The fatigue you feel could be so much more than not sleeping well at night. Fatigue could be a symptom of a much more serious underlying condition. I’m joined by Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith to talk about fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, and the tests you need to have to get to the root of your illness.
Listen to the Episode
Reduce Impact of Oxidative Stress
- Get tested for nutrients even if you’re eating organic
- Ensure you have adequate protein in your diet
- Get tested for all toxins
- Look at your toxic exposures and remove them
- Look at your genetics to prevent future health issues
About Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith has been successfully leading women and their families to optimal health for over 2 decades as a board-certified Family Medicine doctor, from delivering babies to managing family care in the clinic and hospital.
She is now a leading Functional Medicine MD, international speaker, mentor to physicians in Functional Medicine, and peak performance coach. Overcoming two autoimmune diseases, along with debilitating fatigue, gives her firsthand knowledge and empathy for the challenges that face her patients.
As a woman and an entrepreneur, she is passionate about empowering women leaders to optimal health. Her ultimate goal is to empower women to optimal health and in turn, have them empower their families and their tribes. She has expertise in resolving brain fog and environmental illness as well as nutritional genomics.
She coaches high-level professionals in peak performance and sees patients at the clinic she founded: Simply Health Institute outside of Chicago, IL.
Why You Might Feel Fatigued
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith learned from years of debilitating illness that you can’t ignore some seemingly minor symptoms. Especially when it comes to your energy levels: fatigue, brain fog, and pain are a trifecta of symptoms that you need to get to the bottom of quickly. These three symptoms can lead to a whole host of long-term illnesses that could end up permanently disabling.
Nutritional deficiencies, such as Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, can contribute to permanent health issues. Dr. Rajka explains that it’s especially important for vegetarians and vegans to make sure to supplement their diet.
Dr. Rajka also recommends testing for environmental toxins. She breaks these down into three groups: pesticides, herbicides, glyphosates, groundwater pollution, and mold and mycotoxins. She explains where you might come across these toxins and how you can remove them from your life.
The Tests You Need to Cure Your Fatigue
Dr. Rajka encourages you to seek extensive testing to get to the underlying causes of your fatigue. She breaks the testing down into three tiers.
- Basic Bloodwork – there are always subtle findings even in “your labs look normal” bloodwork
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
- Complete Blood Count
- Extensive Thyroid Panel
- Vitamins & Minerals in White Blood Cells (3-month marker)
- High toxic load (GGT – specific liver marker)
- Oxidized LDL (damaged cholesterol protein)
- Uric Acid
- Environmental Toxins Test (GPL Tox)
- Mycotoxins in the urine (real-time)
- Tier 1: within the hour results
- Tier 2:
- Key pathways
- Detox pathways
- High levels of oxidative stress
- Toxic Exposure
Dr. Rajka details the big concern with mold, in particular, mold spores and mycotoxins. She explains why it’s important to reduce your exposure to mold. She also talks about glutathione and the NOS Pathway. Finally, she says you should consider getting your genetics tested with your doctor annually.
“Fatigue is one of the top three symptoms of underlying mitochondrial dysfunction. Our mitochondria produce energy and when they start to become dysfunctional, you’ll start feeling less robust. Fatigue, brain fog, and pain are the perfect trifecta of symptoms that you should get checked out right away. If you’ve got the trifecta, it means to pay attention now before it becomes more permanently disabling.” [7:03]
“When fatigue happens, you’ll feel a little less well and you’re probably deficient in some vitamins and minerals. Stressors in our life will deplete our vitamins and minerals, B vitamins and magnesium especially. Add in environmental toxins to create a perfect storm. Depleted nutrients don’t allow the mitochondria to produce energy, the stress depletes the nutrients further, and when your nutrients are depleted, you’re not making energy.” [8:10]
“Fatty liver happens when you consume high carbs, coupled with low vitamins and minerals, coupled with toxic exposures. We reversed this in a patient in six weeks. If we hadn’t reversed that, she would have gone on to have something else happen and it would have been too late to reverse.” [10:35]
“Mold grows when there’s a moist environment. But it’s not the mold. The mold releases a spore, the sport releases a mycotoxin that’s not physical to the eye, you can’t smell it with your nose, and it can grow in between the walls or anywhere there’s ongoing damage that you don’t know about.” [19:34]
“The epigenetics of diet and lifestyle should be able to override any defective or mutated genes. If someone is chronically ill or has symptoms, you have to believe that there is a mutated gene. Through symptoms coupled with labs can determine if the gene is not expressing or functioning well.” [22:42]
“If you have a build-up of hydrogen peroxide, some of the symptoms you may experience are acid reflux and premature graying. I was fully gray by the time I was 30, and my mom was as well. There are all these telling signs if you pay attention.” [30:08]
“It’s not the end all and be all, but if we don’t start cleaning up our environment, all of us might start having those mutations expressed. That’s a huge worry that I have.” [31:12]
“I wouldn’t take it lightly. There is counseling all along the way with a modifying protocol. It’s not one size fits all and it’s not one protocol for life. It’s going to change for where you are at in life, where your symptoms and exposures are, etc.” [40:36]
In This Episode
- Why it’s important not to ignore subtle symptoms of low energy and fatigue [6:45]
- How to prevent increasingly severe symptoms and long-term conditions [9:00]
- What the most common nutritional deficiencies are [11:30]
- Why it’s important for vegetarians and vegans to supplement their diets [13:00]
- The toxins that are often high in patients [14:00]
- The lab tests that determine low energy causes [15:00]
- Where you might be exposed to environmental toxins [18:30]
- How quickly mold spores can negatively impact your health [20:00]
- What you need to know about glutathione [28:30]
- What happens when you have an excess of NOS (Nitric Oxide Synthases) Pathway [35:30]
- How often you should have genetic testing done with your doctor [39:00]
Links & Resources
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 0:02
Know your genetics because the world is becoming increasingly more and more toxic and there's going to be a point when that burden exceeds everyone's ability to detox.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with this show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Dr. Reika Galbraith. Today we're going to go beyond symptoms of fatigue discussing how this is a sign there is more underlying discuss how important optimizing nutrients and reducing toxicity is and introduce the genomics of detox and the effects of oxidative stress on longevity. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. today. My guest is Dr. Rebecca Milanovic. Galbraith, who has successfully been leading women in their families to optimal health for over two decades as a board certified family medicine doctor from delivering babies to managing family care in the clinic and hospital. She is now a leading functional medicine MD international speaker mentor to physicians and functional medicine and peak performance coach. Having overcome two autoimmune diseases along with debilitating fatigue gives her firsthand knowledge and empathy for the challenges that face her patients.
As a woman and an entrepreneur, she's passionate about empowering women leaders to optimal health. Her ultimate goal is to empower women to optimal health and in turn have them empower their families and their tribes. She is an expert in resolving brain fog and environmental illness as well as nutritional genomics. She coaches high level professionals and peak performance and sees patients at the clinic she founded simply Health Institute outside of Chicago, Illinois. Welcome to the show. Dr. Ryka. Thank you,
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 1:48
Dr. Stephanie, or shall I say Dr. Gray, thanks for having me. I just love spreading the word as you know, and and now in history is more important than ever to make sure that our health is aligned, and our health span equals our lifespan. And I totally
Dr. Stephanie Gray 2:00
agree. And for the listeners, I'm just going to admit I have a cold and a sore throat here. So hopefully, hopefully my voice was sustained through this interview. I do want to hear from you your story. As you mentioned, I mentioned in your bio, kind of tell us how you went from fatigue to really where you are today.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 2:15
Yeah, I call it fatigue to fabulous. So it's one of the courses that I have on the back end to love it. You know, I had three dreams as a child, one was to be become a doctor. So I have that dream since I was five. And the second was to get married. I know that sounds cliche. And the third was to have kids. And if I could add a fourth, I'd say the fourth dream I had a dream to one day own my own boutique practice and really treat people the way I would want to treat be treated and then also to end up with great results. And along the way, I almost never achieve those dreams.
So I was so fatigued. It was really difficult to get through a given day in residency, I would fall asleep standing up at rock concert. So I'm from Cleveland. And they inaugurated the Inaugural Concert was for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And I remember Bruce Springsteen playing, I got floor seats, a friend gifted them to me, we went together and I was out cold. So long concert. So I always joke, you can imagine what my love life was like, I couldn't stay awake on dates. And so I managed to get married. But it seemed like every turn of the corner when I wanted to achieve something.
There I was it was met with hiccups. And, you know, shortly after getting married, we said okay, we're going to try to get pregnant. And given this diagnosis of unexplained fertility, and it just snowballed into all these symptoms. And I was just devastated. And I'll never forget in the clinic, I had delivered babies for six years, and it got harder and harder to be happy. And I'm one of those people that I'm going to be happy for you regardless of what my situation is. But one day a woman came in and she wanted a pregnancy test.
And she told me a little of her story. And seven or six of her seven kids had been taken away by child protective services because she was now recovered cocaine addict. And when that test came back positive with her a child and she was pregnant while I was happy for because now she had cleaned up her life and was you know, for all intents and purposes, who's still caring for the child who's probably grown by now. My heart sank, I said, you know, how could she gets pregnant and I do everything right and can't and it could no longer you know, really I can no longer say that you know that I can't accept this unexplained fertility diagnosis.
So I did my own research and implemented probably what's very similar to a functional medicine protocol and we got pregnant not once but twice naturally. And then unfortunately, I wish I would have known what I knew now then, because it led to a whole host of symptoms. And the list of diagnoses went from a vision losing migraine, so I lost vision when I had migraine and speech I thought I was having a stroke, went on to the PMs and endometriosis and then it culminated where I was really unwell, and they were entertaining this second autoimmune disease and we had lived abroad for a period of eight years and as a celebratory trip for all our hard work and efforts prior to transitioning back here to the United States.
We had rented a little, you know, a little villa in Sri Lanka was like idealic. And my kids were swelling, watch me, mama, watch me. And I was in liver dysfunction. So for all intensive purposes, liver failure, so my liver enzymes sorted up into the mid to hundreds, which for those that don't know, is about seven, six to seven times normal. And I felt it and I thought, Okay, this is how it ends, I have overcome all these things. And right at that moment, I was actually transitioning into functional medicine, I found a mentor who served as a guide. And he led me through the basic tenants of functional medicine. And I never got that diagnosis. And the day the disease error entertaining was autoimmune hepatitis.
And for those that don't know, if you truly have autoimmune hepatitis, and you do not take steroids, the rate of death is 50%, at three to five years without steroids, so never got the diagnosis, all those numbers reversed. never ended up on steroids, and you know, Touchwood now it's been eight or nine years since that whole ordeal. And so I'm on this mission, I'm on this mission to spread the word why and and far and small groups and large groups to really prevent this needless suffering. And I've really targeted you know, your higher performing your, your women that are leaders that spread the word so they can empower their tribes. I can't tell you how many times I've been at just like a neighborhood gathering or a party or something.
And someone knows what I do. And they'll describe their symptoms, and I give them like three top tips. And a year later, I see him and they say, You know what my Raynaud's went away, because I did everything you said. And you don't know the impact. So that's why I'm so passionate about speaking. But yeah, and like most people in the field, we have all have our stories, right? And that's what's brought us here.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:48
I love how yours turned you into the fabulous provider you are today. So tell the listeners why it's so important to not ignore subtle symptoms of low energy and fatigue, and maybe your symptoms started subtly. And then obviously they built but why is it so important to not ignore these symptoms?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 7:03
Fatigue is one of the top three symptoms of underlying mitochondrial dysfunction. And that's a big fancy term. And our mitochondria produce energy. And when they start to become dysfunctional, you'll you'll start feeling a little less robust. And fatigue is one of them. So is brain fog, as well as pain. So if you're having that triad, you've got the perfect trifecta, and you better get in right away. And it really is saddening to me when I talk with someone and they're about to engage in our services. And they say, oh, no, it can't be that serious. I'm like it is if you've got the trifecta, it means Pay attention now before it becomes more permanent, we disabling from those symptoms.
It starts with this subtle fatigue, here's my whole propose theory, you're going to hear a snippet of what's going to be in my book called Beyond fatigue, which will be hopefully coming out this year. But we see you'll acclimate to this level. And I always equated to think about if you threw frog into a pot of boiling water is going to jump out it feels that boiling water, but if you put it in the water and it starts to boil, it may take a long time if ever to jump out and it's either gonna die or have adverse consequences because they don't feel it and and then that fatigue, what happens is you feel a little less well that means probably you're deficient in some vitamins and minerals.
And through our lives, especially those last year and a half stressors in our life will deplete our vitamins and minerals, or B vitamins and magnesium like nobody's business. And then you add in a little bit, the secret sauce is the environmental toxins were exposed to things you can't avoid air, car pollution, etc. You mix that up in a pot and it creates this perfect storm the toxins take deplete nutrients don't allow the mitochondria to produce energy. The stress depletes the nutrients further. And when you're nutrient depleted, and you don't you're not making energy, the toxins that were exposed to take the mitochondria out in a real special matter.
The mitochondrial DNA comes from Iran. And I always joke you can blame your mom if you're tired. But it is not that DNA is not protected in a coding called histones. And therefore the mitochondrial DNA is really prone to toxin. So that's why you should pay attention, it means something larger is at play. And if you pay attention now not only can you reverse what's going on, you'll prevent that progression to brain fog, fatigue or pain, and potentially think osteoarthritis, so destruction of tissue dementia, and the whole nine yards.
And if I might share just what patients will typically say. So I see everyone from the woman who wants to optimize health prior to pregnancy, which is my cup of tea. I love that because Let's prevent it first and mom and then impart that great health into the baby and to fetus. And so at any rate, I had a woman come in that was wanting to be seen for pre conceptual counseling. Her girlfriend talked her into it because she had been through and felt amazing. And they were going to get pregnant together.
That was their goal. And I said okay, and at the end of the point she was like, I don't even know if I want to proceed. I just feel so well. And by the end of our time together, and it usually takes us three, four short visits, even in the Healthy People. So that's healthy to walk them through the whole protocol. And we do it as quick as possible. She said, between visit one and two, when she met with me and visit to she said, Boy, I didn't realize how fantastic I could feel. And here's what we found two of the things in her underlying imbalances where she had 17 vitamin and mineral deficiency 17.
So no wonder she had didn't realize or actualized how much better she could feel. And she also had something called fatty liver. And that in my personal opinion, is there's multifactorial certainly have genetic predisposition, which we'll talk about some of my favorite genetics in a bit. But she had that's high carbs, coupled with low vitamins and minerals, which she had coupled with toxic exposures and her career put her exposed to benzene and all kinds of other stuff.
So she was in a career. And so we reversed all that in six weeks for liver functions that were 150. Again, normal goes up to 40, came back down to normal and six weeks. So it's really, really quick. But if we hadn't reverse that she would have gone on to have something else happen. And it may have been too late or harder to reverse. So that's why it's super, super important, because it's a sign of things are really starting to become unwell within our body systems and imbalanced.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:24
So you mentioned a couple things with that story, the nutritional deficiencies, and then the toxins. Can we go a little deeper with both of those? So what are common nutritional deficiencies? Obviously, she had a lot that what are the most common nutritional deficiencies that you see?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 11:37
Yeah, so the first, obviously, Vitamin D is and 99.9% of patients deficient, that will just make you fatigued in general, potentially depress brain foggy, I mean, that's that's a just that alone, we'll make it feel poor, like, magnesium is probably number two. There. Yeah, you read that with that, too. And you know, it's needed in 200 different chemical reactions in the body. And when you're stressed, it gets chewed up very quickly, then I see zinc is soon to follow.
Lately, because I've been tracking I'm seeing a lot of vitamin C deficient folks, and vitamin age. So there are genes that govern vitamin A, and our ability to convert it to the active form. And so that can be a problem. And one example of that is if you've ever seen a child or one of your children after eating a lot of orange vegetables, so butternut squash, pumpkin carrots turns a little orange around the corners of their nose, I used to think, Oh, that's great, it means that they're getting a ton of beta carotene. And no, it's not great. It means that their body can't take beta carotene out of that carrot and convert it into the active form of vitamin A.
So it's just building up so they're essentially deplete or deficient as opposed to someone who doesn't have that. And I'd add in the B vitamins. So B vitamins get deplete. One other thing to think about is my vegetarian and vegans, if you're not real diligent about supporting your diet, whether it's added supplements, vitamins, minerals, or really tracking, you're looking at zinc carnitine CO, q 10, B 12. Those are probably along the tops. And lo and behold, carnitine co q 10. B 12 are needed to make energy. So yeah, it's it puts them behind the eight ball.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:15
Sure. I want to go back to for the mother listening who says that's my kid, that's my kid. They can't convert the beta carotene. What what does that mother do? How can what's a tip for?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 13:27
Yeah, so you can give cod liver oil has a form that's active, you want to look for retinol palmitate yet to be really, really careful. So in adults, definitely not more than a few 1000 pregnant women definitely not more than 5000. So it has a vitamin A is associated with birth defects at high levels. And special scenario. So someone who has an autoimmune disease that's cropped up, or we're trying to get in control, or someone has an acute viral illness, I'll do higher doses for a very short period of time, and then you back them down to some sort of maintenance dose. So it's really supplementing with an active form. Sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:01
So then let's go into toxins. So if toxins are one of the other causes of this fatigue, what toxins Do you often see high in your patient population,
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 14:10
I probably categorize those into three. So one is obviously are pesticides, herbicides, glyphosate, let's lump them all into things that like we spray on our vegetables, and what's interest. So that's one, two would be pollution of our gut groundwater. Unfortunately, I'm seeing a byproduct of gasoline. If you're not properly filtering water, potentially even distilling it is MTBE are the initials so MTBE and then the third is mold. Toxins are mycotoxins, which many people don't even know about. So those are the top three that I'm seeing. And then there's others that are to a lesser degree.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:49
So when you say you're seeing those, I'm assuming you mean on lab testing. So tell our listeners what tests you take advantage of that you love to run on your patients again, to kind of get to the root cause of the lack of energy.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 14:59
Yeah, Let's start just quickly back up to tier one and tier two. So tier one when someone comes in and I run them through, I have this whole 3d protocol we'll talk about. And tier one looks at all the basic bloodwork that you could get drawn at your regular lab like LabCorp requests, but your regular doctor may not order and I've created a series of the four words your doctor should never say. And that should be your labs are normal, there's always subtle findings even in that person who feels well. The second series of videos I've created is the one test your doctor will never order.
And I look at vitamins and minerals, along with a comprehensive metabolic panel and blood count and thyroid panel that's more extensive. And then I really like to look at vitamins and minerals in the white blood cells. So it's an average three month marker, so it won't be affected. But if you just took some vitamins A day before, we're on them for a week before, and that's a good starting point, I've started adding in things that look at high toxic load things like GGT. So to more specific liver marker, I look at oxidized LDL, which is a damage to the cholesterol, the bad cholesterol protein has got to be damaged actually deposited on our arteries. And it's an indicator how much toxins are exposed to uric acid as well. LDH. So those are some of the ones I'm looking at. Are there subtle findings?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:21
Is that all try? Okay, that's one. Yeah, it's
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 16:25
all tier one. And you know what I actually, here's a funny story. We always our patients, our best teachers, right. And, you know, 99% of my patients, I do this huge lab of Ellen, it's 30 twos or something. And so I had, I tried to do at least once a year for me and my husband and the first of the years a good time to have him run right before the first of the year. And then we will review them in January and we make adjustments to anything that we're doing our lives or how we're supplementing, and I hadn't drank enough water and I had our the phlebotomist employed come to our home and do home drop was I chugwater. And it makes me nauseated.
And like I better lay down and he's really great because he lays down my patients and I'm like prime I need to split this lab work to to work. But it is quite a volume of blood. Most of that's covered. Now, if you do nutrients in the blood that are the three month mark, or those are there's a small fee for that. But then I bet you the listeners want to know tier two, and this is what a lot of people don't talk about. So in my 3d protocol that last D is detox and in my early days, I would offer people a formal detoxification protocol that would last anywhere from two to three weeks, possibly longer.
And I'd say I do this once or twice a year and then a patient of mine came in and say, Hey, I heard this on a podcast, I really want to get this toxin screening. I'm thinking no ways is going to be abnormal. This person lives the healthiest life. I know she does everything. I've told her. She has impeccable health, her lab markers are great. And lo and behold, despite eating all organic, when we ran, there is an environmental toxin tests that Great Plains labs puts out. And initially I used to say why get it, everyone's got it, but it's not. So I'm seeing varying degrees. So this really healthy person who filters or water filters or air and eats all organic had very, very high levels of a lot of different pesticides. So some are low.
But the others you have to scratch your head and say, Where are you getting this from. So there's a protocol fall to lower it. And then we identify and for her it was they were filtering, she had been through at least two filters. And so she moved on and did extensive research found a whole house water filter system, and then were able to lower her and now we're testing her water to ensure it stays there and make sure we've cleared it but you'd say where's glyphosate, which is the ingredient in Roundup, which we know has been associated with cancer, that was a huge lawsuit or that it's ubiquitous, it gets absorbed into the air, and then it rains down on us and it's just everywhere.
And it just depends if you live on a golf course, or probably spraying it on the course, if you're near farms, you can get downwind effects and be inhaling it. I mean, there's so much exposure, and it's funny, every layer we went unpeeled with this patient, she got better and better and she already felt better within the first you know, several visits. So I like the GPL talks. So that looks at all environmental toxins. I look at glyphosate pretty inexpensive test under $100. The GPL talks is just over 200 And then the third one to round it out as I look at mycotoxins in the urine.
And for that test, I really do prefer company called real time. And for the listeners that don't know so mold grows when there's a moist environment, but it's not the mold. It's the mold releases a spore the spore releases a mycotoxin it's not visible to the eye. You can't smell it by your nose and it can be grown in within between the walls or anywhere. There's ongoing damage that you don't know about. It almost always comes from a water damage building. Whether you know or no don't know. And it's any time in your life. So if you've been exposed for a period of time and How quickly five days. So I had one patient come in and was made very ill after staying in a hotel that there was visible black mold. Sad story, he actually cut his trip short at the fifth day, he just was so unwell with brain fog and fatigue. So five days can do it probably shorter. But usually it's small amounts that are ongoing and unknown.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:21
So lots of different toxins to look at, right? So are both of those tier two, or was mold tier three, or tier two.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 20:29
So I'll do the first round. And the first tier is diet and nutrients. So we optimize that, because if I, you know, diet is always at the Hallmark, but diet alone won't do it if you're really, really sick. And then typically, we move on to digestion or ensuring that we have a robust non inflammatory microbiome. So all the bacteria in our gut are the good bacteria. And then the third is I'll look at toxins. If you align that then all the other stuff, so the hormones will, you'll need to do less balancing with so it's kind of in that tier two, but it probably done after the second or third visit is more looking.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:05
Our bodies are naturally designed to handle stress, detoxify chemicals and preserve cell function. But when the burden increases, those naturally built in systems can't keep up with demand and we start to experience physiological changes in our bodies. What causes that burden to increase, unfortunately, a whole list of things including common modern lifestyle habits, like poor dietary choices, lack of sleep, abundance of stress, exposure to chemicals and exercise extremes just to name a few. To protect ourselves from this oxidative stress, our bodies are forced to use up stores of the master antioxidant glutathione.
And this works for a while. But when those stores become used up, however, our body doesn't have enough antioxidant capacity to protect itself allowing the stress to our body systems to cause lasting damage. That's why I recommend many of my patients take glutathione daily to help protect their natural reserves, support full detoxification capacity and help keep their immune systems functioning at full strength. Use code glutathione for 10% off at your longevity blueprint.com.
Now back to the show. Well, let me guess what tier three is? Is that where we get to genomics? Or tier three? Let's spend some time here. Because we haven't talked a lot about that on the podcast, I guess I have had a few few guests episodes of which have not launched today yet. But let's talk about that in some sort of a patient wants to invest truly invest in their health and get up to tier three. What tests are you running on them? And kind of what are some of those important pathways that you really look at with genomics?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 22:36
Yeah, that's a great question. So kind of a backup, we really should be educating the general public that the epigenetics or diet lifestyle should be able to override any defective or mutated gene should be if someone is chronically unwell or has symptoms, you have to believe that that mutated gene, their symptoms coupled with labs, so you can actually test and see if it's not functioning, then that gene is actually expressing and not functioning as well, the name of the gene always governs the enzyme and that chemical reaction.
So if you have substance a become substance B, there's two things that drive that there's usually vitamins and minerals, we call those cofactors. And then there's that enzyme, and the gene is named for the enzyme. And so I have two tiers of testing within tier three. So if someone doesn't have chronic, so, you know, I treat a lot of high level professionals, and they not only want to get better, but they want to maximize health span. And they want to minimize any adverse outcome. So I will do a panel that we can read within the hour, and give them coupled with any minor symptoms coupled with labs. So it's always symptoms labs, followed by genomics, we look at all three combined.
That's what we'll start with that now I use another company that has 19,000 genes, we can't possibly read those, you can't implement enough supplements. But I look at key pathways. So someone's on Well, we're going to be really looking at the detox pathways, and things that lead to high levels of what we call oxidative stress. So I'm looking at all the detox pathways and things that have to do with toxic exposure. So we'll start there. And then of course branch out and I've studied under, it's been almost a decade under 567 people and you keep learning once you feel like you know it all and then you're like, gosh, I don't know anything at all and keep diving deeper.
And an interesting story here and why I started doing this as a functional medicine. Just doing the basics. I found 80% of my 20% I couldn't make better in the regular clinic got better. So they have 80 of 20. That's pretty good, right? But for me, it was never enough. I wanted, why are these 20% of patients not better? And that's when I did the deep dive and there was a young man that came in at the age of 11 had a diagnosis of autism and he would sit with his earbuds in to block out the other stimulus and he bounced no eye contact how you do okay.
Let's do nothing. Anything to say, No. And you say, and they pause and be like, gotta go. And he'd excused himself out of the room. It was literally like this one minute interchange. And I'd been treating him for about 18 months. And I'd gone to conference after conference, I presented his case. And I sat on a crack this code. So there was a night, believe it or not, I met up with all my former colleagues in Boston. And we're at this restaurant.
And when we got done eating, we pulled out the pathway maps, we plotted them out, and we brainstorm as a team. So this is the beauty of having such great collaborative practitioners like yourself is that together, we can go really far. And we implemented a few last things. And mom had mentioned he was better. And I was seeing a sister virtually, by then I had moved away, still held a license there. And you have only have to see patients once a year in person. So we're still following with them.
And he walked across the screen while he was talking to his sister. He sat down next to sister says, Hey, Dr. Milan avec. So that's what I used to go by now I go by Dr. Rekha. He's like, how are you doing? And I almost fell off my chair. And I started to cry. And his I said, You didn't tell me was this much better? And the mom said, oh, yeah, I think I did. And I'm like, No, you didn't. This is huge. So you went from this non interactive? You know, you wonder about what is his life going to be like to this highly functioning young man who is now? Well over 18? And, yeah, so that's what led me down that path.
And I just kept digging and digging, and even in my own health, you're just digging about? Why was it that I went on to like I was tipped off that glutathione. And this is maybe another nice segue into glutathione might be an issue for me is that I started getting jetlag from three to four days. And when we'd fly long haul flights, we're talking internationally the 12 to 13 hours. So going east seemed to be the problem for me. It used to take me three or four days, and it was a week then it was two weeks, it was three weeks. And by the time I was in my early 40s, it would take me four full weeks to recover from one long call flight. And I dreaded going back. And as you can imagine, my family's in the US. We're living abroad. I got it, I want to see them. So I have to go.
And I was at my first functional medicine conference told by chance. I mean, it's not chance. It's always karma, right? That energy's attracts us talk to a nutraceutical representative and said, because you must be so excited to get back to your kids a conference is coming to an end. And I said, Yes, but No, you know, I just know what's in store for me as I'm gonna have to feel poorly for four weeks. And he says, Oh my gosh, just take this glutathione.
And it'll help you detox from everything you're exposed to in the airways and the circadian rhythm disruption, he's like, and by the way, also go to Whole Foods, pick up some melatonin, because then have access to, I started exactly what he said like that day, and when I returned, and so it's just a day or two before it flew. So three days after returning all the jetlag was one three days from four weeks to three days. Now, sadly, I went off the glutathione. And that's where I got into trouble. So I didn't realize it was an issue for me. And I should have realized I
Dr. Stephanie Gray 28:03
needed it like long term, not just after flying, or
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 28:06
not just after flying. Yeah. So yeah, maybe this is a nice segue to start talking about those key pathways. So solidify on it was the article that actually brought me into functional medicine. And if you're deficient in it, it is our body's major antioxidant is better than vitamin C, because when it donates the electron to neutralize things, it can be recycled and reused if things aren't aligned. And so that means if you've got good genes, the glutathione can become deplete with stressors with vitamin nutrient deficiencies with, so if you don't have the precursors to make it, and then also genetically, you might not be able to make it, transport it recycle it.
And there are three key glutathione genes, and I'm missing two full genes. So it's one of the only genes that you can have zero copies, one copy or two copies, typically, there's two copies, you get one from mom and one from dad, I had zero copies of two of the three most crucial glutathione genes, and my third one, so the third most important one was mutated. So I had one mutation. So, you know, I worry I think about that, or try not to think about now but momentarily. You say Where would I be if I didn't know this, if I didn't know how to support my diet lifestyle. I didn't know how to supplement I didn't know how to test and make sure. The other important thing is when we make energy, it's a good thing that we make energy a byproduct is free radicals.
So superoxide superoxide is good and bad. So any free radical will help us knock out bacteria, viruses, pathogens that were exposed to, but in access, it can lead to tissue destruction unless it's neutralized so superoxide will go on to form hydrogen peroxide and then you have to neutralize that and glutathione is one of the one of the things needed to neutralize it to water and that gene is glutathione, or the enzyme is glutathione peroxidase. So if you don't do that you'll have a buildup and the other enzyme is catalase. And if you have a buildup of hydrogen peroxide, some of the symptoms you may experience are one acid reflux, which I've had lifelong. And two is premature graying, so you might not see it now. But I was probably fully grave at the time I was 30. And my mom was as well. So that was all these Telling Signs if you pay attention, love it,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:31
love it, love it. What about oh, actually, let me go back for a moment. So at a conference, you were told by a rep, hey, try glutathione. So like on a hunch, you're like, oh, this person seems intelligent. I'm gonna try that. Then you later confirmed when you were started, you know, kind of testing your patients, I assume, then you tested yourself. And that's how you confirmed that you did have these snips. Is that correct?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 30:51
That's correct. So but you know, the interesting thing was, I didn't run my own genetics for a few years after doing it, we always look at ourselves laugh and I finally ran my whole family's genetics. And both my kids better good are both interested in medicine. And my son is who's a little bit older is really fascinated by it all. So it's been fun to share that and say, you know, it's not the end all be all. But if we don't start cleaning up our environment, all of us might start having those mutations Express, that's a huge worry that I have.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:22
Could you be missing out on magnesium. If you aren't already taking magnesium, you likely should be our deficient food sources. caffeine consumption, stress, and exercise robs us of magnesium, which is an important cofactor for hundreds of processes in the body. It can calm your mind and ease your nerves to help you sleep at night and help reduce anxiety, PMS and headaches. It can relax your muscles when you have cramps your bowels when you're constipated, and it's required for energy hormone production and vitamin D absorption.
If you're interested in exploring more about how magnesium can help support you living a longer, healthier life, and the exact type of magnesium supplement to look for, check out my blog post the magnificence of magnesium found at your longevity blueprint.com forward slash blog and use code magnesium for 10% off our magnesium keylite product at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the episode. So you mentioned a little bit about superoxide dismutase. So there are snips here as well correct problems with this enzyme. Yes. So
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 32:24
we formed that free radical superoxide. And you need superoxide dismutase to neutral or to convert that to hydrogen peroxide. And if you have an accumulation of that superoxide you can do that conversion that can then bind with nitric oxide and you can get destruction of tissues. So think about arthritis, osteoarthritis, autoimmune arthritis processes. And so if you have that buildup or destruction of our fatty tissue, lipid peroxidation. So some of it you can measure remember I said the oxidized LDL looks at damage to the bad fat, or bad cholesterol I should say. And so one of the things at another conference I love when I was learning and snippets.
And now I see the whole big picture. I ran a woman who had autoimmune diagnosis of autoimmune, the rheumatoid arthritis, six weeks prior to seeing me and she initially was coming to me because she knew I was pretty well versed in the nutrigenomics. And six weeks prior, she wanted to discuss MTHFR. And everyone may or may not know that was the first gene everyone got all excited about with so much more than just MTHFR. And so I ran her through my protocol. And I didn't know her genetics, except for MTHFR didn't really pay too much attention supported it somewhat based on her labs. She was living abroad, but Z US citizen. So she saw me once and then left and actually saw me once or twice.
And I gave her like kind of an extended protocol. I didn't hear from her for 18 months. And when she called to reschedule I thought, oh my gosh, like what am I to say to her? She probably is not better. Like that's why I didn't hear we should never assume. And I said, Gosh, what happened? You know, I gave you all this precocious. I did everything you said. And I'd given her sad. And she said every layer got her better. And so she did my diet. She did the nutrients that support proper immune function. We worked on her gut microbiome. We talked about detox and things she needed to do from lifestyle and then we give her sad, and she said every layer may be better and better. She was like she was like I never got that diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
I don't have a single symptom. I'm not on any meds. I sustain it with diet and those basic supplements. So I was like, wow, how amazing. So we went back in and we looked at her mutations and sure enough, she had a double mutation for sad. So that's why sad made her better. And for her it we just got her if she was living abroad, so she couldn't get organic vegetables. She was drinking bottled water that probably sat outside though plastics, and another mutation she had was Pon one PLN One and that governs the breakdown of our organic or criando phosphates or the majority of our pesticides. So that's why she became unwell as she had these mutations coupled with that perfect storm of living a life where she didn't have access to cleaner fruits and vegetables was drinking this bottle of water, probably with a ton of BPA in it. And so it's very interesting to reverse engineer. So I've done that a few times where you use the symptoms in labs to suspect where that mutation is.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:30
Awesome. Awesome. Let's go on to the NASS pathway. You mentioned it a little bit. But can you expand on that also? How important?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 35:38
Yeah, so two ways, you know, nos, nitric oxide is really important to dilate our blood vessels. So think so we don't have high blood pressure. So we deliver oxygen to all of our tissues. And in men, you think about erectile dysfunction in men and women both potentially migraines, because they're, you know, not delivering oxygen. So that's how it may manifest if you're deficient. But if you have an excess of that nitric oxide, here's what can happen. So if you don't have the nitric oxide, sorry, combines with the superoxide to form that peroxy nitrite. And so we the pneumonic, or acronym for that is no nitric oxide to Oh, no. And so that's the way to remember that converted and so I misspoke.
So it goes from No to Oh, no, when you're not clearing the free radicals. And so abundance of nectar oxide, not breaking down superoxide by your sad forms that Oh, no pathway, I kind of cheat, I kind of jumped ship and went to the next thing we're going to talk about, but so and then you get breakdown of tissue. And so that's why it's super important. You need enough to dilate your arteries. So you're playing oxygen to all your periphery, your arms, your legs, your you're not leading to high blood pressure, because you've got basal constriction or narrowing of those blood vessels.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:59
Awesome. Awesome. I don't know about you, but I know a lot of providers that I've worked with have been very excited about this fit and reaction.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 37:07
Yeah, you know what's interesting? Yeah, the Fenton reaction is super important. So when I was first learning this, I thought, oh, it's superoxide. That's the mother of all free radicals. That needs to be neutralized by SVOD. But actually, it's not superoxide is actually this hydroxyl radical, what happens is if you have hydrogen peroxide, and you're not breaking it down, this is where I jumped the ship, it will combine with a kangen bind with iron, and then it makes the hydroxyl radical, and that's actually even more damaging to our body tissues. So yeah, the Fenton reaction is just iron combining with hydrogen peroxide, forming that hydroxyl radicals.
And so well, I know it's a lot of fancy terms, kind of geeky, but what I always tell people is you want to know the reactions so that if you give a substrate you know which way it's gonna go, same with, you know, we're not going to broach upon hormones, maybe I'll have to foreshadow to another episode, we'll, we'll do the genetics of hormones. So there's nothing worse than if you give someone hormones and you're not paying attention to the way they break down.
And you give that man, man boobs, or you put weight on his hips, like a woman, like they don't want that, or you know, along the waistline, that hips, likewise with women, if you give that woman testosterone, and you're not aware that she converts quickly to something called DHT, and you oops, she's losing her hair, or developing acne or her facial hair, or, you know, so you just, you just need to know the way things go with chemical reactions, especially when you're giving anything even, you know, not to be careful, he or someone had asked me like, What I you know, glutathione rule, we should be careful. And I said, Yes, you should be careful. So, you know, if you're not recycling it, it can become problematic.
And you need vitamin d3 or NAD to recycle that. And so it's a real complex interplay. And that's why if you're, if you are supporting these genes, you know, realistically should be having bloodwork at least twice a year to look at what's going on symptoms, plus bloodwork plus genes to know where do we need to support you best,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:07
I love that. So if you're listening, you can have genetic testing done through I don't know what all companies you use, but a lot of my patients have done ancestry.com or 23andme, or they've already done some genetic testing. But what providers like we do is take the genetic testing and run it through an interpretation site, where we find all this information, like what Dr. REC is saying, find out if you have problems with s OD or nos or glutathione or whatnot. We have some some genetic snips, some variations with those specific enzymes. Those results are not going to be given to you by 23andme or any of those companies. They're just going to say hey, you have the breast cancer gene or the Parkinson's gene or you have fructose intolerance or potentially right, those companies are not going to dive in and be able to interpret your results at this complex like you said, this complex level.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 39:54
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You want to look at the whole picture you can get into trouble So for example, MTHFR talks about methylation. And that's just the playing a game of hot potato with a carbon and three hydrogens, CH three. And the whole goal of that is to be able to fuel your DNA and RNA and that cycle is going to run at the expense of all the other cycles that are tied to it forming your brain chemicals are neurotransmitters detoxing down a pathway called transsulfuration. And if you have too little, then all the other pathways won't work. If you have too much, and you over methylate, think about things like a rapid turnover cells, so potentially cancer. So that's why I wouldn't take it lightly. And I don't and there's counseling all along the way. And again, modifying protocol, so it's not one size fits all. And it's not a one protocol for life. So it's going to change based on where you are at in life, where your symptoms are, where your exposures are, etc. I totally,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:54
totally agree. Given all of what you just said, Are there any basic recommendations for the listeners on how we can reduce kind of the impacts of oxidative stress on ourselves and longevity? Again, there's not a one size, like you said, there's not a one size fits all approach. But what are some general recommendations?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 41:11
Yeah, so I'd probably say if your oxidative stress, you're gonna look at all the two things is get tested for nutrients. Because even if you're eating a whole foods diet, you're going to be deplete. So you have the right equipment, I'll give you maybe three tips. The second would be to ensure you have adequate protein. So you need protein breaks down to amino acids, which helps us detoxify so nutrients, protein. And then if I had my way, I would do two more things, I'd say get tested for the toxins. And if you really want to be at that high, if you want your health span to match lifespan, besides leading a healthy life is look at your exposures. So you know what needs to be removed is very telling. And I probably do it once a year. And then look at the genetics so you're aware of what could get you to trouble in the future.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:59
Love it, love it, love it. This is kind of a more complex, high level episode. But I think it was needed, because so many providers just optimize hormones or just optimize, you know, thyroid specifically or look at the adrenals. But I love how you've tiered your testing, because if patients want to take things to the next level, then there are more tiers of tests. And most of this all is discussed in my book your longevity blueprint as well. So tell us where listeners can find you.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 42:24
Probably the best way is twofold. So we'll have a little bonus for your listeners and men but off my website, it's www.dr rekha.com. And that's just Dr. A j k.com. Remember it is Riker rhymes with Mica. It's oftentimes pronounced that it's okay, I'll just correct you from the get go. So it's right. So you can find all the information about me my clinics, any special offerings. I'm and then on Facebook, it's sure you provide the link is that Dr. Rekha? So I do a lot of Facebook Lives. Those are the ones that come so natural, it's so easy to speak and kind of share my message. And I'm just now building up that YouTube channel. So that's Dr. Ryka, as well, Dr. AGK. And that's where I will housing and they just went up I think just yesterday, the seven videos that talk about labs that your doctors potentially won't order, likely one order and the four awards you should never hear a doctor says your labs are normal. So I review some of the basic labs and some of the more specific labs which are in that tier one set of labs.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:24
Awesome. sounds very interesting. Well tell us you have a free gift for the listeners. My voice is barely holding on.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 43:30
I think you've done really, really well, Stephanie. So I have crafted a infinite energy guide. So it's 10 days to infinite energy. So it's in PDF format. And then I say go through it one day at a time. And then implement the steps. Remember, 80% will will get results by just doing the basics. So that really goes over the foundational things that need to be happening in your life to start feeling better. And we
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:54
will absolutely post that link in the show notes. So as we conclude the show here, Dr. Racket, tell us what your top longevity tip would be. And it could be something you've already said. But what's your top longevity tip?
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 44:05
I would have to go with know your genetics. I really want to know your genetics because the world is becoming increasingly more and more toxic. And there's going to be a point when that burden exceeds everyone's ability to detox. That's unfortunate. And but yeah, know your genetics so you can mitigate the risk before it's a problem.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 44:24
Love it. Love it. Love it. Well, thank you so much today for coming on the show and sharing how important knowing our genomics really is and what we can do about oxidative stress and turn our fatigue eye into becoming fabulous. So thank you so much for your time today.
Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith 44:37
Thank you, Stephanie. It was great to be on the show.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 44:43
That may have sounded very complex, but it truly isn't. You just have to first have the appropriate test run and secondly, have a provider who can interpret them and customize a game plan for your healing. If you're currently a patient of the integrative health and hormone clinic and interested in genomic testing, or the environmental toxin or mold toxin testing discussed in this episode Give us a call and we'll get you scheduled to test. I do have patients who I'd say only want to conquer tier one and honestly, most feel better. But in a perfect world, all of my patients would take it to the next level and we would run what Dr. Racket calls tier two and tier three testing. That's the best way to optimize longevity. Want to hear more from Dr. Riker. I'll post her free gift in the show notes. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint.
And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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