Today on the Gut Health Reset Podcast, we are discussing exposure to heavy metals with special guest Dr. Wendie Trubow! Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and thallium, are toxic substances that can build up in your body and threaten your health. These toxins tend to most often come from your food and your immediate environment, so it’s important to be able to identify possible points of exposure in your day to day life to help maintain a healthy body and a healthy gut!
In today’s episode, we will answer these questions:
– How can you avoid heavy metal exposure in your food and environment?
– What are the symptoms of exposure?
– What is the best way to test for heavy metal exposure in your body?
– And more!
Still want to learn more? Schedule with Dr. Barter today!
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About Dr. Wendie Trubow:
Dr. Wendie Trubow is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Newton, Massachusetts. She received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and has been in practice for years. Through her struggles with mold and metal toxicity, Celiac disease, and a variety of other health issues, she has a deep sense of compassion for what women are facing when they start seeking out help.
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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.”
Dr. Wendie Trubow: If you grew up in a house or live in a house built before 1978, you almost certainly are exposed to lead paint and nobody’s going around licking the windowsills. But what happens is as the house settles, it releases lead dust into the environment. So you walk on it, you breathe it in, you eat it, you touch it, you absorb it through your skin.
Intro: Are you struggling with bloating, gas, constipation and fatigue that don’t know what’s causing these problems? The Gut Health Reset Podcast with Dr. Ann-Marie Barter dives deep into the root 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.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Today my special guest is Dr. Wendy Trubow. She is an M.D. MBA. She is a functional medicine gynecologist. She received her MBA from Tufts University in 2000 and has been practicing functional medicine since 2009. After all these years, she is still passionate about helping women optimize their health and their lives. While her credentials show that she’s a solid medical backdrop to help women achieve vitality. Her own health journey has been inspired and supported her methods of care through her struggles with mold, metal toxicity, celiac disease and a variety of other health conditions. She has developed a deep sense of compassion for what her patients are facing when she is not helping her patients in her practice. Five Journeys. You can find her alongside her husband and their four kids, creating a ecosystem in their yard that provides nourishment to both their body and soul. Thank you so much for joining us here today. It is awesome to have you back for our third and final episode.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: Thanks, Ann-Marie. Great to be here.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Awesome. So we are talking now about heavy metals and the gut. So let’s just start with what are heavy metals?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: Heavy metals are are substances that are not easily able to move around. So the ones that we you should be thinking of typically are lead mercury, cadmium and then sort of lesser known but still important here are arsenic and potentially thallium, depending on how many organic vegetables you eat from California. So those are the ones that I really look for, particularly because they’re so noisy. They’re really noisy issues. Shoes is lead and mercury, cadmium is close behind. But those are the top ones because the lead sits in our bones and can lead to osteoporosis, osteopenia, bone loss, fracture, and then the mercury, because it’s both of them are implicated in hair loss and endocrine disruption, microbiome disruption. We’re pretty nasty actors. So it’s really lead mercury, cadmium, arsenic and thallium, the five that we pay attention to.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And how do we get these into our bodies?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: Oh, let me count the ways. So, right. If you were grew up in a house or live in a house built before 1978, you almost certainly are exposed to lead paint and nobody is going around licking the windowsills. But what happens is as the house settles, it releases lead dust into the environment. So you walk on it, you breathe it in, you eat it, you touch it, you absorb it through your skin. Then if you do construction on a house built before 1978, you dust the lead and then you again breathe it, absorb it, possibly ingest it for the mercury, the two major sources, there’s others, but the two major sources are fish while say three fish fillings and and working to remove gold and or from from the ground. These processing things use actually mercury. So those are the top major sources if you live near some kind of plant that makes food, that uses mercury in the process and you can get exposed to that way. But more commonly high mercury, fish, mahi mahi, swordfish, tuna, tilefish, and then the silver fillings, which are 50% mercury by by design.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Let me ask you one on let I read a statistic that said about 60% of women’s lipsticks have legs. Is that true?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: I don’t know if that’s true. I would say when you’re buying something that originated outside of the country, they do not have the same levels of rigorous testing that we might. So I would be very wary when you’re buying something that says, you know, made in China or Vietnam or any any poorer country because especially China is very contaminated. So there’s a lot of things that sort of sneak in.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And how does how do these heavy metals maybe affect our gut? For starters, how do they affect our gut or microbiome?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: So all these things are gut microbiome disruptors. So they can make the gut irritable. They can make biofilms that make it difficult to get the gut in balance. They can make it difficult to process things properly. It can really create a state of inflammation and imbalance in the gut and also, again, disrupt the microbiome, alter the alter the bacteria, make it very hard to have a good experience in the gut.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Yeah. And what are some symptoms? We think about a lot of times exposure is acute exposure. Right. And that’s what we think of in blood testing. I think that there’s so much confusion around how to test for maybe more chronic and sub acute heavy metal exposure. So, you know, what are what are some of the some of the misinformation around that?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: Sure. So so acute exposure to heavy metals. You can actually see sort of like a flu like experience with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain. That’s much less common because what we’re getting is the slow drip of exposure. You know, I had mercury fillings in place. Drip, drip, drip, drip. Right. A little bit here. A little bit there. Every time I eat or brush my teeth. If you’re eating high mercury, if you eat ahi tuna for sushi, one six ounce serving is more than enough mercury for more than a month. But a lot of people are eating it every week. So so the the exposures you can test for acute exposure in the blood, but that’s only acute exposure and that’s really only led in mercury. And that tells you what have you had in the last 4 to 6 weeks that your body has not been able to metabolize? That’s like you picked up the mercury thermometer, broke it in your hands and rubbed it in. That would be an acute exposure, however, because the body knows that it’s toxic. What happens is your body, your body sequesters or or hides all these these metals away in your fat and your bones and your organs so that you don’t see it in the bloodstream. So the bloodstream is not a really good way to look for it unless you had a clear acute exposure. So then you transition for this more chronic exposure. Typically, I recommend we look at urine. You’re going to need a functional medicine provider to do that and it’s a both baseline and provoked urine test that looks at just make sure there’s no acute exposure that would show up on an on a baseline test and then you provoke with something called DMCA, which binds really well to let in mercury in particular as well as some other metals and allows you to draw it out and start to get a sense of what’s actually there, what’s present.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: So many people struggle with bloating, bowel issues, brain fog, fatigue. You might not even have any gut issues, but did you know the cause of it could be food sensitivities or gut infections? What I have done is I have brought a talented, functional nutritionist into my practice. We have very similar training in the nutritional world. And her name is Alexis Applebee. She is awesome. So you can head on over to our website, alt alt, fam, fam, med medi and have a consultation with her and schedule so that she can help you get to the root cause of your problems. So how do we avoid these heavy metals?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: Yeah. I mean, it can be pretty difficult. It’s kind of subtle, especially for mercury if you’re eating. So some of it’s very easy don’t eat high mercury fish, period, period. Like just don’t eat it. And especially if you’re someone who thinks you might have a problem with detoxifying, don’t eat it because every exposure makes it even more difficult for you. If you’re going to do if you’re going to live in a house that’s built before 1978. One recommendation is do a lot of washing, like wash down the walls, wash the floors, pay particular attention to the corners, have high grade quality air filters to pull out anything that gets airborne. And if you’re going to do construction on a house built before 1978, that would not be the house where I would say, do don’t do it yourself, pay someone and don’t be in the house when you do it, okay? If you eat a lot of oysters, don’t eat the West Coast oysters because they have a lot of cadmium in them. So and then rice. Well, try to it’s sort of counterintuitive because brown rice is better for you because you get the fiber. But white rice, jasmine rice has less arsenic. So sort of balance that out. So your best.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: I don’t know about you. When you’re running challenges, heavy metal tests. But I would say more than not, people have some chronic heavy metal exposure on those tests. And I don’t know what you’ve seen or experienced, but even people that don’t think and they do a good job at avoiding these things are still having some heavy metal exposure. What’s your experience been there?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: You know, I think that it’s only been within the last ten years ish that we’ve really cracked down on. No lead in jewelry and no lead and baby toys and no lead. There’s the Prop 65 in California that said, really clearly you can’t have these you can’t have toxic substances or you have to let people know what’s in their what’s in their products. But that’s within the last like five years. So people really are getting let me back up. We came from people who got a lot of exposure. If you were born in the 1920s, 1930s, forties, fifties, there was a lot less regulation. So our ancestors got exposure. It crosses the placenta, it crosses the breastmilk. Breastfeeding is a detox event for you and me, but it’s a it’s a talks up event for the baby. It’s still worth breastfeeding all in. It’s better, but we’re all getting exposed simply by having been born to people who had high levels of exposure because mercury fillings were the way it was. There were no composite fillings until like what, 20, 25 years ago. So a lot of us are getting exposed simply by being born. And then and then you pile on. I mean, now we’re testing the tuna fish, the cans of tuna fish. But tuna fish wasn’t tested when I was a kid. And it was not necessarily the smaller tuna, it was a bigger tuna. So there’s a lot of ways that we’ve aggregated this over the years, and I do think it’s a lot more common in my practice. It’s super common. We do detox all the time because our practices, the people who say, You know what, I believe there’s a better way. I believe in being healthy and getting better decade after decade. And so we’re looking at how do we peel off risk factors for cancer, diabetes, dementia, insulin resistance and can’t and heart disease. So our patients are a little bit different, but it’s super common even in that group. It’s really common.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Well, yeah, that this has been amazing. Thank you so much for coming here and sharing your knowledge and where can people find you and find your amazing book if they’re interested in looking at that?
Dr. Wendie Trubow: Sure, we’re on Amazon. Our book is sold on Amazon. If you type in Dirty Girl Trouble or a vertical detox book, you’ll get it. You probably won’t get it if you just type in Dirty Girl, but it’s right. Everyone gives that like, Oh, I didn’t think about that, so don’t do that. Just add something else. And then we’re on Instagram. I’m on Instagram. Wendy Trudeau, MD And that’s my handle for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s w e n e t r u bio w M.D. And then we have a free gift for people. If they are looking for how do we level up? How do I start to clean up my environment from BPA and plastics and everything, right? Like what’s what’s in your Teflon pans. So that’s a guide at five journeys dot com forward slash promo promo and that’s a free guide that’ll help you get started on walking through it.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here and sharing all of your knowledge.
Dr. Wendie Trubow: My pleasure Ann-Marie, thank you.
Outro: Thank you for listening to the Gut Health Reset Podcast. Please make sure you subscribe. Leave a rating and a review. The more people can hear about the podcast and hey, take a screenshot of this episode and tag Dr. Anne Marie on Instagram or Facebook at Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. And for more resources, just visit Dr. Ann-Marie Barter.com.