GET THIS>>> 12 Foods Keeping You Overweight & Tired at Midlife

GET THIS!>>> 12 Foods Keeping You Overweight & Tired at Midlife

Slay Midlife

Claim Your Brilliant Health.

Unlock the hidden causes keeping

you stuck...


Slay Midlife

Claim Your Brilliant Health.

Unlock the hidden causes keeping

you stuck...



You’re a smart, successful woman who seems to have her life together, but there’s one thing you keep struggling with; your health...

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Dr. Akil Palanisamy | Your TIGER Protocol For Solving Autoimmunity & Health Dysfunction

Dr. Akil Palanisamy | Your TIGER Protocol For Solving Autoimmunity & Health Dysfunction

March 26, 202440 min read

Welcome to another empowering episode of The Hormone Prescription Podcast, where we explore the intricate dance of hormones and health, specifically crafted for the vibrant midlife woman.

Today, we're honored to have the remarkable Dr. Akil Palanisamy, join us to unravel the mysteries of autoimmunity and health dysfunction through the lens of integrative and Ayurvedic medicine. Get cozy and ready to be inspired by a Harvard-educated expert who takes a deeply compassionate and holistic approach to healing.

Episode Highlights:

  • Introduction to Dr. Akil Palanisamy: Discover the fascinating path that led Dr. Aki, a Harvard grad and a mind-body medicine-certified physician, to the forefront of integrative health.

  • The TIGER Protocol Explained: Learn about the groundbreaking TIGER Protocol that Dr. Aki has pioneered, offering hope and healing to those suffering from autoimmune disorders.

  • Integrative Medicine and Ayurveda: Delve into a unique conversation on blending modern medical practices with ancient Ayurvedic wisdom.

  • Real-life Success Stories: Hear uplifting stories of resilience and recovery, showcasing the transformational impact of Dr. Aki's approach.

  • Practical Tips for Midlife Wellness: Arm yourself with actionable advice and wellness strategies tailored for the midlife transition, ensuring you live your healthiest, most hormonal-balanced life.

Inspirational Takeaway:

Dr. Akil's expertise isn't just in his impressive credentials; it lies in his ability to see the patient as a whole. His methods are a testament to the power of integrative medicine - providing a beacon of light for anyone navigating the murky waters of hormonal health and autoimmunity.

Tune in now to begin your own healing odyssey with the wisdom and warmth of Dr. Akil guiding the way. This episode is not just about listening; it's about awakening to the possibilities of true health renewal.

Listen, Learn, and Thrive:

Your body's plea for harmony between your hormones and health has been heard. Dr. Akil's knowledge and the TIGER Protocol could be the key to unlocking your body's fullest potential.

Don't miss this life-altering conversation. Tune in, tap into your innate healing power, and take charge of your well-being. Your miraculous body awaits.

Subscribe and Listen Now!


Dr. Kyrin Dunston (00:00):

There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world. And you, Dr. Akil , stay tuned to find out how to reverse the root causes of your autoimmunity and health concerns so that you too can follow your passion.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (00:20):

So the big question is, how do women over 40 like us keep weight off, have great energy, balance our hormones and our moods, feel sexy and confident, and master midlife? If you're like most of us, you are not getting the answers you need and remain confused and pretty hopeless to ever feel like yourself Again. As an OB GYNI had to discover for myself the truth about what creates a rock solid metabolism, lasting weight loss, and supercharged energy after 40, in order to lose a hundred pounds and fix my fatigue. Now I'm on a mission. This podcast is designed to share the natural tools you need for impactful results, and to give you clarity on the answers to your midlife metabolism challenges. Join me for tangible, natural strategies to crush the hormone imbalances you are facing and help you get unstuck from the sidelines of life. My name is Dr. Kyrin Dundton. Welcome to the Hormone Prescription Podcast.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (01:14):

Hi everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the Hormone Prescription. Thank you so much for joining me today as we dive into the topic of autoimmunity with Dr. Akil, who is a very accomplished physician who had his own healing journey during medical school that led him to a root cause resolution approach. He focuses on autoimmunity and helping people reverse it naturally. You're gonna hear some of his case studies of how he helped someone reverse Hashimoto thyroiditis, probably the most common autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects women as opposed to men and causes a lot of suffering, and how he helped her transform to not having Hashimoto's. Yes, it's possible despite what you might have heard, and you're going to hear just lots about what are the steps you need to take from his tiger protocol that he's developed. It applies to everyone, not just those of you with autoimmunity.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (02:14):

So I hope you will give a listen and take notes and check out his book. We've got a link to get a per an excerpt from it in the show notes and talk a little bit about this quote that I shared with you at the beginning about living your passion. He shares what that means to him and how that informs his daily life and activities that I think you'll really love. So I'll tell you a little bit about him and then we'll get started. After working with patients in his two decades of practice, Harvard trained Dr. Aki Palani me was inspired to develop the tiger T-I-G-E-R protocol, an integrative treatment approach. Combining his work as a functional medicine practitioner with his training in Ayurvedic medicine, he has since used his simple protocol to successfully treat thousands of patients with autoimmune diseases. The protocol works to address the root cause of your autoimmunity instead of just treating the symptoms by suppressing your immune system. And that's what mainstream medicine does. It's a revolutionary transformative approach that can help you transform your health and your life as well. Please help me welcome Dr. Akil  to the show.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (03:26):

Thank you so much Dr. Dunston, for having me on.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (03:29):

So excited to talk with you about the tiger protocol. I always like to start because people love to hear how traditionally trained doctors like you and me. Yes. Arrived, became enlightened and <laugh> became enlightened, saw the truth, the angels sang, we saw a better way. We really started people healing and doing things like reversing autoimmune disease. And so could you share a little bit about your journey from traditional mainstream medicine to a more root cause approach?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (04:03):

Yeah. It actually began in medical school for me when I developed a mystery illness during my second year of medical school. You know, I was actually very conventionally thinking, very conventionally trained, didn't have a real awareness of integrative medicine, but I had kind of this mystery illness with chronic pain and fatigue, and it, it was so bad that I couldn't sit up in a chair and I had to actually take a year off for medical school to try to recover. And it was that time that I started exploring integrative medicine and complementary therapies, and that was the first thing that really helped me after a few years of conventional medicine. So that helped me during my year off to return to really optimal health. And I realized that I needed to learn this stuff so I could help my future patients with it.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (04:52):

And so could you share a little bit about what you went through with that mystery illness and what you discovered Yes. That it was causing it?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (05:02):

Yeah. So the symptoms were, you know, started with fatigue and then I developed a lot of musculoskeletal issues like neck pain, back pain. You know, I couldn't sit up in a chair, and so I couldn't attend class, and I was doing all the conventional treatment, you know, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories and so forth. But it was only when I saw an Ayurvedic doctor, which is Ayurveda as a traditional medicine from India, that she told me I have a specific imbalance of a dosha, which is one of the Ayurvedic principles. And that actually tied together all my symptoms that I was having. Whereas in Western medicine, there was no diagnosis and never was, because there's no clear diagnosis that ties together all those symptoms. But when she started treating me with an auric diet and, you know, lifestyle and spices and herbs and a whole program, you know, lifestyle program as well, then that was the beginning of recovering my health.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (06:02):

Wow. I mean, I'm sorry that you went through that and it, you know, I I always say pain becomes your purpose, and it's only through pain, unfortunately, sometimes that we learn the truth if we're willing to lean into it and not just snuff it out. I always say that Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> yes. Symptoms that our body has is, you know, she's this beautiful vehicle that we have. She only has so many ways that she can let you know what she's needing and wanting and what's out of balance. And she's always talking to us. So a headache is not, she's not saying I need Tylenol, is that's not what a headache means. And <laugh>, you know, if your tummy gets upset every time you eat, it's not, oh, I need something to stop my gut from being able to contract like an antispasmodic. And so right, everybody listening, I really encourage you to start learning the language of your body and understand what she's saying to you so you can get to the root cause and get out of the leaves and branches of the tree and stop medicating with drugs and surgery. So thank you so much for sharing that. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>. So I, let's dive into your book on the Tiger protocol you've developed. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, a very specific detailed root cause protocol to help people with autoimmune disease. Was autoimmunity at all a part of the illness that you were suffering from?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (07:29):

No, fortunately but you know, over the years, in the past 25 years I've been practicing, I've just started seeing more and more autoimmune patients and wondering, you know, why there is such an increase in autoimmune disease. So it's really just organically through my own practice, I started seeing more and more autoimmune patients.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (07:51):

So is the tiger protocol developed with, from you working with them and really seeing what was specific to their needs and situations that needed to be addressed in order for healing to occur?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (08:03):

Yes, exactly. And, you know, with these same five root causes, the more I researched, the more I found that it, they're actually driving most of our modern chronic diseases, you know, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, which is still the biggest killer of, of most men and women, obesity and also disrupting hormones. Because I, in my practice, I do work a lot with female hormones in, in women. And so I found that, you know, these five root causes not only affect autoimmunity, but all these other chronic conditions and hormones especially.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (08:36):

Right. And I would love it if you could comment on the fact that women suffer with autoimmune immune disease way more than men. We are disproportionately represented with autoimmune disease. And why do you think that is?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (08:50):

Yeah, I think it's probably several reasons. So, you know, as we're going to go through the tiger protocol, we can see that toxins affect women more than men because of, for example, xenoestrogens, which we can get into. Same thing with the, with the gut. You know, a lot of the gut bacteria have a big effect on estrogen, which we can discuss. And that, you know, the key role there. And then with stress the, the R part, you know, rest and managing stress, I think that is also very fundamental in terms of its effect on multiple hormones. And I think, you know, we need more research to confirm this, but I think that because women are more complex in terms of their hormone chemistry, that more of these factors in our modern life are attacking and disrupting more and more of their hormones than in men. And I think that's one of the reasons autoimmunity is more common in women.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (09:48):

Yeah, I would agree. I really think it boils down to, down to hormones, <laugh>, and that's foundationally what makes a woman different from a man. And so that's what puts us at risk for so many of these problems. So let's jump into the tiger protocol. I know that each letter stands for an issue that needs to be addressed. So if you just wanna start at the beginning, we can dive right into it. And I wanna just tell everybody listening, don't discount what we're gonna talk about and say, I don't have an autoimmune problem, this, they're not talking to me. Everything that Dr. Akil  is talking about and details in his book, actually is an issue that every woman at midlife, early life, later life, needs to address to address the root causes of any dysfunction that she is suffering from. These are really the root causes of all health problems.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (10:46):

Whatever your diagnosis, whatever your symptoms. So if you think about your health like a tree, the symptoms and diagnoses you may have are up in the leaves and branches, and that's where mainstream medicine works. You go to the gastroenterologist for a gut problem, and you might get a drug or surgery for that problem. You go to the gynecologist for a female period problem, and you might get a drug or surgery for that problem. But where we're dealing with is we're going down the trunk of the tree into the roots of the tree in the dirt, and dealing with the root causes of all your leaf and branch problems. So everything we're gonna talk about applies to everyone. So I just wanna give that caveat. So without further ado, let's dive into the tea in tiger.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (11:32):

Yes, sounds good. Yeah. So the tea stands for toxins, which are environmental toxins that are present in our food, water, air, you know, that all of us are exposed to. And when I was researching toxins, I found a class of toxins called obesogens, which are known to promote obesity. So these are things that disrupt our metabolic signaling, you know, the intricate hormones like leptin and ghrelin that regulate appetite and satiety. So many of these toxins the broader category is called EDCs or endocrine disrupting compounds. So they disrupt our endocrine system, which is the hormone system that we've been, we've been talking about. So for my women who are really struggling to lose weight I feel like that's one of the missing pieces of the puzzle is addressing these obesogens, you know, helping clear out those toxins that are promoting obesity.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (12:26):

So that's, I think, a really key factor. Also, in toxins, there are ens. So these are toxins that promote insulin resistance and raise your blood sugar, again, a key cause of our diabetes epidemic. It's not just obesity. There's also a key factor of toxins that are disrupting your insulin and disrupting your blood sugar regulation. And we have to really address those as well. And then specifically for women, I talked about xenoestrogens. So these are compounds in our, you know, fragrances, pesticides, other chemicals. We put our body widely present in plastics, for example. And these are artificially created compounds that mimic estrogen. And so they're absorbed by the body. They disrupt the estrogen signaling and lead to, you know, a host of issues. So I, and of course, autoimmunity, which is the fastest growing category of disease, is included as well. That's what I focus on. But in my research, I found these toxins affect so many other key conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, as well as just general inflammation in the body. So that's why I believe that's why I put the T first. 'cause I think toxins are really fundamental and maybe the first thing to be addressed.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (13:47):

Yeah, I totally agree. And, you know, I just wanna tell a little personal anecdote. So I really, uhhuh, the biggest thing I think people can do in this area to start reducing their toxic load is to stop using artificial petrochemical fragrances all over your body and in your house. Just stop <laugh>. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>. Yes. And really there isn't an awareness of the dangers of these artificially scented products in the environment. So I, every, a lot of people know I've been traveling for 18 months globally, and I've had a lot of experiences where I go into new homes and stay in new homes. And there are plugins and scented candles and sprays and all the things that people use 'cause they like the way it smells. They use it on their dryer sheets with their towels and the sheets smell like perfume. And my body.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (14:40):

I say that I'm a human chemical detector because of various circumstances I've encountered throughout my life where I was actually made sick by a building. Now I'm a human chemical detector. So I walk in and before I even smell it, my body tells me that it's there. Mm. And so I've had the opportunity to talk with people about, and try to educate them about the dangers of these, they're carcinogenic as well as contributing to health problems. And it's interesting how many people are very resistant to this information, not knowledgeable. And I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts on that, or, and I know you've got way more details in the book, but what would you say is the number one thing that people can do to start reducing their toxic load?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (15:24):

Yes, I think that it, you know, it always starts with diet because I believe food is really fundamental. So I think, you know, trying to choose organic, so you're limiting the pesticide exposure. And then you don't have to have everything organic. You know, you can go with the environmental working group, which publishes a list called the Dirty Dozen, which is the 12 fruits and vegetables that are highest in pesticide, where you should try to get organic. And then they also publish the clean 15, which is the 15 that are pretty low and can be non-organic if possible. So I think that's a great way to start. And then to boost the detox pathways, I really like the cruciferous vegetables, all the, you know, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, those are, are very powerful. And then I think sweating like a sauna or steam room is really underutilized because there is very good research on sweating and how it excretes toxins through the skin, which is a really great way to, to help detox and keep the toxic level low.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (16:26):

Yes. Those are great suggestions. And how does this relate to hormones? 'cause We always try to tie everything to hormones.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (16:34):

Yes. So mainly in that, you know, all of these things that we've been talking about as toxins, like the endocrine disrupting compounds, the obesogens, the ens Z estrogens, all of them are disrupting this delicate balance that in women is critical, you know, because I always tell women it's like a symphony, you know, with all the female hormones that every piece is critical. And there's many different components that have to be in sync to, to make the perfect music, you know, the optimal health. And all of these toxins are disrupting that symphony. So that's why it's so important to address, you know, reducing the exposure and also boosting things to detoxify so you can have a, you know, better symphony and better music in the end.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (17:18):

Right? Yeah. A lot of these toxins actually stimulate those hormone receptors in negative ways. They sit right on the receptor and really confuse your body. Yes. So super important. So that's the T in tiger. And then what is the, I,

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (17:33):

So I refer to infections, and this is a broad category. There's many different types like a bacterial, viral, fungal and, and so forth. And there's many ways that infections disrupt hormones. One of the ways is by causing elevated cortisol, which is one of the stress hormones because of infection. I'm not talking about acute infection things like, you know, flu or you're down with a cold and you, you're really sick. I'm talking more about low grade chronic infections, which can be detected by an integrative medicine doctor. And those can slowly cause stress on the body. And any stress on the body raises cortisol. And that has a variety of negative effects, which we can talk about when we talk about stress, which also raises cortisol. But I think that, yeah, infections can really disrupt the hormones by raising cortisol. And then, for example, another example would be candida, the yeast overgrowth. So candida often is an issue that is, you know, overgrown and surprisingly has really negative effects on hormone balance. When you have the overgrowth of candida, it actually breaks down progesterone and contributes to estrogen dominance. This is, you know, air emerging research. But a lot of these infections are starting to be studied for their negative effect on hormones.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (19:03):

Yeah. So these chronic infections like candida, Epstein Barr virus Yes. Just dysbiosis in the gut where you don't have enough healthy bacteria and it's kind of skewed towards some of these less healthy ones. I, I think it's important 'cause some people listening are gonna say, great, I get it, Dr. Akil , I need to address toxins, infections, and all the other things we're gonna talk about. And they're gonna run to their $30 HMO copay doctor. And they're gonna say, right, well, I've heard Dr. Akil  on Dr. Kieran's podcast, and I want you to check me for these infections that are contributing to my autoimmune disease and MIT toxins, and I want you to help me with that. And what's gonna happen, <laugh>.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (19:45):

Yes. Yeah, no, exactly. I think it's you know, it's variable in terms of how much a typical conventional doctor will do or, or test. But I think that the good thing is what I focus on is really teaching people tools they can use at home on their own with, you know, diet and, and lifestyle. And, and with the topic of infections, my focus in the book is teaching people how to make your body inhospitable to infections, because then you can actually let your immune system work better to take care of whatever's there. So you don't have to do, you know, all of these tests. So there are ways to focus more on the terrain, the inner environment of the body to make it less hospitable to infections. And I think that's more of a root cause approach.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (20:32):

Yeah, I agree. But I just don't want anyone listening to think that the average doctor with the education that we initially had is gonna be able to help them. So this is where your book comes into play. So yes, in, you know, I know this might be really inappropriate, but I met a woman when I was traveling and her name was Candida, and it just stuck in my head. 'cause When I met her, I thought, I wonder if she's had problems with having that name. Because I think of one thing when I hear candida and it's chronic infection, <laugh>. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> that actually, and you know, the, as a gynecologist, what would we do if someone said that they thought they had a yeast infection? We do a wet mount and look for yeast or candida in the vagina. But I always like to say to people that if you have chronic candida, it might not be on, I say it lives in your gut and it goes on vacation in your vagina. So, right. You know, if you get chronic candida infections, that means you've got a reservoir in your gut of where it's really living that's chronic. So that's what you gotta look at. Alright, so that's the T and then the I and tiger. And then how, what do we get with the G?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (21:42):

Yeah, the gut is really critical. And the microbiome refers to all of the 40 trillion bacteria in the gut that have a really big effect on every organ system in the body. Pretty much if you name a, a part of the body, it's affected by the gut and the hormones are, are no exceptions. So I'll just pick three to focus on in terms of hormones and good gut. So first is the thyroid. So the very important gland that regulates your metabolism energy and so forth. And one of the key ways that the thyroid hormone in the body works is there's a conversion that needs to occur from what's called T four to T three, basically some of the, the active hormones. And about a quarter of that conversion happens in the gut microbiome. So if you're not having a good balance of bacteria, then your production of the active thyroid hormone is really gonna be limited.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (22:35):

And that's a, that's gonna affect energy and weight and all of these things. So that is number one, the thyroid. Number two is melatonin. So we know this is important for sleep. And melatonin is produced from one of the precursors called serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter or a signaling compound. And actually about 80% of the body's serotonin is made in the gut, which then gets processed, you know, into melatonin and so forth. So all of these neurotransmitters which affect the brain, a lot of them are made in the gut. And that's what we call the gut brain axis. And then finally, I'll mention estrogen because there's a huge role of the gut bacteria, what's called the estrobolome, which are the bacteria that process and metabolize estrogens. And one of the key things, it's a little bit technical, but just bear with me here. It's called beta glucuronidase.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (23:30):

So this is an enzyme that your gut bacteria have. And with, you know, with estrogen, it has to be just the optimal level, not too much or not too little. And the body has a system called estrogen recycling to kind of regulate that, which goes through the gut. And the beta glucuronidase, which is in certain bacteria, actually disrupts that. So the beta glucuronidase is an enzyme that de conjugates estrogen that is in the gut that's marked for excretion, you know, supposed to be flushed out of the body through the, the poop, and it allows it to be reabsorbed into the circulation. And then you can get, you know, estrogen dominance or too much estrogen. And that balance of recycling estrogen is disrupted by the gut bacteria. So again, if you have the, you know, imbalance of gut bacteria, it's going to be affecting not just estrogen balance, but your thyroid, your, you know, melatonin, you so many, so many things. So I think the gut is really foundational.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (24:30):

Yes. So what do you say to someone listening who says, I don't have a gut problem, and they immediately shut down? Yes. And don't, I'm not gonna listen to this. My gut is like, works like magic. I poop every day. It's quiet. I don't have any symptoms. I don't have a gut problem. So then you say, improve your gut health. And what do you say to that woman who tells you, no, I, I don't need to look at that. I don't have a gut problem.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (24:56):

Yes. And a lot of women I see in my practice are in that category. You know, fortunately they don't have GI symptoms, generally have good gut health and don't really expect to have any GI imbalances. But I always test their microbiome. You know, I always look in there and pretty much most of the time we find imbalances. And, and often, you know, the body is very resilient, so it's able to adapt and overcome a lot of imbalances and, you know, prevent you from feeling bad. But it doesn't mean those imbalances aren't there. And so what I found in my experience, when we start looking, there are imbalances, for example, in the, you know, the bacteria or the beta glucuronidase or some of those things. So that's why it's key, even if you are healthy without GI symptoms, to really focus on trying to boost your gut bacteria and really make sure they're optimal.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (25:48):

So I love how you said that you test everyone, right? And I do too. I say, even if you don't think you have a gut problem, you need a functional stool test, food sensitivity, testing, et cetera. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So can you talk about the importance of testing for hormones, for gut health, for mitochondrial function, for all the things that you think it's important for?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (26:10):

There is a way, like for my patients who cannot afford functional medicine stool testing, there is a way through a regular lab to get an indirect measurement of the microbiome. So I do order this a lot. It's called a stool pH test. And it can be done through any traditional lab, you know, LabCorp quest, any lab in the us. And what a stool pH tells you is that it's an indirect marker of your gut microbiome, because the main determinant of that is your gut bacteria and specifically certain metabolites they produce called the short chain fatty acids. So if they're producing the right compounds, your pH will be really good. And that is a great way to gauge, you know, indirectly how the microbiome is doing. And then all of the things that I talk about in the book, like the prebiotic foods, fermented foods, certain specific types of fiber, all of those things can improve the stool pH.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (27:07):

And then also the stool pH is a key factor for your immune health for reducing infections. You know, for example, candida can only overgrow if your pH is out of balance in the stool, in the gut. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>. And same with a lot of bad bacteria. That's one of the ways your body keeps those bad bugs in check is by keeping the pH in a really optimal range. So that's a great way to test. And so I think for pa patients who don't have access to a functional doctor, that is something you can get through a regular lab. It's a standard test.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (27:38):

Okay. Awesome. Love that. And let's go through E and R and then as we do, I would love it if you could just incorporate any examples of patients that you have worked with who maybe were suffering with the E or the R in particular. Yeah. And kind of what their journey was like to healing, but yeah, please proceed.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (27:59):

So of course it is a big topic in terms of eating right and, you know, the diet. And so in general, yeah, I'm recommending a plant forward diet with plenty of, you know, whole foods. And so let me discuss three things which I think are negative in terms of their effect on hormones. Number one being sugar. So, so, you know, we all know that processed white sugar is inflammatory and has a really negative effect on the immune system as well as some of the metabolic hormones. And, you know, yes, occasionally like dark, dark chocolate, an occasional treat I think is fine. But in the long run, trying to cut back on sugar, I think, is really beneficial. So mainly because inflammation is at the root of all of our modern diseases and sugar has been linked to increasing inflammation in the body.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (28:49):

And then second, I think they are processed foods. So a lot of the heavily processed and ultra processed foods that are present in our food supply right now, I think they, a lot of them have ingredients that are known to be disruptive, like preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial flavors or sweeteners. And so I think that's a category as well to, to really be mindful about. And then third, I wanted to mention dairy products because not everyone is sensitive to dairy. I think that it's important to test it out, maybe eliminate it for some time and then reintroduce, see if you notice a change. And so for women who do not have a sensitivity or allergy to dairy, this might be surprising, but from the hormone perspective, it's actually better to have full fat dairy rather than low fat. Because there was actually a study from Harvard where they looked at 18,000 women and their dairy intake pertaining to fertility.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (29:48):

And they found that those women who had more low fat dairy products actually had worsened fertility and were more at risk for infertility. And in that case, also having full fat dairy, like normal un unprocessed dairy was associated with better fertility. And so in that study, they recommended women trying to conceive, you know, not have low fat dairy because it's actually potentially negative. And that goes back to processed foods because, you know, dairy as a whole, food does have that fat and has to go through a lot of processing to make it low fat and, you know, skim milk and all that. So if a woman tolerates dairy, I do recommend going with the whole fat and just in moderation, but avoid the low fat dairy. So yeah, those are just some, some examples. But, you know, there's so much we could talk about in terms of yes, p food, of course. Yeah.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (30:39):

I love that study. I wasn't aware of that. And I would just encourage everyone, fat is your friend, right? All your cells are coated in fat. Your brain is fat. You need fat. And, and a lot of us in the eighties were really trained that fat was our enemy. And fat is not. It's your friend. Sugar is your enemy, but fat is

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (30:57):

Your friend. <Laugh>. Yes, yes. Yep.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (31:00):

And then how about the R in tiger?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (31:02):

Yes. So the R refers to rest, which encompasses sleep, and also managing stress. And stress has so many effects on hormones. So one, one of the main ways is through cortisol, which is one of the stress hormones and chronic stress, like many of us deal with that, you know, very full busy lives. But if it's out of control it causes high levels of cortisol chronically, and that disrupts a number of the other hormones. So that will cause, for example, testosterone to drop. And even women need some testosterone, you know, for normal function also, then it disrupts the thyroid. So then you start seeing thyroid hormone dysregulated, and then chronic stress can also lower estrogen and progesterone levels. So it just is something that affects almost every hormone. And you know, of course stress disrupts blood sugar regulation as well. So insulin is another hormone.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (32:00):

So I think it's very important. Sometimes, you know, my patients, their eyes glaze over when I talk about stress. 'cause We've all heard so much about it. But I, I tell people to think, focus on something you enjoy, whether it be going out in nature or doing some yoga or Pilates or prayer or, you know, it doesn't have to be meditating for an hour every day, but finding something that you enjoy, that you're willing to do regularly is, is the key thing. And there's a lot of different ways to accomplish that. So. Great.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (32:29):

So there we are at the Tiger Protocol, and I would love it if you could share some stories of people you've worked with, maybe the autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto's Lupus Yes. Multiple sclerosis and what their journey has been like through this protocol.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (32:45):

Oh, sure. Yeah. So a case comes to mind of a nurse at our local hospital. She was in her forties and dealing with Hashimoto's and thyroid condition. And a lot of the common symptoms of Hashimoto's are fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss. And then, you know, with autoimmune diseases in general, they do develop slowly. So there's a key window where integrative or preventative strategies can really help. And she was in that case where her thyroid hormone levels like TSH were just going slightly high, but not at a level like greater than 10, where her doctor was gonna put her on medication, but it was abnormal. And so her doctor told her her thyroid levels don't qualify for a medication, so there was nothing he could do. And then he said, you know, your immune system is going to destroy your thyroid, and then at that point, come back and I'll prescribe you the medication.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (33:42):

And, you know, that didn't really sit well with my <laugh>, my patient who was used to being very proactive. So she came to our, you know, integrated medicine clinic, and she didn't want to just wait for her thyroid to fail and then get medication, you know, she wanted to do something more proactive. And in her case, we did some testing. We found that she did have IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, which had not really been addressed. And when we did some stool testing, we found she had this condition called the leaky gut, which is increased intestinal permeability, and that's a key factor in autoimmune diseases. She also had bacterial overgrowth, what we call dysbiosis. And so I put her on a gut healing program with a lot of fermented foods, bone broth, and prebiotic foods, which feed the good bacteria. And then we looked at her hormones.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (34:35):

So commonly, like in thyroid conditions, the adrenal hormones are affected because there's a close link between the thyroid and the adrenal. And so I used certain herbs like ashwagandha, which is a, ashwagandha is a common urban Ayurveda, and used a lot to support the thyroid and adrenal. And then she started noticing some of her symptoms improving, like her fatigue, the hair loss, the IBS, you know, those, it took about, you know, three or four months because integrated medicine worked slowly, but some of those symptoms that were really bothering her had been resolved. And then after working together for about more, you know, six to seven months, we retested those Hashimoto's antibodies, the thyroid antibodies, and found they had come down into normal. So she no longer had Hashimoto's, you know, autoimmune disease. Yeah. So that was one example where, you know, just taking steps to address the root causes can, in some cases reverse the autoimmune disease and at least improve the symptoms. You know, even if it's not possible to cure the condition, people can feel normal and, you know, have a good quality of life.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (35:48):

I, I think it's so important to highlight what you just said and the example you just gave, because people are really given this kind of death sentence by a lot of doctors because, and, and they're just telling their experience and what they've been taught that Hashimoto's, once you have it, you're always gonna have it. It's gonna destroy the thyroid. There's nothing we can do. And it's not, it's just because they don't know what's possible. But every day I see people go from very high Hashimoto's antibodies to no antibodies, right? Every day I see people go from having diabetes type two and go to not having diabetes and having optimal insulin and glucose control. And probably you do too. So I want everyone to hear that diseases can be reversed. And you didn't hear him mention any drugs in there, right. <Laugh>.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (36:45):

Right. So

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (36:46):

Just naturally it can happen. So thank you for that. I, I want to highlight this quote you shared with me that I love, because I think you really exemplify it. And to me, I love helping women get healthy because I want them to feel better. Yes. And function better, but I always say I'm kind of sneaky because I really want them to live their passion in life, whatever that is. Yes. And you really can't live your passion if you don't feel good. So the quote is, there is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world. And you, and I'm just wondering, is that a quote from you or somebody who you admire?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (37:29):

No, I had, you know, written it down during my medical school years, you know, when I was dealing with that illness, and I was going through a lot of depression and really despair. So because I was, you know, it was my dream to become a doctor, and here I was to stop my training. And so I really had to seek out inspiration. And I don't remember where I found that quote, but that is in my journal that I've kept for many years. And yeah, that was a key part of how I think now.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (37:56):

I love that. And how does that, what does that look like in your daily life? How does that change what you do? Or how you do what you do? What does that look like?

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (38:06):

Yeah, I think for me, you know, really like teaching is my passion. And I think a lot of medicine, as you know, is really teaching and, you know, sharing with our patients. But I really wanted to do more teaching. So you know, this with my second book, the Tiger Protocol, you know, getting out there, being on podcasts such as this one and, and talking to patients. I also have started doing these group visits, shared medical appointments where I also do a lot of teaching. So that for me is really something I get excited about.

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (38:35):

Yes. And I can't remember if it's the word physician or doctor. One of those words means teacher, and it really is <laugh>.

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (38:44):

Yes, exactly. Doctor, I think. Yeah, yeah,

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (38:46):

Yeah. What we, what we are. And so I love that you are living your passion of teaching and helping others. It's my passion too. So from one person who's passionate about helping people see the truth about their health and learn the truth, and find the path towards health and wholeness and a passionate life to another, I thank you so much for joining me on the show today. I think you've offered such valuable information, and I know inspiration as well to a lot of women who are feeling hopeless, and I know they've learned something that they can implement today. I'm gonna encourage them to check out your book. I know you have a free excerpt, what we're gonna have a link in the show notes to, but tell them all the places they can connect with you online, where can they find you, and what resources you have available

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (39:37):

Through my website, dr Akil .com. And then I am pretty active on some social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, as at Dr. Akil  on all three of those. So,

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (39:50):

Great. Thank you so much for joining me today, Dr. Akil .

Dr. Akil Palanisamy (39:54):

Thank you so much, Dr. Dunston. I enjoyed our conversation today,

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (39:57):

And thank you for joining me for another episode of The Hormone Prescription with Dr. Kieran. I know that you have learned something that you can put into effect in your life today. Don't wait to start moving towards greater health and wholeness for yourself. I look forward to hearing about it on social media so that you can start feeling better and then move towards living what you're passionate about in your life. Thanks so much for joining me, and I'll see you next week. Until then, peace, love, and

Dr. Kyrin Dunston (40:29):

Hormones, y'all. Thank you so much for listening. I know that incredible vitality occurs for women over 40 when we learn to speak hormones and balance these vital regulators to create the health and the life that we deserve. If you're enjoying this podcast, I'd love it if you'd give me a review and subscribe. It really does help this podcast out so much. You can visit the hormone where we have some free gifts for you, and you can sign up to have a hormone evaluation with me on the podcast to gain clarity into your personal situation. Until next time, remember, take small steps each day to balance your hormones and watch the wonderful changes in your health that begin to unfold for you. Talk to you soon.


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Founder of Midlife Metabolism Institute and The Hormone Club,Transformational Leader, Medical Expert, Health Coach.

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