We are featured in Kenohacks – by Japanese-born and Sweden-based Eeva. We focus mostly on Functional Medicine and the background story of Ulrik.
Kenkohacks is Japanese. Kenko/kenkō/ = Health in Japanese
Please go and hear the episode here at Kenohacks.
1:00 How Ulrik got interested in functional medicine
7:45 How CCFM was started and Ulrik’s role at the center
12:16 How do a team of experts help patients at CCFM
17:30 How CCFM approaches a patient
25:25 4 pillars of functional medicine
28:00 Elimination diet
31:00 Gut health optimization
43:00 Immune health
50:50 Vitamins for infection
52:30 Vitamin D, the optimal range
56:13 Who are good candidates for functional medicine
Transcribed Interview with Ulrik Hjerpsted.
The below has been transcribed for easy skim with timestamps./Oscar
[00:00:00] The podcast about wellness health.
[00:00:12] This is a podcast from Kenco hacks. I’m Ava. Today. We are very excited to have as our guest. a medical doctor and a partner at Copenhagen Centel functional medicine. Rudy. Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. You have to have you here. Um, you have very interesting background. You have a conventional medical training in surgery and you are vascular surgeon, but you got interested in functional medicine, um, some years ago.
[00:00:44] And today you are a partner at Copenhagen central functional medicine. So can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got interested in functional medicine in the beginning? Yes, I can, uh, it all started up, [00:01:00] I think, with a seminal infection in 2001 and, uh, in Thailand and I was admitted to the hospital and got a lot of antibiotics.
[00:01:10] Um, so they could send me home fast and slowly my, my gut health stuff, two to go the wrong way. And I started to have it food intolerances. Then I started having a slight inflammation in the joints after running and, and I, I try to, uh, talk to different doctors and Denmark being a, uh, upcoming vascular surgeon.
[00:01:37] It’s hard. It’s easy to get access to. Two wise people in Denmark, wise, doctors, professors, and staff, and they all took blood samples to say, nothing’s wrong with you? Everything looks fine, but, but I could feel after running my giant herds and, and it slowly got worse over the years and doing vascular [00:02:00] surgery, you had to stand for eight hours sometimes with the big auto surgery.
[00:02:06] And it became problemsome for me to do, to do my job and. And then I got slightly desperate. So I started researching on my own like different, different bacterias and what could, what could increase inflammation and what could decrease inflammation. And, and I use quite some time, uh, doing research about this and, and it led me to the path of functional medicine where.
[00:02:34] Where, where I found out that a lot of the food choices we take today can, can increase inflammation by modulating the gut microbiome, the right, or the wrong way. Yeah. So, so, um, so as I started exploring that more and more, and, and, and even though the doctors that I have met says nothing wrong with you. I, I, I, with my own experiences with, with food [00:03:00] choices and fasting, I started to get better, really fast.
[00:03:03] So, so, so after that, I, I thought I’d like, FA I liked vascular surgery. I really enjoy doing it, but I also, I helped. So like, uh, I like to help people. It’s probably one of the causes because of being a doctor that you like to help people. But, so, so I wanted to, to spread this information to people. So I started the center of functional medicine, too.
[00:03:28] To try to, uh, to help Danish people, uh, uh, with, with these topics, because it’s very, it’s very hard for a person. That’s not a doctor to go to a doctor and say, it’s something’s wrong with my joints or with my skin. And, and the doctor says, no, nothing’s wrong with you. You don’t, you don’t have the education to question that.
[00:03:49] A statement. So, so, so I I’d like to like open this clinic so I can help people and listen to people’s problems. So, so I can say yes, something is wrong with you. And it, it [00:04:00] is curable. We can at least help the, the decrease the problems by 80% too. 50 to 80%. Like if you had joint problem, maybe we cannot cure you, but we can at least make way better.
[00:04:15] Right. Food choices and lifestyle changes. So I want to share that with the world, especially with the Danish world, the Scandinavian world, because I think people in other countries are way more. Ahead in, in functional medicine, especially in the state, it’s very normal in Denmark. It is not small. Yeah. Wow.
[00:04:35] That’s very interesting story. I had no idea. So as an actor, you are, you experienced your own personal health issues as a doctor and you consulted other doctors in their speciality, like maybe. Immunity. Right. And they said nothing is wrong with you. And you are like, but I, I I’m experiencing something. I know that something is wrong.
[00:04:57] So you took your, you, you took the [00:05:00] program to your own hands, and that’s really interesting story, because as you say, I said, you are, you are a soldier. So you have like, you, you have very good mathematical background and still like poem from thing as adults, as a fellow said, well, nothing is wrong with you.
[00:05:16] It was. Puff for you, I guess. And for normal people like us, it’s even tougher. Um, as you say, we have not enough medical knowledge, maybe doctors, you know, dismissed our complaints. Um, so, so it’s, it’s, it’s such a fascinating story to really, yeah. It is kind of shame that normal medicine in, in Denmark and probably also in Scandinavia is, is, is very much into the acute indicators in the blood sample.
[00:05:43] So they look at. Led like a leukocytes and see if they’re high as an acute inflammation, but, but a lot of the problems with. With, with our, with our new or our [00:06:00] testing and the healthcare system nowadays is, is it only looks at the acute factor. So it is only if you’re really sick, that it shows a positive outcome or a negative outcome, but positive results, like there’s something wrong.
[00:06:14] So, so if, if we, um, We talk functional medicine. We look very much into how is the person feeling? Is there something wrong? Yes, it hurts here. Okay. Then there’s something wrong. And then we try to fix it together. We don’t have to have blood samples saying, okay, this, this number is really high. We need to get that.
[00:06:35] Down like in functional medicine, you look, you talk to the person and if you listen to all the problems he or she had in the, in the, in the, like, prior to the visit and what problems are there now, and then you try to have some logic behind it with the knowledge that you have as a functional medicine doctor, and then you try to fix it slowly.
[00:06:56] The right direction. Yes. Yep. Um, [00:07:00] so I guess that the venture is an, after you took the program into your own hands, hands, you are able to become, uh, improve your health, your programs, uh, little by little, and today you are properly feeling okay. Feeling better, um, or maybe even better than ever since then you have, um, learned quite a lot about functional medicine, I guess.
[00:07:21] And this is probably related to how you started, uh, Copenhagen central functional medicine. Is that right? Um, maybe you can, yeah, you can share with us, um, how, the, how the background background, the stories of the center, uh, Copenhagen center for functional medicine. How did it get started? What do you do at the clinic?
[00:07:45] Yeah, just as I told you, it started out with these, uh, this bad history of, uh, meeting the healthcare system in Denmark and they are not being very open to. To new research and they, [00:08:00] they’re not very open to like a food as medicine. So I started out, um, with my colleague Oscar, uh, to try to get the center up and running.
[00:08:12] We have a clinic in a store, comes, got the ADA. And where we, uh, we have consultants patients normally it’s, it doesn’t take like hundred consultations or a lot of medicine. It just is take small changes in your dietary intake and. Hi, how are your sleep habits or you exercise habits takes like, it doesn’t take a lot of consultations to fix your health in the right direction.
[00:08:41] Um, so, so normally we have a best case scenario. You have like three consultations, uh, Where you start off with a big background check, where we take the history, that health history, and then we try to find out what, what seems to be the problem. And then [00:09:00] we start out with like dietary changes, supplements, and suggestions to lifestyle changes.
[00:09:08] And like in 95% of the cases we can change in the positive direction. Just. By doing that. If people then come into a checkup 14 to a month, late 14 days to a month later, we can see what was hard. And what was it easy for, for the, for the client to do the adjustments in their lifestyle? Because not all people are like, I have clients that come in and I ask them to do changes and they do a hundred percent right away.
[00:09:36] And then I have clients coming in and they do like, they do. Yeah, 5% change is the one that I asked them. Right. So it’s really hard for the different kinds of persons, depending on the mentality. If they’re easy to change the lifestyle and, and diets and other people, I’m just maybe not desperate enough, maybe they don’t want it enough.
[00:09:56] Maybe just really hard for them to do the changes. So, [00:10:00] so when they come in again, we talk about, okay, how come you substitute the things that you cannot leave behind? Like. Is it gluten? Is it lactose? Uh, how can, which substitutes can we use instead of that? Is it snacking? I used snacking late time. What kind of snacks could you substitute instead of sugar and other things, then what can you substitute your cravings with?
[00:10:23] So you get like this, you get like a, a gray zone where you can work and maybe it doesn’t add up to being the way that I wanted it to be, but it’s something that the claim can. Do and relate to, and it works for them. So, so, so normally we at the checkup, we try to implement or change things. So they do the changes in a positive way, maybe not a hundred percent, but maybe we get up to 50% and then they slowly.
[00:10:54] Find out that, Oh, this is really helping. So maybe I should do the things that he asked in the [00:11:00] beginning, and then we do two months or three months checkup, and then we see everything’s working or they’re back to normal or what they want. Hmm. It sounds like, um, you have to be quite a good investigator of the patients to be, um, good functional medicine doctor.
[00:11:17] You have to ask a lot of questions and the really, uh, dig into the details of their lifestyle. Yes. Uh, you have to be quite an investigator to find the correct answer to problems. And I feel like having a clinic like this, I don’t meet the easy cases. I need the very complicated cases, the one that persisted for a long time.
[00:11:43] Right. So, so, so it’s, uh, it’s, it’s very severe cases of, uh, auto-immunity in different ways and aspects. So, so it’s, it’s for me, it’s also very interesting. Every time I see a new client, because they all have their different, uh, [00:12:00] cases. And, and I really liked the way most of them play out because all of them feel improvement after like 14 days.
[00:12:08] Yeah, that’s really fascinating. I, I, I checked, um, clinic’s website and, um, these are linked to the team who work as a clinic, and that includes a very wide range of disciplines. Like I haven’t seen psychology physical training on even some health device expert. Um, so can you tell us, like if, as a patient, that your clinic, um, Do they speak to all those experts separately?
[00:12:34] Or how does this investigation really work? Does it, do they speak to many different experts? Uh, depending on, uh, the, the problem at hand, like if they come in with a clearly medical problem, it’s, it’s mostly my, uh, point of views that get, um, if they want, like the best case scenario would be to be to talk.
[00:12:58] That’s why we have, uh, [00:13:00] we have, uh, Collected these experts under the same roof or the possibility to talk to all these experts. Normally it’s like one of the, one of the time, but if I like set up a diet for a guy and. And he doesn’t, he doesn’t stick to the diet because there’s three trigger thoughts make him eat differently or the way then he could see this a psychologist about what can he do with his trigger thoughts, and maybe he’s stressed also.
[00:13:31] So this psychology is at hand, he’s a, his specialist in stress, which I think has a big impact on the gut health, but also like overall health. Um, then, um, yeah, so, so, so it’s, it’s really like sometimes we, we talk about different pace patients like, uh, together the team to see how we can get the best outcome for the client.
[00:14:00] [00:14:00] We also have concussion patients, which also is as a big, big factor and in the psychologist field. It’s it’s really a fascinating, as you say, I could easily imagine that’s a case. It’s a patient you get to clinic are not easy. So it’s very complex along the term programs, um, issues of their own. And each case is unique and you are trying to really investigate there is that issue, the root causes, and trying, also trying to investigate their lifestyle and how they can be compliant with these treatment plans.
[00:14:35] It’s really a holistic approach.
[00:14:40] Yeah, I’d say also my light and my biohacker mind says that I must also get like some data from the patients that would be really useful because if I get like aura ring data from the patient, I can really help them more in the sleep hacking and. And how I [00:15:00] optimize their sleep health. Cause sleeping is very important.
[00:15:03] It’s crucial for good health that your sleep, right. And if people say, okay, I sleep fine, but do you really? So I don’t, if I don’t get dead yet, but they go to bed and they won’t wake up, but is it, do they score a 60 on the ordering or the score 90? Like it’s, it’s a very big different is if their health is going to improve that they get it.
[00:15:24] Get the score up close to 80 or 90. Yeah. I also ran out or having myself and I can, I can not complete the algorithm. It really makes huge difference to get the data rather than just how you feed subjectively. It’s also important, but like to Caesar numbers, it really makes a difference. And you, I understand that you can actually get, you got access to patient’s data because I know that aura ring has this kind of sharing option, I believe so they can share their data with you.
[00:15:54] So you can. Monitor how your patients are sleeping, like, um, on your screen. Um, [00:16:00] that sounds good. Uh, that would be me monitoring all my clients at the same time would take a big effort, but we, we, we normally, um, when clients are here in a consultation, we walked through the different days, like a week, 14 days back to see.
[00:16:16] What’s going good. What’s going not so good. How can they improve that? A lot of patients had problems with waking up during nighttime and, uh, very easily. The trick is to not drink as much ethics, six o’clock. So it’s trying to get you two liters of water from the morning and up. Instead of trying to, Oh, you come home from work at five or six and then, Oh, I need to drink my two liters and then just drink it to Warren and you go to bed and you wake up like two o’clock at night, but you don’t want to go to the bathroom cause it’s cold and it’s so far.
[00:16:49] So, so you, you, you could fall asleep again and then you wake up 15 minutes later. I still have to go to the bathroom. So it’s like really disturbing for you. Good quality sleep. So. [00:17:00] I really suggest that people drink your water in the morning or the afternoon, if you want to break fast. Yeah. Small, small thing, but that makes a big difference to the quality of your sleep.
[00:17:11] Um, totally. Yeah. Um, so, um, yeah. As a clinic at the Copenhagen center of functional medicine, how would you approach a patient? You already mentioned a couple of things like nutrition and the holistic approach, but when the patient makes a first appointment on what happens next, does they take a blood test or what happens then?
[00:17:34] That’s um, I I’d love to say that we would take blood samples too. Test the lipid profiles and the small gray is low grade inflammation, but at the moment we don’t have the setup, but we, uh, we have the machines in order. We just need place to set them. So it’s, it’s soon going to be a thing for us with the blood samples.
[00:17:57] Um, but at the moment I sent them [00:18:00] out house if I need them, but I believe that a lot of things can be adjusted just by it. Like first consultation, small changes could really have big impact on your health. Cutting out a few things of your diet can really have huge impact on your health. So I S I start off with, uh, without the blood sample at the moment, but hopefully in this year, we will have the possibility to do a full range of blood panels.
[00:18:28] So we can, uh, we can see the improvements also like clinically, so we can, uh, easier, like. Motivate our clients to, to, to go the right way. Um, I, I didn’t say before, but if, if we don’t see changes after two or three consultations and clients are doing what they should, there is, there’s different, different.
[00:18:52] Things you can do. You can do a, you can do a fecal sample, both, and you can test. If there’s any pathogens in it, you [00:19:00] can do a lot samples also for cytokines. And you can check if they’re have low grade inflammation still, or if there’s something else, uh, if, if the diet changes not working, if there’s something, the system in the gut, you can also do, uh, killed diets with different kind of herbal, uh anti-microbials and antifungals.
[00:19:23] So there is really a lot of ways to do it. It’s not like, okay, two consultations and we out now it’s like, okay, We trying to figure out the problem together. So it’s like, you, you, you go hand in hand to see if, if, okay, this not working, why is it not working for you? Because every person is different. It’s not like I know everything about everyone.
[00:19:45] It’s like, when they come in, then we try one diet and that not working, maybe it working in the wrong way, like. Maybe too many fibers and the vegetables that suggest on the first consultation, then maybe we should go lower veggies. Like, so there’s [00:20:00] different diets that you can approach depending on what person and how they react and the first consultation.
[00:20:05] So it’s really crucial that you give it a go at least three or four consultation to get to the goal of having improved health. Yes. So you are like more like personal coach, personal health coach to your patients. It sounds like you follow up and you really takes our hands or holds that hand towards the goal of optimized health.
[00:20:28] Um, and, um, I think it’s a really, um, big commitment from yourself, um, to, um, you know, because each patient is so unique and, and it’s a big challenge I can imagine. Um, so, um, Yeah, it’s a, it is. Cause, cause as I said, it’s not like there’s, everyone is different and equals as, as Jim biohacking. So, so I can only, I can only try to help people understand the bodies better.
[00:20:58] So if I don’t [00:21:00] feel, if I have a clinic, a patient that eats tons of tomatoes and get joint pain, I can not feel the giant Peyser if they say it feels fine. When I eat tomatoes. But Nicholas is the joint pain or it’s it come two days later, I cannot help them. You need to be very open about all the problems or they’re in it.
[00:21:22] And it goes all the way from the, how the, how there. How the bowel movements look how they, how many times a day, and if they like every symptom matters, so I can easily easier to pinpoint the way. So I’m really trying to help people become wiser in their own dietary choices and in their own body. So I’m just trying to make people, people better at understanding how the body works to different food, lifestyle changes.
[00:21:53] Yeah, I think that the compliance or the patient’s motivation is a huge thing in [00:22:00] functional medicine, because as you have hinted, maybe a couple of times before, um, it’s really about life, lifestyle changes, um, like nutrition sleep and. Some I’ll just say some people, like some people are like hundred percent compliant, like start feeling great immediately, but other people, for some reason are compliant much less, like just 5% of what you have recommending them to do.
[00:22:26] Then it is a little bit, much more challenging for you to like, um, maybe it’s frustrating for you sometimes to, to, to see such patients like, but I have given you advice, but you haven’t done anything. Yeah, I totally agree. I did. I did start out with some clients that was friends of mine. And I followed them on Instagram.
[00:22:49] And every time I look at their Instagram post where they’re eating all the things that I told them not to, I get kind of irritated. So from now on, I don’t follow [00:23:00] anything there that I advise. So it’s cause it’s really frustrating to want to help people from my, from the deepest part of my heart. I want to help people, but when they don’t want to help themselves, it really are.
[00:23:13] It’s really hard. So it’s, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s really, it’s, it’s really about people’s own commitment. You can say. In the beginning of my clinic, I had a lot of patients that was friends of friends, and I started out with them and they may be there the problems with not so severe that they. They, they wanted it a hundred percent, but when I get clients that have it’s really severe problems, they also commit a lot.
[00:23:43] Eh, and that’s the patients. I also see the biggest changes in because if I tell people to stay off gluten and lactose for a month, just as a test, If they do the a hundred percent, then you can get the right answer. Are you [00:24:00] lactose or gluten intolerant? If you, if you, if you just eat it like once a week, it’s not staying off it.
[00:24:06] So it’s, I don’t get the right results. I don’t get the right answers. And it’s really hard for me to like fix people if they don’t commit to trying the things that I. Yeah, I totally agree. And that’s actually one of the reasons I think it’s very important. Yeah. To, to, um, um, wake awareness among the people among ordinary people like us, um, who are listening to the show to the importance of optimizing health.
[00:24:34] Um, in the, in the, in the way you are doing, because as awareness, um, increases, I think people’s, um, people’s, um, commitment hopefully also, or compliance to, with such a straight to, and also increase it’s all about their own motivation, basically. So I hope that, um, um, um, show like this can be a little bit of a helpful awareness as well.
[00:24:58] So, um, after [00:25:00] diagnose, uh, diagnosis is made for a patient, um, what types of interventions, uh, usually used to optimize their health? I could, I could imagine that that’s very much case by case, but you already mentioned Nutri nutrition. I can, I can, uh, I can imagine that that’s very big part or, um, functional medicine protocol for almost every patient.
[00:25:24] So, is that a big part? Like the four pillars of health and functional medicine is like a mental health. It’s a exercise, it’s tired and sleep. So it’s like the four pillars. Well, as of functional medicine where you really try to improve all the four pillars at the same time. Um, but it’s, um, but it’s, it’s a lot about, uh, Like for the food choices, I really use a lot of elimination diets.
[00:25:56] So I start off with a really strict [00:26:00] diet and then like a lot of people can handle a strict diet. Cause it’s it excludes a lot of. Food choices that we then, again, introduce if we get good health within the first 14, a month for 14 days a month. So elimination diet is one thing. It’s optimizing sleep exercise, and I use meditation.
[00:26:24] I suggest meditation for my clients because I really think that if you get good sleep and you meditate, it’s easier to do the right food choices. And. Leave any mental toxicity behind you, like everything that bothered you and your path, like leave it. It’s easier to take a thought when you meditate, you learn to control your thoughts, but I think it’s easier for you to take one part that you’ve been thinking a lot about and just parking it in the past and moving on.
[00:26:59] I think [00:27:00] that helps you’ve got also, or your mental health or your overall though. Hmm. So those are the four pillars are equally important in functional medicine, I would say so. Yeah, you can eat right and have a stressful life and then it’s not good anyway, so you need to improve all the parts. Or the pillows.
[00:27:19] If you, if you leave out one pillar, you can still have a bad health. So when people come to me, a lot of people have tried to eliminate gluten or lactose, but if they still have sleep four times, four hours a night and they have a stressful working life, then it’s, and it might be not the right way to find out if you’re gluten or lactose intolerant.
[00:27:39] It’s like you need to improve all pillows. Yes. So for the diet, you mentioned elimination, diet, uh, what are the usual, um, things you, you, you try people to get to eliminate from the diet, is it diary, eggs, um, and some other things as well? Yeah. Um, I normally keep [00:28:00] X in cause eggs is a, of course eggs can be a problem, but mostly it’s, it’s the, it’s the lactose and gluten, that’s the big triggers, but there’s also, um, But there’s also lectins.
[00:28:13] Uh, Dr. Grundy is, is big on lectins, but I find that lectins, nightshade, uh, stuff like that can also have a huge impact. Some people really react to that. Mushroom can also be a problem. So I don’t eliminate everything in the beginning. I try to eliminate gluten, lactose and lectins. First part first trial.
[00:28:34] And if that doesn’t work and people stick to the diet, then we maybe have to look at export mushrooms or is it higher fiber? Is it, is it fruit, fruit chose a malabsorptive and it can also be a easily just be the amount you eat. And it can easily also be the, the, the quality of the food you eat. So I always [00:29:00] opt for ecological foods cause, uh, without pesticides we normally get better results.
[00:29:07] Yes. Um, we also try to, um, try to eat, um, ecologic condom, but a lactose elimination lactose can be. So I’m originally from Japan. So in Japan, we don’t consume as much diarrhea product as in, in, in, not in the Nordics. As you, as you may, may, may maybe, maybe familiar with obvious on the Asian diet. I could imagine that’s telling Danish people to not to consume any kind of lactose can be a challenge.
[00:29:35] Oh, yes. But I find, I find gluten to be the biggest challenge for people. But the fun fact is that th th there’s no other animals in the world that consume lactose at the fi fetal state. So it’s, it’s, it’s very strange that us humans started to consume so much lactose. Yes, that’s true. There’s so many on different [00:30:00] diary products like cream.
[00:30:02] Yes. And they can be delicious, but, um, yes. So, um, um, you of course approach different patients on the in individual manner, I think. Um, and, um, and so you basically address those, the four pillars simultaneously, maybe you recommend a patient to get the aura ring, to monitor, um, monitor their sleep and so on.
[00:30:25] Um, Now, maybe that does discuss about, um, addressing some specific health concerns at the clinic. Um, today, many people are interested in gut health, we, which we already touched upon it, of it. Um, and they are interested in learning about how to improve as a health service I got, um, as a clinic, um, how do you approach gut health?
[00:30:49] I, I could imagine that that, that, that was originally your. Own interests as well. When you have personal issues with your gut health. Yes. I’d [00:31:00] say that. 90% of the healing I do in the whole body of the clients is probably addressing the gut problems. Even though you have perfectly a bowel movement, one time a day, you can still have got problems that accelerate, uh, also immunity and stuff like that because the body has a huge.
[00:31:24] Um, reserve. So it’s, even though your God is leaky or your God is in problems, you, you, your big bows still absorb all the water and you still get the perfect bowel movements every day. So you can still have problems in the gut. So even though people don’t say they have any problem with the God, I always try to optimize the gut health.
[00:31:48] Yes. So the factors, yes. Sorry. So you mentioned the perfect gut health. I just got curious, what is perfect gut health. I mean, for example, how [00:32:00] many times per day would you think like a perfect person has a perfect gut tells how many times a day should one have a bowl movement, for example, once or twice or three times.
[00:32:13] So what, in, in normal medicine you say that. A type three to type four on the Bristol stool chart is a, is a normal, uh, yeah. If bowel movement and one to two times a day is normal bowel movement. It’s um, I would say best case scenario, I would say a type three, one time a day. And I really try to, to, to, to, to thrive towards that.
[00:32:46] The problem is that if you have like small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, uh, you can have different types. You can have the diarrhea type, which is, is, is normal more normal [00:33:00] to seek help in the clinic. Then the constipation type and the customer, the patient type of a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
[00:33:09] Is is harder to help cause they still have, uh, intestinal overgrowth, but it doesn’t, it may be, they have a type to a bowel movement like once a day or maybe every second day, but they still have all the outer noon problems from the over, uh, overgrowth of bacteria. Yep. Yep. I can to help. Yeah, I agree. I think such, I actually have, um, have a bowel movement every day and, um, um, I do think it’s very important, actually.
[00:33:43] I, I feel healthy. It ends up the way, but I do know many people who have like, only like occasional, like I have, I know somebody who says, like I have bowel movements only like once in three days, but the regularly, so, so he thinks like it’s healthy, but I’m [00:34:00] trying to tell like, But it, it is not healthy, but it’s very difficult to, yeah, it’s not normal, but, um, they don’t read it.
[00:34:07] He knows that. And I think it’s important to really, um, make them aware that it is not. And those people, as you say, don’t usually come to see a doctor let alone a functional medicine doctor, because they are convinced that it’s normal. Um, though I really want, uh, to, um, to, um, say no, it’s not, it is. No, it is not normal, but, but the thing is if those kinds of patients don’t have any other problems, then they don’t, they D they don’t see any problems with having bowel movement every third day, because it’s saving it saves time.
[00:34:46] They don’t have to go see if they start getting joint problems, skin problems, thyroid problems, lung problems. It can easily be, uh, addressed by, uh, [00:35:00] helping, uh, the God, um, To address the problem with the lower bowel moments. And it’s probably because of dysbiosis. So what kind of like other symptoms or diseases even can, can, uh, can be derived from God, got issues you already mentioned like lung skin, um, like, like it’s, it’s got really quoting so many different symptoms in all of our body.
[00:35:27] I would say show and there’s a bit, the big, the thing is you have a dysbiosis. If you have problems with your bacteria in your God, and you have an immune system, that’s slightly overactive, it produces something called sidechains it’s interleukins, which is the communication. Things between the immune system.
[00:35:48] So it increases the cytokines in the blood and you know, the blood goes everywhere. So it can be, it can go to your brain. It can go to your [00:36:00] joints. It can go to your thyroid lungs. So you can have, like, I got dry cough. I had a patient with a dry cough for 15 years and the healthcare system didn’t know what to do after a month on a good diet.
[00:36:13] She was off it. And you haven’t coughed since it seems so simple, but it’s, but, but the healthcare system don’t like. Acknowledge it so it’s yeah, yeah, yeah. That was really happy though. Especially in these Corona times. Cause everyone was looking at her every time. She’d cough. Yeah. That’s, that’s actually big.
[00:36:35] I mean, you aren’t like really being stared at, or you are maybe like not welcomed to a supermarket these days, if you are coughing all the time. So that’s really. Makes I can imagine she was very happy, but, but like, is it, does she become better only by modifying her diet? Or did you also recommend something like probiotics, supplementation?
[00:36:56] I, I mostly start my patients without [00:37:00] probiotics to see if you turn too many handles, you don’t know which handle has done the improvement. So I try to do it. Uh, with the lifestyle changes, exercise, sleep, um, and I’m mostly do like normal shop lemons, like multi vitamin D vitamin or mega three as like the base also maybe magnesium for the sleep and, and sink.
[00:37:28] Um, but, but that’s like the basic I do for most patients, because I believe that a good fundamental part of good health. Yeah. So, so, so then she did the lifestyle changes, the dietary changes and supplements and the meditation, and she improved really quick. So there’s no need to add a probiotics.
[00:37:50] Probiotics is shown to be really helpful for a lot of conditions, but. I would start off with the one part where the easiest parts. [00:38:00] And then I would add if there’s good improvements, but we’re not perfect yet. Then I could add a probiotics. Mostly I use soil based probiotics because I feel that that’s what we lacking nowadays.
[00:38:12] Hmm. Um, very interesting. So what, uh, what is good nutrition or what is, what are good foods for your gut health? Yeah, the really good food for you. God health is the, is the baggies that don’t contain pesticides. Because in 2006, they started to pesticide everything. So if it’s not ecological, then it’s probably filled with pesticides and pesticide will kill your good box and you don’t want that.
[00:38:40] So, so the best part is doing an even, even things that you don’t consider being filled with pesticides, like spinach, like strawberries, like all these things are fought with pesticides. If they’re not ecological. So it’s. It’s really helped. It’s really good for your gut health to start eating ecologically of [00:39:00] pesticides.
[00:39:01] But then of course, it’s the leafy greens. It’s the veggies that’s really good for your gut buddies. They, they didn’t fiber a lot. So, so a lot of people that have problem with the gut, they lack the mucosa of the lining. So they need to, there’s a different, there’s different bacteria in the God of a person and it’s it’s butyrate producing bacteria.
[00:39:26] So they, they produce the mucosal layer if they get the fibers. So, so you need to, you need to have that. That’s what you call prebiotics that’s food for the bacteria. That would be, um, different kinds of vegetables containing fibers. But if you don’t have the bacteria that produce the future rate, then it’s, then it’s a problem.
[00:39:50] If you killed them with antibiotics or pesticides and you can eat a lot of fibers and you still don’t get your mucosal layer built up as good as you would, or that you like. [00:40:00] Right. So as a producer, without pesticides and leafy greens veggies, which contain lots of fiber in of course, optimal, optimal amount, not too much, but, so those are two big recommendations for getting started with optimizing gut health.
[00:40:18] Yes. Yep. That’s uh, that’s very interesting actually, in Japan, when we talk about gut health, people usually think about yogurt and of course that’s a diary product, which is maybe is a first program, but people, I think in Japan data, very strong, meaning if it’s that, like things like yogurt is very healthy for the gut health.
[00:40:40] Um, do you have any opinion around that actually is yogurt good for gut or maybe not? Eh, I think yogurt has a good place in gut health. Um, what I think yogurt like produced by the yeah. The yogurt industry, of [00:41:00] course. And then they added up some good bacterials like lactobacillus, which is, which is a good bacteria that thrives in a lot of conditions.
[00:41:12] Well, thrive in the God, um, and is a part of, uh, gut health in a lot of people. I think that you can, you can, you can add probiotics without adding the yogurt component. You can have coconut yogurt, which is not a containing lactose, eh, or you can take a probiotic and step. Like I would, some people like, Hey, you can have it the natural way in yogurt.
[00:41:39] Yes. But you can also just take a supplement. The same without the, without having the breakfast breakfast part in it. Yeah. Um, I think, uh, I, I would not recommend yogurt with probiotics in the first run. If people get healthy [00:42:00] and they want to experience with yogurt with probiotics lactobacillus, and they feel that the body tolerates it.
[00:42:07] Then please continue. Like if they, if your problem’s over and you want to eat it, then please eat it. But, but if you have big problems with joint pain, that, that won’t the persist and you can’t get them away, maybe we should keep off different things for a while until you get better. Right. Makes total sense.
[00:42:26] Um, that’s very interesting actually. Um, there’s another very big health area, um, which is, um, big interest for many people, um, today, um, which I would like to discuss with you as well. That is immune health. Um, of course, because of COVID-19, uh, to start with maybe, can you tell us. How do you diagnose immune health?
[00:42:47] It’s a actually very broad area of health, I think. Are there certain blood markers that reviews a healthy immune system? Uh it’s it’s again, it’s it’s [00:43:00] it’s that’s a big question. And I don’t think that. Testing your immunity and how your immune health is, is probably the best test is to how many sick days have you had the last five years?
[00:43:16] So it’s not something you can test it within like a year or two years, but having a good immune health is probably how many times you’ve been sick over the last five years. Interesting. Yeah. Cause, cause you can, you can say, Hey, this is good for you. Same system, but how do you test it? Like how do you test it over the next two months, three months?
[00:43:40] Is it improving? Is it not improving? Of course you can take all the classical healthcare. Um, Uh, tests of, uh, of CRP and local sites, is it, but probably everything would be normal. Then you can go to, you can go after the low grade inflammation, you can go to [00:44:00] TNF, alpha interleukin six, interleukin 10. But, but, and that would give it, that would give you a suggestion.
[00:44:08] If you have low grade inflammation, is your body fighting something? At the moment and that would probably lower your immune system response, or it would be not as good if it was fighting something else. So, so that could be a way to test it. But overall, I would say, I would just ask the person, how do you feel you’re getting sick off?
[00:44:31] Do you have like a sore throat once in a while? Is your nose running once in a while? Like all these things would probably give a bit better indicator. Is, is a person having a good immune system or not. Yeah, so there’s no. Oh, okay. So it’s like, because immune system or immune health concerns a whole body really there’s no really single, even like a set of blood markers or any things that could reveal.
[00:45:00] [00:45:00] The the, the hell. So it was a, it was the entire immune system. That’s, what’s what you are, you are saying. Yeah. I would say only if it’s really bad, then you can see it on clothes. Right, right. Yep. Um, I would say 99% of the population don’t have a really, really bad immune systems. Probably would look normal on blood samples, but they can still be sick every month.
[00:45:22] Like, so I would say then they don’t have that good immune system or the immune system is fighting. Something is working fine, but fighting something, another place, I don’t have time for a skin flora or stuff like that. So they get Armani on the bag or this phase. And it would also tell, give me an indication that people are fighting something.
[00:45:43] Elsewhere in the body so that they can not take care of normal skin bacteria floor. Hmm. Um, there is actually another aspect of what you just said, which interests me. Um, you mentioned the 99% of the population probably turns out to be normal on the blood [00:46:00] panel test, for example. And, but what I understand about functional medicine and according to my own experiences as well, functional medicine doctors usually, um, tends to interpret the same test results differently.
[00:46:15] Um, isn’t it. So like, let’s say, um, you get, um, Um, OSI Roy, uh, T T T S H um, results, which is, let’s say a 2.5, which is normal. Um, if you go to a conventional doctor, but functional medicine doctor, if you, if you see that the result and the patient is still complaining about fatigue and very persistent, um, tiredness or something, then together with this information, might.
[00:46:47] Um, I decided that, well, this patient is still suffering from lack of a thyroid hormone and, um, make an actually take an action on it. Is that, so that’s the interpretation of the results is actually [00:47:00] crucial part of functional medicine. Uh, I would say yes, of course we, we S we, it seems like normal dog is look at the range.
[00:47:11] That’s been given to them from a to B. And if it’s between that, then it’s okay. And then they discard the, the, the, the clients are the patient’s actual problems with fatigue or anything else. So, so I would say, I would like, normally. I would more listened, like conventional doctors look at a lot of samples and they see, okay, this number is red.
[00:47:35] That’s bad, but I take a lot of action in looking at patient’s symptoms instead. So if they still have a normal range, but they still feel fatigue, I would, I would take action to try to improve it. And most cases I would say that we can hopefully. Cure all patients to live a normal, healthy [00:48:00] life without medication, instead of, so if patients have any problems at all, Yeah, I can probably fix it with functional medicine.
[00:48:09] Yeah. I cannot agree more. Um, going back to the immunity, uh, discussion, um, if the patient’s immunity is compromised, let’s say that he or she is having many sick, sick, sick days during the last five years, for example, how do you approach, um, immunity, um, diseases or, uh, compromise. Compromised immunity at the clinic.
[00:48:33] Of course. It’s also, again a big question, but, um, um, how, w w like you can maybe mention a case study as well, but how do you approach such case? Oh, I would probably, it is a big question, but I would say that a lot of the patients that has a lot of infections is because of either they have mineral or vitamin deficiencies.
[00:48:57] So I would totally look into that. That could be [00:49:00] a good reason either that I would optimize the gut health and the sleep habits. It can also be something really like simple. Like, are you touching your face too much? Like if people touch the face, there’s a lot of bacteria on your hand. If they’d pick their nose, like simple things like that can make yeah.
[00:49:20] Make you have a lot of infections in your throat or your nose. Yeah. Cause it’s so, it’s so basic, but not, not everyone addressed the problem that you touching your face all the time. That’s really fascinating. Yeah. You can give you acne and stuff like that. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s very simple advice, but not every doctor look into other cases like that.
[00:49:46] They just say, okay, you’re not, plus this looks fine. Nothing’s wrong with you? Yeah, but that’s really fascinating. And I think that’s one of the lifestyle interventions with maybe difficult to like follow the [00:50:00] patient. I think if you, you, you tend to touch your face often. It’s a kind of habit which is maybe very difficult to stop and there’s no way if, if not address it, then you won’t stop it.
[00:50:14] You really have to stop touching your face. Then, hopefully we can talk about it. The next condensation then people say, okay, I, I don’t touch my face as much. And I take this multivitamin or this C vitamin, and now I actually feel better. Hopefully. Yeah, so for the infection, and that’s quite interesting. I actually didn’t think about the vitamins and minerals, um, to, to treat or improve infection.
[00:50:40] So you already mentioned the vitamin C, which vitamins and minerals are usually important for infection. Uh, I just did a video about this, but, uh, I would say the most important is probably D at the moment, get that one in level. Yeah. And then I would say, I would say [00:51:00] a sink and a C vitamin as a, as antivirals.
[00:51:07] Yeah, it’s really hard because there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of studies on COVID-19 and D vitamin and sync and C vitamin, which shows that people that admitted to the hospital has really low. Um, levels of the vitamin C vitamin a sink, but is it because of the acute, is it the cause of this? The system is not working properly when they get the COVID-19 or is it after they get the COVID-19 the reaction has been big and that’s why they use a lot of these mineral and that’s why it’s low or where they low before.
[00:51:43] It’s really hard to know when you don’t have like double blinded randomized studies, right? It’s like, I would say. It’s it’s, it’s very, very cheap to check these supplements and it doesn’t, it doesn’t hurt you. So it’s like, why would you not just take them to [00:52:00] be. Yup. Yup. In countries like Denmark and Sweden, where, where I live, um, there’s really no possibility to get outside in the indictment you could do is you don’t really get enough amount of sunshine on your skin to, um, to produce your own vitamin D.
[00:52:20] So would you recommend supplementation, like, especially during the winter time in this, uh, in this Northern altitude, I, um, I heard, uh, one of my, uh, I’m a big fan of Dr. Ruscio. He’s, um, he’s a, he’s an American functional medicine doctor. And then he had a podcast with a guy that invented D vitamin or find the chemical formula for D vitamin.
[00:52:48] So he must be, this guy must be really big in D vitamin I, I reckon. And he said, He takes a double dose in winter and a single dose in summer. So even [00:53:00] though it’s summer, he still supplements with the environment because it’s a crucial part, a lot of chemical actions in the body, and it’s really not so good to be in the low range.
[00:53:13] Um, so, so yes, I suggest everyone takes the vitamin, even though it’s on. Cause we probably were probably born to be naked and in the sun all the time. And then maybe he says, maybe then we get the full amount and development. But now with dressed up with clothes, it’s only our hand and face that’s in the sun.
[00:53:37] Maybe you got shorts and t-shirts on in summer, but you still, like most of the biggest part of your body is to cover it up with the clothes. So it’s really hard for your body to produce all the vitamins that you really need. Mm, what is the optimal range for vitamin D? There seems to be a little bit of a difference according to like functional medicine and conventional medicine.
[00:54:00] [00:54:00] Uh, yes, I have, um, I have a blog I can link to you when I talk about this. Um, So meet. Yeah, we will link that to the show notes as well as, and so on, you have written a whole blog about, um, the opportunity. I have a book about D D vitamin, but, but to sum it up, I recommend that you should be around, um, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:54:26] Just to say that
[00:54:32] I would recommend you be around 40 to 60. Nanograms per milliliter and that’s a hundred, 215 animal per liter. Yeah, I think that’s a range on, I often hear like people like Dr. Mercola, many functional medicine doctors mentioned, and that’s slightly, or actually required significantly hikers. I mean, if you go to a conventional doctor and he has [00:55:00] taken a look at your blood tests, the results you have vitamin D level of, let’s say 25, it is still normal, but it’s not optimal.
[00:55:09] Exactly. So that’s what we thrive to give them the optimal levels instead of just a normal level. Yeah. Unfortunately, my parka on my blog is only in Danish, but hopefully people can Google translate it.
[00:55:28] Danish is easy to understand. No, maybe it’s not, but, um, I will make sure to put it in the, in the show note and, um, well, um, this knows who have followed our conversations. So far may have become interested in to visit your clinic. So, um, please, um, maybe tell us, um, when the functional medicine is a better option than the conventional conventional medicine.
[00:55:51] I mean, you already mentioned a little bit about patient compliance. Is there lots of lifestyle interventions when you go to a functional medicine [00:56:00] medicine doctor, and if the patient’s motivation is low or if he or she is stubborn or something, maybe it’s it’s. Not, not a good idea to go to a functional medicine doctor.
[00:56:12] No, you need to have the right mindset. When you come here, you need to be able or to be ready to change your diet and lifestyle. If you want to, to succeed with this treatment, um, people that you’ve come here is mostly people that don’t feel that they got the right treatment and the healthcare system, or they feel they’re.
[00:56:37] They just, uh, been suggested to take pills. Like if there is, I never suggest people to take pills as I try to get people off the pills. So if you take a lot of medicine, there’s probably a functional medicine way that we can make you take less medicine or maybe get you completely off the [00:57:00] medicine. So, so people don’t want to take a lot of medicine.
[00:57:03] Uh, treating symptoms, but treating the root cause of the problem, then, uh, they should definitely go to a functional medicine doctor. Right. And what can the patient, um, over your clinic expect to be improved on the, how fast? Of course, it’s very difficult to say case by case, but is there any kind of, because it’s also very important for the motivation, right?
[00:57:26] So they really want to usually see an immediate effect. Yes, I have people need to be motivated of course, but it’s, uh, I would say if, if you have, depending on the problems, cause it could be so many different things. If you have problems that persisted in your system for, let’s say you’re 30 years old and since you were 15, you have problem with a, B and C.
[00:57:50] You cannot expect it to go away in 10 days. Like you had the problems for 15 years, supposedly it would take some time to adjust [00:58:00] imbalances and the problems you have in your body, depending on how, how strict you want to, if you want to fast P uh, bad bacteria in the gut, you have to do some intermittent fasting for a long time.
[00:58:12] If you want to do fast, you can eat one time a day, and then it would go faster than if you eat twice a day. Like, so it’s up to the patient, how fast you want to. To get into, to, to, to balance your problems. It’s very different. So you need to see the different patients and see, okay, what can you manage? How fast can we go?
[00:58:34] Yep. It’s um, yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. Um, one thing I really was on initially, interesting, interested about you was that the, you are vascular surgeon and then you are now a partner at center Copenhagen, central functional medicine, such a traditional training. I saw like surgery sounds like a very traditional conventional medicine, but do you see functional medicine?
[00:58:58] Like. The [00:59:00] complimentary to conventional medicine like surgery, for example, do you sometimes refer to the clinic, the Copenhagen center of functional medicine, your surgical patients, whom you operated for some vascular programs? I probably should refer all the patients and treat them for vascular problems.
[00:59:19] So my clinic has, most of them is, is probably lifestyle changes like 40 years before you do the surgery. So if they changed way before then it would probably not have the problems of undergoing vascular surgery. But, um, I normally don’t mix the two together. So when I’m at surgical wards, of course I do the surgical stuff.
[00:59:42] And when I’m at my clinic, I do the, the functional medicine stuff, but I try not to mix it too much. Of course, I tell everyone to start walking and eat less sugar and junk food processed too. Yeah, that’s very [01:00:00] important, basic, but very important. Of course, stop smoking. It’s very big. Yeah, that’s really big.
[01:00:07] Um, I know that, um, you have been very generous with your time Burdick, but our time is running up. But, um, um, I wanted to ask, so Copenhagen center of functional medicine is one of, I think only a few comprehensive functional medicine clinics in the Nordics. Um, anything that you would like to add to the listeners to know about the clinic?
[01:00:30] No, but please check out the website, CC fm.dk, and please don’t hesitate to, uh, pull, uh, fill out a contact form. Get in touch. Uh, I’d be happy to answer question there’s also, so it’s just fill out a formula, send them questions. Maybe we can find out if I can help you or not. So. Yeah. Yep. And I want to make sure to get, I think, clinics, I think to the show notes as well.
[01:00:58] And finally, um, [01:01:00] if people want to know more about you and the clinic, you mentioned clinic’s website already, but how, but the clinic’s website ccfm.dk or sent me a mail at U a U H at CCFM dot D K. I’ll get back to you. They can also follow us on Instagram ccfm.dk, or a center functional medicine. And on, um, initially actually I wanted to visit your clinic and make us show the by sharing, uh, with the listeners might.
[01:01:31] My experience as a real patient, that’s at the center, but because of the travel restrictions between them, I can Sweden at the moment because of COVID-19. Um, it made it very difficult this time, but, um, maybe next time we can do that, uh, for another podcast. Yes, of course, of course we can do that. Um, I also have, uh, uh, assume meetings assume consultation.
[01:01:57] So everything is functioning well, offline [01:02:00] or online also. Uh, but, um, yeah. Sounds fantastic. Fantastic. Thank you so much again for today’s conversation. It was great talking to you, Eric. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
[01:02:25] This was a podcast from Ken clacks, the follow us, subscribe on the channel, Ken cracks on all the places where he can find podcasts.