Autoimmune Diseases and the Gut Microbiome – Could This Be the Missing Link? – with Dr. David Bilstrom


Today on the Gut Health Reset Podcast, we are discussing autoimmune diseases with Dr. David Bilstrom! There is a growing body of evidence indicating that gut health plays a key role in autoimmune disease. The gut microbiome, the community of microbes that live in the intestines, has been shown to influence the development and severity of autoimmune conditions. For example, studies have shown that gut dysbiosis, an imbalance in the gut microbiome, can trigger or worsen autoimmune conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. Changes to the gut microbiome have been observed during flares of autoimmune diseases.Additionally, the gut microbiome produces metabolites that can affect immune system function. Therefore, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is essential for preventing or managing autoimmune disease.


In today’s episode, we will answer these questions:

– Why has the rate of autoimmunity grown exponentially?

– What diseases contribute to autoimmune issues?

– What issues can trigger hyperthyroidism?

– What can people do to prevent autoimmune disease?

– And more!


Still want to learn more? Schedule with Dr. Barter today!


Recommended Products From Today’s Show

IBS Support Probiotic Capsules

IBS Support Probiotic Powder


About Dr. David Bilstrom:

Dr. David Bilstrom, MD, is the Director of the International Autoimmune Institute and Bingham Memorial Center for Functional Medicine. For 25+ years, Dr. Bilstrom has been a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He was an attending physician at a number of Chicago-area hospitals, served in private practice, and practiced at rehabilitation institutes throughout the United States. As the Director of the Bingham Memorial Center for Functional Medicine and the International Autoimmune Institute in Blackfoot, Idaho, Dr. Bilstrom works closely with experts in a number of medical specialties to evaluate, diagnose and treat chronic and autoimmune diseases. Taking the mind, body, and spirit into consideration, he understands firsthand the benefits functional and integrative medicine can provide to patients.

Subscribe for more gut health content and share this podcast with a friend! Take a screenshot of this episode and tag Dr. Ann-Marie Barter:

Dr. Ann-Marie Barter is a Functional Medicine and Chiropractic Doctor at Alternative Family Medicine & Chiropractic. She is the clinic founder of Alternative Family Medicine & Chiropractic that has two offices: one in Longmont and one in Denver. They treat an array of health conditions overlooked or under-treated by conventional medicine, called the “grey zone”.

*As always, this podcast is not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any condition and is for information purposes only. Please consult with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current lifestyle.*



[00:00:00] Dr. David Bilstrom: What prevents autoimmune disease because of the immune system, how it was tied into all chronic disease, you’re really preventing everything. And so a really big central mechanism in autoimmune disease, but also in everything turns out to be vitamin D receptors and the gut becoming resistant to vitamin D.
[00:00:18] Dr. David Bilstrom: So what you do is three things together, daily, vitamin D, daily, probiotic, and daily, but. And so we use this triad a lot, as you can imagine, because it gets at this optimizing intestinal microbiome that turns out to be, well, you know this of course, but it turns out to be the central mechanism, just about everything.
[00:00:40] Dr. David Bilstrom: So once again, it all goes back to gut hills.
[00:00:42] Disclaimer: The information provided in this podcast is educational and not intended to diagnose or treat medical.
[00:00:49] Intro: Are you struggling with bloating, gas, constipation, and fatigue, but don’t know what’s causing these problems? The Gut Health Reset Podcast with Dr. Ann-Marie Barter dives deep into the root [00:01:00] causes behind these issues that start in the gut. This podcast will give you the knowledge you need to heal your gut and reset your health.
[00:01:10] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Today on the Gut Health Reset Podcast, we are talking about autoimmune disease. We are also talking about how to establish. The gut and immune health and how to prevent an even reverse autoimmune disease, including type one diabetes and thyroid issues. Thank you so much for joining us here on the Gut Health Reset Podcast.
[00:01:31] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: My name is Dr. Ann Marie Barter, and today my special guest is Dr. David Bilstrom, md. He is igniting passion for holistic minded medical professionals looking to effectively diagnose, treat, and reverse autoimmune disorders without the use of immune suppressing medications. He is the medical director of the International Autoimmune Institute at Bingham Memorial Center for Functional.
[00:01:57] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: He’s been in practice for 35 plus [00:02:00] years. He’s been a physician as specializing in physical medicine, rehabilitation, and chronic disease management. He is quadruple board certified in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, integrative medicine, physical medicine, rehabilitation, and medical acupuncture. He is also a sought out speaker.
[00:02:22] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And he has written a book called The Nurse Practitioner’s Guide to Autoimmune Medicine, reversing and Preventing All Autoimmunity. Dr. Bostrom, it is such a pleasure to have you on the podcast today. I’m very excited about the topics we’re gonna get into today.
[00:02:40] Dr. David Bilstrom: I’m excited too.
[00:02:40] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Awesome. So tell me a little bit about why you got so passionate into autoimmunity.
[00:02:50] Dr. David Bilstrom: Well, the, uh, the numbers are growing exponentially, unfortunately, uh, both for children and adults and typ. The typical [00:03:00] interventions that are offered are just bandages and they don’t fix the problem, and people just keep getting worse and worse over time. Give us second, in a third and a fourth autoimmune disease and the medicines that are typically used.
[00:03:12] Dr. David Bilstrom: actually have a side effects, increased cancer risk, increased risk of life, threatening infections, and actually can give you a new autoimmune disease as a side effect. Mm-hmm. , which is nothing, none of that is ideal. And
[00:03:24] Dr. David Bilstrom: why do you think the, the rate of autoimmunity is growing at such an exponential rate?
[00:03:32] Dr. David Bilstrom: Well, there’s a lot of theories. Uh, part of it is, is because the gut is such a central mechanism to everything that throws off the immune. Um, that, uh, we, we tend to get super messed up guts in this country and around the world, but also a big one is environmental toxicity. And unfortunately we live in such a toxic world nowadays, but even that goes back to the gut where the guts domain organ of detoxification in the body with a messed up gut, you can’t [00:04:00] get rid of toxins efficiently and they build in your system and that really has a negative impact on everything that drives autoimmune disease.
[00:04:08] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And what are you seeing in. I, and I know it’s so variable because you know, the, the messed up gut is gonna be variable, but are you seeing any patterns other than, you know, just a messed up gut and toxins? Are you seeing any particular patterns with what people have going on in their gut?
[00:04:26] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yeah. You know, that intestinal microbiomes, the mix of the good, bad bugs in the gut is so vitally important and there’s so many things that’ll disrupt.
[00:04:35] Dr. David Bilstrom: Um, and this is why you tend to see a, a disruption of the immune system at such early ages. And so, um, if I could spend just a, a, a moment talking about the immune system, because we’re talking about autoimmune disease. What you’re really talking about is a disruption of the immune system in general. . And so the immune system is a really great example of how the body likes balance is.
[00:04:54] Dr. David Bilstrom: You don’t wanna be too high, too low in anything. Blood pressure, blood sugar, there’s always a sweet spot right in the middle. [00:05:00] Well, the immune system, you have that beautiful set point right in the middle, but when you lose that set point in the middle, you actually move away from it up and down at the same time.
[00:05:09] Dr. David Bilstrom: And the up-regulated immune system issues are things like allergies, asthma. And then the autoimmune disease is where the immune system has become confused. It is actually attacking our own body parts with antibodies. And then the downregulated immune system issues are colds, flus, infections, recurrent infections, such as in kids, recurrent ear infection strips, throat, sinus infections, UTIs, but also cancer.
[00:05:34] Dr. David Bilstrom: And this is why cancer is the flip side of the same coin as autoimmune. So everything that we do, uh, to rebalance this immune system, get it back to the middle, not only is getting rid of all the up stuff, autoimmune disease, preventing new autoimmune disease as time goes on, but you’re also getting rid of a cancer risk.
[00:05:51] Dr. David Bilstrom: And everything that does this is actually totally tied in to the gut. So the things that do that [00:06:00] are, uh, biome deficiencies, hormone imbalances or deficiencies, uh, toxic stress that throws. The stress hormone, cortisol infections, the kind of infections that drive chronic disease, which are different typically the ones that give you more of the more obvious infections that give chronic disease and then that toxicity and then the gut.
[00:06:23] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so once the gut disrupted, it throws every one of these off if they’re not already thrown off. So if the gusts disrupted, you can’t digest your food and get the nutrients out. You get vitamin de. When the guts off, you can’t balance hormones. The whole hormone symphony gets thrown off, including the gut have to make some really important hormones.
[00:06:40] Dr. David Bilstrom: The the microbiome makes important hormones. When the guts off, you can’t get rid of toxins. Cause the main organ detoxification is pooping stuff out. And because 80% of the immune system seras the gut, when you throw off the gut, it throws off the immune. The immune system can’t keep away The infections that drive chronic disease and [00:07:00] then all this stuff that’s happening cuz of the disrupted gut is so stressful to the body.
[00:07:04] Dr. David Bilstrom: It kicks the stress hormone cortisol up into the stress mode that then suppresses the immune system. So you get these infections when you’re in stress mode, it really tough on the gut. Stress just kills the. . And so this is where this, the gut is such a central mechanism in all this stuff. And so early on what you tend to see in young people, it’s a disruption of this immune system where they may have eczema, some allergies, maybe asthma, but also start getting recurrent infections.
[00:07:31] Dr. David Bilstrom: And you know already that this immune system set point has been disrupted. And if you don’t do what you need to do to rebalance it, you just keep moving farther away from the setpoint autoimmune disease, cancer. and all these kind of things. And so the typical interventions that happen though for most health issues in general, including if we can talk about what the usual interventions for autoimmune disease are totally counterproductive.
[00:07:52] Dr. David Bilstrom: Just about the things like, you know, steroids for asthma, medicines for, uh, allergies, antibiotics for these recurrent [00:08:00] infections. You know, at best I just put a bandage on a symptom. At worst, they actually completely disrupt the system cuz steroids totally throw cortisol off. And then antibiotics of course, totally threw off the gut.
[00:08:12] Dr. David Bilstrom: and so you get this, uh, heading in the wrong direction at young ages and without actually getting it back to the mill and getting rid of, Hey, I no longer get infections. Hey, I no longer have asthma allergies or eczema. You’re kind of going down the path that’ll eventually lead to the autoimmune disease and cancer.
[00:08:30] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: You, you bring up so many good points, and I, I think what is important to note is most people want their eczema to be one thing. I just want it to be one thing. You know, they. Want to look at, oh, is it hormones? Oh, I have a gut bug. Oh, I have nutrient deficiencies. They just want kind of one simple answer.
[00:08:50] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And what I hear you saying is that it’s a multitude generally in most patients of multiple different things.
[00:08:58] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yep, yep. The body’s too smart to [00:09:00] let one thing throw it off. It’s gotta be a bunch of stuff for the body to start getting overwhelmed enough. You start getting a health.
[00:09:07] Dr. David Bilstrom: And you also mentioned that there were certain bugs that actually contributed to autoimmune disease.
[00:09:12] Dr. David Bilstrom: What are those?
[00:09:14] Dr. David Bilstrom: Well, actually, we now know that all chronic disease is infections and inflammation and infections caused inflammation, ba sodas, everything else we just talked about. And so this is where everything is actually the adaptive immune system, which is the part of the immune sysmex antibodies.
[00:09:33] Dr. David Bilstrom: and you can become confused and you start making antibodies, attacking your own body parts, which is autoimmune disease. Um, but also inflammation control is the innate immune system. The other half of the immune system is thrown off by all this stuff. And so, um, infections actually part of every chronic disease doesn’t matter.
[00:09:50] Dr. David Bilstrom: What you got is, is infections. So this is one thing that gets missed oftentimes, is you always, uh, you can test for these infections, but you always gotta treat these infections that drive [00:10:00] chronic disease. Uh, whether. Bacterial, fungal, viral, mycoplasma, which is totally different than the others. Parasitic all these kind of guys.
[00:10:11] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so, you know, typically like these infections that we easily test for in a blood test, let’s say, would be things like herpes virus, six activated Epstein bar virus, which don’t just drive autoimmune disease, but also, for example, those two will drive childhood leukemias cancers. And you got things like mycoplasma Kasi virus, um, You know, those kind of, and mycoplasm is a real big one to drive the autoimmune diseases that drive pain.
[00:10:37] Dr. David Bilstrom: Uh, so these are the kind of infections that tend to drive chronic disease, including, you know, many different kind of infections that can get into the gut. Uh, mold candy is a very common one, and so you got these infections in the gut systemically all through the system. Molds a lovely one for all through the system as well.
[00:10:54] Dr. David Bilstrom: Um, kinda the classic six for you. Pretty much know the mold’s gotten out of the gut and is in the bloodstream. [00:11:00] Joint pain, muscle pain, brain fog, fatigue, sinus issues, weight gain in adult population particularly. So many people have that combo and you’re like, yeah, that’s part of this infectious process that drives chronic, uh, disease.
[00:11:13] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so that’s a big one that, that gets missed by a lot of people is the, the involvement of chronic infections and all these kind of things, not just our immune system disruption with the autoimmune disease and cancer risk.
[00:11:25] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: What about. with, so thyroid and hypothyroid is really, really climbing and, and mm-hmm.
[00:11:33] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: you know, and that has a pretty big impact on the gut. Just, just based on transit time. What do you feel like is behind hypothyroid?
[00:11:42] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yeah, so you, you, you can get hypothyroid because of thyroid stops making, uh, its hormone called free t4. 70% of the time when that happens, it’s autoimmune. You’re attacking the thyroid.
[00:11:54] Dr. David Bilstrom: So if somebody’s got diagnosis, hypothyroid, 70% chance it’s autoimmune disease. Even if somebody [00:12:00] who may have diagnosed you never checked for those antibodies that will attack the thyroid. But also what you tend to see, and this is where a lot other times when people use that T4 medicine like Synthroid Levothyroxin, when they’ve been told their thyroid won’t make t4, they still don’t feel good.
[00:12:14] Dr. David Bilstrom: And actually as you go up on the dose, they start feeling. It is because, uh, historically used to be, Hey, if I can make T4 I’m fine. But it’s a lot more than that now. And so it’s much more common nowadays, it becoming a poor thyroid converter, not the poor thyroid production. And so the T4 the thyroid makes is relatively inactive.
[00:12:35] Dr. David Bilstrom: So I guess releasing the bloodstream goes to all your different body parts. And those body parts have to convert it to the one that does the work called three t3 or. It can convert to the one that gets in the way of the, of the work, reverse t3. And so, so much now is poor thyroid conversion, which once again kind of goes back to the gut cuz of things that make people a bad converter.
[00:12:59] Dr. David Bilstrom: [00:13:00] Vitamin deficiencies. Alright, can digestive giving nus out toxicity, cortisol disruption, and then kind of the steroid American diet, eating too many carbs, not on the protein. And so it’s really common for people to become bad converters. . And if you’re taking that t4, converting it the wrong way, the reverse t3, they, you may go, oh, and you got low thyroid symptoms.
[00:13:21] Dr. David Bilstrom: Here’s this T4 medicine. But when you give T4 medicine, more T4 is just more to convert the wrong way and people actually can start feeling worse. So it’s a classic. If you use T4 medicine, you start feeling worse. You know you’re a bad converter right there. And so you gotta go back and fix that. And then to your point, they call thyroid the great mimicker.
[00:13:39] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so it can look like. And typically they, so many of the multi-organ systems symptoms that you’re gonna get as part of chronic disease, including autoimmune disease, is actually tied into this because they’ll go down to like all the different things that are bugging some at the same time. And like 90% of ’em are consistent with low thyroid.
[00:13:57] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so we actually have, um, [00:14:00] in our clinic that people can access it through our book and the private room and our website that you can get to called the Signs and Symptoms of Low Thy. where it’s like a hundred things on a page, and we ask people to circle everything that applies to them, and they circle, circle, circle, get writers circling, and they go, oh my gosh, look at all these things that are tied into this thyroid disruption.
[00:14:21] Dr. David Bilstrom: Oftentimes more of the conversion problem, but then you look at it, you’re like, well, geez, look at all the things that will get better. Or We become a good converter all at the same time. So it’s super important for gut and everything else. .
[00:14:33] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Yeah. And why, why do you feel like women are so much more affected by thyroid than men?
[00:14:39] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And especially with i b s to, you know, to that point they have i b s issues maybe associated with low fi thyroid function.
[00:14:48] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yep. So this kind of ties into women’s health. There’s a lot more complicated than guy’s health a lot of times. Mm-hmm. . And so this is where like with an autoimmune disease where you start attacking your own body parts.
[00:14:57] Dr. David Bilstrom: Uh, and we now know [00:15:00] that auto. Is part of so many chronic health issues that we didn’t know before. So for example, 70% of all autism is one particular autoimmune disease and every other neurologic issue of kids is basically that same autoimmune disease, but also things like heart attacks and strokes and osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s and all these things are also all got autoimmune components to it.
[00:15:24] Dr. David Bilstrom: So this is where it’s part of all this stuff. And so in women, A real big driver. There’s two big drivers of autoimmune disease and women, but it kind of drives chronic disease, is one’s estrogen dominance, having tumor, much estrogen, non the progesterone, and in women with attempts to show up as because estrogen, res, progesterone, combs, it’ll show up as anxiety, excessive worry, insomnia, panic attacks.
[00:15:48] Dr. David Bilstrom: But because of such a big driver of hormonal and menstrual, Bad flows, bad cramps, PMs, ovarian cyst, breast cyst fibers, endometriosis, infertility. That’s all estrogen dominance. [00:16:00] And so when you see that estrogen dominance, you know, oh that is disrupted immune system. So, uh, this is why when women have these signs of estrogen doms early, we really want to let people know, you gotta fix this cuz we know where you’re going.
[00:16:12] Dr. David Bilstrom: It’s such a big driver of immune system disruption. It’s one reason why 80% of people with autoimmune disease are women and women that have estrogen. Premenopausal before menopause. Have a 5.4 times increased risk of breast cancer before menopause. Not twice the risk, not three times. And you think of someone’s like three times increased the risk of breast cancer.
[00:16:34] Dr. David Bilstrom: There’d be a national emergency, 5.4 times increased risk and a 10 times greater list risk of malignant neoplasms, the kind that start places and metastasized your whole life. And so when you see that kind of. You go, oh, we gotta fix it. Now, unfortunately, is often the case. The medicines that get used actually make it worse.
[00:16:56] Dr. David Bilstrom: Okay? They kind of put a bandage on, and so typically you get this [00:17:00] estrogen dominance, tumor, estrogen, non a progesterone, menstrual, hormonal things. Young women are put on birth control pills. It’s estrogen. It worsens the estrogen dominance, and then eventually, this is August so bad, hormonally ally women are offered a hyster.
[00:17:18] Dr. David Bilstrom: Or let’s take one OV out cause it’s ovarian insistent. We’ll leave everything else in while any change, the anatomy down there surgically makes the estrogen dominance worse again. Right? And so that is a huge one. We really wanna educate people. When you see this in young women, you, you gotta fix it, okay?
[00:17:33] Dr. David Bilstrom: Cuz we know where you’re going. Autoimmune disease, cancer. But also the second reason why so many women get autoimmune disease is the second X chromosome. So women have two x chromosome skies have one x onet y. We used to think. Our genes, our, our D DNA in ourselves that pel the cells. What to do was hardwired.
[00:17:51] Dr. David Bilstrom: Whatever we got, we got good, bad, otherwise we’re kind of stuck with it and hopefully got more good than bad from our parents and grandparents. But it turns out it’s not which jeans we have, but Twitch ones are [00:18:00] turned on and turned off and there’s a lot of bad genes. You got turn off a lot of good gene you got turn on.
[00:18:05] Dr. David Bilstrom: Well, when people get these chronic health issues, it’s so easy to get every kind of all kinds of stuff coming at the same time because you flip the bad genes on the, the good gene off and they sell in the. But then everything that we talk about and everything that you know, functional medicine treaters do for people, you’re flipping them the right way, and this is why we can fix everything at the same time.
[00:18:26] Dr. David Bilstrom: It turns out there are so many bad genes on the X chromosome. For a woman to be optimally healthy, she has to shut down 85% or more of the entire second chromosome. You almost have to start down the entire chromosome, X chromosome to be optimally. Thank goodness all the things that we can fix. Vitamin deficiency is hormone imbalances, cortisol, infections, gut health, turn off all the badges of the X chromosomes.
[00:18:52] Dr. David Bilstrom: So you can not only prevent autoimmune disease, but also reverse autoimmune disease. Um, even though most people [00:19:00] hear, oh, you’re attacking your own body part, we don’t know why it happens. That just means that person doesn’t know why it happens. Oh, you’re gonna have this forever. That just means that person doesn’t know how they could go.
[00:19:11] Dr. David Bilstrom: But then the medicines that are typically used, they’re only putting a bandage on things temporarily, where we can actually make all these autoimmune diseases go away.
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[00:20:27] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: So what are you waiting for? Go visit Dr. Anne-Marie barter and get 10% off your supplement bundle. C. And now back to our episode. What about, you know, for the guys, what do you think is the common driver for the men getting autoimmune disease? I don’t wanna lead them out.
[00:20:45] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yeah, . Well, well, well, gut health is a big one.
[00:20:48] Dr. David Bilstrom: But for guys, it’s kind of like, Hey, do you get testosterone or not? That’s such a big one. Of course, everybody needs optimal vitamin M D levels, of course, and needs to manage stress well and needs to eat well. [00:21:00] But for guys, uh, Testosterone is such a big one. But then again, that goes back to gut health too.
[00:21:05] Dr. David Bilstrom: So there’s four really big dry drivers of low testosterone in production. And guys, one we can’t change, which is electromagnetic fields, wifis, Bluetooth and all that. We’re kind of stuck with that. But then the three big drivers of poor Vitamin D production, and this is starting in like 19 year olds, 20 year olds.
[00:21:22] Dr. David Bilstrom: You want to have a total testosterone of 800 to 1100. We see 20 year olds with like one. Oh my gosh. You know they’ve got a spare tire and they’re 19 years of old, right? Years of ac, and so they can’t get rid of excess iron. Detox issues related to the gut ferritin levels. Iron stores go high. Excess ferritin accumulates the testicles.
[00:21:43] Dr. David Bilstrom: Testicles can make testosterone. They can’t digest their p get the nutrient, they get low in zinc. Red blood cell zinc is correlated with poor testosterone levels, so they get low on the zinc and then the stress hormone cortisol, so we get rid of the high ferri. Get their red blood [00:22:00] cells in up, they reset quarters while creating calm in their body.
[00:22:04] Dr. David Bilstrom: They start making testosterone beautifully. I, I haven’t used probably testosterone restoration therapy in guys for years now, several years because almost everyone, we can get ’em, make their testosterone by themselves again.
[00:22:16] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: That’s excellent. And I feel like that’s a very chronic problem. I mean, almost everyone has low testosterone, it seems like, you know, sleep issues.
[00:22:25] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: They just can’t build strength, can’t build muscle. They’re exhausted all the time. I mean, it seems like an epidemic with men.
[00:22:32] Dr. David Bilstrom: They get irritable, they’re grumpy old men, and they’re 25 or 30 and all that fun stuff. Yeah. The spouses have to deal with the grumpy. And
[00:22:41] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: I think, you know, one of the frustrating pieces that I’ve seen with men is that they have been to their normal provider and their, you know, testosterones at one 40 or 200 and they’re like, oh yeah, that’s great.
[00:22:55] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Oh, that’s a great level. And you know, yet they have all these symptoms of low testosterone. [00:23:00] They feel terrible. So pretty common there. Very common.
[00:23:03] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yeah. E even guys in their, you know, 70 years of age a couple generations ago who had been like mid 500. You know, 811 higher is perfect, be mid five hundreds.
[00:23:13] Dr. David Bilstrom: Now you’ve got the young people that are under 200, is it’s a big epi epidemic.
[00:23:17] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: So do you feel like there’s more to prevent, you know, autoimmune disease? You know, if someone’s like, you know, I’m not there yet. This episode really scared me. What, what can people do to prevent autoimmune disease?
[00:23:31] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yeah. And so, you know what, what prevents autoimmune disease because of the immune system, how it’s tied into all chronic disease, you’re really preventing everyth.
[00:23:39] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so a really big central mechanism in autoimmune disease, but also in everything turns out to be vitamin D receptors and the gut becoming resistant to vitamin D. So people hear a lot about insulin resistance, where you have receptors on your cells for insulin, your pancreas makes insulin, but if the receptors become [00:24:00] resistant, insulin can’t attach and do the work.
[00:24:02] Dr. David Bilstrom: You start heading towards diabetes and type two. Well, it turns out there’s more vitamin D receptors than the gut, than any other body part. Now, every body part has vitamin D receptors. One reason why vitamin D is so IOR important, just like thyroid, every cell is thyroid receptors. So, but vitamin D receptors in the gut become resistant to vitamin D and as whole cascade of things happen.
[00:24:22] Dr. David Bilstrom: That is totally terrible. And the original data that was published in 2018, and if anybody wants to read a blog post, I wrote about this called Vitamin D does it again. They can go to my website, to my blog post and find it. So, um, when you fix it and it’s not hard to fix, I’ll share really quick how to fix it.
[00:24:42] Dr. David Bilstrom: Cuz easy you fix it, you can, you can turn around any autoimmune disease. And so the original one is, they were looking at it is some of the worst ones like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, all this kind of stuff. But because all autoimmune disease is really just one disease, there’s not hundreds of different kinds.
[00:24:58] Dr. David Bilstrom: There’s one disease that can [00:25:00] attack any body parts. When you turn on autoimmune disease, you can turn on any autoimmune disease at the same time kinda thing. So, um, you totally fix autoimmune disease. But then they also said, oh my gosh, this seems like such a central mechanism. This seems like exactly what you want to do to prevent anxiety, depression, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, uh, diabetes, autoimmune disease, dementia, all this kind of stuff, and.
[00:25:28] Dr. David Bilstrom: About a year later, a big article came out and they go, wow, this is a nuclear weapon, quote unquote, the title of the article, nuclear Weapon Against Metabolic Syndrome, insulin and Blood Sugar, abnormal Weight Gain, cholesterol Issues, hearting, A Stroke Risk, and with two thirds of American being pre-diabetic, we have a nuclear weapon against this stuff.
[00:25:47] Dr. David Bilstrom: And then more recently, uh, like the Harvard Journalist Psychiatry came out with this great. I think it was called the play where kind of gutted the role of the intestinal microbiome in major depressive disorder and [00:26:00] your little spoil alert. By optimizing the intestinal microbiome, you can treat major depressive disorder.
[00:26:06] Dr. David Bilstrom: Another article that came out was the intestinal microbiome’s role in personality traits and they say, Hey, if you can get the intestinal microbiome to do this, people become more outgoing and more social and we’re going, oh, that is so cool. The brain chemistry. What you do is three things together, daily, vitamin D, daily probiotic, and daily butyrate.
[00:26:28] Dr. David Bilstrom: Now, butyrate is tested for on the digestive stool analysis that a lot of functional medicine folks do. It is so important for gut health when it’s low increased cancer risk and colon cancer cause gang inflammation. You test for it. It’s a short chain fatty acid that should be made by the good bacteria in the gut.
[00:26:45] Dr. David Bilstrom: You use these three things together. Optimize the intestinal microbiome. You get rid of inflammation in the gut. The gut stops making. Gut lining starts. Stops making proinflammatory rec cytokines like NF capa [00:27:00] beta that create tons of inflammation, but this intestinal microbiomes off it makes inflammatory chemicals in the guts.
[00:27:05] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yes, fix it. It stops. But also then the lining, the gut starts making antimicrobial peptides that keep away bath bugs Locky place. But then, oh my. Nuclear weapon against metabolic syndrome gets rid of inflammation all over the place, resets brain chemistry, major depressive disorder. People become more outgoing.
[00:27:27] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so these three things together are such a powerful thing and individually they’re so imp important, including butyrate, prevents cancer for different ways, treats cancer four different ways. They’re using the treat non-small cell lung ca now it treats cystic fibro. It helps the brain recovery after ischemic strokes.
[00:27:46] Dr. David Bilstrom: And as you might imagine, it works almost exclusively through epigenetics, flipping genes the right way. And so we use this triad a lot, as you can [00:28:00] imagine, because it gets at this optimizing intestinal microbiome that turns out to be, well, you know this of course, but it turns out to be the central mechanism, just about everything.
[00:28:08] Dr. David Bilstrom: So once again, it all goes back to gut.
[00:28:11] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Amazing. That was that. I didn’t know some of that. I didn’t know that they were using it to treat cancer, so that’s incredible. Isn’t that cool? Yeah. Mm-hmm. . I did not know that. That’s a really cool tip. So here’s, here’s a question I get that, um, it’s hard for me. It’s, oh, it’s just my genetics.
[00:28:31] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: This is the way that I am. So can you just. Everything that you have said has been like, Hey, you can turn this off and on and et cetera, but maybe just address that one more time because Yeah. That drives me nuts, and I hate to see people suffer just because they think that they have to.
[00:28:51] Dr. David Bilstrom: Yeah, so this is why ideally we teach, uh, people that it’s, it’s best to, I, uh, optimize epigenetics before conception, before conceiving a child.[00:29:00]
[00:29:00] Dr. David Bilstrom: Cuz you’ll pass on cleaner genes in the next six to eight generations, not just the kids, but six to eight generations. The corollary though, is if you don’t optimize epigenetics before, You’re passing on Crummier Genes, the next six day generations. So we’re the products of the previous six day generations.
[00:29:16] Dr. David Bilstrom: So there’s all these great studies that show, you know, things like, you know, the descendants of Holocaust survivors, much worse health issues. Uh, the people who live through the Dutch hunger winter of 44 45 during World War ii. Much worse. Um, We’re the products of the previous six day generations where things happen that throws off their epigenetics gets passed on generation to generation.
[00:29:40] Dr. David Bilstrom: It’s one reason. One reason why we think so many kids have so many health issues nowadays that they didn’t used to like, you know, one in 40, one in 50 kids in North America’s autism spectrum disorder. Everybody’s got developmental delays, a D D A d H D. Every, the kid’s got asthma and peanut allergies and gluten intolerances.
[00:29:57] Dr. David Bilstrom: And so it’s because of all this terrible [00:30:00] epigenetics slipping that’s gone on from generation to generation. And so this is where everything that we do flips to genes the right way. Uh, meditation flips it the right way. You know, all these different things kind of flip it the right way. And so it is genetic, but it’s not what genes you have.
[00:30:17] Dr. David Bilstrom: And this is where when they decide. Do the human genome project and they say, well, we’re gonna sequence the entire human genome. We’re gonna find the gene that does that causes every chronic disease. We’ll go into, zap it and fix it. After 10 years, billions of dollars, they go, oh, it’s actually not which gene you got.
[00:30:33] Dr. David Bilstrom: Which ones are turned on? They turned off, right? And so this is where functional medicine folks we’re flipping genes the right way with pretty much everything we do and this, but this is why it’s so important to do it, ideally before concept. You wanna do it during pregnancy, so making sure thyroid’s optimal.
[00:30:50] Dr. David Bilstrom: Vitamin D is optimal. You’re managing stress optimally, the iodine’s optimal. Taking a probiotic is a huge wonder in pregnancy, but then if you can get ’em at early enough [00:31:00] ages, you can prevent stuff the entire rest of their life and end their descendants. So there’s this great study out of Northern Finland where they followed every kid born in 1966 for 31 years, and they said, okay, a few.
[00:31:13] Dr. David Bilstrom: Take 2000 IU of vitamin D, first year of life, which is a tiny dose. Nobody’s gonna be fully therapeutic on 2000. The other half don’t. We’re gonna follow you for 31 years and we don’t even care what you do out the first year. We don’t care what to do for 30 years, we’re gonna follow you. They saw a 90% reduction in type one diabetes.
[00:31:33] Dr. David Bilstrom: Oh my gosh. Right. So here we’re trying to teach people this. So in the US alone, they expect to have 600,000 young people under the age of 20 with type one diabetes by 2050. If everybody knew this by 2030, at eight more years, we would prevent 545,000 of those kids from getting type one diabetes. But we know that all autoimmune disease is just one disease.
[00:31:56] Dr. David Bilstrom: So if you’re preventing one autoimmune disease, you’re preventing all of them. So [00:32:00] could this prevent all autoimmune disease? Makes you wonder. Tons of studies that say Vitamin D prevents this autoimmune disease, that autoimmune disease cancer is the flip side of the coin. This autoimmune disease. Tons of studies out there about how vitamin M D prevents cancer, including of every woman’s vitamin D was above 60.
[00:32:17] Dr. David Bilstrom: We’d have 82% of US breast cancer. Could this prevent all cancer? I don’t know. But also what they found was a kid that got the 2000 IU a day, nobody got schizophrenia. And we know that all brain stuff. Brain stuff. It all comes from the same thing, including the guts, the second brain, right? So whenever you see brain stuff, you’re always thinking of God.
[00:32:36] Dr. David Bilstrom: Um, could this prevent all brain stuff? And it kind of makes you wonder, but it’s like super simple interventions done at young enough ages. Oh my gosh, can you prevent stuff? Right? Nice thing though. We can turn it around like we tend to do, but oh my goodness, it’s so much easier to prevent stuff. And that’s a, that’s a, that’s a big.
[00:32:54] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: That’s amazing about the type one diabetes because that creates so much [00:33:00] heartache and you know, I mean, goodness gracious, you know, for parents, just thinking your child might die, you know, with the low Absolutely. Blood sugar. That’s, and, and that’s a, that’s a, especially when hormones start to change and blood sugar is just all over the place and Wow, that’s, that’s pretty amazing.
[00:33:17] Dr. David Bilstrom: And we see so many young kids with without autoimmune. Who we do have blood tests and their pancreas, production of insulin is like almost nothing. And we’re like, oh, oh, we know where you’re going. You’re going to duct type one diabetes cuz your pancreas is being attacked. The cells that make insulin, you’re being attacked.
[00:33:34] Dr. David Bilstrom: You can’t make insulin. But almost universally, we do what we need to do. The due diligence, insulin production picks up, then we go. Mm-hmm. dodge, that bullet. Absolutely. Mm-hmm. .
[00:33:47] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Where can people… This has been fascinating. Uh, where can people find you if they wanna get in touch with you?
[00:33:54] Dr. David Bilstrom: Sure. My, my website is Dr. David and all on there [00:34:00] you can access all our, uh, social media platforms. We give this information, including my YouTube channel, we have more than 150 different videos about this stuff, including the estrogen dominance, the ex chromosome, you know, all this other kind of stuff. Uh, ideally our goal is to get somebody, and every community knows how to do this cuz if there’s not somebody in the community knows how to do this, people will just be told, we have no idea where you got this autoimmune disease.
[00:34:23] Dr. David Bilstrom: We can’t make it go away. We’re gonna put you on a bandaged medicine that actually will increase your risk of cancer, increase your risk of life-threatening infection, and you actually give you an autoimmune disease as a side effect. Right? Um, but until that time, I really think in my. It’s a book about the basics and I talk about how masters do the basics.
[00:34:42] Dr. David Bilstrom: Well, if you know the basics, you can be the master and you don’t even have to be trained in functional medicine. You just now do it. But until that time, this is also a self-help guide too, where people could actually do with themselves, you know, if this’s exactly what causes it. This is exactly what tests are run.
[00:34:58] Dr. David Bilstrom: Exactly how to interpret the [00:35:00] test, exactly what supplements to use. Cuz there’s a lot of, most over-the-counter supplements are just nothing. A junk. You gotta use the right ones. Exactly When to retest. and, uh, seeking basically almost like a self-help guide. And the name of the book is The Nurse Practitioner’s Guide to Autoimmune Medicine, reversing and Preventing All Autoimmunity Cuz All One Thing.
[00:35:23] Dr. David Bilstrom: And uh, so, you know, people can learn about why this is so important, what causes it, but also start the process of, uh, reversing it even before they find somebody that can help ’em kind of guide them.
[00:35:34] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: That’s amazing. Well, thank you so much for being here and just spreading your knowledge and taking your time to be here.
[00:35:40] Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: This has been very fascinating.
[00:35:43] Dr. David Bilstrom: Thank you for having me here. My pleasure.
[00:35:48] Outro: Thank you for listening to the Gut Health Reset podcast. Please make sure you subscribe, leave a rating and a review so more people can hear about the podcast. And hey, take a screenshot of this episode and tag Dr.
[00:36:00] Ann-Marie on Instagram or Facebook at Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. And for more resources, just visit dr annmarie

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