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Episode 16: Healing from Mold, Lyme, Parasites & More with Dr. Charles Penick, MD

Updated: Jan 15

Podcast Drop Date: 5/24/23

On this episode of the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast, Dr. Charles Penick, MD and Amber Warren discuss chronic complex illnesses caused by foreign invaders in the body, emphasizing the importance of taking a holistic approach to treatment. They also touch on testing for root causes of Mold, Lyme disease and parasites. Also, by tending to the garden of our hearts, we can achieve a healthy state of mind and body, leading to a state of balance where toxins are no longer needed.

Are you tired of feeling sluggish, dealing with unexplained health issues and struggling to find answers? It's time to reclaim your life and take a deeper dive into your health. Our detox expert and Renew Institute's medical director, Dr. Charles Penick, specializes in evaluating and addressing the root cause of health issues related to Lyme disease, mold exposure, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, environmental toxins and so much more. Your journey towards optimal wellness begins now.


Amber Warren, PA-C: Welcome to the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast, where we explore root cause medicine, engage in conversation with functional and integrative medicine experts and build community with like minded health seekers. I'm your host, Amber Warren. Let's dig deeper. Welcome back, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm here with Dr. Charles Penick, who is the medical director of our new institute and a visionary medical leader who specializes in functional medicine, regenerative medicine and detox, delivering personalized and cutting edge health care solutions. He is passionate about setting the trajectory for a strong and healthy life while promoting true vitality. Dr. Charles Penick has an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and expertise, extending far beyond his rigorous medical training with extensive proficiency in nutritional health, detoxification, medical fitness and health optimization. He is at the forefront of the latest scientific technologies and breakthroughs, ensuring his patients receive unparalleled care and treatment. And I can speak to that because I've got to practice with him alongside him, I shouldn't say with him alongside him for about 4 or 5 weeks now. And it's been such an honor. Welcome back.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Thank you, Amber. You make me sound really good.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Oh, we could go on and on. That was just a short overview of your bio. So I kind of view this as like part two. If you haven't, you know, everyone should do their do themselves a favor and go back and listen to my initial interview with Dr. Penick just talking about the principles of detoxification. It was a really powerful conversation. But I think today we wanted to spend a little more time kind of digging into I view it as more chronic, complex illness. And these invaders that are in our bodies that that should not be making a home out of our body. Yeah. And you know, we I know you are you really view a need really worldwide for these people mold Lyme, chronic fatigue syndrome. They need help certainly they need answers certainly. And I know you are a physician that can give give them answers and bring healing to their lives. Um, and I don't think it's fair to say let's start with mold. Let's start with Lyme. Let's start with maybe parasites or infectious disease agents. I think it's really all inclusive, Right, Right, right. Because oftentimes they go hand in hand.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: You know, that's a that's a really great point because it it's easy for us. It's easier for us to compartmentalize when we're trying to attack something. Right. Right. And, oh, this is what you have. And we we this was kind of addressed actually at the conference that we both attended this past weekend. Right. And we see often that there's a fad of something to attack. Okay. We're going to, you know, everyone we need to really look at Lyme or we really need to look at mold or we really need to look at parasites. And and so we make that thing the enemy, right? Which is just a small part of the picture. Actually, that was one of the slides that was shown was the idea of the elephant and the blind men, Right? So a blind man is feeling the tail and describing the elephant as what he feels the tail is. And so or one on the trunk and feeling this is what this is what an elephant feels like And what we what we end up doing then is honestly, we're just focusing on a piece of the picture. And that's, I think, one of the reasons why a lot of times we're we're we're realizing that people are having a slower progression because we're just trying to focus, hyper focus on one aspect of a much more complex or I don't want to say complex because to some degree it is simple, but it is it is a lot more holistic. We need to look at a step, take a step back and look at the whole picture rather than, you know, piecemealing it so, so much. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So let's just set the stage with what kinds of patients are we talking about? What are their symptoms? Because some people might not even know, like, how do I know I'm in that category? I know I don't feel great. I know I'm not living my best life. But what are the symptoms that we should be looking for in these kind of people that need to start thinking about these different these different ailments, these different you know.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: I would say it's definitely quite a wide range. And there are some individuals who have been struggling with some things for a while that are very generalized, like fatigue, brain fog. You know, we may look at their labs and say, oh, wow, you have your hormones are really off, so let's balance the hormones. But why were the hormones off in the first place? Right. And so those are very common, very, very common. And I would say the majority of us, I'm saying us because I would put myself in that category, may have some symptoms that are related to these foreign invaders in our body. To some degree. I can speak about myself in the sense that I have done testing on myself and I look and I'm like, Wow, there's some environmental toxins in there. Wow. There's, you know, there's some mold. There's some mycotoxins present. I'll mention really quickly with parasites. There are a number of parasite tests out there. But I will tell you that they may they only test for a small portion of what we believe truly to be out there. And while I don't know a number, I will say that let's let's just say, for example, your average parasite panel may include somewhere between 10 and 20. I'll just throw that out there as a as an example. Whereas in actuality, we may be looking at something like ten times that number that actually exists and that may be even a fraction of what what actually exists, to be quite honest. Because if we think about bacteria, I mean, there's there's billions, right? And so so. What's to say that parasites don't at least have hundreds of varieties out there? And so I don't we don't necessarily test for that.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: To quote Dr. Todd Watts, if you have a pulse, you have a parasite. And that is most likely the case. And so back to myself, you know, using myself as a case example, then let's just say I'm feeling a little off word, finding a brain fog fatigue, and then I check a lab panel. Okay. There's some low testosterone there. I need to fix that. Well, ultimately, there are a number of things that play into that, and it's more holistic than just foreign invaders. But that's always a piece to some degree, generally, because what these things will do is they will block cell receptors, they will decrease production of certain hormones. The inflammation will actually decrease the function of the cells, signaling to one another so that that inflammation will cause one cell not to be able to put out a signal and the other one not to be able to receive it. So it's blocking that cellular communication, absorbing certain nutrients that are precursors for the hormones even. Right. And so because the inflammation can be can be downplayed. And so it really does have a part to play in the majority of our lives. But let's go down that spectrum. Back to the original question. Let's go down that spectrum to the to the the further end. And these are the people who are chronically ill where sometimes it puts people in bad, they're bedridden, they don't have the energy to actually get out of bed and function. Their memory is very poor.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Sometimes people have to take time off of work. There may be symptoms along the lines of rashes that just all of a sudden break out because they're so inflamed and they have this massive histamine response. They can't degrade histamine. And we may have people who have severe gut issues, bloating and constipation and diarrhea sometimes is a part of these these things. I would suggest that some of these abnormal things would be migrating joint pains, electric like shocks that shoot up the spine or numbness and tingling randomly in a hand that goes, comes and goes. Right. And there's another other reasons why these things can be present. But these are just a myriad of symptoms that are often chased. Right? Oh, you have numbness and tingling. Let's see if you have carpal tunnel. Right? Oh, you you have anxiety and depression. Well, let's put you on a depressive med. But actually what's happening is the neuro brain neurotransmitters are off because of these foreign invaders. Right. So it's a really interesting thing because it's so easy to chase the symptom and not dig a little bit deeper into the root cause. And it's not always easy to test for that root cause. Right? Let's say let's say Lyme, for example, was was a contributor. Well, if it was even considered, that line was a contributor by the practitioner. How do you test for that? Right. And so then you could be spending quite a bit of money on a test that comes back as negative or equivocal. Yet it could still be the case that it is related to Lyme.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I wanted to go there like quantifiably, right? Some of my sickest patients. A that panel is not impressive. There's hardly any mold on board. And we know some of those people just might not be detoxing mold at all. But it's like you're sometimes not that impressed with some of the tests. So it's not at all quantifiable. It doesn't it doesn't all mean that that patient isn't actually sick or isn't actually toxic. That's right. So what are you thinking in those people?

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yeah. So thankfully, we do have symptoms. There's there's there are people much smarter than I who have put together questionnaires that we see a common pattern among clients who are dealing with, for example, Lyme or mold. And there's a lot of crossover, by the way, between those. And so those questionnaires are very helpful and guiding. Okay. It's a very high probability that even though you may have a negative or equivocal test, that there may be something still present on the testing. I will mention that it is hard. It is it is difficult to have an accurate test with Lyme for a number of reasons. One, they are very good at walling themselves off with biofilms. Right. The other reason is they don't like to hang out in the blood. So you're pulling you're trying to draw blood and test the blood, but that's not where they hang out. And so there are certain things that techniques that we want to use and we want to use a lab that's vetted and proven to be effective. And so what we try to do is if we do test at all, we try to look at what are the results we're getting, what are the experts have found to be consistently accurate. There's only one that I know that's above 90% there. There are a couple of others that may be in the 80% range as far as, you know, truly accurate. But that being said, I also tell my clients we don't necessarily have to test now everyone's gonna have a different philosophy.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: This is my personal philosophy is that if you're if you meet enough of the symptoms, it actually doesn't hurt if we're not. So let's, let's let's go back to this philosophy of risk versus benefit. So if we're using something that can be a very harsh drug, you want to be pretty dead on accurate that that's what you're going for. Right. But if you're using something that has multiple benefits and very low side effect profile, then there's really no harm in approaching the treatment. Take that money that you were going to put towards the test and let's put it towards actually treating. Because even if even if that's not exactly what it was, it will actually help to balance out the body in other ways. Right. And so that's the principle that I try to approach the treatment from. And I often leave. I will sometimes leave. Well, I always leave it in the hands of the patient. But I mean, sometimes I will I will impress the patient more. This is my recommendation that we do go for testing, but sometimes I kind of leave it in the hands and say, hey, if you if you really want objective data, this is the test I recommend. If you want to just take those funds and put it towards the treatment course, then let's go that way. And so, yeah, more as a coach, you know, So absolutely.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I love that you touched on just that that the conundrum with testing for Lyme because it is pretty controversial out there. Same with the testing for parasites, right? Parasites don't always hang out in the colon. But when you do stool testing for parasites, you can only look at what's in the colon. Yeah, but what about the liver? What about the kidney? What about the brain? Parasites like to hang out in a lot of different parts of our bodies. I actually had a patient mold. Parasitic patient. That man. As soon as we started to push detox, you know, she couldn't get in the infrared sauna for more than ten minutes without head to toe eczema. And as soon as we started to clear the mold and we soon realized that parasites were a problem, she had synovitis on both of her wrists. Parasites. Wow. They like the Synovitis looked like worms. Wow. On her wrists. It was wild. And sure enough, we started doing parasite cleansing and went away. Synovitis on her wrist went away.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: You know, talking about places that parasites can hang out. I don't know if anyone has ever closed their eyes and kind of looked towards the sun or if you've been in a like a red light doing red light therapy or in an infrared sauna where there's red lights available and you can see that orange glow with your eyes closed because the light's on the other side. And you see something. If you if you focus on it, it'll it'll weed you out, but you'll see something wriggle across your field of vision. It's hanging out in the fluid there and interocular space or potentially maybe coming through the tear ducts. But there they are so prevalent. Some people believe that, you know, again, not to be overly descriptive, but sometimes if you're, say, clearing your your nostrils out and rather than having a mucus that's in a ball form, but it's in a string form, that's just a mucus covered parasite, actually, they can be quite small. So the prostate is another place. And it's an interesting concept, but it's warm and it's filled with fluid and it's a repository for fluid or it has fluid that passes through.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: But it's it's a it's a place that they will actually hang out in the fluid and they will actually then embed themselves into the tissue causing more prostate inflammation. I'm not saying that parasites are what causes prostate hypertrophy, but they can certainly be a contributor. Right. And so same with the colon. How many people have had a colonoscopy? And they're like, well, if I had parasites, wouldn't you see that when you have the colonoscopy? Not necessarily because even though the colon is cleaned out, they know how to embed themselves. Bury themselves, hide in the tissues. And so another reason why stool testing, sorry, testing for parasites, stool testing for parasites can be not very accurate because they have the ability to recede and hide. They also can use biofilms to cover their tracks. And so schistocytes, I think specifically a certain type of parasite can actually shift their antigens. So they will have a certain type of antigen that they release, but then they can actually change it over time and camouflage themselves. So yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, it's oh so concerning. I hope no one's eating their dinner or their breakfast right now as we're talking about parasites and nasal cavity and in the prostate. That's fun. That's fun stuff I loved so I you're doing a lot of hormone pelleting in our practice which we're getting really, really great results from. But I love I'm sending my clients to you. I'm not trained in that. I sent a gentleman to you and I kind of presented him to you and said, Hey, I really think he'd benefit a ton from testosterone pellets. And I loved your approach. And this is where just you're such a practical, practical practitioner. Yeah. I mean, he's all of his markers. I know if we detox him and got him away from the environmental chemicals, we know his testosterone would would be at least close, close to optimal. And he'd feeling some better. But that would take a year, maybe two years, maybe three. And the whole time he has to struggle. And so I love that you're you use the certain techniques that might not be true root cause medicine to get your patients feeling better and then we can work on the root cause and then we can work on the detoxification and clearing the body of parasites.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: And you know, now that that individual hopefully has more motivation and capacity to stick with the protocol. Right. And, you know, a lot of people, I think, will start a journey and then often they'll fall out because sometimes they need that quick win. Right. And that's where the hormone pellets have been an awesome approach to giving them a quick win while we dig at the root cause. That will take some time. So yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: No, it is that motivation they need. And and let's be honest, when you start to really do the work and get on some of our protocols and do some of the detoxification, you can start to feel worse for periods of time. Right? So talk about demotivating. So if we don't, you know, fix these people what we call non-negotiables, if we don't get them sleeping, if we don't get them, you know, able able to exercise a little, those are all really important aspects of healing that they they need. That's foundational. Yeah. So it's really cool. So other I kind of want to touch on, you know, we've got Borrelia or Lyme and Mycotoxins, which is mold. What are other infectious agents that you think we need to be paying attention to or are we I mean, as a community paying attention to, you know, just awareness of, of other things that can really damage and impact our health?

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yeah. So, you know, the broader category, I would say I like to use the word now when I'm talking with clients, I would say foreign invaders. So, you know, think about let's just say your home, your house is your home. Right. And say it was your physical home. If there is someone that comes in uninvited, especially if they don't come, you know, let's just say, for example, someone that you knew, they use the front door. You're less alarmed at first. Okay. Your front door is your mouth, right? So your body has an easy capacity to usher something right back out. If it comes through the back door, that's like an injection that's going right into the body. Had no chance to be selective about it getting into the bloodstream or through the skin. Transdermally Right. Those are a couple of ways that we see things that they cause an even more abrupt reaction because the body didn't actually have the chance to say, Hey, I locked the front door, but you climbed through it. You just climbed through the window. So now all alarms are off, right? Because that was that was exceptionally unwarranted. And so what does it do? It triggers an inflammatory response. This is a non native thing, whether it's a bad bacteria, whether it's a parasite, a chemical toxin, a heavy metal, we often throw viruses into that category. The jury is out. I won't go down that rabbit hole. But on what that actually is, that's what we call them. But what that actually is. And the other one would be, of course, fungal elements.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Right? So and and that kind of goes into the mycotoxin. Right? So we have these, these fungus that can grow externally, but it can also set up shop internally and they release toxins. Mycotoxins Right. So, so any of these things can trigger this massive inflammatory response in our body is supposed to do that. That is, that is the way we were designed and created so that it can get rid of attack and get rid of that. However, if for some reason there is a lot of it or our detox pathways are off or because of our genetics, right. Or there's there's other stressors in the body that it's not in a position to deal with an extra stressor. Then what happens is that acute inflammation may never ramp up in the first place. And it's just chronic underlying smoldering inflammation or that that acute inflammation after time, the body can't sustain that amount because it's not getting it out. So it goes into this long chronic inflammatory state. And that's where we see people who can go down that path, if not dealt with, to a place of being almost debilitated. And our goal is to figure out how do we put the pieces back in place to get them, walk them back to that state of health, hopefully better than they were ever in the first place. Yeah, and no, go ahead. Well, I was going to say, and that's a big piece that I think happens during this during this journey when you're going downhill or you're in in the valley is losing hope.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: You feel like I've seen a number of practitioners and I'm not getting help. You know, I felt better when I started this therapy and then now I feel terrible again. Or I've seen doctor and they prescribe such and such drug. And then I went and saw this specialist and then I they referred me to the neurologist and then to the rheumatologist. And, and then I went and saw the psychiatrist. I mean, this this is story after story. Right. And and they're still suffering. Right. And so it's very easy to to lose hope. And so I hope that in part, this podcast imparts hope to individuals to know that you're not alone and that there is an answer. There is a reason why this is happening. And and I'm going to put a different spin on it, you know, rather than looking at it as a negative thing. And this is I know this is kind of an interesting statement. You know, be thankful that your body is talking to you so that you can do something about it because the people who their body is silent are the people who end up in a state where they're worse off. They wake up and they're diagnosed with stage three, stage four cancer, because that invader slipped in and did not cause that inflammatory response that gave them sick symptoms and they had no clue until the day they were diagnosed. Right. And and that's why it's important sometimes to screen for these foreign invaders, even when you may not be super symptomatic. Right.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Well, it's also a reason to take a care of yourself, because if you're not moving daily, you're you're probably going to have joint pain and you're probably going to put on weight that's going to cause extra, extra pressure on your joints and cause the insulin resistance that that I mean, you start to slack off on really taking care of yourself and that's when you lose that ability to be really in tune with your body and know that something's wrong. And you hear all those stories, people that, yeah, stage three cancer. Oh, I should have paid attention to that symptom. I should have paid attention to that sign. I wasn't really aware or in tune with my body because I live in America and I fill my body with poisons every day.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yeah, yeah, that's right. And then, you know, I didn't put it into this category, but I often put it into its own category as psycho emotional imprints. But you can look at emotions, these negative emotional imprints as another type of foreign invader, right? Negative energy. Absolutely. Because they they are always a piece, whether they're the main piece or just an adjunctive piece, They're always a piece of the puzzle. You know, stressors from relationships, stressors from jobs, stressors from, you know, changing, you know, physical locations or the death of a loved one or whatever it may be, you name it. Yeah. Yeah. Unresolved grief. We understand enough now to know that some of these some of these things can be passed down. Even though we didn't experience it in our lifetime, they could have been passed down from grandmother. We know at least three generations. Generational trauma. Generational trauma. Yeah. And this is this is both proof scientifically, but even biblically, it's the Bible says unto the third and fourth generation. Right. And so it's been reproduced in rat experiments. People who lived in Japan during the bombing, during World War Two and so on and so forth, it's been it's been recreated.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: There's a really good book that touches on it. I was going to say the body keeps score, but it's actually it's called it didn't start with you. Yeah and so both are great books but that that being said that's another piece that we don't ever want to overlook. And you and I were just chatting before we started the podcast about this idea that when we deal with the emotions, we will see people clear certain things that they may have been on certain supplements, they may have been on certain protocols and they were making some headway. But this massive shift took place once the emotions were addressed and then all of a sudden the next day, wow, look at all the parasites that I dumped or, wow, you know, I feel so much better today. And and so, you know, that's that's a piece of the puzzle that always has to be addressed. Also as a foreign invader. It doesn't belong that that energy, that that emotional imprint does not belong inside of your body and it needs to leave.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So I think when I first started doing some more detoxification work through a few years ago or working more with mold and Lyme patients, the the rebalancing of the limbic system and working on the nervous system and working on that trauma piece. And I don't like to always use the T word because I think people are like trauma. Oh, that feels so heavy. That's not me. But we all have trauma. But anyways, I think it used to be something that I would implement if they didn't tolerate a detox or if we couldn't push them to a certain point. And now it's like that's where we have to start. We can't ignore that. We can't move the needle if we don't start there. Yeah. So let's I think we've talked a lot about the nervous system and limbic system, but let's pause. What's the limbic system? Why is it so important? Why do we all need to pay attention to it? And why are we now saying it's where we start?

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yeah. Yeah. Because, you know, in the past we've always said, well, you start with the gut and. Yeah, so true. Yeah. Which is a huge piece of the puzzle. But before that, the gut, the gut serves as a repository for an impressive amount of neurons. And, and it also actually creates a lot of neurotransmitters, right? And that's one of the reasons why we we talk about starting with the gut. But there's there's a nerve. There's nerves that innervate the gut. And the vagus nerve is one of the most important. It's a cranial nerve. And when we talk about the the nervous system, we talk about the autonomic nervous system and we talk about which is broken into two pieces, which is your sympathetic and parasympathetic. Right. So autonomic nervous system is the part of our nervous system that we're not necessarily giving commands to. It kind of runs on autopilot, if you want to say it that way, right? We don't we don't tell our heart to beat. We don't tell our lungs to breathe. We don't tell our stomach to digest and our and our colon to absorb nutrients or small intestine to absorb nutrients.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Right. We these are things that happen without us thinking about it. That's run off of our autonomic nervous system. And we when we talk about sympathetic versus parasympathetic, you often hear fight or flight versus rest and digest and rest and digest and repair. And so when these foreign invaders come in, they trigger this this response, right? That is that fight or flight. And we want to get back into rest, digest and repair where the limbic system is. What remembers, if we want to call it trauma or changes to what causes our body to feel safe and secure. And so these are imprints that that imprint on certain parts of our brain the hypothalamus, the amygdala, the hippocampus. These are places that remember how to keep us safe and secure. And so once that limbic system gets triggered, it can be very hard to reset. And so whether it was an actual emotional trauma or whether it was the body said the limbic system was triggered because of a parasite or a virus or a heavy metal that that that slipped in through the back door.

Amber Warren, PA-C: It doesn't have to be sexual abuse as a child, correct? Correct. It doesn't have to be this traumatic divorce or a traumatic car accident. Right. I think people need to understand it can be small shifts. That's right. Invaders to your body. Yeah. A Yeah. Being chronically dehydrated. That's right. Yeah. Or sleep apnea. Just sleep deprivation. Those can be some of these triggers that people need to start recognizing.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: That's right. And on that note, just this thought came to me about how we know those things are going to happen in life and that in the end, they make us more resilient. And that is what happens through stress. But we many people go to a place and this is just a natural response where they get stuck. So, you know, the limbic system gets challenged and then we want it to be able to adapt and respond accordingly and come out stronger. But unfortunately, too many times it gets stuck. And so our goal is to bring it back to a place where it's where it's where it has plasticity, right, where it's malleable and it's not frozen in fear. Right?

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah. Yeah. Our health coach talks a lot about like using a rubber band and just being flexible, being able to grow, but come back and relax and grow.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yes. Yes. Yeah. So I would say that is the piece that is the starting point. Because if that's not in a place where we can where it's malleable or it can grow and mold, then the body is very resistant to change. Right? Because it's like, I'm going to stay here because I'm alive right now. Right. And if you push me out of this state, I don't know if I'm going to stay alive. I'm not secure anymore. And so we have to calm it back down. Yes. Yeah. Um hum.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Okay. So what are some of the techniques? What are your favorite techniques that you think work the best to, to make sure that the body, the brain, the nervous system feels safe?

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: You know, there are so many and there's probably so many that I don't know. I feel like I'm always learning of new ones. Yeah, but specifically for the limbic system tried and true anti anti hoppers Dynamic neural retraining system is Gupta's program the Gupta program. There are others out there. Actually. I recently learned of another one. I don't have the name of it. It is it was it was told me told to me by another practitioner who has referred it. It is the same general concepts. They put it in a they wrap it in a Christian delivery format, limbic system. Rewire, thank you so much.

Amber Warren, PA-C: All right. They do really good work.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Thank you. Yeah, it's.

Amber Warren, PA-C: A little more expensive than like Annie Hoppers or the Gupta program. But for those that are looking for that more faith based. Yes. Yeah, I've heard really good feedback from my patients that are doing it.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yes. Yeah. Thank you. That's a great. And these are these are something that anyone would benefit from. You know, it doesn't you don't have. Have to be chronically ill to benefit from from these programs, honestly, because all of us are have, like you said, have some small trauma in some way. I like to use when I talk about psycho emotional imprints, I, I like to use the analogy of first day of school, You know, for someone that may have been dropped off by mom or dad and up to this point, they're safe and secure. Place is home and mom and dad. And now you're leaving me with a teacher I don't know. And kids that I don't know. And. And you walk in and you're wearing glasses and some kids yells out four eyes, and all the kids start laughing and you're like, do I start crying? Do I start yelling and screaming? Do I run and leave the room or do I hide? Put my head down and just close my eyes? Or do I just play it cool and act like it didn't bother me? And at the end of the day, they are all different responses to handling this stressor. But it made an imprint on you whether you wanted it to or not. You carry that and you carry that and you don't even remember it.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, right. Yeah. So true. Yeah, I don't really want to go there because it's so heavy on my heart. But just the thought of, you know, it just reminded me you have this analogy of kids in their first day of school. How about the kids that went to their first day of school and their faces were covered and they couldn't tell emotion or see if their teacher was smiling or see if their classmates were pleased with them. Yeah, right. We've got this whole generation who was introduced to society not knowing what anyone's emotions were. Yeah, right. I mean, that's a whole new hit to the limbic system that we probably don't even know how to deal with.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yeah, it'll be interesting to see the repercussions of that, right? Because we don't we underestimate the fact that we have good linguistic skills and we can interpret certain things because we had the opportunity to develop that skill set. And for 2 to 3 years, many kids, all they their ability to grab those cues was was very diminished. So yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: That'll be heartbreaking to see.

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Amber Warren, PA-C: So you start a lot with you start with with a lot of that. Work with some of these programs with your patients. Yeah. Complex illness.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yeah, I'll do it in conjunction because it's not a therapy that you just, you know, hey, I'm going to do this for ten days and I'm on to the next chapter, right? It's it takes some time. I would say a minimum of 12 weeks or three months would be recommended. You know, some people may say, hey, I felt you should see shifts before that. But the point is, it's not, Oh, I felt better because I've been doing this for three weeks, so I'm done. The point is, you're trying to retrain, Right. Which, you know, it's just because you went to the gym and worked out and, you know, you're like, Oh, man, my muscles look really good because I worked out today. Well, great. You know, wait another week and they'll be back to where they were, right, if you don't go back. So the idea is you you have to retrain your system. And so I would say, you know, shorter than a 12 week period in conjunction with the other therapies. Now, sometimes people are at a place where that's all we can do. And you'll know that because as you recommend a therapy, you know, start with a gentle therapy. And if they react to that, like sauna, some people are at a place where they can't even stand doing a sauna, right? They're not ready or liposomal glutathione. And they're like, Man, I took this glutathione and I reacted. Right. Some people are that that in that place. And so for that person it's just limbic system alone. Okay? And then we build from there.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So yeah, and I know most practitioners will say you start with mold because you can't clear the lime, you can't clear the other infectious agents until you clear the mycotoxins from the body. Do you agree with that?

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: I, I do. And I would say one addition to that is if we think about the lowest hanging fruit, I actually think the lowest hanging fruit is actually and this is actually this is a statement where there's always there's always you.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Can't you can't push.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Everything into one basket. Right. Because someone say, well, actually the lowest hanging fruit is and I would say, oh, yeah, I agree with that. Right. So but I would say if we're thinking about these foreign invaders in the categories that we already spoke about, and I'm kind of pulling the the emotions to the side because that's fully integrated in this whole process. But if we're talking about physical, you know, foreign invaders, I would say parasites are probably the lowest hanging fruit. Okay. You know.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I figured you were going to go there.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yeah. And so but when we think about lime, you can't clear the the lime very well without addressing the mold. But I do think that and this is my take on it at this point in my practice, that people will move forward in their mold detox better if they've cleared the parasites. And there's a number of reasons. One, the parasites we know are generating an inflammatory response. Number two, they are leeching your cellular energy like crazy. They're living off of that. So that energy that should be going to rest and healing and repair and clearing out other invaders, guess who's taking who's stealing all that? The parasites. And so imagine if you could flush those out and return that energy. Now all of a sudden the toxins are just pouring out and you're doing you're moving along. And so I would say that, you know, there may be some good philosophical discussion or even scientific input on this from other practitioners, and I would honestly love to hear it. And because I'm constantly in a state of learning, but where I'm at at this point in my practice, I would say that the parasites are the lowest hanging fruit, so.

Amber Warren, PA-C: That's really good to hear. Yeah, I think about. Yeah, there are so many young people, athletes dealing with iron deficiency and it's like there's iron. They love to eat iron or low ferritin, low stored iron. Like, oh, you just want to like shout from the rooftops. Like, think about parasites. Yeah. So again, practically speaking, if I and I agree with what Todd Watts says, if you have a pulse, you have a parasite. Everybody needs to be in a regular practice of parasite cleansing, which some people would think that that's crazy. But how can we I mean, how can we, especially with young children, where it's a little bit harder to do parasite cleansing on how can we avoid parasitic infections in our environment? What are some of the main the main ways you think that we we get these little bugs. Yeah. In our system.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: So from a philosophical philosophical standpoint, you know, the imagery I like to use is a is a bucket, right? So we come into this life with the bucket. It's typically not empty. Actually, a lot of things are passed down. As many as 150 different toxins have been demonstrated to be present in a in a newborn infant passed down from mom and grandmother, potentially a great great grandmother as well. And so, you know, here we are. And our goal is then to drain that bucket and limit the amount of new things that come in. So, you know, with your question, we know that, you know, there's some parasites present, but our goal is to limit the new added parasites right. From coming in. And so, you know, there's probably a lot around this discussion as well. But from a diet standpoint, I would suggest that there are certain foods that we know are much heavier, have a much heavier content of parasites, pork being one of the biggest ones. So that kind of goes without saying. And things that are in we don't some of these things don't apply to the US, but you go to other countries, you'll find a smorgasbord of things that we don't eat here that are found there. Rodents, right? Like that sounds pretty, pretty gross to us. But for some people that's that's a part of their diet, right? They're pretty parasite ridden matter of fact.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: So are our regular things like beef and goat and lamb can have them right there. They're less amount for sure. And so I'm not saying run out and be a vegetarian, but what one thing we do notice is that sustainable ranching practices and farming practices keep the parasites very, very low. If not, you know, I would hesitate to say parasite free, but in a way that because nature is in balance, the parasites don't have a attachment point in not saying in a physical sense, but in a sense of an ecosystem. They don't have a place in that ecosystem where they're thriving. They're thriving in places where the ecosystem is out of balance, right? So you throw a bunch of cows on a dirt farm and you're feeding them grain, which is non native to their diet, and you're giving them antibiotics and hormones. Well, all of a sudden the parasites have a wide place in that ecosystem, right? But in a in a micro ecosystem where it's much more natural, the way things would have been done a thousand years ago, 500 years ago, even 200 years ago, we we find that the parasite content is quite a bit low. So pastured pork much, much cleaner. Yeah. Okay. But I will say, and this is not a slight to anyone, but I will say this is a fact that pigs don't sweat and we lose a lot of toxins through our sweat and we do find quite a bit more parasites in pig fibers, muscle fibers as a as a source.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Now, plants are not necessarily parasite free. Some plants actually may have some parasites that that grow on them. And fish for sure are not parasite free. Right. So so it's not like the bad guy is not necessarily a certain type of fish or, or or food source. Let me say that. Right. Right. The idea is that we do want to go back to sustainable practices. Right. A lot of fish, a lot of people don't know this, but a lot of fish that are even considered to be wild caught are harvested from these these nets that they they drop down and they make these microenvironments where they actually put chemicals that kill the plants at the bottom so that they can call them, you know, wild card, even though they were still harnessed in this small ecosystem. And if you were to follow those nets down to the bottom of the ocean, you will find a dead plant life down there. Right. And so, you know, what I'm getting back getting at is we need to go back to what's natural, you know, what's natural. And that will keep those systems down. Now, what another natural thing that has been done for thousands of years is parasite cleansing. Right. So and we do we still.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Do it to our animals. That's right. Dogs don't get the the what is it anti worm or what they. That's right. They're dewormed. That's right.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: They're dewormed. Right. So so don't do that. How are we. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: How to vaccinate them 4700 times a year.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: How do we how do we, you know, think that we're exempt from this? Right. And so at the end of the day, if we look at all ancient cultures, it's very common that there was some some form of anti parasite antiparasitic activity. Or ritual that they were doing. And so we need to bring that back. You know, yeah, I agree.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So I have to just go there. So I've heard you say that multiple times, that pigs don't sweat. I do. Cows sweat.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: My understanding is that they do. Do they? Yes.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, We have cattle we raised for beef. I'm going to go pay attention to that more. I'm going to, like, pet them and see if I can feel sweat on a 95 degree day.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: I don't know what other animals, but as far as our general food source, my understanding is as far as common livestock that's raised here in the US, that pigs are the are the outlier in that in that category.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I mean, honestly, pork unclean. It's biblical too.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: So yeah, the Bible says something about the, the, the pig and the rodent or the pig and the, the rat or mouse or something. There. I'm told you don't eat mice. So yeah, just making sure. And it kind of like, dude, those are two separate things. I wouldn't eat like I wouldn't even eat that. But. But you're going to mess with my bacon. I don't mess with my bacon. Right. Oh, by the way, let me just throw this out there, you guys. So if you're struggling with this because of the bacon, and I can totally understand that because the first time I had a bacon wrapped date, it, like, blew my mind.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I thought he was going to say, like a bacon cheeseburger. But the bacon wrapped date he went there.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Yes. With blue cheese man. Yeah, but I will say that to to comfort you that if you are into lamb or beef and, you know, man filet mignon, I mean, yeah, we can talk about that. You know.

Amber Warren, PA-C: He's like, Nope, Cows definitely sweat. I promise. Won't give up my filet for.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Sure, right? No, but what's cool is that more and more options are coming out there, but they're doing more beef, bacon and lamb bacon. Really? Oh, man. And so some members of my family were recently introduced to pastured beef bacon, and they said it was the most amazing thing they'd had. And in their mind, it compared up there to to pork bacon.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And I will say, you.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Know where you find it. So that's a really good question. So my understanding and I have not vetted this with the company is that they're working on coming out with producing this or actually I think it's already in production and you can purchase it from Paleo Valley. Oh, cool. Yeah. So awesome. And they're awesome. Awesome company. Awesome people. They, they understand how to, how to bring in clean meat and sustainability and and so that's one location. I believe White Oak Pastures is another source. And then there are others out there. And you know, if people are listening to this and there's a comment section below and you know of a place that has sustainable clean, you know, organic, you know, pastured animal products, then I would say drop it in there so we can share this good information.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So really important. Our listeners would be really curious about that. Yeah. Um, so awesome. We could go on and on and on. Okay. Part three coming soon with Charles Beneke. Um, you know, I like to end each one of my discussions with just on this topic of, you know, reclaiming your health and these infectious agents that don't belong. What's one piece of advice you can give our listeners that you like to give your patients that moves the needle the most for them has the most significant impact on their health.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: You know, I will throw this out there just because it's on my mind after this conference, the Selchau conference that we attended. And I, I will say that we often focus so much on the physical aspect. And I feel like one one big takeaway and I think also something that's often impressed on my mind because it's the easiest to skip over is the non tangible things, right? The emotional and the spiritual. And it was interesting because we were talking about this two days ago, my wife and I and we had company over the house and you know, my buddy Thomas Georgina, he's a he's a physician in Oregon and he always has this very out of the box approach or viewpoint to things that challenges my thinking and our our thinking as, as friends and practitioners. And I always love that. And, and so, you know, he was getting back to this idea that if these things are in your body, it's because there's a reason. There's a there's an imbalance and they and there's and let's just say this, for example, say I eat a ton of sugar. That sugar, if I didn't have compensatory effects, could kill me. Well, what's one of the compensatory effects, Candida? It's going to grow and it's going to eat up that sugar so it doesn't kill me. So it actually is beneficial in that moment, right? We think is, Oh, that's the enemy.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: We've got to get rid of the Candida. But the Candida is growing because otherwise our blood sugar level would be so high, we'd be in a coma. Right. So it's protecting you, right? So there's a reason that that thing is there. H.pylori actually just learned this this weekend that that some some science shows that because we are dehydrated and we are in our gastric acid content is too low, that H. Pylori comes in to create an environment that increases stomach acid. So we're making H. Pylori the bad guy, but it's actually responding to a need in an environment. Your PH balance. Exactly. And so we often look at these things as the enemy. And and so if we take a step back, God has created this thing where these there is this balance. Right? And when the need for that H. Pylori changes because we're better hydrated and we have better stomach gastric acid, guess what happens? The H pylori goes away. Right. And when we stop consuming so much sugar, guess what happens? The Candida starts to die off, right? And so what I'm getting at is what we sometimes do is we want to attack the physical thing because it's the easiest thing to go after. But what we need to look at is the emotional and spiritual roots behind it.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: And when our body is resonating at a healthy and a healthy state and our state of mind is in a healthy state, we often find that our body comes back into a state of balance, that these things are not wanted or desired or needed anymore. They don't have a home there anymore, right? These parasites leaving because people address the emotional roots and now this person is now resonating, resonating in a different place, a different frequency, a different frame of mind. Now, that parasite no longer has a home because the need is no longer there. And so what I want to touch on is the fact that I want to encourage us to tend the garden of our hearts, because that is the root from which all of these things spring. And so the, the what we had said was I was thinking was like, man, I don't remember Jesus talking about a bunch of toxins in the Bible. But then I was like, wait a minute, there is one place I remember we were talking. It just came to my mind. I was like, Wait a minute. The Pharisees were challenging him because his disciples weren't washing their hands ceremonially ceremonially before they ate. And Jesus said, It's not what comes into the body that defiles a person, but it's what comes out of the man of a man.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: And I think that really resonates with what we were just saying, is the fact that if we tend to our heart from where all these things start, our heart and our mind, our mind is not just our brain. Our mind is this interface by which all of our cells are resonating and communicating with one another and storing information. And it doesn't happen just in the brain. Right. And so the heart is a huge piece of it and the gut is a huge piece of it. And I would I would say again, not to go dive into another conversation, but think of the the as far as anatomy, think of the brain, the heart and the gut as being centers of energy collection that is shared throughout the entire body. This network, this matrix. And I would include that that as a part of that is the is the fascia. That was another big topic. Right? So but the idea is if we can tend to that, we'll often find as as we tend to that that some of these physical things will no longer find a home there anymore. And so I don't want to underestimate the importance of the non physical things, the emotional state of well being in the spiritual state of well being.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So that's so good. And that's something that'll really resonate with a lot of our listeners, something they can start working on right now while they're waiting to get in to see you to fix their mold and Lyme illness. Well, thank you, Dr. Penick. It's always such an honor. Thank you for your time and your expertise and your wisdom. We just value it so, so much for sure.

Dr. Charles Penick, MD: Thank you.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Thank you for listening to the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast. For more information on topics covered today, programs offered at FMF and the highest quality of supplements and more. Go to Fun Med Foundations dot com.

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