Chronic Brain Fog, Joint Pain and Fatigue Resolved

Using probiotics & elemental diet, Adrian’s story.

Adrian had constant brain fog, joint pain, and fatigue. He used the recommendations in Healthy Gut, Healthy You to restore his gut health. Learn more about how Adrian used probiotics, the elemental diet, and targeted dietary changes to feel better.

In This Episode

Intro … 00:00:40
How Adrian used HGHY to Heal … 00:04:28
Adrian’s Symptoms … 00:07:44
Dietary Modifications … 00:09:04
The Probiotic Protocol … 00:13:02
Elemental Health … 00:16:39
Final Thoughts … 00:22:25

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Hi everyone, this is Dr. Ruscio. Today I spoke with Adrian about his success story with Healthy Gut, Healthy You. As he will share momentarily, he had maybe a 10-year road up until the point where he found Healthy Gut, Healthy You. He worked with a few different doctors and never saw any improvement with his fatigue, his brain fog, and his joint pain amongst other symptoms. He shares a few very valuable insights. One was that removing nightshades as dictated by the autoimmune paleo diet and reducing dietary histamine led to a big jump in improvements and how he was feeling. It is important to note that he didn’t follow either one of those diets dogmatically, but rather looked at those clusters of foods as potential triggers and used that to inform and personalize his diet. So he wasn’t on a fully autoimmune / fully low histamine diet. Rather, he chose to take a brief excursion through this diet, see what he could learn from it, incorporated some of those concepts into this personalized diet and also allowed himself the flexibility to broaden that diet over time as he healed. 

He also mentioned that Elemental Heal, used as a two to four day reset application that I advocate for, was integral in helping him see another big jump in improvements and led to a fairly fast quelling of his symptoms. One of the things that is so important that he highlighted is that it showcases that the elemental diet does not need to be used in a two week application. There’s wiggle room where it can be used for shorter periods of time and will still lead to substantial benefit. Finally, toward the end, he mentioned that he had used various probiotics, some of which were very expensive, and never had much improvement until he used the three probiotics in conjunction that I also advocate for.  


Sponsored Resources

Hi, everyone. Let’s talk about probiotics, which helped to make this podcast possible. Functional Medicine Formulations contains a line of probiotics that I personally developed, and I’m super excited to be able to offer you the same probiotics that I’ve been using in the clinic for years and are a byproduct of an extensive review of the literature plus my own clinical experience.

Chronic Brain Fog, Joint Pain and Fatigue Resolved -
Chronic Brain Fog, Joint Pain and Fatigue Resolved -
Chronic Brain Fog, Joint Pain and Fatigue Resolved -

In this line, you will find my favorite three probiotics in all three of the main categories that work synergistically to help you fight dysbiosis, like SIBO, candida yeast, and H. pylori, help to eradicate parasites, help to reduce leaky gut and repair the gut barrier, and can improve gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and may even improve mood, skin, sleep, and thyroid function because of the far-reaching impact of the gut. You can learn more about these at drruscio.com/probiotics.


While there’s nothing specifically published on 3-for-BALANCE protocol yet, there is a trend in the IBS literature where a multi-species formula (i.e. different probiotics) work better than a single species or strain formula. Essentially my recommendation is an extrapolation of that concept. If multiple probiotics in one formula work better than just one probiotic or species, then if we can combine three different formulas, so now there are 10 different probiotic species plus a Saccharomyces boulardii, plus three to five soil-based bacillus, this is where we will see noticeable improvement from probiotics. This was exemplified by Adrian’s case where he had historically tried many different formulas and not seen much in the way of benefit.

This case study is a great example of how someone who is suffering for more than 10 years and saw various doctors could still see marked improvement with the right approach. Approaching this one step at a time, evaluating diet, using elemental dieting as a reset, and then combining that with a well crafted and clinically efficacious probiotic protocol. The result? This more than 10 years of chronic joint pain, fatigue and brain fog has been resolved. So I’m very happy to be able to share his conversation and case study with you. I hope it will impart some wisdom and guidance along your healing journey. 

➕ Full Podcast Transcript

Intro:

Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio discussing the cutting edge in health, nutrition, and functional medicine. To make sure you’re up to date on this and other important topics, visit drruscio.com and sign up to receive weekly updates. That’s DrRuscio.com. The following discussion is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor. Now let’s head to the show.

DrMichaelRuscio:

Hi everyone, this is Dr. Ruscio. Today I spoke with Adrian about his success story with Healthy Gut, Healthy You. As he will share momentarily, he had maybe a 10-year road up until the point where he found Healthy Gut, Healthy You. He worked with a few different doctors and never saw any improvement with his fatigue, his brain fog, and his joint pain amongst other symptoms. He shares a few very valuable insights. One was that removing nightshades as dictated by the autoimmune paleo diet and reducing dietary histamine led to a big jump in improvements and how he was feeling. It is important to note that he didn’t follow either one of those diets dogmatically, but rather looked at those clusters of foods as potential triggers and used that to inform and personalize his diet. So he wasn’t on a fully autoimmune / fully low histamine diet. Rather, he chose to take a brief excursion through this diet, see what he could learn from it, incorporated some of those concepts into this personalized diet, and also allowed himself the flexibility to broaden that diet over time as he healed.

DrMR:

He also mentioned that Elemental Heal, used as a two to four day reset application that I advocate for, was integral in helping him see another big jump in improvements and led to a fairly fast quelling of his symptoms. One of the things that is so important that he highlighted is that it showcases that the elemental diet does not need to be used in a two week application. There’s wiggle room where it can be used for shorter periods of time and will still lead to substantial benefit. Finally, toward the end, he mentioned that he had used various probiotics, some of which were very expensive, and never had much improvement until he used the three probiotics in conjunction that I also advocate for.

DrMR:

While there’s nothing specifically published on 3-for-BALANCE protocol yet, there is a trend in the IBS literature where a multi-species formula (i.e. different probiotics) work better than a single species or strain formula. Essentially my recommendation is an extrapolation of that concept. If multiple probiotics in one formula work better than just one probiotic or species, then if we can combine three different formulas, so now there are 10 different probiotic species plus a Saccharomyces boulardii, plus three to five soil-based bacillus, this is where we will see noticeable improvement from probiotics. This was exemplified by Adrian’s case where he had historically tried many different formulas and not seen much in the way of benefit.

DrMR:

This case study is a great example of how someone who is suffering for more than 10 years and saw various doctors could still see marked improvement with the right approach. Approaching this one step at a time, evaluating diet, using elemental dieting as a reset, and then combining that with a well crafted and clinically efficacious probiotic protocol. The result? This more than 10 years of chronic joint pain, fatigue and brain fog has been resolved. So I’m very happy to be able to share his conversation and case study with you. I hope it will impart some wisdom and guidance along your healing journey.

How Adrian used Healthy Gut, Healthy You to Heal

DrMR:

Hey everyone, this is Dr. Ruscio. I’m here with Adrian and he said some great results, reading Healthy Gut, Healthy You. He actually came across my work after hearing my interview with Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory. He read the book, went through the protocol, saw some results, and I’m super grateful for you taking a moment here to share your story with us.

Adrian:

Absolutely. Thank you, doctor. It’s a pleasure being with you and an honor to finally meet you, virtually. Hopefully one day we can meet in person.

DrMR:

Well, it’s always so fantastic to meet people and hear their stories. You were describing before we started the recording how you were suffering for many, many years, seeing different doctors and weren’t able to regain your health. As I talk about in the opening of Healthy Gut, Healthy You, I consider myself so fortunate that for me it was only maybe six months or a year or so before I got plugged in, then there was another maybe a year or so until I really got over the hump. If I hadn’t found that it could have been years and years and years of needless suffering, which, unfortunately, sounds like the road you were on up until you found Healthy Gut, Healthy You. So give us a bit of background. Tell us about what that looked like.

Adrian:

Absolutely, doctor, you just hit the nail on the head. Like I mentioned earlier, it took over a decade for me to actually find something that worked for me. I got to see many different doctors, internal medicine, natural paths and nothing was working for me. I did see a little bit of improvement during that time, but the minute I read your book and the minute I watched you on TV, what you were saying resonated with me a hundred percent. The minute that I started your protocol, it was like a complete 180. I’ve had this inflammation and constipation going on for years that I thought was normal. I thought everybody goes through this. I had resigned myself to the thought that this is part of my normal life and I have to go and deal with it. But once I started the protocol, it was completely different. Everything improved. Energy, I could use the restroom like any normal person. It was just a big, big difference. I can’t thank you enough for writing this book and everything you have done. The products that we have out in the market are not a hundred percent reliable because they have fillers. I always thought that maybe getting the most expensive probiotic or the most expensive elemental diet will be the best, but I was wrong.

Adrian’s Symptoms

DrMR:

Well, yeah. It’s an understandable assumption for one to make that more expensive equals better. There certainly is kind of a minimum quality bar that we need to clear. Just using some arbitrary numbers here, a $10 probiotic, they may have cut significant corners to get the price to $10. Then one that is $130, you may have gotten the quality that you need and then from there, it’s just kind of bell and whistle type feature. Let’s take a little step back. So you said fatigue was one issue, inflammation was another. Was this inflammation manifesting as joint pain or how was the inflammation manifesting?

Adrian:

I think,to be honest with you, I’m kind of like a numbers guy. If you were to say, I’ve been dealing with inflammation from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, I was at a 20. It was inflammation every day, all day. It was joint pain, fatigue, brain inflammation. I just felt terrible. It was a drain all day. Getting up at 4 or 5 am, going to bed at 10 or 11pm, I was always tired. I had a really good diet. Eating wild salmon mainly. For the most part it was a strict and expensive diet but I just wasn’t getting better. Just getting that adrenal support probiotics and following your program, it’s just a complete 180.

DrMR:

Let’s go through some of what you change based upon the Healthy Gut, Healthy You kind of self help guide, i.e. algorithm. Let’s start with step one. What was there much that you changed regarding diet? It sounds like you may have been kind of on a paleo type framework initially, so let’s go there. Was there anything dietarily that you modified and that led to any benefits.

Dietary Modifications

Adrian:

I did. I was doing the the Paleo diet with my wife and it was working out well, but there were certain things that would trigger my immune system to get inflammated. So we just started going through the list. We removed some of the nightshade and high histamine vegetables. Actually I was completely unaware of that. The minute we removed them from our diet, doing the Elemental Heal diet, it just completely improved. It felt amazing. I just don’t have words to actually describe how much better I felt. I told my wife, I felt better than when I was 18 and I’m 40 years old now. So it’s truly unbelievable.

DrMR:

It is amazing how chronological age isn’t the primary driver of how well someone feels, looks or performs. You have to have the knowledge to really be able to figure it out what is going on. In your case, foods that are nightshades like eggplant and peppers and tomatoes, aren’t unhealthy foods. There are many ways one can navigate the landscape of food options and having some of the framework to evaluate them is vital. In the book we discussed the autoimmune paleo diet to give you not a monochromoatically focused but to say here’s a cluster of foods that may be flaring your symptoms. Take some time to pull those out, observe your response, then bring them back in and see if you can identify if there was one or a handful of triggers within that cluster and then avoid those. So it sounds like the nightshades and the histamines were just modifications you can make to your diet. I’m assuming you have kind of a healthy balance there now where you’re not just dogmatically adhering those, but rather realizing that there’s some personalization that we can achieve with your diet. You know, vis-a-vis those two different clusters. I’m not trying to lead the witness, but is that fair to say that that’s how you’re kind of balancing your diet now?

Adrian:

Absolutely. You hit the nail on the head. We just have to try one thing and then another. I had to change my mindset as well because I felt like I’m eating all of these healthy vegetables, like eggplant and meats and still not feeling a hundred percent. I’m not feeling well. I just had to try some out and then take some out of my diet.

DrMR:

Yeah and that is one of the travesties. People pick foods based upon the feature of the food. High in this antioxidant, high in this prebiotic, which I guess isn’t a bad place to necessarily start, but we really have to loop into that analysis the person’s biofeedback. If they say, every time I eat a high FODMAP food, I get more bloated and more joint pain, maybe that isn’t the right food for you. Not that that’s you specifically, but just as an example. Even though a food contains probiotics, it may not be the right fit for you as an individual. So this is fantastic stuff. Hopefully it is helping our audience with the framework of the mindset, as you said, for how we navigate diet. So that was a good first step for you. Did you then layer on top of that protocol, after avoiding nightshades and lowering your histamine, did you then go right into the probiotic protocol? Or how did that look?

The Probiotic Protocol

Adrian:

So what I did as I transitioned, I had to repeat some of the steps. I went back to the Elemental Heal diet for a couple of days. I did that for two days and then probiotics. I felt that once I went back, I was three steps ahead. I took one step backwards, but I was able to go forward two steps. So I felt a little better again. For the audience, sometimes you’re going to have to go through through step three two or three times, that’s what I had to experience. I’m going through my second round, but I do feel better and I can see the big difference. I was just a little impatient myself because I think some of us actually feel like, okay, I’m going to take this and I’m going to feel so much better within a month or two because you see other people maybe feel much better, but that might not be the case for everyone

DrMR:

Right? I mean, I can’t overemphasize how important of a point that is. Understandably, when you’re improving and then regressing, it’s easy to kind of freak out. What I would offer people in terms of how to approach this would be, try to zoom out. If the trend is improving, even if there’s a little hiccup, if there is still that trend, it means you are on the right path. I use the analogy of a stock market ticker. There will be ups and downs, but if the general trend is upward, it means that we’re on the right path. You don’t necessarily need to go see a doctor to help you with that. Certainly the time and a place, and I don’t want to dissuade anyone from seeing a clinician, especially if it appears warranted. But the point I’m trying to make is don’t freak out or jump ship too prematurely if there’s a hiccup, because this is something that Mike Nelson says regarding progress with exercise that I think it parallels to health and healing. Progress is rarely linear. There is usually this up and down bumpy road. So it’s a phenomenal point that you made and thank you for doing that because I feel like people just need to be continually reminded. If you’re feeling well, it is easy to nod and agree. But if you’re in a down swing, it’s so easy to go on the internet, start Googling things, looking at various tests. For everyone listening or reading this, be patient. Look at the zoomed out trend line and if that trend is still improving, you are on the right track. Even if you are in a downswing now, if your worst downswing now better than your baseline from before, again, you’re still on the right track. So keep that trajectory piece in mind.

SponsoredResources:

Hi, everyone. Let’s talk about probiotics, which helped to make this podcast possible. Functional Medicine Formulations contains a line of probiotics that I’ve personally developed. I’m super excited to be able to offer you the same probiotics that I’ve been using in the clinic for years and are a byproduct of an extensive review of the literature plus my own clinical experience. So in this line, you will find my favorite three probiotics in all three of the main categories that work synergistically to help you fight dysbiosis like SIBO, candida yeast, and H. pylori help to eradicate parasites, help to reduce leaky gut and repair the gut barrier and can improve gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and may even improve mood, skin, sleep, and thyroid function because of the far reaching impact of the gut. You can learn more about these at drruscio.com/Probiotics .

Elemental Heal

DrMR:

Let’s let’s touch on the elemental heal. It sounds like you were using that in the reset application I discuss, a few days exclusively or semi-exclusively. Is that how you’re using it?

Adrian:

Oh, absolutely. I have to go exclusively on the Elemental Heal diet. I did it for about three to four days. Another doctor remmended that I go on a water fast for two days. I was like, there’s no way I can do that. There’s just absolutely no way because I cannot go without eating every two or three hours. But before starting the Elemental Heal I had to change my mindset. I think you mentioned this in your book or on previous podcasts where your mindset has to change. I was thinking what’s going to happen? Everything’s going to go bad. I’m going to get inflammation again. I’m going to start feeling worse. So I changed my mindset and instead I said, Ok, I’m going to get better. I had to calm myself. I have to go through this journey and I have to go through the process and I did it for two or three days and felt so much better. I think my biggest concern was that I would feel hungry and but it was the complete opposite. I had more energy. I was sharp. My focus was so much better.

DrMR:

It is amazing. That’s exactly what I was thinking before I did my first, The longest I’ve done on the Elemental diet is four days and I was blown away. I thought I was going to be hungry and irritable and tired, but I actually had incredibly sharp focus and a clear mind. That just goes back to, in my opinion, how your gut, when inflamed, will cause things like fatigue and brain fog. I’m also really happy that you share the bit about doing it for about four days. One of the things I discuss in Healthy Gut, Healthy You, and I discuss on the podcast is that in the research, the elemental diet has been used and kind of a two week application. Some providers unfortunately feel that elemental diets can only use two weeks or nothing at all. While I appreciate wanting to be evidence-based, there’s also a theory I’ve floated out there, which is we want to be evidence-based but not evidence limited. Meaning there’s been that one study in SIBO for two weeks. So if we are just looking at that and we’re not kind of thinking critically, we could mistakenly confine ourselves to only allowing patients to use it in that application. However, if we think critically, we can say, does everyone need two weeks? Maybe not. Let’s experiment with a short duration. Also in the inflammatory bowel disease, literature, this has been used as a partial meal replacement or in shorter courses and a litany of various studies. So what I’m trying to tie that back to is if you felt this was two weeks or nothing, you may never have done the therapy because that’s a much harder goal to reach for. So I really appreciate you kind of sharing that shorter two to four day reset application of the Elements Heal. It makes it much easier for people and like you said, you can experience significant improvement just from that shorter application. Is there anything that you want to share regarding your use of the Elemental diet?

Adrian:

Just, I guess my experience, for listeners and patients out there, don’t be afraid. I think a lot of people are afraid of the lack of nutrients or perhaps the concern of going hungry, or being tired, or just feeling bad. Don’t be afraid because the nutrients in the formula are amazing. It’ll make you feel much, much better. A hundred to 150% better. So don’t be afraid.

DrMR:

Great point. You know, unfortunately there is still some of that residual opinion on the internet, not only from when the recommendations were two weeks exclusively, but also from the early formula as Vivonex plus that really tasted bad. It is sad when patients could have done this years ago, an elemental diet that is, but they’ve avoided it because of what they read on the internet, the rumors about it tasting terrible. Those rumors were true five years ago, but now, the landscape has shifted quite a bit.

Adrian:

Thank you for saying that. Vanilla is just an amazing flavor. Chocolate as well, but the favorite for my wife and I is the vanilla. It is just so refreshing. We crave it every day. We’ve got to have at least one a day.

DrMR:

Yeah. Well Adrian thank you for saying that again, cause this, this can help allay some of the concerns of people who may be able to benefit from this, but have been withholding because they thought it was going to be terrible. Understandably so, if you were under the impression it would taste so terrible, I wouldn’t blame someone for dragging their feet with starting this. But really, it’s not just me kind of trying to talk up our formula and it’s not only our formula, there are some other contemporary formulas that have just been reformulated and taste much better. So again, important to give that mind.

Adrian:

Absolutely. Thank you doctor. Yeah, once you add those ice cubes, like you mentioned, it is just so much better!

Final Thoughts

DrMR:

So already this has been a super rich conversation. I’m tempted to kind of pick your brain here for a long time, but you know, in the interest of time, is there anything else that you want to kind of lead people with in closing? Any insights, any thoughts?

Adrian:

My final thought, once again, don’t be afraid. There is going to be lots of information once you go online. Obviously everybody goes online. Don’t listen to everything or don’t believe everything because it’s not a hundred percent, Let me rephrase that, in my perspective, it’s not a hundred percent accurate. Don’t be afraid of the Elemental Heal diet. Probiotics, in my experience, and I’m not bragging, but my wife and I I have spent a lots of money in supplements. The minute we tried your probiotics, it blew everything else out of the water. The formula that you have in the probiotics is so much better and we are proof. Don’t be afraid and don’t go for the the most expensive item, because that doesn’t mean that it is going to be the best. So just keep that in mind. Dr. Ruscio, I can’t thank you enough. Like I mentioned during the podcast, I hope one day I will get to meet you in person to give you a big hug. I’ll give you a big hug via wifi Bluetooth. All I can say is just thank you and keep doing the work that you’re doing. All of your podcasts. Thank you again. I listen every time you post them, just great information. Thank you once again for all the hard work you do.

DrMR:

Well, thank you so much. It’s really stories like yours that, again, make it worth the three years it took writing Healthy Gut, Healthy You and all of the hard work that goes into these things behind the scenes. There are moments when it feels like you’re having an uphill battle, especially when there’s so much to contend with out there that feels like it’s misinformation. Then hearing stories like this, puts so much wind in my sails. It makes me feel like we’re kind of changing the tide and helping people in the arm themselves with some of these simple things that can make a big difference in their health. So thank you again. So, so much for sharing your story.

Adrian:

Thank you doctor. Thank you so much once again, and it’s a pleasure.

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