In this podcast we talk about two common causes of joint pain that have nothing to do with an ‘old’ injury.
In this episode we talk about the effect that Leaky Gut Syndrome and High Circulating Insulin have on inflammation and joint pain.
We also talk about a few natural ways to lower inflammation and help improve joint pain.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Hello. This is The Doctor’s In Podcast, and this is Episode 135. I’m Dr. Martin, Jr.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: I’m Dr. Martin, Sr.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: We want to thank you for joining us today. [00:00:30] On today’s episode we’re going to talk about joint pain, which very common, and specifically we’re going to be talking about the type of joint pain that is not necessarily caused from an injury. Now the stuff that we’re going to talk about at the end of this podcast about stuff that you can take to help joint pain will definitely apply to … It doesn’t matter if you’ve injured your joints but we want to talk about some surprising causes of joint pain and then we’ll talk about joint pain in general. Then, we’ll kind of end off [00:01:00] this podcast by talking about some of the natural things that we recommend or what you can do from a natural standpoint.
Quite frankly, we talked about this in previous episodes, the over-the-counter painkillers or the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories that people eat like candy every day are not without consequence. We know as research is coming out they cause some serious issues in some people and not so serious issues right away but down the road they cause some [00:01:30] serious issues.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah. One of the leading causes of toxic events that people go to the hospital for in the liver and kidney is caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like Tylenol and Advil. They’re not, like you said, not without consequence. There’s a lot of people that have elevated liver enzymes and they start to get damage to their major organs like the liver and kidneys because of pain, and you can understand.
When we talk about [00:02:00] joint pain, I had a patient in today and I said her cortisol was very high. She said, “Well, I’m not stressed.” I said, “Well, that’s surprising because your cortisol is pretty high.” I said, “You might not feel like you’re stressed internally,” but she was in a lot of pain.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, the body was stressed.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, the body was stressed and she wasn’t sleeping because of pain. The quality of life in people are just so hampered with chronic [00:02:30] pain. When you look at … I mean, we can go off on another tangent but if you look at one of the biggest problems that has affected North America is this opioid crisis. Where did that come out of? That came out of people that had pain, chronic pain, and opioids were … “Oh, that’s going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread,” in terms of …
Dr. Martin, Jr.: They solved one problem and created another massive one.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, and people got hooked and then … That’s [00:03:00] a whole other issue but a lot of it did start with joint pain, just chronic joint pain.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Well, I spent a lot of years treating sports injuries and treating injuries and I was always amazed that when somebody had longstanding pain they’d come in and I would kind of read through their forms and they’re taking a painkiller of some kind. Then, after talking to them for a little bit they’ve been taking these painkillers pretty much every day for [00:03:30] years, almost decades. It’s like, it’s amazing that their stomach hasn’t bled out, it’s just, we can’t, we’re not meant to do that.
I used to use the analogy all the time with patients that imagine you’re driving in your car and your engine starts making some funny noises and you just decide to turn up the radio and problem solved, can’t hear the engine noise anymore. That’s kind of what a painkiller does, doesn’t fix the problem. A lot of people are under the [00:04:00] impression as well that Advil fixes stuff because it’s an anti-inflammatory, it’s an anti-inflammatory. It’s a painkiller and it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, however it doesn’t really fix anything. Advil doesn’t fix really anything.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: No, it masks it, right?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Exactly.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You can understand, you get a headache or whatever and you take an Advil.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, and there are some times where you want to turn the radio up because the engine would drive me crazy and we understand that fully. The problem is, is like anything else you have to ask yourself if you’re repeatedly using these things [00:04:30] what’s going on and is there a better approach, is there a better … It’s time to fix the problem.
Here and there whatever, everybody, we live on planet earth and every once in a while people get headaches or they’re sore, they hurt themselves, and okay that’s fine but …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, for a few days. You want some management until you can fix the issue, right?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, months later you’re still taking a daily painkiller there’s a problem going on that needs to be addressed. We [00:05:00] looked at a study a few episodes back on non-antibiotic drugs that kill your microbiome. Obviously, a lot of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories … A lot of the over-the-counter drugs that people take kill your good bacteria, which we’re starting to understand, science is starting to catch up on what that means for the rest of your body. Which leads us to two very common causes of joint pain that have nothing to do with [00:05:30] an injury. They are, of course …
Well, let’s reverse engineer, so that’s what we like to do. It really doesn’t matter what the source of the problem is because if you go one step removed from pain, in a sense, there’s inflammation present. Doesn’t matter if you twisted your ankle or there’s something deeper going on that’s causing your pain there’s inflammation present.
Inflammation, which is why these over-the-counter anti-inflammatory stuff, they lower inflammation, they also cut the pain nerve, in a sense. [00:06:00] That’s not technical but for imaginary person they just kind of clip that pain nerve for a while, and life goes on but at some point there’s inflammation there that’s causing the pain. However, as you and I say over and over again, inflammation doesn’t just … Your body’s not David Copperfield. It doesn’t just magically appear for no reason, that’s not how it works, there has to be a cause and effect.
The inflammation is the effect. The inflammation could be the cause of your pain but it’s not the cause, [00:06:30] it’s the effect of something else. There’s something causing that inflammation. Two big causes of inflammation as it’s related to joint pain that you and I see or talk about a fair amount are leaky gut syndrome and high circulating insulin. Let’s talk about those individually and then we’ll kind of talk about how you can fix the problem.
Now again, let’s talk about leaky gut just for a few minutes. We’ve talked about leaky gut [00:07:00] over the last little while.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: We’re very simple people, you know?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, and it’s …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: We talk about the same things but you want to simplify your body. This is one of the, this is such a wonderful thing is, then okay, that can really … 80% of anything that goes on in your body if not higher is coming out of your gut.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Well, they’ve been saying that for a long time and now they’re really starting to understand why that is, is because there’s always been this unknown connection. Research used to call it the [00:07:30] gut/joint axis. It seems to be a connection between your gut and your joints and now we know that it has to do with your microbiome, it has to do with your bacteria content. If your microbiome is unhealthy then there’s a chance that your joints will pay the price for that.
Now what’s interesting, and this is what makes it fascinating, is that some people when their microbiome isn’t healthy they may end up with dementia. Some people may end up with skin conditions, some people [00:08:00] may end up with … I mean, the list goes …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Depression.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, depression. The list goes on and on. Some people may end up with a combination of all those things …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Autoimmune.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Then, other people … Exactly, and some people may end up with some joint pain as a result of it. It’s just like, it’s one of those things that leaky gut … Couple podcasts ago, two episodes ago we talked about the four stages between health and disease and we wrote a book called Are You Built for Cancer? One of the first things that happens as you move towards disease [00:08:30] is leaky gut, a change in your microbiome and then leaky gut happens. That’s one of the first steps that happen because that increases free radical damage, increases inflammation, it increases the toxicity of your body, it’s just one of those things that can affect everything.
There are a lot of people walking around today with joint pain because they have an unhealthy gut, it sounds like sci-fi, it does. It sounds like a sci-fi, it doesn’t seem to make sense. However, your [00:09:00] gut and your joints, there’s a direct connection between the health of your gut and the health of your joints. Here’s what makes it even more frustrating. The majority of people with leaky gut have no digestive symptoms whatsoever so you say, “Well, do you have a problem in your gut?” They’re like, “No, my gut’s like cast iron I have problems whatever.”
Dr. Martin, Sr.: I can eat anything I want, my stomach is good, go to the bathroom every day and …
Dr. Martin, Jr.: It’s like, then they really think you’re a snake oilman when you’re trying to pull something over their eyes. Like, “Well, how [00:09:30] can my gut be the problem when I don’t have any gut symptoms?” It’s like, “Yeah, your gut is the problem because you do have a gut symptom but that happens to be your joints.” It’s just not a traditional gut symptom, it’s still a gut symptom nonetheless.
We look at the health of the joints. If you want healthy joints, as well you need healthy gut, among other things, but that’s a very important piece of the puzzle, right?
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, it’s a foundational thing. Again, people come out [00:10:00] of the gate, and this is much more common today, birth by C-section. The doctor says, “Hey, you need a C-section,” and baby comes out, well they don’t come through that normal canal, they don’t get the bacteria that they ordinarily would get. It’s part of the reason that … I can change a baby’s microbiome.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Before they’re fed, I … Go look at the first ingredient on baby formula, it’s [00:10:30] junk. They’re fed that and we already … Now we know as an adult …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You got yeast, you got fungus, you got Candida albicans, you got all these things that come into the bloodstream. You don’t die on the spot but the problem is, is that it changes things in your body, it develops over a period of time, creates inflammation. The body is trying to respond to the toxins that are in your body, the ambulance comes running out, [00:11:00] and oftentimes it’s linked to your synovial fluid in your joints of starts attacking. You have an overgrowth of Candida and, again, we see it all the time in the office. Incredible.
Patients are looking at me. “Well, the doc says I got arthritis.”Mm, well who doesn’t, that’s the thing. You might have some wear and tear in your joint but why do you have that?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Did you play football? Were you squatting [00:11:30] a lot of weights? There are … I used to treat a lot of repetitive injuries and one of the hardest things on the body is repetition, there’s no question. Repetition is very hard on the joints, very hard. Repetition typically will cause more tendon issues or ligament issues but there are some wear and tear. Research is showing now, for the average person with arthritis without an injury, it’s not actually … They used to call them wear and tear injuries but now they actually call them lack of wear and tear [00:12:00] because the body has a principle if you don’t use it you lose it.
That goes for weight bearing joints, that goes … They call them weight bearing joints because they’re meant to bear weight. Unfortunately, one of the worst things that can happen is when somebody starts to get sore, in a sense, and then they stop weight bearing so a weight bearing joint no longer has its purpose. A weight bearing joint is not meant to be …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Then ankylosis, right? It starts stiffening up and …
Dr. Martin, Jr.: That’s right and the whole mechanism just starts to break down because [00:12:30] it’s no longer serving a purpose. If I was … It’s funny, Disney has done a great job of personifying animals. Every animal has a character and a personality and Disney makes a ton of movies on where these animals are basically humans. Well, think of the joints basically the same way. Think of your joint, your weight bearing joints are sad when they’re not being used. Their purpose is to get out there and do stuff and when you’re not doing that they get sad [00:13:00] and they break down and everything that happens.
The bottom line is, we’re seeing an epidemic of arthritis or joint issues that are non-injury related. We see it, a lot of people are in pain. Pain is systemic, chronic. It can also isolate itself in some joints. A lot of times what ends up happening is that … I used to see this. Again, somebody has swelling in the ankle, well because it’s far away from [00:13:30] the heart blood can get down there easily but it can’t get back after. The mechanisms to bring it back doesn’t work as well as it used to so you get the pooling in the ankles, you get all that kind of stuff.
The bottom line is, is that if you’ve got chronic joint pain and you haven’t done anything really to warrant that chronic joint pain …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: It’s not age.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, it’s not age, and that’s a …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: A lot of people say I’m getting older. Well, how old are you? 50. You’re still a [00:14:00] pup, man. Really, your joints are not supposed to fail when you’re 50-years-old.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, absolutely not. The gut is a big thing and that’s something that you should have assessed, that’s something that you should be looking at as well.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Get your biomarkers done.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Then, the second big reason why people have joint pain, and I would probably put this … It’s hard to rank them, they’re pretty even.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Interconnected too.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: They’re connected, very much so because they all kind of lead to, which is high circulating insulin. Again, a lot of people …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You never mentioned that before, surprised that [00:14:30] you’re bringing that up.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: It’s kind of funny, again, that having high circulating insulin can directly result in joint pain. There’s actually multiple ways that that can happen. One, is you think of the affect it has, like the joints almost caramelize. They almost start to age like your byproducts, they start to …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, there’s glycation.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: There’s glycation, so what happens is the joint starts to basically destroy itself. [00:15:00] Orthopaedic surgeons are describing this now more and more. They go into a shoulder, they go into a knee, and the joint has completely caramelized, it’s just eaten itself out basically because of sugars, in a sense, the byproducts of all that that’s happening. That’s one …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: A lot of necrosis or stuff like that.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: That’s one way for sure, but we also know that high circulating insulin is very inflammatory. If you have high circulating insulin you’re full of inflammation. You and I have talked about [00:15:30] this before and it’s something that’s always fascinated us. It’s one of the principles behind our biomarker testing, is how inflammation has become the new fever. We’ve talked about this before.
For those who aren’t familiar, what we mean by that, it used to be that all the top killers were living things; bacteria, viruses. Not too long ago, prior to 1950, a lot of the top killers were these infections, these viral infections or bacterial infections. [00:16:00] You would know you had one of these things when you have a fever because your body recognizes these foreign invaders and your body charges the immune system.
One of the ways it does that is by giving you a fever, a fever’s not a bad thing. Fever means that your body is doing its job, it’s recognized something’s wrong and it’s trying to charge its white blood cells to go and fix the problem. That’s how things used to work. Now if you go and look at the top killers they’re [00:16:30] no longer living things.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: They’re metabolic.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: They’re metabolic so fever is no longer an indicator of illness like it used to be. Now inflammation is that new indicator. The reason for that is because the things that are causing a lot of these issues are not alive, they’re not bacteria, they’re chemicals. Your immune system does not react the same way at all to a chemical as it does to a foreign, living bacteria. Inflammation has become the new fever, inflammation is an indication that something [00:17:00] is going on on the inside.
Sometimes it can be very specific, sometimes it can be very generalized. Which is why last week’s episode we talked about one of the tests that we think these people should ask their doctor about, is that C reactive protein. Nonetheless, high circulating insulin is a major cause.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: And that’s a food hormone. It’s food.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yes, which is why a lot of people will tell you that once they start to eat a certain way and do certain things they’re like, “Is it possible that my [00:17:30] joints don’t hurt like they used to?” Because that’s a byproduct that they notice, they feel better. That’s one of the things we hear a ton about is how much better people’s joints feel even though they didn’t come and see you for joint pain.
High circulating insulin is that one. Again, you’ve got leaky gut so you have a microbiome issue, and then you have high circulating insulin.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Just one thing, I just want to say one little thing on that because we talked about glycation and what you get. It just oxidizes. [00:18:00] It can destroy the joint and it destroys your cells. The other one is uric acid and that’s a byproduct of high circulating insulin. The nice thing about our test at the office, the biomarker, we look for uric acid because it’s very common. People come in and they don’t have, “No, I didn’t hurt myself but my joints are sore, I got a lot of pain.” “Your uric acid levels are high.” [00:18:30] Well, if your uric acid levels are high your insulin is high, you’ve got high insulin, high circulating insulin.
That’s one of the markers that we look for. Those little crystals, uric acid, love joints. They love as they circulate into your bloodstream, they love your unexplained foot pain, knee pain, hand, a lot of people their hands are sore, stiff, [00:19:00] painful. It’s uric acid caused by food, sugar.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah and specifically I remember you talking about this a while ago. Uric acid, for somebody who’s really suffering with gout or uric acid crystals their main villain is fructose. Fructose seems to have a special affinity for creating uric acid crystals. If you’re listening and you’re suffering from issues with uric acid like gout and kidney stones, you definitely want to [00:19:30] minimize your fructose, especially your high fructose corn syrup, that should be removed altogether.
Even eating a lot of fruit, in this case, can irritate it, no question. All right, those are the two kind of causes. There are other things as well that are in there like excessive free radical damage and stuff like that but those are two main reasons why inflammation is elevated and then people end up with sore joints.
Now let’s finish off by talking about some [00:20:00] of the natural things that people can do to fix it. Obviously, if they have a problem with leaky gut then you want to fix that with probiotics.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Absolutely.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: You want to fix that with digestive enzymes. You have to address the inflammation in the short term and then you have to fix the gut in the long term. If they’ve got high circulating insulin they want to get that insulin down, remove crappy carbs, eat below your carb tolerance. Those are things we talked about on previous episodes. Let’s talk about a few natural [00:20:30] anti-inflammatory, not only the anti-inflammatories but they also promote healing. That’s a big difference between a synthetic versus a natural, they promote healing as well and they also help lower inflammation.
Let’s talk, well let’s start by talking about curcumin. A lot of people know curcumin, a lot of people know turmeric, and a lot of people get those two confused because it is a thing, it’s like are they the same, are they different? What’s the difference between [00:21:00] them? I take turmeric, do I need to take curcumin. That’s a good question because it, both of them are well known.
The best way to think about those two is that, we use the analogy of an orange, for example. If you want to get vitamin C you can eat an orange. The orange contains vitamin C, and that’s how you have to look at turmeric. Turmeric is like an orange, in a sense, where it contains curcumin. Curcumin really is that active compound or that [00:21:30] active component that is really fantastic for a lot of inflammatory purposes.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: It gives the pigment to the turmeric, it gives the yellow colour, right?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, and that’s the active, in a sense, ingredient. There are some other things with turmeric in itself that are good for you, no question, but when it comes to a therapeutic you want curcumin. Turmeric contains curcumin which is why we’ll use, for example, just pure curcumin. Now before we talk about some of the benefits let’s talk about some of the [00:22:00] issues with curcumin because this is another problem, really.
Curcumin, research has shown this is very hard to absorb. It used to be that you had to consume a ton of curcumin just to get a minimal dosage because your body … It’s not highly bio-available, you just don’t get it. There are a few tricks that you can do to help with that. Now, we use a very specific type of curcumin, it’s a three to one ratio, it just … [00:22:30] We add black pepper because black pepper has been shown to increase curcumin absorption almost 2000% so we add a few things in there to really help you get the amount of curcumin that you need.
Another issue is that curcumin is fat soluble so it makes sense to take it with food. If you’re taking curcumin you want to take it with food because it’s a fat soluble.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You mean I can take it with my peanut butter?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Actually one of the great things. Now we would actually highly recommend taking the curcumin with DHA because [00:23:00] DHA is tremendous for inflammation. On its own it’s fantastic for inflammation. We love it for inflammation but when you combine DHA and curcumin research has shown they’re like a dynamic duo. They help each other target … Curcumin increases the effect DHA has on your brain and vice versa, right?
DHA helps you absorb your curcumin and curcumin helps you get more power from your DHA.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: And a huge, huge, huge cox inhibitor is putting those [00:23:30] two together and that really, really reduces inflammation big time.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: We’re huge fans of curcumin and especially taken right because there’s a lot of … Like anything else, there’s a lot of not good curcumins on the market, they’re cheap. However, a good curcumin with some black pepper and then combined with some fat, especially DHA, man that’s a super power, that’s an awesome way. There’s a lot of research behind curcumin. Curcumin …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Have [00:24:00] you seen the new studies on curcumin and cancer?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, it’s very exciting.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: It really is. I mean, what it does genetically to help fight cancer and of course we love it for inflammatory conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia, what it does to the brain combined with the DHA. I just got a real good feeling as we, because we have such a good one, that we’re already seeing results with the joints [00:24:30] but there’s going to be legion of results, I just know.
I was telling a patient this morning that this thing for your brain, I mean … Because she asked me, “I want to know what you’re doing.” I said, “Well I tell you, I read all the research so DHA and curcumin, what a combo for almost everything you can think of that’s inflammatory.” Like you say, what’s the new killer today? Inflammation, of course caused by …
Dr. Martin, Jr.: [00:25:00] Curcumin doesn’t care where the originated from, it’s an inflammation squasher, it cools it off. Now, I have a collection of studies I kind of … I do read a lot of studies and I keep a collection of studies so I have a collection of studies, for example, of the benefits of curcumin on anti-aging. Really good for anti-aging. Very good for allergies, Alzheimer’s, brain, cancer, depression, heart, insulin resistance, of course your joints, good for your kidneys. It’s [00:25:30] very good, a lot of research on curcumin and ulcerative colitis, really, really good for inflammatory bowel disorders. I mean, on and on and on.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Well, you know what they were saying in India. I was reading this study the other day, they have 50% less depression than North Americans suffer with. Again, is that the link that they’re eating that spice all the time? It’s a main part of, it’s a staple in India, that turmeric and [inaudible 00:26:00], [00:26:00] yeah, just fantastic.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: All right, so we talked about curcumin. We’re out of time here so we talked about curcumin, we talked about DHA, those are two that we really like for inflammation. Then another one that we like for inflammation is pine bark extract which is found in our Navitol. Not only is it a great anti-inflammatory, it’s a cox inhibitor, but it’s also fantastic for free radical damage, promotes blood flow.
Think of all the amount of blood that goes [00:26:30] around a joint and delivers all the nutrients. Better blood flow, healthier joints, everything around the joint is healthier. Anything that can improve blood flow, which that’s one of the benefits of pine bark extract, keeps the blood vessels healthier, improves blood flow, all those kind of things.
We really like those three things. We also have another thing that we use in our clinic as well, depending on the case, which is our inflammation formula. That’s combinational stuff like green lipped mussel extract and some other …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: [00:27:00] Curcumin.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, has curcumin in there as well, not as much, nowhere near as much as our actual curcumin, upgraded curcumin. Those are kind of the three things that we like. Again, if you’ve got leaky gut you’ve got to fix that, if you got high circulating insulin you got to lower your insulin as well and that’s kind of where we would start when it comes to approaching joint pain from a natural aspect.
Then we lastly can’t rule out strength and strength training. Lifting [00:27:30] weights is tremendous for joint health, it’s so good for joints. A lot of people shy away. They they, “Ah, I got sore joints, I shouldn’t be lifting weights.” No, things grow from being stressed a bit. The joints, everything strengthens around it so you definitely want to consider that as well.
Well, we’re out of time. We want to thank you for listening to this episode. If you have any questions you can email us at email@example.com. Go to our website, we got live chat on our website, you can ask some questions there. If you’re not a newsletter [00:28:00] subscriber, sign up for our newsletters at martinclinic.com and then every Thursday morning you can watch. You do a Facebook live, lot of people join you, lot of questions.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yep, I always have a lot of fun.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Lot of fun doing that so that’s every Thursday morning I think around …
Dr. Martin, Sr.: 8:30.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: 8:30 so every Thursday morning 8:30. Again, thank you for listening, have a great day.