk about that piece of it, which is that you have the very strong opinion and it’s not really an opinion, the scientific basis to believe that arbitrarily cutting foods out of your diet is not going to help fix all of your skin conditions. So funny you said that about when we think about why we make changes in our lives, it really depends on the person. And for my cousin’s, a really good example, she is diagnosed with lupus and she really had for the longest time had felt very sick with gut conditions and just energy issues, hormonal issues, never really sought answers. She saw like one hair fall out of her head and she had like two pimples and she was like, and I’m going to get help. Like you said, once it becomes aesthetic for us, it becomes more pressing. And I can imagine that skin issues are not only aesthetically a problem for people, but quite painful, I’m sure, too, in many instances.
Christa Biegler [00:04:09]:
I mean, we’re having really a breakout of hand eczema since in the last few years, many reasons. And I kind of classify. So there’s so much I want to say about what you just said. So let me just piecemeal a few things. Inflammatory buckets. What’s contributing to inflammatory buckets? Come back to that later when food makes a bigger difference. What happens in autoimmunity potentially versus other times? When does it make sense to change? Where should we be in general? All stuff you and I agree about, but you just do a powerhouse job of explaining. But I am excited to have the opportunity to talk about. So back to the story. Back to the story. Made myself worse with food eliminations. Lucky to crawl out of that. It took a year of self navigation, unfortunately. And then I got asked to talk about the difference between food sensitivities and allergies in an eczema group. And the rest was kind of history because then I had a couple of moms reach out to me with kids and it was funny because what’s really cool is there’s multiple ways to accomplish the same goal. Amazing, right? There’s not one linear path. And so the things I used at that time are different than the things I use this time. Right? Because my ultimate goal is that it’s a less stressful approach, which I know sounds so silly. I actually chose the name Less Stress Life for the podcast in 2017 when I was looking for a synonym for inflammation. How hilarious that this is also full circle, right? Then my business started in food sensitivity work, but now I’m helping people overcome food sensitivities without a restriction. I love it. It’s a good thing, right? So that’s kind of where it all began. It was not because I wanted to work in that space, and I still don’t even really on my Instagram, I still have the word eczema on the profile on my website. I talk about my story, but it’s not the catchphrase at the top. It doesn’t talk about eczema, but people find me anyway.
You’re still kind of the eczema person in many means, even though you have many other hats that you wear. But yes, people still know that about you for sure.
Christa Biegler [00:06:01]:
I think so. And I think when my colleagues think of me, when they think of eczema, they think of me, probably. And that’s fine. It’s fine. And I don’t need to take the whole skin, the whole skin niche. There’s a bit of nuance there. I don’t really enjoy psoriasis. Odly, if people have eczema and Psoriasis, it’s fine, but the eczema will clear before the psoriasis does. How fun. That’s why I don’t like it as much. Exactly. Acne means a lot of different things. I take acne. We work on it, it’s fine, it’s no problem. But I think people just there is something OD, and I know you get this also, if you’ve experienced the thing that your clients have experienced, there is a totally different intimate knowledge of understanding exactly what they’re going through and then knowing weird things about it. It’s going to feel better if you do this instead of this, which is you’re not going to wear black if you have Eczema.
Exactly. Because of flaking or something like that. It’s so true and it’s so funny that you say, like, eczema is my favorite. And I feel that way about acid reflux when it comes to gut conditions. I’m just like I just love reflux. I do. When you’ve experienced it?
Christa Biegler [00:07:05]:
Oh, of course.
I mean, I’ve experienced every type of gut issue. I’m like the most gut holding emotional person in the world, of course. But I give so much grace and I mean that so truly to every single physical struggle I’ve had. And I know you’re exactly the same way, because it paves the way for a deeper level of understanding and a completely unhinged research level on our ends, because we want to solve the problem first and foremost, selfishly in a good way. It leads us to this really deep hole that we’re willing to go into that we otherwise probably wouldn’t have time for, for every single condition in the world. So you’re an Eczema girly. You love your Eczema, you love to work with it. And so really on the walking it back to the farthest point, what you probably were talking about in 2017, krista, I’m going to need you to walk it back all the way to briefly tell us the difference between allergies and intolerances, because we’re going to kind of move and use these different terms throughout our conversation. I want people to understand the difference right off the bat.
Christa Biegler [00:08:02]:
Perfect. And it doesn’t really matter what a person specializes in. You see everything else behind the scenes, no matter what, people come to you for a thing, but they actually have ideally a bunch. I mean, at least for me, I would rather they have like 10, 15, 20 goals. That is not overwhelming, that’s fun, that’s like, oh cool, we can improve more things. This is amazing that you have more stuff. And I don’t mean diagnosis, I mean just symptoms that maybe didn’t realize were symptoms because they’re so normal. Okay, so walking back, we’re talking about allergies versus intolerances versus sensitivities or whatever. Okay, big picture, we recognize what allergies are unanimously. It’s an Ige mediated reaction to either environmental or food. Right. The research I was looking at long ago was that skin testing was more accurate for environmental, blood testing was more accurate for food. Cross checking both was best. None of it’s perfect. So then we get into allergies and sensitivities. Back to one moment about Ige or IG elephant just in case the letter is not coming through. That should in theory be permanent. However, there’s nuance to everything, so it’s not actually always permanent and always reproducible. That’s kind of what we like in medicine. It’s like, oh, well, we did this thing and it’s reproducible. And so this is what you have. Well, that definitely shifts with kids. We definitely know that you can outgrow certain allergies when the microbiome kind of sort of gets in. I don’t think this is the right way to say it, but kind of set or like largely set by age three. That is a big time that if you’re changing microbiota, then you could potentially grow out of allergies, is my opinion with experience. And then even up to age five, sometimes people grow out of certain allergies. Like there’s whole prevalence rates for different allergies that kids grow out of. Okay, so we know with an ever changing immune system as a child, it shifts, but does sometimes the immune system changes an adult? Hell yes, it does. Allergies are, I guess, allergies, but the children thing is a nuance. And then I would say as an adult, if this kind of comes out of nowhere and or people say I lit up like an alarm or like whatever all over the place, like everything lit up that’s not quite right. In my opinion, that’s like an entire inflammatory, overloaded bucket. And so you just happen to be when they’re adding that little bit of an antigen there to see what your reaction is, it’s just that your bucket is like, over full already, and there’s several things that can fill that up.
I have to add on to that really quick, too, which is that yeah, please. Two important pieces I have to pull apart from what you said, because every sentence you say is so critical. I don’t want to miss one crystal thought. But the first thing is what you’re saying is that yes, we have always known allergies. Ige mediated allergies to be permanent genetic. You’re done it’s an allergy. Avoid it, or something terrible is going to happen. Even that which was so definitive for such a long time we’ve now come to understand is not necessarily true and that children may grow out of it. And especially this point that you said that’s so critical, if it comes on spontaneously, then it isn’t this genetic thing necessarily. It could be, again, what we’re going to talk about through the rest of the episode, something else or a dysfunction of organ systems or something like that, that we’ll talk about, obviously. The other thing is now, right now, which must be so frustrating for you, these food allergy food intolerance tests are hot, hot, hot. Either the ones on the skin, which have been done by allergists for a very long time, or the ones where you send in a sample and then you’re getting, like you said, lit up like a Christmas tree. You have every food intolerance in the world.
Christa Biegler [00:11:46]:
And this is so like yeah, to me it’s so funny with those because, of course, if your body’s in a highly reactive state, it’s just going to be reacting to things, but it’s really hard for people to understand. And these companies are making quite a bit of profit off of these very expensive tests that are getting all of these results. So if you were a person who was having a skin condition and got this result back and it said you’re allergic or intolerant to, eggs, wheat, of course I’m going to name the ones that are the most, like, immune reactive foods, and those are always the ones that come up like a Christmas tree. Would it be your instinct to cut.
Christa Biegler [00:12:22]:
All those foods out just right off the bat? No, not necessarily. Okay, hold on. Did you say this was an allergy.
Test food intolerance test?
Christa Biegler [00:12:34]:
Oh, yeah. No food sensitivity testing. No. Let’s talk about what that means. So we just talked about Ige that’s food allergies, and this is where this gets so, like, if people ask me this question, well, what do you think of this? I’m like, do you have a half hour for the exercise?
No, I know, I feel bad.
Christa Biegler [00:12:53]:
I cannot even okay, so there’s allergies let’s get into the other two. Technically, there is intolerances and sensitivities. Sometimes these words get muddled together. I don’t care that much if you muddle these words together. I don’t get too ruffled by things. But generally, let’s talk about sensitivities as high as I have seen them. Based on I think this is based on there’s like a food allergy sensitivity and intolerance Bible by don’t quote me Brostoff and whoever. Anyway, it’s green. It used to be Grant. The one I have is green. Lots of good stuff in just I did training on this as well. But this is other immune reactions. So I always use this analogy that it’s like the food is on stage and you’ve got Nerf guns and one Nerf gun has red bullets and those are Ige. But what about the blue, yellow and orange bullets? Those are IgM T cells. IgG that’s the most common food sensitivity test is IgG. But that’s one kind of Nerf bullet. And so you can look at the cumulation of those bullets or the non Ige bullets and that’s a total accumulation of those mediators. But most testing is only looking at one piece of it. So the sensitivity test may give some relief to those insevere straits. I’m thinking specifically and in general, I also love irritable bowel disease, but that can be useful for those people in that state at that moment. It can help turn off the symptoms while you’re working on more. I mean, I just think it’s never just that. So we can talk about why that is, but that’s kind of how to make that make sense to me. It’s like the food comes in and what color nerf bullet is being shot at. It okay. Technically to me, an intolerance is a bit of a digestive. It’s all the digestive problem, but it’s technically more of a digestive problem in terms of there’s an enzyme insufficiency like a lactose intolerance. Again, we’re not going to go to punches around this. I literally do not even care. The point is that we sort of kind of recognize lactose intolerance and some of these intolerant and there’s some other weird ones out there. Like, I remember when sucrase intolerance was kind of hot because the rep selling the enzyme, there was money to be made. So they were like, okay, we’ll give you these tests and then blah, blah, blah, blah, and we sell you this expensive enzyme. So there’s intolerances. And generally medically, we recognize that as well. We do not technically medically recognize sensitivities. However, we kind of do because there’s non celiac gluten sensitivity, which is a sensitivity. And so even though we say we don’t recognize sensitivities, well, we actually kind of do right there. It’s like catching you talking out of both sides of your mouth as a medical provider. And so the reality is people experience reactions to foods. Yes, they do. Absolutely. How about you? Right. But the reality is, to me, food sensitivities are secondary to what’s happening inside the gut. And so if you’re not correcting what’s going on inside the gut and you restrict, restrict, restrict, you might get some symptom resolution. So this happens to people. This is like a very honest, accidental human thing. I always say, like, don’t blame a person for being a human. You restrict foods and you feel really good. And so then you get to restricting more and more and more, and now your body really doesn’t have any resources. It’s already got other crap going on in the first place. And so you bring those foods back and essentially what’s going on in the body is there is I mean, this is like the most straightforward thing. Probably most of your listeners know this. There could be some other reasons as well. But this is the most obvious thing. You take food in, you do not digest it well, because everyone sucks at digesting food, because we all have stress and we’re suppressing all of our digestive capacity. I will stand by that until I die. That is very truthful. That is the recurrent problem happening. You have undigested things, undigested proteins. You have gut permeability. I also think this is secondary, but you have maybe fishnet tights in the gut. Dramatic example, fishnet tights, instead of nylons, nylons are semipermeable. You should have very small proteins crossing a nylon. Very large, undigested proteins can cross the fishnet tights. Now the nerf gun guys come at you. I probably should have brought this into the analogy sooner. The large proteins cross the fishnet tights because the gut is more permeable, has some holes, and then the nerf gun guys shoot at it, and sometimes it’s shooting multiple mediators at it, and then before you know it, you have a whole inflammatory cascade. So there, of course, if you change the diet there for a while, the problem is what happens very naturally is people are like, I had great success at this, and then it just stopped working. That’s because you didn’t fix the holes in the gut or the thing that caused the holes in the first place. You didn’t correct how small the proteins were getting by how it was digesting and calm the entire immune system and nervous system down the end. That is the real source and summit to me of food reactions. I have this beautiful graphic from an immunologist I love, and it’s like there’s a lot of things dumping into the inflammatory bucket, so I’m just going to quickly go over that. It’s like, what’s going on in the gut in some capacity? So there’s permeability, which is like, yeah, we have thousands of thousands of papers about this. To me, I think there’s what’s causing the permeability. Like, always go back a step further, right? And then there’s what’s going on in stress chemistry, because that messes, if the nervous system is a bit of an issue, it’s informing the immune system. So what is informing the immune system what’s going on in the gut? Because the immune system is largely in the gut. And also what’s going on in the nervous system 100%. And then the other pieces. There’s other pieces I probably missed talking about here. But what’s going into the inflammatory bucket? Toxic burden, blood sugar stuff, oxygen dysfunction. I’m just thinking, trying to think through all the things. Those are some of the big ones, but lots of things can fill that inflammatory bucket. Infections of other types, right? Like, we had a massive immune assault the past few years that kind of sometimes kind of was again, that straw that broke the camel’s back in the immune system, sometimes causing essentially just haywire messes, like, really caused an inflammatory cascade. And so you have this inflammatory cascade. It imbalances some signaling proteins in the immune system, and then you get food reactions, and it can look like traditional, like, allergy, eczema, sinusitis, UTI, upper respiratory infections, or it can look like you’re not really sick all that often. There’s a different dominance that can be happening sometimes.
Let’s talk about that for a second.
Christa Biegler [00:19:47]:
I could talk about it intentionally, but let me pull up my schematic, and then I can please pull up your.
Schematic while I’m asking this question. Get your schematic up, Krista.
Christa Biegler [00:19:55]:
So I think for people to understand that skin is a gut condition or a liver condition or otherwise yeah, we’re definitely going to talk about the liver.
Christa Biegler [00:20:08]:
Of course we’re going to talk about the liver.
We’re talking about the skin. I think that right off the bat is lost on some people because the visual they’re not seeing is, all right, the protein is leaking out of the gut, or it’s leaking into the bloodstream. There’s this immune response. I think we got up to that part. How does that turn into what you see on your skin? What is happening between the gut and the actual external thing that you’re seeing? What is that?
Christa Biegler [00:20:34]:
Okay, simply let me talk about what is simple. There is the gut and then liver connection. Okay, so what’s going on in the gut? Another analogy. Let’s say you’ve got some messes going on in the gut. It’s like you got some weeds. I like to use the analogy of dandelions. The dandelions grow, they give off seeds, right? Anything going on in your gut can do this as well. It’s called endotoxins, of course. Right. And so bacteria, pathogens, et cetera, give off endotoxins. And so there’s just more waste when there’s stuff happening in the gut or if you’re not digesting well, you can have some things crossing the blood brain barrier. So anyway, you have more waste when things are not being digested and sent to where they’re supposed to be. You’re also missing the nutrient, right? So then you’re accidentally getting nutrient deficiencies. And none of the things, nutrients make everything happen in the body. Technically, they make the enzymes work, which make everything else work. And so if you’re low in nutrients, then all the systems are like, I can’t quite keep abysmal, but I’ll keep trying, and it steals from other areas. Back to the dandelions. The dandelions get let out. Someone’s got to clean up the dandelions. Your drainage and detoxification system, like gut, liver connection so the liver or drainage and detoxification system can get overloaded the lymph can be involved, obviously, here, too. Let’s talk about what are the drainage and detox systems, please. The liver, the kidneys. So the colon, technically skin and even respiration are some of those systems. So, again, are you hydrating? Are you urinating? Are you having bowel movements? Are you perspiring? And are you breathing clean air? It’s kind of like some of those inputs, outputs, right. To be assessing to just make sure that that’s called phase three detoxification. That stuff right there, right, that doesn’t always get discussed. That needs to kind of be happening first. My absolutely favorite thing is if someone comes in with bowel issues and then they have skin issues, I’m like, piece of cake. Because if you’re not pooping well or you already have gut stuff, I don’t have to even explain how this is related. Hopefully most people come in knowing that this is related. They just don’t fully get it all. The most annoying thing about skin is that initially, everyone wants it to be really easy. And like, someone’s girlfriend’s mom told you that you just had to change your laundry detergent, and you tried that, and that didn’t work, and you tried your.
Skincare product, steroid, cream, cutting out gluten, little stuff like that, right?
Christa Biegler [00:22:57]:
Yeah. It’s like, what are the toxic burden inputs that they were chain? I’m like, okay, so you changed a few things in your environment that’s always good for any person, any human in life. But unfortunately, skin grows from the inside out. So if there’s dysfunction in the gut, there’s always staph and strep issues with skin issues 100% of the time, I think, based on what I see in stool testing. And so we know, again, something we actually agree about. Everyone everyone can agree about your dermatologist. The ladies talking to you right here. We can agree that in eczema, we know that there is a staph usually overgrowth happening on the skin. All right? So if we have a staph overgrowth happening on the skin, we have this topical microbiome. The topical microbiome can get disrupted, and then staph can overgrowth. So why did the last three years cause a lot of hand eczema? Maybe just maybe one reason is and there’s obviously more, maybe a lot of use of really corrosive. I would say antimicrobials and alcohol based sanitizers disrupted the lipid membrane on your hands, which is naturally keeping things in balance, and that allowed things to overgrow on the skin. And now you have just a hot mess express. I will say, if there is an active staph infection on the skin. It is pretty damn hard to put out the fire on the inside without putting out the fire on the outside. So the reason skin kind of sucks is because you want it to be really simple, but it’s an inside and outside job because the skin is simply growing from the inside out. So if your body can’t poop and get rid of all of its stuff, if some of that stuff is not functioning beautifully, the skin is simply a safe place for the body to clear out trash. This is why you see eczema in, I think, like, one in five children. And as adults, the prevalence is supposed to be much less. So it’s like 20% kids. It’s supposed to be like one to 3% adults. I don’t know if that’s actually true. Right, but that’s like, what the literature says. I mean, again, it’s hard for me to tell because I just see it.
All right, you’re like 100% of people have skin conditions. What do you mean? That’s how I feel about reflux and panic attacks. I’m like, doesn’t everyone have severe panic attacks?
Christa Biegler [00:25:03]:
I get it.
Christa Biegler [00:25:04]:
Right? We’re a little skewed, right?
So where were we?
Christa Biegler [00:25:07]:
We were talking about inside outside job.
Take me through the dandelion seeds and how they are endotoxins and then where they’re going. Tell me.
Christa Biegler [00:25:14]:
Excellent. Thank you so much. I get a little bit jumping off. Okay.
No, I need every single thing you’re saying, and I’m with you, and I’m rolling, and I love it.
Christa Biegler [00:25:21]:
I know there’s just a lot to say. It’s like, where do you fit all in? I hope it’s working for you guys. Okay, so you got the dandelions. They let off their seeds. You’ve got these endotoxins from the different types of pathogens. So that puts more burden on the liver in maybe the lymph system, the underrecognized drainage system. It can put burden on other places without really looking. Like, there’s not amazing testing for this. Don’t expect to go get blood testing for it to show up unless you got some other problems and infection, like, it would have to be pretty severe for it to show up there. And that’s not what we’re experiencing. That’s not who we’re seeing, is those people. So you don’t expect it to show up on a test. This is just biology, in my opinion, or physiology, I guess.
In my opinion, it’s mechanism as opposed to studies. You don’t need studies. It’s mechanism. This is how the body works.
Christa Biegler [00:26:06]:
There you go. I know sometimes people ask me for something like that. I’m like, it’s just like how exactly it’s mechanism. It’s just how it works. So if the bucket is full, if the drainage and detoxification bucket is full, you’re not taking out the trash bowel wise. You’ve got some other nutrient deficiencies, and some stuff is just not happening very beautifully in that capacity. Then the skin is a. Safe place for crap to show up. It’s just an elimination system. So instead of going out via urine or bowels, it’s showing up on the skin. We know that stuff comes out of the skin because you’ve smelled your sweat before, right? And so just a fun little sneaky thing is like, yeah, when my body odor starts to stink because I’m drinking not enough, if I drink a ton of coffee way too much and my body odor stinks, I’m like, okay, off to the sauna. And to support my drainage and detoxification.
Off to the sauna you go, Krista.
Christa Biegler [00:27:03]:
Go off to the sauna to get some crap out in the skin. And I will say I got my skin 90% better. No one could see that I had any rashes, but I had, like, a rough patch right here, probably. I don’t know where it was, but had a rough patch, like, kind of on my chest or neck, and the sauna got me the rest of the way there. Like, it helped with that skin turnover. And that’s the thing. You’re kind of at the mercy of.
Skin turnover, certainly how long barriers take to turn over.
Christa Biegler [00:27:30]:
Let me also pull up that schematic. I want to say it’s, like, up to weeks and months for the whole.
Thing, because there’s, like, multiple you could have, like, an immune reaction, and that reaction could be hanging out for, let’s say, a month, and you’re not realizing that the work you’re doing now is actually for a month from now, essentially.
Christa Biegler [00:27:52]:
Yeah. Let me give you a good story about that, something I learned from myself. And then for my clients, I actually think this is really valuable. Let’s say you clear up your skin stuff, and then you get, like, a head cold or something, and then, like, three weeks later, you have this skin presentation. Why would that happen? Because when you get this crap, you get, like, this sinusy thing. You can get some staph and strep overgrowth, right? It can hang out, like you said, in the system, and then it’s just a little too much toxic burden, potentially, and it starts to show up on the skin. But it can be pretty immediate, but it also can just be latent. And so I’ll see that all the time. I also see just stuff. I see the questions parents ask all the time about their kids. They’re like, My kid has this fever, and they’re sick, and they’re, like, breaking out. Is that I’m like, oh, my gosh. Of course. It’s like you have immune insult, right?
It’s an immune exactly.
Christa Biegler [00:28:44]:
Right. So anything you were experienced can just get worse in this time, unfortunately. And so we were saying that it takes a while to have skin or cellular know, Michelle, to answer that question. There’s, like, what’s normal and then there’s what that person is experiencing, because a normal thing people report after they do a lot of healing. So we should get into nourishment after.
They do a lot of healing is.
Christa Biegler [00:29:08]:
That they heal faster when they are in a craps place. They might say like, oh, I get a mosquito bite and it just doesn’t go away very quickly or I get a scrape and it feels like it takes maybe more than a couple of weeks to kind of really go away. That is very delayed in slow wound healing. And so you’ll see that there’s like what’s normal and then what people are experiencing also, which kind of sucks. And so you have to kind of put it in context there’s. A lot of the thing that kills us is like people wanting everything to be immediate always.
And it’s tricky because there’s nervous aesthetically, they’re nervous physically, of course. And skin conditions are also so apparent and something that your brain can just so hyper fixate on. I can totally understand why that would.
Christa Biegler [00:29:51]:
Be frightening on your hands. And I don’t want to say like, oh, it just takes time and you shouldn’t hang out here for years. That’s not actually the case. I would say realistic, but not complacent. And so I always try to give people decent timelines of what it looks like for this type of symptom. This is why I don’t want you coming in with some significant rash and trying to tell me you don’t have any other problem. Bologna, don’t even start this with me. You must have other symptoms to also monitor and improve because those may get better before and itch will sometimes get better before the skin heals, depending on how badly it’s broken. It’s very easy for it to get broken, right? And as a reminder, some other tricky things that people probably know. But just in case, just in case this is new. When you break open the skin and we know that there’s staph overgrowth and then you itch a different spot that’s not broken open, you’re now transferring that staff from one place to the next. So you’re actually spreading the eczema around topically as well.
It’s really important. And I’m going to do a very brief summary of the kind of visual you drew for us, too, which is that what is going on with a skin condition is not only skin deep, it’s happening from the inside and from the outside, which does make it uniquely tricky for you. Krista versus other conditions, which, though every single system of our body can be influenced from the outside, too. So I actually am disagreeing with my own argument. Temperature can influence the way our entire body runs, our hormones, everything like that. So I’m going to retract that. But what skin conditions show up as is when you have too high of a toxin load, not enough nutrients to get rid of it, and not open drainage pathways to remove it too. Quite literally. This is the question that I don’t know if you have an answer to, but I’ve always been curious about what is happening under the skin. Is it just a collection of white blood cells because it’s an immune response? Why is the skin raised?
Christa Biegler [00:31:40]:
What is it?
It’s just blood flow to that area. What is it?
Christa Biegler [00:31:43]:
Question I don’t know if I can answer that. I feel like that’s a great dermatologist question. I’m just over here, like, what are the mechanisms that have improved this for other people? But I feel like they are better with it’s.
Not an important question by the a yeah, I just like a yeah. Okay. So, Krista, now that the dandelion seeds have spread and we don’t have enough nutrients and you use the word nourishment and nutrients and we’re going to talk about that too, I think, something we’ve talked about in other episodes. But I need to just bring home for the audience is that detoxification is not this process by which you just eat really clean foods and then things just like you’re on a juice cleanse and you just wash things out because they’re cooling clean kind of foods. The process of detoxification is a very energy and nutrient dependent process. So basically our body has to repackage toxins and even hormones before they get eliminated through the body. And that is a very high energy, high demand process. So you need a lot for it. So if you’re undereating or really undereating specific vitamins and minerals and a word I know we’re going to talk about protein, it becomes a very challenging process to remove those toxins just by way of we can’t repackage them then, and then they get recirculated into the bloodstream and cause this whole issue over and over again. So what we see commonly is people saying, let’s cut the toxins out, which by the way, fantastic. That’s one part of it. Let’s cut the toxins out of our lives. Let’s see if that helps. Okay, but if there’s already a huge burden, like you said, if there’s already a huge amount of damage that’s been done, just removing the igniter doesn’t make the damage go away naturally. And it also doesn’t give us enough nutrients to be able to prevent and recover from all that also. So it’s important to reduce the toxin load, but then you also have to kind of slam your body with that nourishment. And that’s where I want you to roll with us, Krista, and take us through the nourishment piece.
Christa Biegler [00:33:32]:
Oh yeah, and there’s a little to before we go into the nourishment piece, I’m just going to talk a little bit about what you just said there, which know that drainage detox system, let’s just talk about the liver because it’s the easiest. It’s essentially A-A-A factory. And so the nutrients are the staff there and you show up short staffed. And it’s like you just can’t really do what you need to do. So when you have a lot of toxic burden coming in. So as you said, I don’t know how we make this a sexy one liner that the Internet will really appreciate, but as people reduce their toxic burden, maybe get rid of some candles and air fresheners, change up their detergent, what’s touching your skin and you’re inhaling all day. Start there. And what is the content of what’s going in your mouth all day? Right, so those are the simple ways of what are the inputs now your body must filter out. I love to tell this story, so if I may, I’m going to tell a quick story. I remember doing a total toxic burden test for a client one time, and it was the first time I’d done that test. This client had a lot of really interesting toxic burden history as a child. And so I just wanted to see if we could find like, if there was anything of interest as an adult. And so I was talking to the clinical director at that lab who I knew casually because life and I said to her, hey, can you tell me context wise, what’s the worst one of these you’ve seen before? Because I like stories and I actually think that client experiences are always my greatest teacher and I think that’s much more valuable to actually getting results in the short term right now, which is what everyone’s looking for. So I said to her, let’s just call her Jane. That’s not her name, but I’m like, Jane, can you just give me some context on one of the worst ones of these you ever seen? And she said, one time we had this girl, she was a young woman, and she was kind of an instagram influencer. And all these different companies would send her free product, and so she would use all these products, and she had the worst toxic burden test that she’d ever seen.
And she was probably like a holistic wellness influencer.
Christa Biegler [00:35:36]:
Right. I’m adding to the story where it doesn’t exist.
Christa Biegler [00:35:39]:
I’m literally lying.
But that’s so fascinating because you would think, again, people who have that most access to all of these products, these are products that are supposed to be healthful for the skin or whatever the body in whatever way had the highest tox that’s very interesting.
Christa Biegler [00:35:53]:
Yeah, I know I’m going to get a nourishment in a second, but you had asked me about wound healing timelines and how that works, and I’m actually looking at an image of what happens with the skin and how it kind of grows up and whatnot. And so the less severe, it can disappear within hours to days. Right. So if I can get like a child case that’s come in with elbow and back of knee eczema, I’m like, all right, excellent. This should not be too difficult. And then it just kind of gets worse from there. So if you’ve had something for a very long time, it’s like really dry flaking, but also the skin layers are compromised. It just kind of depends. Let’s go back to just for a second. When we were in our internship, I don’t know if you did any wound healing.
I was literally just going to say this. I can’t believe you’re saying this right now. Tell me because I’m freaking out. I just felt something. We did a thing just now. Tell me what you’re going to say.
Christa Biegler [00:36:41]:
Oh, I just am thinking back to wound healing rotations and turning people over and then measuring the wounds. And I just was like, wow. But they stick a device I mean, it decays from the bottom up when people have these severe pressure ulcer wounds. And so it’s like a cave under the skin. Like it looks okay on the top and then below it’s like just falling apart. And so they’ll stick a device in and measure how long and how wide it is. And that’s like a whole thing, right? And then you do some wound healing and stuff. Then it gets smaller and smaller and smaller, and that is going to take a real long time, right? And so we get stuff like that. Sometimes in these conditions, people will get kind of a rough scab that’s kind of deep, and you just expect that one to take many months to heal.
Christa Biegler [00:37:28]:
Like, people are like, I still have this spot. I’m like, duh, it is so bad.
Krista, what you’re saying that’s so important here is also that there’s a difference between wound healing and reducing an immune response that’s going to show up on your skin.
Christa Biegler [00:37:41]:
Right. Tissue inflammation.
Totally. Like tissue inflammation. Like, if you had a histamine response or something like that, you get histamine. Gotcha.
Christa Biegler [00:37:49]:
We forgot to talk about histamine.
I will never forget. I have masso. I’ll never forget to talk about histamines, by the way. I’ll never forget. So yes, and I have to add something to this internship piece. So there was like an obsession with wound healing in the dietetic internship, and not many people go into skin or wound healing, which is interesting, but I just had this crazy, intense feeling that I had to tell you because I know, obviously the focus with wound healing is protein addition, vitamin C and zinc. That’s always what was like the obsession in the dietetics degree. We were always taught that. And I’m just like, oh, my God, these are nutrients for liver detoxification that are so necessary. And I think at the time as a dietitian, I understood, like, vitamin C for collagen production. I understood these things, but I didn’t understand how much dysfunctional knowledge ties in with the allopathic understanding of wounds, too, which is like that a lot of our liver is very involved. But I just had this very emotional dietetic internship moment, too, when you said that, yes, let’s talk about histamines histamine.
Christa Biegler [00:38:51]:
Let’s talk about histamines. And then we can get into nutrients and kind of challenges and things that happen with nutrients or just easy opportunities, too. Okay, so histamines I forgot to mention this when we were talking about allergies and sensitivities because it plays into both. People are generally familiar with histamine because they’re used to taking anti or they’re familiar with anti. Histamines in allergies right, over the counter stuff. And so we know there’s a histamine response. By and large, histamine is a normal neurotransmitter that’s just occurring. We take it in from our environment. We take it in, it increases through exercise, and we take it in through food as a few places. And so we take it in our body if able and capable, which it in theory should be generally most of the time, it should be able to break down this neurotransmitter and eliminate it. We have other ones like this as well. But this becomes challenged when there is stuff happening in the gut. Because if there’s stuff happening in the gut, it’s affecting the enzyme speed and efficiency that can break down the enzymes, right? Dao, H, NMT, that can break down histamine and then the liver to take them out. Genetically, you can be a little slower to turn on that light switch or that enzyme, and then as you add more pressure from other gut imbalances, whatever, it just makes it worse. And then before you know it, you’re having histamine reactions. Fun thing about histamine is that it looks like a whole bunch of things. It looks like sometimes allergy symptoms. It looks like skin inflammation. It looks like this redness. There’s all these fancy terms, maybe dermatographia, et cetera. There’s all these fancy skin terms and people are like, do you know anything about hydrodengis superativa? I’m like, yes, but I didn’t know it was called that until a few years ago until you guys chest kept asking. I just thought it was like cysts in the really? I don’t really care what the name doesn’t really matter. Yeah, I don’t really care, and that’s fine. And kind of like Michelle’s asking me the exact mechanism of when it’s raised. I’m like, oh, I don’t remember. I don’t remember. Just because it doesn’t come up in.
Practice all that important. I’m just curious.
Christa Biegler [00:40:51]:
I love educating, but I like to educate. Like, I talk about some things that maybe actually people care about long term, and so I don’t really care what the diagnosis is. People love a good diagnosis because then they want to know what’s wrong with them and then they’re trying to figure out what it’s easier to say that than randomly reacts when you touch it or something like that. And that’s all. Typically, I would call histamine type stuff. Really sad thing that we’re seeing right now is like, people having not good responses to the sun or like, I’m allergic to the sun, which seems to be seems to be a last few years thing. Unfortunately, there’s more histamine crap happening.
Not surprising that it’s been the past few years I’ve seen more histamine bull crap, as I would say. I call it histamine bullshit. Or I’ll say to my clients like, that’s just a histamine annoying thing. It’s just a histamine thing and sometimes it just is. But someone can tell like, oh, I’m having that histamine reaction. Because it’s very distinct skin wise sometimes. Because it comes and it goes quickly for people sometimes and they’re like, oh, it’s like almost like and I think again, I’m rolling with mechanism here, that my feeling is I’m very aware that histamines are vasodilators or influence vasodilation. And I’m assuming part of that is also blood vessel changes and blood pooling and that is why it comes and goes very quickly too.
Christa Biegler [00:42:13]:
Yeah, I would think that would be correct. I don’t know why I wouldn’t be so losses of a histamine style with all kinds of labels. To me it’s just histamine and if I’m oversimplifying the hell out of it, I’m like, well, let’s just work on that. How we’re breaking it down and moving it out.
And it makes a huge difference for people, I’m assuming, which huge.
Christa Biegler [00:42:32]:
Yeah, it may not be perfect with that, but it may be substantially better. And I will still go for 50 and 75 and 80% better than taking.
A little bit of dow and noticing 50% differences. I mean, that could be like life changing for people. It’s not even a question. Yeah, exactly.
Christa Biegler [00:42:51]:
It just depends on the severity of it. Like what you would do. There’s certain, there’s like modulation and there’s like breaking it. I don’t know. As we said before, there’s multiple options for it, which is cool. So I think that’s the most important thing, no matter what, is that if you’re dealing with a thing, there’s probably some solid options that don’t suck.
And also the fun part of functional nutrition and what you do Krista, is you don’t only have to target it from reducing environmental toxicants. You can target it by increasing nutrients, you can target it by increasing drainage. Like you don’t only have to hit skin conditions from one angle. There’s so many different strategies. And what I love that you do Krista too is you’re like listen for symptom reduction, sometimes you got to hit from the outside with pharmaceuticals and then at the same time you’re hitting it from the know. You have to do it in a way that is going to help you and also is focused on symptom reduction. You don’t have to fix your entire liver detoxification and drainage system before you start noticing a difference.
Christa Biegler [00:43:49]:
No, you made the best point there. There are times when interventions are really helpful because if you just keep scratching to death or having the stress response from this skin being broken open, it’s most important to just get you in a comfortable place as soon as possible. So you quit having this painful mechanism hitting your brain and continuing the whole.
Process I joke that histamines are an allergy to stress, essentially. So if you are also looking at your skin and getting extremely upset over it and refusing to use medication for it from like, I don’t want to do anything allopathic. I’m too nervous about that kind of way. And then that’s causing a huge stress response or discomfort response in you. The histamines are going to be shot out anyway. So the histamines can be handled from a mental or physical standpoint. Okay, I need you. Take me to nourishment. Yeah, take me to nutrients. Nourishment.
Christa Biegler [00:44:39]:
All right. So first things, you got to digest the stuff. Second thing, very nutrient dependent, as Michelle already said. She did a beautiful job describing that. Detoxification is a very nutrient dependent process. So you must digest the things. You must be taking in enough, and you must be getting those nutrients there. So to your point, amino acids are often where I start because no one reacts negatively to amino acids. It’s fantastic. I would say one thing I try to instill in people is I try to instill well, sometimes people ask these great questions. They’re like, if I could just focus on a couple of things long term, like, oh, you can always support your drainage and detoxification. You can always support your adrenal and nervous system. You’re never going to go wrong there. It’s always going to be awesome. Just because I don’t have a massive eczema flare, Michelle, doesn’t mean I don’t support these things because these were both a huge peace of mind falling apart. And when I get all four years after that breakout, when I would go like, drink just crap coffee somewhere, I would get a tingle. It was the weirdest thing was like a sensation where I used to have the rash and I was like, oh, I’m just going to back off on all the toxic inputs for a second. So anyway, side notes, I guess important. So amino acids, people. Oh, I know what I was going to say when I’m trying to instill in people, like, you can always help support some things. When we’re talking about when we dive in, kind of like zoom in on drainage, detox, and maybe specifically liver function. There are some herbs that can help stimulate liver function, but there’s more nutrients. I always say, like, focus on nutrients before herbs because the nutrients you need and you can be deficient in choline. Choline is actually a pretty under recognized nutrient in the skin that does not get it’s talked about in the fertility world, I feel like, but massively kick.
Butt in skin and like brain function. You hear a lot about brain function.
Christa Biegler [00:46:26]:
Choline, liver, brain function, but it kicks butt in especially dry skin conditions.
We didn’t what’s your favorite food sources of choline?
Christa Biegler [00:46:36]:
So there’s food sources and it’s largely egg yolks. That’s like mostly what you get. But I would say I’m looking for way more for a therapeutic intervention short term, right? Like, much more than that.
That’s important, by the way. Yeah, I want to talk about that for a second.
Christa Biegler [00:46:55]:
I like to get action happening. So even though we want to do everything, there’s some really cool things you can do with food and we do with food for sure. And then there’s some things that’s, like, I don’t know if you’re going to be able to get that much in. That seems crazy. And then, unfortunately, there’s always these oxymorons where everything’s fighting with each other. And some people, a decent number of people struggle with egg protein digestion when they’re dealing with eczema and they’re eating eggs, and itching right. So they’re not breaking down these proteins, these hard to digest proteins, and so it’s causing itching. So I can’t really just have you eating, like, ten eggs or something. It’s like not even an option, right? Amino acids. Awesome. Right? Reminder, building blocks of protein, also building blocks of neurotransmitters. I’m sure you talk about them all the time. Amino acids, almost never a problem, and protein digestion very frequently a problem. I know we already both know this, because if you’re working with reflux, there’s definitely a protein digestion problem there, right? I love all these things. I love all these things. It’s like this is a downstream effect, guys. Your slow skin healing is a downstream effect of your stress causing low protein digestion and absorption situation. So that is number one. Good talk. Good talk on amino acids, right? Yes. Choline is a big one to me. I use the heck out of choline, some B vitamins, some like vitamin A, like you said, sometimes zinc for collagen synthesis. Sometimes I just do I mean, I like to do just collagen. It’s not like an automatic thing. When people come to me and they are on, like a typical, oh, I want to get into minerals here, and what happens in the process and how things don’t get in. People sometimes come in on this generic protocol that someone put them on for skin, which is usually like, zinc and omegas, but that’s not going to really make a difference if you got like a staph overgrowth or something inside.
I get really nervous with zinc supplementation, by the way. It’s something that I really exactly. Yeah, I need to ask you about something, too, that I don’t want to forget, which is like, the main thing that I hear with clients who have been to skin doctors or naturopaths or functional dietitians is the candida cleanse situation.
Christa Biegler [00:49:15]:
I also want to talk about menstrual problems.
We have to talk about hormonal. But I hate to say this, Krista, you can just totally shoot me down and attack me if I’m wrong, but I feel like for me, candida is still not a root cause anyway. And so I think that it’s like there’s such a hyper focus on candida cleansing and candida not eating any sugar, not eating any foods that are high in yeast versus I think it still skirts around the main issues that we’re talking about. What’s your take on Candida cleanses for skin and Candida in general? For skin?
Christa Biegler [00:49:55]:
Yeah, they’re straight out of the 1990s, I would say, and early two thousand s. And I would say by the time people get to me work past that point, or someone tried that and that was not the thing that was like, this sucks. Yes, I understand. We are not looking for life sucking times. Okay? First of all, fungus does not hang out by itself. We have a microbiome and a microbiome. When you take antibiotics, you can have a party sometimes. I actually talk about this sometimes with clients. So there’s fungal imbalances and bacterial imbalances. As I just said, there’s certain pathogens that allow these to overgrow and then I unfortunately see way too much mold influence in skin issues, much more than I would like. If I need a sabbatical, it’s probably because I’m sick of talking about this mold situation. Which is fine, it’s fine. It’s just that there is a mild to moderate situation, not a severe situation, that I feel like I am pretty dang okay. At finding for people. And it just sucks. It breaks everything. But because it’s adding a lot of toxic burden and skin is just an easy place, safe place for the body to discard toxic burden. It makes perfect sense. So why am I bringing this up and pretending everyone knows what I’m talking about? Because mold is just a more aggressive type of fungus. Candida is a strain of fungal fungus and mold is just a more aggressive form. So have we always maybe been dealing with it in some capacity? Maybe. And we were just calling, like, if I see a couple strains of fungal overgrowth on a stool test, I’m going to suspect that anyway. I’m like, okay, this is actually not even super common to see on the stool test. Doesn’t mean it’s not a thing. I go by symptoms. Right. And so, yeah, I’m not going to restrict sugar forever. I would say in the short term sometimes, yeah, it’ll make you flare a bit, but it’s more like what actually in general, let’s have stable blood sugar and enjoy food and all of these things. Right?
I think that’s tell me about blood sugar is blood sugar balance, which by the way, our sponsor for this episode is very which is a continuous glucose monitor. So if someone is working on their skin stuff, monitoring your blood sugar can actually be one of the first places to start. Tell me the relationship between blood sugar management and skin and why it’s important to have that foundation of health.
Christa Biegler [00:52:03]:
Well, let me tell you all the ways. I’m not going to tell you all the ways. It is multidimensional a couple of ways is the one we just talked about and the one we’re about. To talk about.
So let’s just do that.
Christa Biegler [00:52:15]:
So if your blood sugar is like a hot mess express one, you’re going to be needing to consume a lot more of these simple carbs, right. And you’re going to be missing out on other nutrients. It’s going to be quite this not fun. Roller coaster inflammation sometimes well thrives in this higher blood sugar situation. We know that very clearly. It causes other issues. It’s like a liver thing. Like there’s lipid issues, et cetera. To me it’s not like which way it’s like, well, it’s kind of like everything, I guess. It’s also energy. It’s everything one way it massively impacts is hormone stuff, right? So all the stuff we’re doing for skin is also affecting your hormone health. And blood sugar is huge for hormone health. And something we wanted to loop back to was really common to see worsening flares cyclically prior to ovulation. And prior to the start of your menstrual cycle, there is more crap trying to move out. Your estrogen is trying to break down and be eliminated shortly before or in that time frame typically. And so if you already have taxed, if the freeway is already backed up, it just adds to the burden and so stuff shows up on your skin, right? And we could make that argument about skin eruptions on the face from an Acne perspective. Also with your menstrual cycle, it’s just like how is your body wanting to do it? I mean that maybe is a different conversation for a different day that I don’t really care that much about. Like why does your body want to do eczema versus Acne?
It’s also just like sometimes your body just has a baseline. It’s interesting when I had all this mold and histamine issues, which I’m only talking about in the season, by the way, you guys are going to hear me trickling this in the season. But that was something that I’ve been dealing with for a couple of years. But I never got a skin reaction once because it’s like not my thing. But I had every other reaction in the body you could ever imagine. But it’s like your body just does about this topic. It favors things sometimes just is your thing kind of.
Christa Biegler [00:54:14]:
This is why one of the reasons we don’t have an amazing toolbox for Eczema is because we try to treat it like it’s all the same, right? But it’s not really all the same. There’s like different things you can prioritize from the inside sometimes. So to be continued on Mold conversation stuff later because that has been quite an adventure for me both with clients and for myself. It’s just kind of like we ever get to not learn about stuff. No, I think we have to kind of know a bit about it because it can come to any well, Krista.
My message from Mold was I was like, all right. In the past I had all this reflux IBS anxiety, all this stuff that kind of marked the first half of my career. Right. And it marked what made me so interested in these topics. And then I got hit with mold so hard. And during this time when all this histamine release was happening because of the virus and the vaccines and everything, and I was like, I thought I learned my lesson before. I thought the lesson was already learned about my health. That’s what I’ve been working with people for. Right.
Christa Biegler [00:55:15]:
Is it the same experience for you? Yeah, a little bit. Right. Was actually a lot of that. Did it start with a little bit of mold exposure? So fun thing, maybe we won’t go off on this too much, but I think you can be exposed to mold as a child, or you can live in a moldy basement and you can deal with it. And your body’s really good at dealing with it and just trying to deal with what it’s got thrown at it. And it just makes you more sensitive to fungal type symptoms later. And there are certain things that are exacerbator. If you walk into a place that’s more moldy, maybe you come out more symptomatic than someone else. You already had a baseline colony inside that has not been addressed. I see that a lot.
Absolutely. And again, it doesn’t matter what food you’re eating or it doesn’t matter what environment you’re in. It matters how it interacts with the exact environment of your body. So it’s like right place, right time. How resilient was your body to handle it? And that’s why I think in the go ahead. Sorry, I was just going to say.
Christa Biegler [00:56:09]:
Mold makes you look reactive to a zillion foods, everything. Absolutely.
Yeah, it is. And I think it is important for us to talk about this, especially at this time this season. I also started to finally talk about the virus a little bit. Finally start because I think we’re all kind of seeing what happened. And I think in the beginning we were like, what is long COVID? I don’t get it. Why are these skin conditions happening with people with long COVID? Why is this brain fog happening? It seemed like such an unrelated cluster of symptoms, and now I think we’re all putting together what the heck just happened? It’s just immune system stuff for the past few years. And it’s so important when it comes to skin because again, we think of skin as being external and then we kind of get it that it’s internal, but it’s just so immune mediated and so important to talk about.
Christa Biegler [00:56:53]:
You’re looking for the one week fix. It might not exist.
Christa Biegler [00:56:58]:
Okay, tell me roll on any of the please. Yeah, absolutely.
Christa Biegler [00:57:03]:
Because I feel like mold we could spend a whole conversation on.
I think we are going to have a whole conversation on that.
Christa Biegler [00:57:10]:
I think so, because the stories are valuable and it has been very experiential for me, learning what works, what testing is most helpful for people. Should you test? Should you not test? What do you do next? And I think the world needs some non psycho education around that.
Yeah, I think so too. That’s tricky. I think we’ll just do like a nice personal conversation one. I would do that on either of our podcasts, by the way, because I think it’s something I haven’t been super even talkative about because I’m now on the tail end of it. But when I was working through it, I was like, all right, this is totally new territory. It was totally new. And then now I found it’s been so productive for my clients who are dealing with histamine issues, mold issues, like you said, we can learn it or you can live it. And having both, I think, is really important. One thing I want to pull us back to that’s so amazing that you said, which is that anything with our liver or immune system or skin, the really hard part is that let’s say in the case of you want to have really good blood sugar when you have skin conditions. But at the same time, like we said before, you probably have an issue digesting protein. So what people end up doing is leading and leaning on those safe foods, which are those carbohydrates foods, because they know, hey, these carbs are most likely not going to cause a reaction in me. Well, yeah, you’re right, because sugar, I.
Christa Biegler [00:58:37]:
Would say people do a lot of low carb and find that they’re less bloated, maybe because they have equally the same problems digesting carbohydrates in their digestion, especially if there’s bacterial and fungal stuff. So that’s where the premise of candida cleanse come from. Like, let’s just starve it out. I just don’t think that that works well.
Yeah, and I think for people it’s hard if they can’t digest protein well because they end up if you have low stomach acid, you actually sometimes crave protein less at a time when your body needs protein the most. So sometimes it’s good to have external measures and at the same time listen to your body because when all these things are happening again, your inclination might also be, let me just cut all these foods out because I’m scared and I don’t want anything to influence my skin. And sometimes you have to work with your intuition and sometimes you have to just understand more. And maybe that’s with a practitioner or testing or something like that too.
Christa Biegler [00:59:27]:
I mean, and that’s where if you don’t know what to do, you can take digestive enzymes, that’s fine. That’s a totally great choice to get the food digesting in the short term. That’s a great short term plan. Go ahead and do that, no problem. See what happens. Briefly on nutrients, we talked a little bit about it something I think that will become more popular eventually is that the inflammatory process challenges the cell membrane structure. And so you can’t always get nutrients inside the cell. So sometimes you have to put the phospholipid membrane back together or you must nourish it back to health in order for the nutrients to even get in the door.
And we did a fun detox and drainage episode with Dr. John Kim, and he loves body biopc, he loves phospholipid formulations. And certainly I think a lot of us are coming to understand that the structure of the cell is one of the most important components for detoxification, too. Yeah, absolutely. And I’m sure you use that with your clients and skin stuff too, a lot.
Christa Biegler [01:00:29]:
No, I mean, and that’s where it’s like so choline really valuable for detoxification, but also a huge player in phospholipid membrane of every cell. So if we just think about if you have a bunch of dried up cells from an inflammatory process, a virus from the past few years could be an inflammatory process. Whatever working out, inflammatory process, we all have some level of inflammation inputs. It’s just when it’s like longer term, it can be more significant and more severe. Athletes have the most inflammation, I think. I mean, because we work with healthy style people, right? So they have tons of inflammation history and so they’re not getting nutrients in. They have a lot of deficiencies, whether they realized it or not. And so, yeah, choline does a beautiful job. Phospholipid, memory and vitamin E, other things. So, yeah, very fun sometimes that conversation. Oh, what I was going to say is that when that is really dried up and you put all these cells together, you’re going to have like, dry skin, right?
Absolutely. If people are in a current flare, they are not working with a practitioner yet, what is the first step they can take? I’m not talking about eating something. If it’s an inventory of self, what’s the insights that people should take just in the middle of a flare right now and not knowing where to look?
Christa Biegler [01:01:42]:
That’s a good question. We didn’t talk about it. Depends on the priority, which it’s fine. So let me just try to big picture it. I always recommend people do a symptom survey, like go online and Google multiple Symptom questionnaire, symptom Survey so you can see what all the big picture stuff is. Because sometimes you only see the most glaring issue and you don’t really realize all the other stuff that fits together. Doing that, whether it’s you putting together pieces or someone else helping you put together the pieces is going to be great because you must know all the things. And then the other thing only if this doesn’t cause more stress, is like just keeping a journal for a couple of weeks to see if you notice anything. I’m not saying for food, but just a journal around your stress and your hydration and are you pooping? Whatever, right? Like just about your day and what that was like, just to see if you can see any patterns that becomes useful information for anyone also at some point. So those would be starting points regardless. Maybe that was unexpected for what people like.
There can be other things.
Christa Biegler [01:02:43]:
The one thing I know you’re going to kick yourself for, that we talked about that you didn’t go into enough was minerals because I know you. So tell me a little bit about minerals in our skin too.
Christa Biegler [01:02:53]:
Okay, so back to the inflammatory cell situation. If the phospholipid membrane is inflamed, the minerals are not getting into the cell. The minerals are most inefficient to be absorbed. Certain varieties of minerals, they go in a certain order. So they’re all important to me. We’re on probably the same page now, largely influenced by similar people. Actually. I first learned about hair tissue mineral analysis in 2009. Thought it was really Hokey conference because I threw away some notes about it last year and I was like, oh, that’s hilarious. I had already gone to a conference about that in 2000 and 914. And then I brought it back. I don’t know if it was 2018, 2019, but I got more into it in 2020. And that’s really fun because if the doorway is not working for the minerals to get inside the cell, then you’re just like supplementing, supplementing, supplementing. So for me, minerals are valuable for tissue healing, detoxification, hormone function, energy production. It just doesn’t matter. It’s like getting those minerals into balance in the right order and actually absorbing them properly. The problem is that our stress dumps them out. And so that’s where, I mean, that’s really the only significant roadblock I feel in practice for the most part is like gotten nervous system stuff you don’t know what you’re doing with. And it’s a lot harder to fix that than we think it is. Absolutely.
Yeah. This season we do so much most of the episodes are on the nervous system and it’s all centering around different conditions because it’s one of the foundationiest of all foundations is our nervous system. And I think it’s a far jump for people to understand nervous system to skin. But just the middle part is that it directs immune activity, period. That’s it.
Christa Biegler [01:04:39]:
Yes, exactly. That’s the most important factor right there.
Do you think there’s anything else that we will kick ourselves if we missed? I mean, we could literally do six more hours.
Christa Biegler [01:04:50]:
Yeah, I really just think I don’t even have time to walk you through how I subtype everything. But that’s okay because there’s a quiz for it. If someone needed the quiz, there’s like a quiz on is it maybe more gut mediated? Is it maybe more liver mediated? To me, that’s just like a priority thing. It’s like it only gets more complex. And so I’m just trying to prioritize. Is the nervous system and stress the most severe? If it is, then let me just get you on some Adrenal support, some mineral support, et cetera. First, as the first line therapy, mostly I want to do that regardless. You can’t go wrong, but then it becomes more important, like the way the skin stuff looks. So if hand eczema is prevalent, for sure, that if it’s dry, usually like, liver, and if it’s like, more red and raised, for sure.
Gut oh, that’s so interesting. Can you send me that quiz? I’ll put it in the show notes.
Christa Biegler [01:05:35]:
Yeah, I think it’s like Eczema type quiz or like, I still have this website called Eczema Nutritionist, and it’s right and it’s on there. I mean, I’ve built it, like, once and never touched it because I thought I had time for this. I’m really christabigler.com, you can find everything from there. But that one is on this other website, Eczema Nutritionist, because I was, like, trying to pull these versions apart, and it doesn’t really matter. I’m all the same. The end.
At the end, you’re like, I’m still Krista. Just come to Krista Beagler. That’s it. And we’ll be putting that in the show notes, too. Krista, I think you gave people so much hope about their skin conditions, so much hardcore science like you do, and people will want to learn so much more from you if they aren’t following you, which I’m sure they honestly already are. Where can people find you? How can they work with you or your team? How can they learn from you?
Christa Biegler [01:06:21]:
I would say if you’re listening to a podcast, my favorite place to hang out with you is on my podcast, which is the less stress life. Otherwise I’m on instagram anti inflammatory nutritionist. And we have good content on instagram. I just prefer dialogue, your podcast. And I would say I’m really welcome people to ask their questions because I want to be recording more mini episodes about little conditions. I know that’s what everyone wants to know anyway. Exactly.
And you also do some of the deepest dives in functional nutrition on your podcast and really other topics, too. You really cover the scope of, I think, just health conditions in a way that most people do not go into that depth. So every single episode is like, you better get your notepads ready because that’s your personality.
Christa Biegler [01:07:00]:
That’s because I like to learn things, and if I didn’t learn something, I get disappointed. So it’s always nice when I don’t feel like it was that good. And someone’s like, I really like that episode. I’m like, oh, so glad you liked it.
I hope you think this is terrible because this was an absolutely incredible episode.
Christa Biegler [01:07:14]:
I think it’s great. I would say that my topics are anything under the health triad, which I’m not sure if I made up, but it’s like anything that’s under the emotional or nervous system, structural or nutritional lenses or corners or angles is fair game for us.
And you actually do work with people in your team with one on one skin conditions, they can come testing and support and everything.
Christa Biegler [01:07:38]:
Still feel really strongly. I think you do, too. Still feel really strongly about high quality one on one work. So I am still doing what I feel is high quality, one on one work for our clients to overcome a variety of conditions, including food sensitivities, improve energy, overcome inflammatory symptoms without unnecessary restriction.
Yeah, you’re the freaking best. And I’m going to leave all those links. Chris, I can never thank you enough. Thank you so much for coming on. You all have to check out the less stress life. If you aren’t listening my if you’re listening to my podcast, you’re probably listening to Chris’s podcast already. So it’s almost silly for me to say, but now you better double listen. Exactly.
Christa Biegler [01:08:15]:
No, they are so flattered.
Thank you, Krista.
Christa Biegler [01:08:17]:
Thanks for having me. You’re the bomb. Okay.