Dr. Barter discusses the crucial role our kidneys play on our health with Nutrition Hero’s Dr. Brad Watts. They will talk about what to do and what to avoid for keeping our renal health on point including tips for keto dieters and others interested in naturally detoxifying their systems.
Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to the Fearless Health podcast with host Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. Dr. Barter is on a mission to help people achieve their health and wellness goals and help men and women live their best lives fearlessly. Dr. Barter is the founder of Alternative Family Medicine and Chiropractic in Denver and Longmont, Colorado.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:00:24] Thank you so much for joining us. My name is Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. I’ll be your host today and today. I have a very, very special guest here on the Fearless Health podcast. This is Dr. Brad Watts. He runs the Nutrition Hero podcast as well, and he is just an excellent doc and an excellent clinician, and I’m so excited to have him here today. Thanks for joining us.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:00:47] Yeah, thank you for having me. I’m glad to be here. And I’m a fan of what you guys are doing, by the way. So keep it up.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:00:53] Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, we’re very much a fan of what you’re doing as well. I love that. So today what I really want to talk to you about and pick your brain about is a forgotten organ that we tend to overlook when we’re talking about detoxification and that is kidney and kidney function in and how to know if your kidneys are functioning properly. So. And I just feel like there’s so much chatter about, well, I need to detoxify my bowel or I need to detoxify my liver, but I feel like no one is is talking about kidney detoxification. Do you know why that is?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:01:36] First of all, you’re right. All right. First of all, you’re right. Not a lot of conversation happening. And I think one of the reasons is that you can’t really see the effects of the kidneys the way that you can see the effects of liver detox or, you know, working on your skin, that type of stuff, something that’s more visible. And they’re tiny, but they’re super important little organs and not a lot of conversation about them. So it’s interesting, though, because what you bring up with detoxification from a functional perspective, you have three detox systems in your body. You get your liver in your gut like we talk about you have your skin, your intake, immune system, and then you have these little kidneys. And these guys tend to get left out so important that you’re bringing it up. So good on you, doctor.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:02:22] Thank you so much. Thank you. So how I mean, if a patient is presenting in your office and what are you looking out to rule out or rule in? Maybe the kidneys?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:02:38] Absolutely. Blood testing is the first and foremost thing that we do with the patient in a functional setting. I’m going to test their blood no matter what. And they could have headaches and I’m going to give them a blood test. They could have got problems. I’m going to give them a blood test and that blood test is going to let me know what’s going on with their kidneys. We look at something called the filtration rate, which is just an estimation of how their kidneys are doing. And that, for all intents and purposes, is the first indication that we have of kidney stress or kidney health if they’re doing well.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:03:15] Right. And as a general side note, this is run on all standard blood tests. For the most part, kidney function is checked, but you’re looking at the reference range to be different is what I’m assuming.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:03:27] I am when it comes to filtration rates, I’m all right with the standard reference range there. It’s taking it into context with the clinical situation. So let’s say you have a patient that has diabetes. These patients are way more likely to develop kidney disease than anybody else. That’s the number one cause of kidney disease in the United States today is diabetes. And so these patients, if I have a diabetes patient sitting in front of me, I’m going to assume, first and foremost that their kidneys are on the target list, so to speak, of the disease process as they go. It’s just one of the things that happens with these patients over time. And so when we look at those things, typically you’re going to see a reflection of decreased kidney function show up on those tests, and the standard pathology laboratory range doesn’t catch it before it’s a full fledged disease. That’s the main issue when it comes to pathology versus looking at function like you do. So we want to catch that sooner. That smaller laboratory range is typically how we do it, and that laboratory arranged what you call it a functional lab range. It’s not anything special other than taking the calculation that they use, and instead of using two standard deviations, use one. So it’s just a tighter range. Mm-Hmm.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:04:46] Which is so powerful. I mean, it’s the difference between, you know, catching something much earlier or full health, you know, having somebody actually be healthy versus, you know, being like, limping along with a lot of symptoms or starting off with pathology into disease. So that’s four percent.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:05:04] One hundred percent. It’s it’s one of those things that allows you to look for health in the body rather than looking for disease, because whatever you look for, you’re going to find at some point, right? Mm hmm. So and it’s important to be looking for the right thing.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:05:19] So when we’re looking at the kidney function, what type of of symptoms would somebody be noticing or problems would they be noticing if if their kidneys need to be treated in a functional way?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:05:35] Good question. Sometimes they have lack of urination. Sometimes the urine is ultra concentrated, so it won’t be clear or a hint of yellow. It’ll be, you know, a dark golden color. And sometimes vitamins can do that as well. But traditionally, if you have dark urine, we you’re going to have to take a look at what’s going on there. That would be one way back. Pain is another one that not a lot of people think of. Yes, a lot of people, they’re laying in bed at night and they think their mattress is terrible, but it’s actually their kidneys telling them there’s a problem. And that’s something that I see quite quite a bit, quite a bit.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:06:14] I agree. And what what about these patients that are coming in with chronic kidney stones or chronic kidney infections?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:06:24] Yes. So chronic kidney stones should be a warning sign to you that there is a problem and it’s not getting better. So what happens with the kidney stone is is typically we have oxalates that typically calcium oxalates, but like rocks, these rocks build up in the kidney and then we start to wedge them down the exit and the exits not big enough and exits very sensitive and very painful for most people. And that’s something that has to, you know, to to make sure that you see that once you’ve had a kidney stone, you never, ever want to have another one ever in. So pain like groin pain, blood in the urine causes you to vomit nausea. Oh my goodness, burning when you urinate. That’s a sign that there’s a problem in those kidney stones are they’re super common. And I don’t know if you’ve ever had one doctor, but they are not fun at all.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:07:24] I have never had one, thank goodness, but I have watched it. I’ve watched it in my office because they come in with low back pain or something else. And you know, hey, this is not musculoskeletal related. Can you test this out of me? That’s going to be a little tough to do so. But yeah, and you see people have it and they’ll just be chronic and it’ll move down, you know, from the back and can move down through into like the groin area. They’ll feel it in their back and then they’ll feel it in their hip flexor. All right. These poor people are just pacing nine out of 10, 10 out of 10 pain, depending, you know. And so what do you think is like maybe contributing to kidney stones lifestyle?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:08:15] So typically with a pathology like having kidney stones or otherwise, it’s going to be your genetics, plus your lifestyle is equating to whatever your current outcome is with your health. And so when we look at this, there are specific genetic profiles that promote the kidney stone development. Some people are just stone formers, and if they continue to live a lifestyle that’s compatible with kidney stones, you’re going to continue to make them. That’s just what their body is doing. In so developing a way or developing a lifestyle that’s compatible with health and healing for that person is going to be ideal. So some people have sugar. Some people, it’s literally too much calcium in their diet or they have poor thyroid issues, whatever it might be. For some people, they don’t drink enough water. So they’re super concentrated when it comes to the urine. They don’t urinate enough times during the day. Yeah, it’s it’s kind of a crapshoot. And what can it contribute to it for most people? But there is going to be a trigger for you if you develop them.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:09:22] Do you believe the best way to address the kidneys is to have primarily figure out the cause and then have a lifestyle change?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:09:32] One hundred percent. I think it’s the only way because ultimately you’re going to be on a medication forever. If you don’t do that or you’re going to be a position where you know, every quarter you’re making new stones and having to go to the E.R., getting put on your opioids and just making sure that you can get through it. And it’s a lifestyle. Sincerely, lifestyle is the best way to move them in the right direction.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:09:57] Great. And do you some? Do you have a recommendation on a diet to generally do if there’s kidney issues? I mean, and I know that’s a loaded question. It is because I don’t have a standard diet that I put people on. It depends on the mission. But is there anything that you say, you know what? For kidney function, this will help if you know, if it’s an oxalate type stone or you know what is, what’s your take on that? I’m sorry. Your guess? Yeah.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:10:30] Yeah. So so let’s let’s put it this way, the biggest thing that we find is lack of water. Most people drastically underestimate the amount of water that their body needs, and it’s because water doesn’t taste like coffee or it doesn’t taste like Mountain Dew, right? And so what happens is as people avoid water because it’s annoying, you drink it. You got to go to the bathroom, take time out of your day. Whether you’re sitting at a desk or teaching a class or driving a truck, they don’t have stop and go to the bathroom every hour. But if you have the propensity to develop kidney stones, you’re going to have to do it. That’s the first and the biggest thing right off the bat, right? So when we look at water intake, the common suggestion that we use in a functional setting is half your body weight and ounces. So if I weigh 200 pounds, I’d want to drink 100 ounces of water in a day. And so that’s a general suggestion. Now you may have things that in your life that would cause you to need to drink more or less. But that’s just a general idea. When you look at what that water does is that water dilutes uric acid. Uric acid becomes the issue right in the body that’s creating the kidney stones. It creates an excessively acidic environment for those kidneys. And so if you have something like Crohn’s disease where you have got dysfunction, I guess, of any kind, really. But that would be a big sign that your body has. This predisposition to developing these kidney stones hypoparathyroidism is another one most people don’t know that they have. Their doctors typically aren’t going to diagnose it. But if you have thyroid disease of any kind, if you have Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid disease, if you have any of these things that are affecting your detox or barrier systems, you are definitely at risk for this. And water has to be the first or the lead the lead thing that you do in rectifying the situation. It’s amazing how much water actually helps,
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:12:39] and it’s super basic. Very, very basic.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:12:43] It’s like you feel bad charging money for an office visit, telling somebody you just need to drink more water. But honestly, that’s oftentimes what it comes down to.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:12:53] Mm-Hmm. And I feel like there’s been a huge industry on making water taste better because people are so bored with water. You know, there’s been a whole industry around that, which is really fascinating to me. I don’t I don’t mind the taste. It’s interesting. I don’t mind the taste of water, but it it feels like something that is a neighbor. Yeah. It’s a labor for some people to want to drink water or they don’t like the taste of water, and it’s an interesting barrier to come up against, you know, to find ways to have people drink more water.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:13:27] Yeah, so so a few years ago, I was treating this gentleman is doctor, and he met chronic kidney disease, which I’m sure we’ll talk about coming up. But his chronic kidney disease, and he comes in, he has an appointment. All stuff brings me his medical file and and basically, you look at everything in his kidney function is low. He’s in end stage renal disease yesterday, and he’s got a problem, right? And he’s going to have to be on dialysis coming up. It’s just that it’s what it is. It’s the end result of a long and winding road. And so anyway, we implement a strategy with this gentleman utilizing good, healthy fats, utilizing something called phosphatidylcholine, which maybe we’ll talk about in a little bit in water. And this guy reversed his kidney damage, you know, from the end stage renal disease situation into a stage three in four weeks and then out of that and even improved above and beyond that. And in the subsequent six weeks and it was amazing. He didn’t think it was possible, but he was actually using some medications that were causing the problem. And so when you look at diabetes patients, which he had diabetes and the medications that are added to a diabetic protocol from a traditional pathology mindset, it’s it’s not designed for your kidneys to last very long. We’ll just put it that way. Hmm.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:14:53] It’s really interesting. And what was his? He ended up in your office, and I’ve seen this before is generally unless someone is on. Full blown dialysis. It’s it’s generally waited until they’re there needing full blown dialysis, it’s just like sit and wait, sit and wait, sit and wait. Right? And was that the case for this gentleman or had he been recommended?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:15:18] OK, yeah, that was so he had been obviously on all the blood pressure medication. I think three different meds. And if I can remember off the top here and then diabetes medications as well, in addition to those three blood pressure medications. But when you look at kidney failure, which is what he was walking toward. Diabetes is the number one cause number one cause like I think of the percentage here off the top, I think it’s like 40 percent of all cases of kidney failure are from diabetes issues, right? 40 percent. That’s a lot. That’s a lot. And then the second leading cause is high blood pressure. This guy had both of them. And in walking into that type of a situation, there’s really no solution for him except for sit and wait until you need the machine to filter your blood for you because your kidneys can’t do it.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:16:09] Wow, it’s just so sad, and there’s dialysis clinics popping up everywhere, which shows exactly
Dr. Brad Watts [00:16:15] that, it’s like a gas station. They’re all over the place. They are. It’s great. Well said.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:16:23] Yeah, that’s so true. And I mean, I think these two contributors, so let me just clarify. He was on three blood pressure meds. Yes. Wow. Yeah, wow. That’s a really tough case. So when you’re when you’re looking at this case and you have your you’re up against all these medications and you know, you did phosphor the title, Colleen, which is huge. Most people are deficient. Isn’t that I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s the most deficient nutrient. Is that correct?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:16:57] I don’t know if it’s the most deficient nutrient, but I will tell you it’s got to be in the top 10, doesn’t it? It’s it’s amazing. It’s amazing. And one of the reasons why is that your body creates phosphatidylcholine, right? You. It’s what all your cells are made out of. And when your body begins to slow down and its ability to create it because maybe you have fatty liver disease or something like that, it’s not something that you readily get in the standard American diet. It’s not common in. So unless you’re taking it, you can end up in that deficiency state following the standard American diet just the way it is. I mean, I don’t know about you, but over the years you get patients that, you know, they don’t like to take pills or liquids or creams or potions, lotions, all the stuff. They don’t like it right after a while. It’s like, Why do I take all this stuff? And the answer really well, you don’t, right, you can have the disease process run you over. Or you can change your your diet and get enough of it in your diet. But in reality, most people don’t have the finances or the stomach size in order to get all the nutrients they need out of their diet. It just doesn’t work that way. Like, you’d have to have the amount of vegetables and and quality meat in like sources of protein you’d have to have in order to compile enough of this stuff in order to make a difference. Most people can’t eat that much in one day like it’s amazing.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:18:22] So, wow, amazing. Yeah, that’s a great point. I’ve actually never quite thought of it that way, but you’re right, because our our soil is so nutrient deficient that we just cannot with a vegetable is not a vegetable like it used to be any right. So it’s such a challenge to get all those nutrients. And I think as the years have gone on and I didn’t know if this was just particularly the area that I am in or if it’s across, you know, I don’t know. Other areas obviously don’t eat there, but I have seen like a very, very big rise in pathology than what I saw five years ago. And maybe that’s I’m looking for it, but I have really seen a decline, even just simple things. People that could do a diet before now, they can’t lose weight. And I feel like it has a lot to do. You know, with, you know, you’re seeing stress, you’re seeing all kinds of autoimmune disease like popping up everywhere and and also nutrient deficiency.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:19:22] Right back at one of the things that you had asked is, is what are you going to do for this patient that has kidney disease and in is weird way. Sometimes you don’t even work on the kidneys, you work on everything else, like the kidneys. When you let’s say somebody has fatty liver disease, 40 percent of the American population has four fatty liver changes, 40 percent of American adults. That’s a massive number of people. And when you look at 40 percent of the population that can’t detox appropriately through a very large detox organ that makes your kidneys and your skin have to work that much harder. And so in order for the kidneys to get better, sometimes you have to make the liver function improve. Sometimes you have to promote proper detox reactions that way in the kidneys or come back without having to focus on them. It just depends on the patient case.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:20:15] Mm-Hmm. Everybody’s different. So there’s no I mean, in looking at, you know, I always do research before I interview folks, and I’m always curious about the most common questions people are asking on the internet about a specific pathology because I want to make sure that it’s that that people get their questions answered, right? The amount of advice and potions and pills and X-Y-Z to detoxify the kidney. Half of that stuff I had never heard of. It was amazing. And I just want to caution you on doing that, that every case you have to just work on the whole system. It’s not like, Well, I’m going to detoxify my kidney now and I’m going to detoxify this, and I feel like I need this because XYZ told me I did on this YouTube, whatever else. So yeah, it really is patient specific. And what I’ve gotten from you so far is that this the kidney issue has been end-stage from other pathologies going on our problem because of other pathologies, medications and diet and lack of water.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:21:22] Right? Correct. Percent, 100 percent. One of the biggest OK, this is one you’ll never read about unless you’re looking for it, right? But one of the biggest things that downregulates kidney function is sleeping medication, whether it be Benadryl based, you know, that style or it’d be something like Uniswap, right? What’s happening in this is that we are create. It creates a lack of kidney filtration number one, which creates a back pressure. And and this is one of those things. So when I said that sometimes people falling asleep at night, they’ll have back pain and it’s not their mattress. What’s interesting is it’s actually the medication they’re using to fall asleep at night. They’ll wake up two or three a.m. in the morning and they’ll have to go to the bathroom. They’ll go to the bathroom and it’ll just be a little bit right because the urine hasn’t concentrated in their bladder yet. It hasn’t hasn’t trickled down there through the aerators. And so what it’s doing is actually creating this back pressure, this pressurized kidney situation, which is what’s leading to the problem. So when you stress out the cells of the kidney and that entire system in that manner habitually because nobody takes sleep medication once, right? It’s it’s one of those things that we don’t think about that’s actually destroying your ability to detoxify, and we end up on a whole host of other medications because of it. It’s simply stunning. Add that. A diabetes patient, and it’s like a recipe for disaster immediately.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:22:52] And do you feel like the kidney is back? I mean, I had a really interesting case. One time where I did some was it had been on Benadryl for 30 years or something outrageous like that and just constant fatty liver and then also kidney function issues, low back pain. And I actually did not correlate that together. But this is interesting now that I know that his back pain went away pretty close to after, after I was able to help him sleep without assistance, right?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:23:28] Yeah, it’s stunning.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:23:30] That’s an interesting correlation. I did not know that. It’s fascinating. So on there, I think, you know, going back to diet and kidney is a common question that that I hear and I’d like to get your take on. This is I’m in ketosis or I’m eating a paleo base diet. Am I damaging my kidneys? I’ve heard of damaging my kidneys.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:23:58] Sure. So right now, I will say that the literature so these studies that would be looking into this stuff, they’re not conclusive yet. Right? So what that means is, is that you, if you look on PubMed or otherwise, you’re going to be able to find 10 studies that say it’s damaging and you’ll be able to find 10 studies that say it’s not damaging. Here’s the rub if you have to, you don’t want to know if it’s damaging to a kidney. You want to know if it’s damaging to your kidney. And I think that’s the important thing to make sure that you look at. So sometimes when people do a ketogenic diet, they end up with too much protein intake because people, you know, they don’t know a wide enough variety of healthy fats or, you know, they’re sick of avocados or whatever it might be. And and so what happens is they start to eat a large amount of protein in these patients if they already have kidney disease. If you overwhelm a kidney with too much protein, it’s not going to be happy. It’s just not going to be. And so it becomes about balance. So if you did a mild ketogenic diet with mostly plant fats, right, that would be a different story than doing. Like I call it, the Midwest keto diet, where it’s basically this is basically meat and like, you know, pork fat. So it’s a little different. So if you did something that was more plant based, that would be a little bit more gentle on those kidneys because you don’t have these complex proteins that your kidneys are having to to process.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:25:32] I, you know, I talk out with all this stuff, and I’m so curious to know how my body’s processing and other patients when Quito a couple of years ago, I was I was interested in testing this Quito theory and do people go into ketosis? And I had a really hard time getting my body into full ketosis. If I ate too much protein, my blood sugar would spike. If if I ate, you know, the only way I could actually get my body in full blown ketosis without any assistance was water fasting, and I had to water fasted for a day and I saw that with a lot of women. It just seemed like it would be very, very challenging to get into the ketosis that they were discussing in the literature that I had found for the kidney is. But, you know, I think it’s patient specific exactly like you said it is.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:26:25] Absolutely. And then when you look at measuring your ability to enter ketosis, there are like 800 different products out there right now that will claim to do so. There’s only one that I trust to measure a wide variety of ketones, not just the ones that are measured by the keto strips or the keto strips are going to measure a small amount. And if you genetically don’t make that style of ketone, you’re going to look like you’re not in ketosis, even though you may be right. So this is super important for those patients that have diabetes because you don’t want to be, you know, in ketoacidosis or anything crazy, right? You don’t want to have a problem. And so when you look you, I actually would recommend if you’re going to do that, get a ketone meter like an actual meter, just like a glucometer, a blood testing device, get a ketone meter and check it out. That’s it’s going to be bar none. The easiest way to accurately determine if you are in ketosis or not. And so when you mess around with keto sticks, if you have pathology or a diagnosis, already, don’t do that right like that. You’re just asking, you know, for a problem later on. So just as an aside there, if we’re going to talk about that and go throw that in.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:27:41] Yeah, I just think that, you know, with the diabetes picture, it’s the way that a lot of people will try to drop weight really fast, right? Is to do in order or go on a diet.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:27:51] Yeah, and it works. It’s just it’s not sustainable. And if you’re not going to adapt your life to it, you have to do a gentle ketosis. If that’s not going to be your lifestyle, don’t do it. You’re just manipulating your physiology.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:28:02] So no Midwest keto, no. I just like
Dr. Brad Watts [00:28:07] if you have, that’s what I’m saying. Like if you have a wedding to go to next week, it’s great. I do the Midwest, Quito, but it’s not a lifestyle that you you typically are going to be able to live with in the long run. Unless you’re ultra committed number one or number two, you have the ability to like, develop a variety of sources of plant fat, that type of stuff. If you’re going to do that, there are ways to do that. But if you’re going to do it like go all out, do it the smart way. Right?
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:28:37] Have a little bit more of a balanced diet.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:28:39] Yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:28:41] That’s what it comes down to. Yeah, but it comes down to there’s just no there’s no quick, cheap ways to do it. You really need a balanced diet.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:28:50] So, so looking at it, though, one of the things that you’ll you’ll find a lot of physicians will push back against, you know, eating a paleo style diet, which is another one that I’m I’m highly into. I like it, right? Me too. A lot of people push back against it, though, because they are. There’s too much protein. Well, I agree. If you have somebody that has liver disease and you give them protein like a ketogenic diet or a a paleo style diet, it can lead to kidney problems. However, if you are using it intelligently and monitoring your labs and you’re moving in the right direction, you may be fine. And it’s about that balance. So when you give recommendations to people, you have lab testing. Usually, I would imagine, right? Yeah, we do. And and when you don’t, you’re not going to give somebody a specific recommendation. Oh, no, we don’t eat paleo, right? Don’t do that. You’re going to hurt your kidneys. Well, how do you know? Right. And and how where are my kidneys right? Where what was the function right now? It’s there’s got to be some intelligence with it. In part of the problem is is that people that are into public health aren’t usually set up, you know, to look at your personal health. So taking personal recommendations from a public health warning is interesting.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:30:08] So and I think even today, you know, there’s there’s so much confusion because people look on social media and they’ll say, you know, this influencer is doing this, this influencer is doing that and literally my entire treatments are unwinding what has been told that they should do on these specific diet recommendations that don’t really. Work, you know, it’s just for their specific system, which is become interesting that I would never have thought five years ago I would be doing that in a treatment room. That would be hard. Yeah, my time.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:30:46] Yeah, it’s amazing. Dr Google is sometimes a very terrible doctor and it’s it’s an easy way to to get messed up pretty quickly.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:30:56] It really is. So we’re, you know, so for supporting the kidney, you had a great case where you did phosphatidylcholine and that was amazing. Do you have any other like tidbits of nutritional support that you feel like are beneficial for the kidney?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:31:15] Yeah. So the first trial, Colleen, was part of an overall approach. If I can look at it that way, it’s not a standalone nutrient. So one of the things you’re going to find in functional medicine, you know this, obviously, but your listeners might not, is that it’s not a single nutrient, single action situation like, Oh, take this for your kidneys, take that for, you know, your gout or whatever it might be. And and it’s more of a holistic approach, which means this you work with systems rather than straight organs, and it’s like the organs are standalone, right? They’re not standalone. They’re part of a system, they’re part of a human physiology system. And so organizing around that is is super interesting from that perspective, right? So I use phosphatidylcholine or PC as part of that process, but I’m not opposed to also using things like glandular, as you know, or looking at things from an electrolyte balance perspective, which is super important. But so do you know what I mean when I say electrolyte balance? So like, we look at things like superoxide dismutase, right? This is a specific antioxidant support mechanism that we would use. In that instance, we look at the ability to support how that is is moving your patients, you know, ability to dampen oxidative stress, which is one of the main issues. I would look also at controlling uric acid levels, and one of the ways to do that is to control your patient’s fructose intake totally. So controlling fructose intake like fruit is healthy. Well, for who is the question, right? Fruit can be healthy, but it can also be super damaging. You know, patients that have diabetes eating two oranges a day because they like them, like, you’re not helping yourself, dude, right? And so when you look at fructose, if you typically if you keep your fructose intake to 10 grams or less a day, you’re going to dampen your uric acid levels, which is going to greatly improve your your kidney stone formation situation. It’s going to greatly improve the amount of the P-H or the acidity of your blood. And so what happens is that if we can work on a little bit over here with the acidity situation like I just mentioned a little bit with the uric acid, a little bit with your water intake, a little bit with phosphatidylcholine, a little bit with superoxide dismutase or whatever other antioxidants you’re using the vacuum up oxidative stress. What that does is it creates a large effect, but it was actually tiny little things that were being impacted. And so that approach is really what you want to look for. There are supplements that do that for you, right? Like, there are a lot of different companies out there that have a lot of interesting products that have ingredients like this in them, but it’s not about the supplement as much as does the supplement do to me what it’s supposed to. And and I think that’s really where having a functional medicine provider that understands this really complex balance that you’re trying to achieve, if they understand it, you’re going to be all right. But what typically happens is, is people wait until there’s like a massive problem and then they show up and they’re like, All right, you got three weeks, doctor, I want you to fix this issue and you’re like,
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:34:39] Mm, interesting? Yeah. Or I’m going blind. I’m going to be blind, right? Really, very quickly in a month. Can you fix me? Wow, right? It’s really tough.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:34:50] Like, I’ve had stage three kidney disease for 10 years, and now the doctors are telling me that I’m going to have to have, you know, dialysis coming up. What can we do? Well, what in the world where were you three years ago, right?
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:35:02] We do a lot of great things, but it is really a lot of pressure when people are coming in. And I mean, that’s not even an exaggeration going blind or hey, can you fix my blood sugar levels are at five hundred, you know, whatever it is, it’s just a pain. It’s it gets to be. It’s tough. And so we’re we’re using nutraceuticals, right? You know, they they take it, they can take a little longer to work, depending on, you know, it’s not that instant all the time result that you see. I feel like we get results so fast, in fact.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:35:35] Absolutely. Think about this like so here’s here’s why sometimes it takes longer. Right? So this is for your patience. You know this, but this is for your patients. What happens is is in a functional practice, we’re not trying to downregulate, decrease or inhibit or block or replace function of the body with the medication. What we’re doing is is that power that heals the edges of a cut together in the body. We want to work with that right? And that’s what all the laboratory testing you’re doing doc is is looking at is you’re trying to catch that power that heals the edges of a cut together in the body, something I call it innate intelligence. I don’t know what you call it, but when you catch that at its job, you can work with it rather than thinking, Oh, your kidneys are leaving. All right. Well, looks like you’re going to have to be hooked up to a machine three times a week for hours each session, you know, for the rest of your life. You know, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you can look at it through the right lens, because what these nutraceuticals are doing is giving that innate intelligence building blocks in order to fix the physiology, rather than giving the body medications that replace physiology. And it’s a huge difference, but it takes a little while for that to come back. So it’s like it’s like growing a plant or you plant tomato. I just planted a garden with my little kids the other day and and you plant that tomato plant in the garden and it’s a little tiny plant right now, right? But soon enough, they’re going to be more tomatoes than we know what to do with. They’re going to be sick of them by the end of the summer, right? And and that’s kind of the idea with your physiology is you are planting those nutraceuticals into your body and allowing that power in your body that heals the edges of a cut together to use those nutrients to rebuild the kidney function or the liver function, or whatever. It might be your ability to regulate blood sugar and in it’s like a garden. It takes a little while, but it’s consistently accurate. It consistently works, and you just got to work the plan.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:37:35] That’s it. Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Our bodies are incredibly amazing. Our immune systems are just incredible. They’re incredible. Just it’s more amazing creatures.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:37:49] Absolutely.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:37:51] Wow, that was great. Thank you so much. Is there anything that you’d like to add in?
Dr. Brad Watts [00:38:00] I think one other thing I do this and almost every yes, I do, but the the message I want you to have in listening to this is to stand up for yourself right now and like an abrasive, antagonistic way. But if you’re a patient out there struggling with chronic disease. Stand up for yourself. Look. Get the information you need. Find somebody like Dr. Be here that is going to put together some action with your motivation, like an action plan with your motivation in walk in the right direction like your health is not rocket science, right? It’s it’s a lot easier than that. It’s predictable and it’s consistently going to improve. If you have somebody that can create a map for you to follow. And that literally right, there is functional medicine in a nutshell. And whether it be a kidney, so your liver, diabetes, whatever it is, it’s it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to put it together. It takes a lot of a no quit attitude to make it happen, though.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:39:04] So awesome. Well, thank you so much, and they can find you on the Nutrition Hero podcast anywhere else.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:39:12] That’s right. Or Dr. And so DrBradwatts.com. And that’s my My Home website as well.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:39:22] I literally every time I talk to you, I learn something new, and I’m so grateful for that. I can’t say that all the time. So thank you so much for spending time and doing this. So this was just definitely a pleasure today.
Dr. Brad Watts [00:39:36] Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me anytime, Dr. OK.