Have you been feeling run down, exhausted, and just plain sick and tired? If so, you're not alone. Millions of women struggle with autoimmune diseases, and the numbers are only rising. But there is hope!
In this episode of The Hormone Prescription Podcast, Dr. Kyrin Dunston welcomes Margaret Floyd Barry to share her journey with autoimmune disease and how she was able to reverse it using the power of food and nutrition. She also provides listeners with practical tips and strategies that they can use to start feeling better right away.
Margaret Floyd Barry is a writer and real food advocate whos been in the pursuit of the most nutritious and delicious way of eating for the better part of her adult life.
Having seen family members suffer the devastating effects of chronic illness from a young age, Margaret has long had the desire to help others find a better way back to optimal health and well-being. Through years of experience working with the most complex client cases, including reversing her own autoimmune condition, Margaret has established a powerful system for restoring health by addressing the root cause of illness.
Today, Margaret teaches fellow practitioners the same proven system she uses to get her clients life-changing results through Restorative Wellness Solutions - a two-year comprehensive functional nutrition certification program for qualified health professionals. With hundreds of alumni around the world, Margaret and the Restorative Wellness Solutions team are actively working to change the way health is delivered. Margaret also runs Eat Naked Kitchen, a thriving private practice that supports clients throughout North America and Europe, and is the author of Eat Naked: Unprocessed, Unpolluted and Undressed Eating for a Healthier, Sexier You and The Naked Foods Cookbook.
In this episode, you'll learn:
What autoimmune disease is and how it affects the body
The role that food plays in reversing autoimmune disease
Which foods to eat (and avoid) to heal your gut and reduce inflammation
How to create a personalized healing plan that works for you
If you're ready to start feeling your best, tune in now!
(00:00): It was Maya Angelou who said, Do the best you can until you know better then when you know better, do better. And Oprah famously quoted her as saying, When you know better, do better. You're gonna know some things after this podcast and then you can do better. Stay tuned to learn more.
(00:19): So the big question is, how do women over 40 like us keep weight off, have great energy, balance our hormones in 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 gyn, I 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 Dunston. Welcome to the Hormone Prescription Podcast.
(01:12): Hi everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The Hormone Prescription with Dr. Kyrin. Thank you so much for joining me today. We have a lovely guest you're gonna love. I know I say that about all my guests because I love them all. Literally they're just amazing people who are passionate and brilliant, and Margaret is no exception and she does so much work to help women. She has a powerful story as to why she's so passionate about autoimmune disease and the nutritional component and reversing it. So you'll definitely wanna hear that she is going to give you a perspective that you probably haven't had yet and we, we really get into some detailed things. So I definitely encourage you to be in a place where you can take notes cuz you're gonna wanna do that. She we're, she's gonna share with you why we are essentially complicated donuts.
(02:11): I know right now you're going what? But she's gonna talk to you about that if you've been wondering, well, do I really have to be gluten free and do I need to do it 100%. She's gonna uncover that for you and unpack that. So she's gonna answer a lot of questions that you've got about your health. She's brilliant. She also trains practitioners. She's gonna talk to you about that. She's got some super fun gifts for you. So let me tell you a little bit about her and then we'll get started. Margaret Floyd Barry is a writer and real food advocate who's been on the pursuit of the most nutritious and delicious way of eating for the better part of her adult life. Having seen family members suffer the devastating effects of chronic illness from a young age, Margaret has long had the desire to help others find a better way back to optimal health and wellbeing.
(03:03): Through years of experience working with the most complex quiet cases, including reversing her own autoimmune condition, How would you like to do that? Margaret has established a powerful system for restoring health by addressing the root cause of illness. Today Margaret teaches fellow practitioners the same proven system she uses to get her clients life changing results through restorative wellness solutions. Two year comprehensive functional nutrition certification program for qualified health professionals with hundreds of alumni around the world. Margaret and the Restorative Wellness Solutions team are actively working to change the way health is delivered. Margaret also runs Eat Naked Kitchen, a thriving private practice that supports clients throughout North America and Europe. And she's the author of Eat Naked Unprocessed Ed, and Unjust Eating For a Healthier Sexier You and The Naked Foods Cookbook. Welcome Margaret to the show.
(04:02): Thank you so much. It's great to be here.
(04:05): I'm really excited to have you. For everybody listening, Margaret did an amazing masterclass for some of my women in my virtual program in our nutrition module because she's a nutritional genius and a, a genius in the kitchen. That was fabulous and I wanted to share her with all of you. So she agreed to come onto the podcast and talk about something that she's really passionate about and that is how nutrition and gut health intersect with autoimmune disease. So we're gonna dive into that. But first can you tell everyone, Margaret, as a functional nutritionist, why are you so passionate about autoimmune disease?
(04:52): I had a front row seat, unfortunately to what really doesn't work when it comes to supporting people with autoimmune disease. My mom had very severe both rheumatoid arthritis and lupus that she was diagnosed with when I was in my teens. And she went the full on Western medical model. And in some ways she was a medical miracle. You know, like she, you know, the things that they were able to do to manipulate her immune system were profound. And yet the quality of life that she lived was, it was brutal. I mean, it was one step forward, five steps back, two steps forward, three steps back. I mean, just this slow, excruciating process of degradation. And the side effects from the drugs that were keeping her immune system under control were devastating. I mean, I remember one time she got a hangout and that hangout turned into a a three month hospital stay because it turned into an infection that, you know, her immune system was so suppressed by these drugs.
(06:05): That infection went all the way up her arm and then they couldn't get it under control with antibiotics. And I mean, it was just this huge thing. And that's just one example, but I think a profound one that, you know, something as simple as a hangout was so devastating to her. So that was the, the way that she had to live where, you know, things that none of us even think twice about could be devastating and throw her into the hospital for months. And ultimately she ended up losing her life to side effects from the drugs that were at the same time trying to keep her alive. So it was, you know, at the time I wasn't, I started studying nutrition part way through her journey and very much inspired by her journey. And then I, I just knew there had to be a better way and was really determined that, you know, not on my watch.
(06:55): Like I I, I myself actually was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when I was pregnant with my second daughter. I was, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and there is no way that I'm gonna let my two girls watch me slowly degrade and slowly die, essentially the way I watch my mom. And so there's, it's a very personal mission for me, not only for my own health and my own family, but for my clients and equipping other health practitioners with the tools to reverse that autoimmune process. Because here's the thing, there is so much we can do to turn around the autoimmune process through fairly simple tools and you know, we're talking about diet and we're talking about digestion and this, that might not be the whole story, but it's a huge part of the story. So I have been very, very passionate about this and made this a personal mission for years.
(07:51): Wow. That's an incredible story. And I know some people listening can relate, maybe they've have an autoimmune disease or they've had family members and watch them go through it. The immune suppressant drugs that people are put on for autoimmune disease. Cause that's essentially what is done really can wreck havoc when you get something like a hang meal and get an infection. And I love that this became a passion for you to really help people understand. I mean, it's not common in mainstream medicine that you see people heal from or resolve autoimmune diseases or go into complete remission, but in my world, in your world, we see it every day.
(08:38): And so I love that you're teaching about this. What made you hone in on diet and nutrition and gut health.
(08:47): If we think back, and I just, I wanna take a little step back to just, I know that you've talked at length about autoimmune process on your podcast before, but I just wanna make sure that we're all on the same page at just the fundamentals of what's happening. Yes. Cause it really sets the stage for why the diet and why digestion are so important. So if we think about our immune system, it is this incredibly powerful system that has basically two jobs. It's jobs are to protect us from foreign invaders like viruses and parasites and bacterial infections. And the other job is internal housekeeping. And as part of these two jobs, it has an incredibly important mechanism of differentiation. So it's able to differentiate between self and other. And then it's also able to differentiate between friend and foe. And in an autoimmune situation, what has happened is that mechanism of differentiation has gone awry.
(09:46): And there's a lot of different reasons why it does that. But the, but what's happened is now the immune system is confusing enemy other for friendly self that it should be protecting and it's attacking self. And as we know, the definition of the disease is based on either the system, the body system, or the tissue that the immune system is attacking. The question is, well let's say from a medical model, it's okay, the immune system is attacking self, Let's slow down the attack, let's shut down the immune system and let's reduce the inflammation. And these are things to help get the individual feeling better. And I'm not gonna say there's not a role for those things. There's, there's certainly a time and a place for both of those things, but that's not actually addressing the most important question, which is why is the immune system making such a bad judgment call basically?
(10:38): And at its core, and this isn't oversimplification, but I think it's a really helpful analogy. If you think about any of us, when we get overtired and we're just taxed all day long, not getting enough sleep, just not never getting an opportunity to rest and recover, we start to make bad decisions, right? <Laugh>, I don't know about you. I will say I make bad decisions and I see that around me. You know, and so the immune system is very similar in that if it's constantly being taxed, it's constantly being engaged, it starts to make bad decisions. And again, there's different mechanisms for this, but fundamentally this is what's going on. So the question is, what is taxing and engaging that immune system such that it is not allowed to rest and cover such making these poor decisions? And this the you know, there, there are lots of different answers to that question, but a huge piece of this puzzle is both the diet and the digestive process because the vast majority of our immune system lives in and around the gut, right?
(11:46): Let's say it's approximately 80% of the immune system meal who has, some people say, 75 I've heard has high 85, let's just agree on, you know, roughly 80%, the vast majority of the immune system lives in and around the gut. What that means is that if we are eating foods that are triggering inflammation, then that is impacting the immune system directly. If there is any dysfunction in the digestion that is impacting immune system directly. And here's what I will tell you is that even if you don't have overtly sort of expressive immune or digestive, excuse me, symptoms, so you're not symptomatic from a digestive perspective, that doesn't mean that your digestion is working properly. You know, I do a lot of testing with my clients and I've had clients with very severe forms of autoimmune where they're very symptomatic and lots of other things. But you know, I remember one client saying to me, Oh, I could, I could digest pebbles, like I could eat rocks. My digestion is so robust. And I thought, okay, well we'll see. And we did some testing and found some pretty significant imbalances that when we addressed those imbalances, they were silent from a symptom perspective, but it was addressing those imbalances that allowed her immune system to recover and the autoimmune to go into remission. So it's a huge and really, really critical piece of the
(13:14): Puzzle. Wow. So much good to what you said, you know, a tired immune system can't differentiate itself from other and makes bad decisions. <Laugh>, I think we can all relate to that, right? With, you know, just all the, we're inundated with information and tasks to do in our daily life and who among us doesn't have decision fatigue a