Episode 28

Reimagining Healthcare: Gut Health's Crucial Role in Surgery Recovery -28

Buckle up for a thought-provoking exploration of the often overlooked relationship between gut health and overall well-being in this episode featuring Boots Knighton and Josh Dech. Join the conversation as they reveal the astonishing impact of gut bacteria on genetic function, immunity, and even behavior. Delve into the essential role of gut health in post-surgery recovery and uncover insightful strategies for priming the body's detox pathways to optimize healing. From the potential risks of DIY interventions to the influence of pharmaceutical companies on healthcare, this episode offers a fresh perspective on the complexities of the medical system and the pressing need for a more holistic approach to patient care. Prepare to be inspired to take charge of your health and explore the transformative power of nurturing your gut.

If you are looking for something specific - here's where you'll find it:

05:54 Healing body through correcting internal dysfunctions.

07:21 Choosing integrity over broken industry norms takes courage.

16:08 Good bacteria crucial for baby's development, study shows.

22:23 Overcoming health challenges and post-surgery detox.

25:37 Manage medications, gut health crucial for detoxing.

30:39 Profit-driven healthcare system prioritizes medications over health.

35:43 Start slow, eat bone broth, stimulate digestion.

37:14 Liver primed for detox, aiding anesthesia recovery.

42:11 Gut bacteria can reverse gut diseases cautiously.

45:19 Lab authorization for gut analysis led by practitioner.

50:10 Pharma dominance replaced herbs in medicine history.

A Little More About Today's Guest

Josh Dech is an ex-paramedic, holistic nutritionist, and medical lecturer, specializing in digestive diseases. He is a medical lecturer for the Priority Health Academy, and founder of The Gut Health Solution.

How to connect with Josh

Website: https://gutsolution.ca/

Podcast: ReversABLE Podcast

How to connect with Boots

The Heart Chamber - A podcast for heart patients (theheartchamberpodcast.com)

Email: Boots@theheartchamberpodcast.com

Instagram: @theheartchamberpodcast or @boots.knighton

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/boots-knighton

If you enjoyed this episode, take a minute and share it with someone you know who will find value in it as well. You can share directly from this platform or send them to:

The Heart Chamber - A podcast for heart patients (theheartchamberpodcast.com)

Transcript

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Boots Knighton [:

Welcome to another wonderful episode of The Heart Chamber. I am your host, Boots Knighton, and I really mean it. This episode was so mind blowing for me. I interview Josh Dech, he is an incredible nutritionist out of Calgary, Canada. And it was just one revelation after the next, of how important our gut health is for preparing for open-heart surgery and then thriving after open-heart surgery. We go there. We talk about poop and what our poop tells us about our health and how important it is to take care of our gut before, during, and after surgery. There are a few times I get really mad because it just is so hard for me to understand why there is such a disconnect in Western medicine and gut health.

Boots Knighton [:

And I had such a rough go after open heart surgery with my gut, and I'm still repairing it almost 3 years later. And so, this episode is from my gut to yours. I want everyone, to have a healthy gut, Josh is going to talk about why it's so important. There was just so many nuggets of wisdom in here. So, without further ado, let's get to talking about poop.

Boots Knighton [:

Welcome to The Heart Chamber. Hope, Inspiration, and Healing. Conversations on open heart surgery. I am your host, Boots Knighton. If you are a heart patient, a caregiver, a health care provider, a healer, or just looking for open hearted living, this podcast is for you. To make sure you are in rhythm with the heart chamber, be sure to subscribe or follow wherever you are listening to this episode. While you're listening today, think of someone who may appreciate this information. The number one-way people learn about a podcast is through a friend. Don't you want to be the reason someone you know gained this heartfelt information? And if you haven't already, follow me on Instagram, 2 different places, at Boots.Knighton or at The Heart Chamber podcast. You can also find me on LinkedIn as well as Facebook. But enough with the directions. Without further delay, let's get to this week's episode.

Boots Knighton [:

Josh Dech, thank you so much for joining me on The Heart Chamber podcast. It is such a pleasure and a treat to have you on to talk about the importance of gut health. So, please just tell us a little bit about yourself. Help us, like, picture you, where you live, and, like, what your purpose is in talking about gut health?

Josh Dech [:

That is such a warm question. Most people, it's like, what's your background? And so, maybe that's how I'm kind of programmed to answer that, but I'll give you a quick little overview of me. So, I currently live in Calgary, Alberta, one of the greatest cities I've ever been to. We got mountains an hour away, fresh air. In winters, sometimes they suck, but we get a lot of sunshine during the winter as well, so we have these chinooks that come in, so it's just wonderful. But, my original career, I used to be a paramedic. That's what I did for a living, and that's what I've always wanted to do. I wanted to be helping people in health care, but it didn't take long in paramedics before I realized I was actually working in sick care. And so, I pick people up for the same thing, you know, same heart issue, same respiratory issue, same whatever, and we take them to the hospital.

Josh Dech [:

They either get more of the same drug or a different drug, and they get sent home, we pick them up and pick them up until they stop calling because they were dead. And so, it really became a taxi for the ill, and it's not what I wanted to do. And so, by a bunch of happy accidents and circumstance, I got into personal training in my early 20s, and this is where everything kicked off for me in the holistic space. So, my first client came to see me. Her name was Lynn, and she's 57 years old. She was on 17 pills and insulin for breakfast, 9 more pills and insulin for bedtime. She had high blood pressure, slept with a CPAP machine. She was on disability at work. Just one thing after another, and she's on this very steady decline. She was borderline CHF or congestive heart failure. And so, all these things just kept stacking. By age 59, we're 2 years in together. She was off all but 2 medications, no longer on disability, no longer needed CPAP. And I said to her because we've worked together now for a long time, I said, Lynn, how much do you trust me? She said, well, I trust you. I said, okay. Great. Sign here. And I gave her this paper. I said, don't read it. Just sign it. And she did blindly, she signed this thing. I said, great. 3 months' time, you're getting into your first weightlifting competition, and you're going to need a singlet. You're going to need a belt. And we got everything organized.

Josh Dech [:

And age 59, she ended up breaking her first world record as a weightlifter in the raw powerlifting division. Amazing. And so, we did this, and she kept breaking records till she was 61, 62 years old, and, most of them were hers until she eventually ended up retiring. And that really just showed me the power, the healing power of the human body and how capable it is and how amazing it is. And I started getting more interested in what the body can do, and so I started addressing my clients who had skin issues, anxiety, depression, diabetes, asthma, like, whatever these things were. And as we started to explore this, they started to get better, sometimes very easily.

Josh Dech [:

Like, it was no problem to get rid of skin issues, depression, diabetes, insomnia, whatever it was, by just recorrecting the body. And so, I sort of learned that every symptom we have, every condition, every diagnosis, it's all a product or a byproduct of dysfunction. The body is made to heal itself. Now there are circumstances with maybe like yourself, you're born with a defect or a structural issue that needs surgery and needs fixing. But outside of those structural abnormalities, things that develop over time, they're wear and tear and breakdown that comes from dysfunction. If you correct that dysfunction, the body heals itself. And even in the circumstances like yourself who have a structural abnormality in your heart, there are other dysfunctions that may happen in the body due to medication, due to surgery, due to other issues, and even those can be buffered and lessened by giving the body the tools it needs. And so that sort of was a segue to me going back to school, becoming a nutritionist, getting in the gut space, dealing with I saw a lot of severe IBS, and I actually dealt with a lot of gut issues myself and so did family, until I've landed in my permanent career here, or at least what I feel is permanent for the time being, which is inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, and it's the extreme success we've had in reversing these diseases told to be impossible. It's actually now got us the successes we're having, and it landed me a position as a medical lecturer for the Priority Health Academy, helping educate doctors in the functional medicine, holistic digestive side. So, that is me in a nutshell.

Boots Knighton [:

Bravo. Right? Because it's like you could have just stayed in your initial role and just played the game and participated in the industry, because it is an industry. And turned a blind eye and just said, I'm just going to do the best I can in this broken system. And there are people who do that. We need some people to do that because we still need people participating in the system until it gets completely fixed, but it you know, I really think it takes a lot of courage to know when something isn't the right fit and to do a 180 and be like, I have to follow my gut here, pun intended, and follow, like, my moral compass. I mean, I'm hearing a lot of different things here, ethics, morals, maybe a better path for yourself and want to just applaud you for that. I mean, this is a heart podcast. Right? And for my listeners, with all of our heart dumpster fires, as I like to call them, and heart remodels, why is the gut so important? Let's just start with, like, 101 here.

Josh Dech [:

This is a great place to start because, you know, people often think that they're separate, and we kind of get trained that way from Western medicine. Western medicine looks the thyroid and goes, okay. It's your thyroid. They look at your liver and go, it's your liver. It's your heart. It's just your heart. And they're looking at these individualized, compartmentalized, very separated pieces of a human body like you're a machine. But what they’re failing to understand is that all of you is connected to the rest of you.

Josh Dech [:

There's not one single part of your body not connected to many others influenced by controlling and governing, and at the center of all of it is our gut and our gut bacteria. Now we hear gut health coming around where you know, it's a very popularized word. It's very mainstream. But, like, what does gut health really mean? And so, at its essence, it's having good digestion, not being bloated, eating healthy food, and feeling really energized and good after meals. That's what it should feel like. But 70+ percent of us complain of some kind of digestive issue. Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, indigestion, acid reflux, whatever it is, at least once a week. And so, statistically, it’s actually out of detriment, and that may feel benign. I'll just pop-a-tums.

Josh Dech [:

This is a gateway. Our guts are connected to 93% of the leading causes of death in the USA. According to the CDC, looking at their own data, tracing back the diseases that they say are in charge right now, these are them at 14 out of 15. The 15th cause is either self-harm, suicide, or injury of some kind, like accidents. And so, every single leading cause of death is a very preventable chronic inflammatory condition that your gut is either responsible for or directly impacts in some way, shape, or form. And the challenge is Western medicine is very, very good at surgeries and emergencies. They are atrocious, borderline criminally bad at dealing with chronic inflammatory long term disease processes, they don't do that. They give drugs to mask symptoms. They do nothing to get to the roots.

Josh Dech [:

And so, when we look at the gut's connection in all of this and how it works, what I say is, look at it this way. When you look in the mirror, Boots, you look at you, and you go, my name's Boots Knighton. Here's me. This is my face. 20 to 30% of that is actually you. That's your cells, your DNA. The rest is bacteria, fungi, microbes, or something else. Looking at our gut bacteria, we have about 10 trillion cells in your body. You have a 100 trillion bacteria in your gut, like outnumbering your body's own cells 10 to 1. Even your genetic material, you have 23,000 genes. We map the entire human genome. There are 23,000 genes. There are 3 million different genetic components inside of your gut area, individual genetics for the bacteria. So, they outnumber that 130 to 1 more genetic material, and so they influence everything we do. They determine how social we feel like being in a given day. They help predict disease. They are good for our immune system, hormone balancing, vitamin production, detoxification. Like, there's nothing they don't do.

Josh Dech [:

And so, here's a good one. This is one of my favorite stories to tell. Like, we talk about small things, and maybe we're really illustrating. Okay. There's a lot of them, but one small thing in the body can make an astronomical difference. I'll ask you a question, Boots. Are you familiar with toxoplasmosis? Something like doctors will say don't change kitty litter if you're pregnant?

Boots Knighton [:

A little bit. Yes. Mm-hmm.

Josh Dech [:

So, I'll explain this one. Toxoplasmosis is actually an infection from a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, and this is the power of 1 little thing in the body. So, this toxoplasmobacteria, just like herb or parasite, just like bacteria, just like your own body cells, just like fully functioning organisms, we all have one prime directive. To grow, to breed, to live, and to pass on our genes in some way, shape, or form, right? That's just what we do. Well, even this parasite has a prime directive, which is to pass on its genes. And in order to do that, it has to be in a place where it can thrive the most and coincidentally happens to be in the belly of a cat. Whether that is a house cat, whether that's a mountain lion, whether it's whatever it is, this toxoplasma bacteria needs to be in the belly of a cat, and so it will do what it has to do to get there. And so, in order to get to the belly of a cat, it’ll make its prerogative to get inside mice because it knows that cats eat mice. Somehow, this little parasite knows that cats eat mice. And so, the problem is, though, that mice are afraid of cats. So, it sounds like a bad game plan. Right? Mice that have never seen a cat, mice that have, you know? Maybe you've never been chased by a cat. You're like, don't want to go near one. They're hardwired. Genetically, they know this, and even the smell of cat urine makes mouse run the other way.

Josh Dech [:

So, what this parasite does is this one little organism hijacks the entire autonomous being of this mouse. It gets into its brain, and it burns out the dendrites at the fear center making it braver, making it less afraid of mice, so increases its likelihood to encounter one. But it goes one step further. This toxoplasma parasite, well, actually, rewire this mouse's brain to make it sexually attracted to the smell of cat urine.

Boots Knighton [:

Stop it.

Josh Dech [:

So that it seeks mice. I shit you not. It's no longer, it seeks them. It's no longer afraid of them, increasing the likelihood it ends up in the belly of a cat. And so, what's really interesting is this is what one little parasite can do to hijack and rewire an entire mouse. Well, it's just a mouse. Well, they've even found, picture this. You talk about fear. You ever hear these stories about people running inside burning buildings to save a stranger, jumping in front of a car to save a kid or a dog? Many of those people tested have been positive for Toxoplasma gondii parasites.

Josh Dech [:

And so, they are braver based on the parasite, these organisms that get into them. Now why do they get into humans? Well, obviously, cats aren't eating us unless you die alone in your apartment by yourself and you have 10 cats who are hungry. But on the other side, look at in the Eastern countries, the only predator of humans is big cats, lions and tigers. Right? And so, they even know that humans might encounter a cat if they're brave enough, too. And so, it can hijack a human being. This is one microorganism. Now picture this out.

Josh Dech [:

We have 100 trillion bacteria in our gut. We have microbiomes in your nose. Women have one vaginally. You have them in your intestines, your stomach, your skin, your hair, eyes. They're everywhere. In all these microbiomes are neighborhoods that communicate. Imagine if one little organism like a Toxoplasma gondii parasite can hijack you that much, what can hundreds of trillions of these things do for you if they're in alignment or do to you if they're against you and not well balanced? And that really is the power of our gut bacteria and their abundance. It's amazing.

Boots Knighton [:

Well, I live with 3 cats.

Josh Dech [:

Don't die alone.

Boots Knighton [:

And I have 2 dogs and a husband and mountain lions on my property. So,

Josh Dech [:

lot of kitty cats. I think, statistically, the cats I think it's, like, within an hour to 3 hours, if you die, they'll start eating you, but dogs will wait a couple of days.

Boots Knighton [:

Oh, that's nice. Yeah. That's nice to know. Oh gosh.

Josh Dech [:

Yeah. Next time you go to bed, just make sure you're breathing loud enough for your cats to recognize it.

Boots Knighton [:

Wow. That is bananas. It's just amazing. We think, as humans, we are the superior creature on the planet. And

Josh Dech [:

we’re nothing.

Boots Knighton [:

No.

Josh Dech [:

We are a big sack of organisms and bacteria and parasites, and that's what makes us, us. We are nothing of ourselves.

Boots Knighton [:

Yeah. So, back to the 101. So, the connection between the gut and the heart, why should we, as heart patients, care? I mean, you've gone into it a little bit, but why does this matter?

Josh Dech [:

Well, there's a few ways to look at it. So, number 1, nobody listening to this podcast right now is a baby. Right? Unless, you know, you got headphones to your stomach and you're pregnant, but nobody listening to this podcast is a baby. But that really is where it starts is in utero. So, our bacteria make us up. They're part of our DNA. They integrate with us. They help dictate genetic function and nutrient absorption and DNA development and all these different things.

Josh Dech [:

you're familiar with. Back in:

Josh Dech [:

And so, we're already working uphill battle from birth with things that can cause birth defects in utero, all these chemicals and pollutants in our world, and our bacteria are the first line of defense against those. And so, if we can't live on an island, in the jungle somewhere, living off the land and, you know, eating what we catch and being exposed to no toxins and only healthy sun and being stress free, we’re going to come up against it, especially in our chemical modern world. But having healthy gut bacteria right from birth, that is a huge leg up for anybody to be able to take the next steps forward. I mean, infants who breastfeed, that's where it all starts. Right? So, we'll maybe get into this, how does you got bacteria sort of developed and we'll make those connections. So, one, it's a defense against the things from birth, birth defects. You know, I met with a woman on my podcast whose father, in Vietnam was exposed to agent orange, and so she now has birth defects from that. So, those chemicals cause those issues. Right?

Josh Dech [:

You have birth defects in your heart from whatever that may be. And so good bacteria, defense number 1. Good genetics, defense number 2. Good upbringing, number 3. And then how you seed and grow those bacteria over time is number 4. And 70 to 90% of our immune system is in our gut. And so, if we look at from birth, coming through the birth canal, right, from a regular healthy vaginal birth, you're covered in the bacteria all over your skin, breastfeeding, first 3 days of colostrum, gets into the body, lays down a thick turf, and then all the remainder is all healthy bacteria, but we know even statistically, like, looking at the disease processes, babies who are not breastfed, who are strictly formula fed are actually twice as likely to die from SIDS, and so that's devastating information to know. And, obviously, some women can't breastfeed for medical reasons, and you have donor banks and stuff. But it's very important to have these bacteria down because even after you're born, if you don't have these bacteria properly in your body, so babies who are C-section, for example, or who are or not breastfed, more likely to develop autism, schizophrenia, respiratory disorders, neurological disorders, immune conditions, asthma, skin issues, arthritis, celiac, diabetes, obesity, leukemia even.

Josh Dech [:

So, all kinds of issues that you're at risk for right from birth. And so, the healthy bacteria you get from mom makes all the difference. Breastfeeding makes all the difference in the world. And then we look at this like a healthy metal over time. As your body begins to develop, we know your bacteria integrate with every aspect of your being. And so having these healthy bacteria help you grow, and I look at, like, seeding a meadow. If you have a fresh patch of dirt and seeds start to blow in, they start to plant, it's still very delicate. If you step on it, you could kill it. If you burn it, it may never grow back the same. And so having antibiotics, having junk food, fried food, fast food, high stress, medications, all these things influence your bacterial development or the growth of that meadow. In a perfect world, over time, animals will move in and bigger animals come in. You have predators and prey and trees and canopies and all these things, and it's a rainforest, and you are resilient. You can handle the odd fire. You can handle the odd flood in these different issues, and that helps you develop and keep your immune system healthy and keep your genetics healthy. And so that's really sort of how the gut bacteria works and influences. But I will take it one step further to say that they influence more.

Josh Dech [:

And this is a theory I'm sort of working on, but, you know, I'll leave it to the doctors and researchers. Have you, Boots, ever heard of people taking on personality changes from having organ transplants?

Boots Knighton [:

I have. I've even interviewed one of them I don't know how in touch he was with his heart, but I know him personally, and he does seem different. But the other 2 said, yeah. I'm still trying to figure out who my new me is.

Josh Dech [:

Here's the theory I'm working on. You know, we talk about DNA. We talk about all these things. We try to wonder, is it energy? Is it vibration? Is it frequency? Is it DNA? Is it microbes? I think it's all the above. When you take in something like human tissue, blood or a whole heart, like, arguably the center of a human being, both spiritually, physically, metaphysically. We bring in these microbes as well. Every organ has its own microbiome, and those microbes influence your personality. And so, everything you do, every risk you take, your preferences for food, for danger, for sex, for enjoyment, entertainment, all these things come back to your microbial influence.

Josh Dech [:

And so, to take on new organs, for example, those listening who may have had a heart transplant, there are bacteria or microbes from this other individual that make them up that then transfer into you, and they influence that personality, that outcome in the chemical signals to and from your brain and your body. And so, it's just really, really interesting to look. We talk about the gut microbiome because the gut is the center of all health and all disease, but the microbiomes around the body, everything are also connected in their own right, in their own way, and the gut influences all of those. And so that's my spiel.

Boots Knighton [:

I mean, it makes sense to me. You hear about fecal transplants.

Josh Dech [:

Sorry. That gets you really excited. I know I talk about poop for a living. Keep going.

Boots Knighton [:

Lucky you. But I've heard people who said the same thing about fecal transplants. It really changes them. Okay. So, I love the metaphor of the meadow. That is beautiful. And I'm just going to speak for myself here, but I'm going to go out on a limb and also surmise that other heart patients have had the same experience, other open heart surgery patients, where I felt like my gut had surgery too. Because I remember, I mean, obviously, I had a hard time going to the bathroom for a few days after surgery.

Boots Knighton [:

And then I drank too much stool softener tea and then had the opposite problem. And then it was the next 6 to 8 weeks, it was so exhausting. I mean, I was here, I was trying to heal from surgery and I could just tell all the different medications, and I keep the list nearby. I'll send you a screenshot later just so you can see and maybe I'll post it on my Instagram of all the chemicals that were put in my body during surgery, it's single space, I think, font ten, size font 10, on 1 page of all the chemicals that I had to get out of my body. And so, the detox process after open heart surgery is so massive. And so, can we just spend a minute talking about how can heart patients, open heart surgery patients treat their guts? Can we treat it ahead of time before surgery? Like, is there something we can do? And then, like, afterwards.

Josh Dech [:

Yeah. That's a wonderful question. That's so, so important, especially, like, surgical prep. We look at the gut. I'll give you a quick example for myself even. I had gut issues my entire life. My mom's had gut issues. She actually had bowel surgery. So, it's kind of been in the family. But, again, we can't chalk it to genetics. They load the gun, something pulls the trigger, lifestyle, whatever. And so, we're just prone to express inflammation in our gut. That's what my genetics tell me, so I have to pay extra attention. And so, my guts had problems, which means with that, my liver's had problems. And my detox, my organs, like, all my detox organs, my liver, my lymph’s, my kidneys, my gut, my skin. Right? Those are the major detox pathways, and they're all clogged up.

Josh Dech [:

And so, you cannot detox properly. Detoxing anesthetic, detoxing any antibiotic stuff and iodine and all the things, they wipe all over your, all these things, antiseptics. You can't get rid of them. All the chemicals. Pages and pages, you can write a novel. And so, you have to prime your detox organs. Now to give you an example, when I was in my teens, I had surgery on my shoulder. And already in my teens, my gut was a mess and things were pretty clogged up.

Josh Dech [:

And so, whether it was my shoulder surgery or I have my wisdom teeth surgery, I was put under anesthetic for that. It took me 2 weeks to recover of anesthesia. I was in bed 3, 4 days, nauseous and vomiting. Just felt atrocious. And so, I just had surgery actually earlier this year, 5, 6 months ago, I had my sinuses cleaned out. Turns out when I was 15 years old, quick backstory, I had a root canal that they missed one canal. It got infected. It burrowed, and the infection chewed through my bone into my sinus, and it created a staph infection, caught up all 3 sinuses from my cheek to my nose to my forehead. And so, the only way to get up there is with surgery. So, they had to put me under about 4 hours and clean everything out. Had stinks in my nose for a few weeks. So, I recovered because I was like, I'm not doing this again. So, I'm not going through 2 weeks of feeling terrible and 4 days of nausea and vomiting. So, I actually spent time detoxing. I did fasting. I prepped my liver and primed my gut. I did heavy sweats and lymphatic drainage. Took me a day, maybe a day. After the anesthesia, I got out. So, normally, like I said, couple of days, I remember being walked the car and wheeled in my previous surgeries. This one, I was up within a couple hours. I shook it off, and I walked to the car. My body is already detoxing this stuff because I fasted, I prepped, I cleaned my liver, cleaned my gut, cleaned everything out. So, I was able my sewage system was empty.

Josh Dech [:

It could get rid of all this junk. And so, if you're going in for surgery, even if it's just anesthetic, that's one example of dozens that you could have for medications. They'll give you 2 dozen medications while you're under. And so just to keep things primed with the antibiotics and the stuff they give you after the fact, and if you have organ transplants, they're giving you anti-rejection meds, all these things, your detox systems have to manage, and so you absolutely can prime that up. The first place to start is your gut. Outside of the gut, if you have inflammation, be it benign or severe, right? I work in inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's colitis, even IBS, or those even with something like bloat who take maybe antacid pills or acid reflux, basic stuff, that is all sliding scale spectrum of severity. Right? It's all on the spectrum.

Josh Dech [:

But all that stuff creates what we call EIMs or extra intestinal manifestations. So, you have toxins built up in the system from bacteria. We call them endotoxins or LPS, it stands for lipopolysaccharide. It's a big word to make me sound smart, but it's just toxins your bacteria create, and so there's only 1 cell between your small intestine, your bloodstream, lymphatic, 2 cells in your large intestine, and so it's very small, very easy to pass through. And as you're inflamed, that opens up. The border crossing kind of gets free, and anybody can come in as they see fit. And so, things get into the system. They circulate. They clog up your lymphatics. They clog up your liver. They clog up your skin, all these detox pathways. And so, the best way to prep, 1, start in the gut. Figure out what is causing these extra manifestations and blocking up your other pathways, and then you can individually or simultaneously clean out your other detox pathways. And that is how we prep for surgery. That is how we prep for ultimate health because you have to have a healthy garbage chute.

Boots Knighton [:

Wow. That's everything. You know, Josh, at least in America, and I don't know if this is true up in Canada, everyone when I say everyone, medical professionals operate in these silos. And since I started on my heart journey, I've realized that most of what helped me heal from heart surgery was not discussed in my cardiology office, in my surgeon's office, and even my internist office. None of it's been covered by insurance. No one has mentioned the importance of detoxing unless I have gone to an acupuncturist, a nutritionist, or a naturopath. And none of those are covered by insurance. Well, I can submit a superbill of my acupuncture visits, and they'll cover, like, $40 or something.

Boots Knighton [:

But, like, no one has mentioned the importance of detoxing. And back in episode 3 in season 1, I interviewed my nutritionist, a local nutritionist, Georgie McNiff. And she and I were saying well, she was saying, and I agree just from the patient perspective that no one addressed inflammation, which is a different way of looking at detoxing, I guess. I mean, it's separate, but they're both important and they are connected. I mean, no one mentioned that to me. Like, oh, to prep for surgery, this is how you can, like, have the best outcome. And that's been my mission through this podcast. It's like, we deserve, as heart patients, we deserve to thrive post open-heart surgery. Not just to survive it and to kind of limp along for the rest of our life, but, like, I want to have start this movement of heart patients who are absolutely kicking ass.

Josh Dech [:

Yeah. Well, here's the challenge. Again, right, we look at everything compartmentalized in Western medicine, and I have a big qualm with Western medicine because, you know, I talk things in the gut space because that's what I specialize in, but it does spill over to everything. I've got GI specialists, right? Surgeons, doctors, the best of the best, 15 years in school, telling their patients they can eat whatever they want. Doesn't make a difference to their gut or their health. And then you go in for surgery. Going in for open heart surgery, you're covering in the hospital. Gut surgery, what do they do? They bring you white bread, processed meat covered in ketchup, which is high fructose corn syrup, first leading cause of fatty liver in the United States. They bring you Jell-O, full of sugar and juice and red dye 40 and food colorings. They bring you pop, and they load you up with a 100 grams of sugar per meal and think nutrition doesn't matter. And it really is. It should be criminal. A lot of these things we eat in our day-to-day basis, looking over at the UK and other countries, they label these things with hazard labels, like known to cause issues a, b, and c. Known to cause problems x, y, z.

Josh Dech [:

Be cautioned. It's like we have on cigarettes over here. They label our food that they import with those same types of labels. And so, the medical system, regrettably, kind of has these blinders on. And I often joke, it's why my hairline is back here, not here because I have a tinfoil hat, and all the time just rubbing it raw. But really, the issue we see is that our medical system is governed by pharmaceutical companies who teach doctors in school what to learn. They pay for to 50% of medical school, they pay for the testing. They pay for the studies that they get to learn from. They pay for the medications. They lobby organizations. There's financial incentive for doctors and requirements, like 40 patients a day, 7 minutes in a note, get a diagnosis, give a drug, and that's it.

Josh Dech [:

And so, our system is based on insurance and profit, and so when people move through like cattle, and if you get people healing and eating better, eating good food, number 1, not profitable. But that you can find in McDonald's in almost every hospital in the United States, and so good food is not profitable. Junk food filled with fillers and processed goods, that is profitable, so that's where the money goes. It makes us sick, and so the money goes from our pockets back to medication, back to insurance, back to surgery, back to this, back to that, and every patient cured is a customer lost, and that's how I see our system.

Josh Dech [:

iver transplants in the US by:

Josh Dech [:

And so even our medical organizations that we're supposed to trust, that we give money to, to take care of us, use it against us because we're cash cows when we're sick.

Boots Knighton [:

I'm at a loss for words. It's so devastating. In episode 27, I interviewed Dr. Jack Wolfson, who's a natural heart doctor. Definitely check it out. He's along the lines of what Josh is saying here. And we are going to get to how to, like, fix your gut post-surgery here in a second. But I just want to carry this current thought process a little further. You know, I still have a bicuspid valve. There's a lot of people walking around with bicuspid valves who need to get it monitored every year to check for, you know, an aneurysm or leaking or whatever or stenosis. And I asked him. I'm like or I said to him, you know, no one has educated me on how to prevent another surgery. And it doesn't even come up. Like, it's not even in their thought in my cardiologist thought process to, like, say, oh, maybe try these things to prevent a valve replacement down the road. And so, Dr. Jack and I talked about that in episode 27. But it's just this general theme of I don't call it health care, I call it sick care. And that's why I have this podcast.

Boots Knighton [:

I want to speak truth to power, that we've got to do better. We deserve better. Okay. Let's go to fixing the gut after surgery. So, I just want to share a little bit more. I noticed now I know this isn't the gut, but you said it's a detox pathway. I had horrible night sweats for 6 weeks after my open-heart surgery. And then I also had really difficult bathroom visits. So, I'm sure I'm not the only heart patient who has struggled with that. And at the time, for my listeners, I was 42 years old when that happened. I'm not perimenopausal at all. It wasn't, it had nothing to do with that, but walk us through like how we should approach our gut post open heart surgery.

Josh Dech [:

So, first thing we have to recognize is that your gut's going to be slowed. It's not uncommon for someone who's been under anesthesia to have trouble avoiding either urinary or digestive. So, we have to know, number 1, there is a nervous system in your gut, and it's inhibited just like every other muscle. Everything. That's why they got to put you on intubation when you're under because even your breathing is slowed. Right? All of your nervous system is slowed down, and so even your gut is slowed down. But your gut is an assembly line. And so, imagine, like, Henry Ford, right, got famous for the assembly line. It wasn't the motor car. It was assembly line that did it. And even, what's his name? Kroc, who popularized McDonald's. He sort of turned hamburgers into an assembly line. Ray Kroc was his name. And so that is a very efficient way of doing everything. Your gut works the same. Everything has a timing, and it has a pH of chew. And then you swallow, it gets tossed around in the stomach and moved to the small intestine, the large intestine.

Josh Dech [:

Everything happens in an order, and you have this peristalsis that moves things along. It's really beautiful. But if that assembly line becomes 1 guy at Ford Motor Company gets up and leaves the station, everything calls to shit. Right? Nothing works. Nothing gets done. The end product is a disaster. The car won't start. Now imagine if the entire assembly line shuts it down, and people just quit their jobs. Everyone's on strike. You got a problem.

Josh Dech [:

And so, number 1, anesthesia does that to your gut. It halts everything. It needs a reset. And so that reset sometimes can be a very slow process, sometimes very quick. It depends. Are you prone to diarrhea? Are you prone to being backed up? Most will be backed up.

Josh Dech [:

And so, in that case, I recommend start slow. Don't go and eat a steak and potatoes. Go and have some bone broth, something very nice, very collagen heavy. It can actually take those microvilli and pull them back out and just stimulate your digestion a little bit. Have some bitters, bitter foods, bitter rinds, better you can get digestive bitters just to stimulate your digestive system a little bit. Start eating slowly, and that will naturally power itself back on. But you have to keep in mind, it will power on at the same rate as your body's detoxing this anesthetic, and so that comes down to your liver. Your liver is the primary detoxifier of poisons.

Josh Dech [:

Now our liver does everything. I don't know if you knew this, but it's not just like alcohol and whatever in digestion. It metabolizes. It digests. It does something called methylation, which is like we need it for survival, it extracts these raw materials. There are over 500+ chemical functions your liver does, arguably the most important organ next to your heart and your brain. And so, it has hundreds of functions, but its primary number 1 above all else is getting rid of poison and detoxifying your body, and so we have to prime your liver. Now, again, if you have gut issues, digestive issues, IBS, IBD, bloat, whatever it is, you could be putting stuff into your liver. It now has to detox. If you're drinking alcohol, it's more to detox. Fried foods, junk food, all these things your liver's prioritizing. So, you can do, like, a liver cleanse, like a nice not like one of these 3 day detoxes. That's crap. But, I mean, go through and do, like, a 1, 2-month time, like, hypercharge your liver. I actually have a free fatty liver protocol on my website as well. If you want to drop that in the show notes later, that's good for all liver detoxing.

Josh Dech [:

But that one there, just get your liver primed up. And so that will be able to detox all of this anesthesia faster, relieving the pressure on the nerves, allowing your gut to turn back on. And so, once we can get rid of that stuff, we're now adding extra foods and other things back in. Your body will turn itself back on naturally. But something else that's important with our assembly line, of course, is our digestive system in the way of, like, stomach acid and bacteria. If you're someone who has low stomach acid, and you probably will after anesthesia as well. You're not producing it quite as much. Vitamins and minerals are huge. Lots of vitamins and minerals because, 1, primes the liver. 2, you need things like zinc, for example, to produce stomach acid. You need stomach acid to extract iron from your food. Again, it all works together. And so, you want your body to have what it needs. Vitamins and minerals to detox, produce digestive enzymes and, of course, their resources and fuel your body needs. You're kicking up a generator in the middle of the winter. It needs extra fuel, extra oil, so give it to it. Give it up a surplus.

Josh Dech [:

And so, give it all it needs. It will start turning back on there. Now you have digestive or stomach acid and digestive enzymes, which is great. But when that assembly line gets junked up, sometimes if you've eaten too much, you've eaten within a day or 2 before surgery, I do fast. If I have to go in for surgery, I'll fast for a day or 2, so my assembly line is clear. Otherwise, food can sit. It can hyperferm it. You can get bacterial overgrowth because things are clearing out.

Josh Dech [:

And when bacteria get in there, imagine living downtown New York and leaving a door open. People are going to come in, and the culture of your house is going to change really fast. Same thing happens with microbes. When things get in that should not be in there, we have a problem in our gut now. Your culture, your landscape, if your bacteria begin to change, and that's another problem for the assembly line. That causes inflammation, leads to leaks, leads to toxins, backs up your liver again and other detox profiles. Another one, sweat. Sweat. Sweat. You might be too tired to exercise, sit in a hot bath, sit in infrared sauna. Get sunlight. Those are the best things you can do. Do breath work to hyper oxygenate your cells, and those are the primary things we can do to detox, turn your gut back on and get your body back as healthy as possible as quick as you can.

Boots Knighton [:

It's just like earth shattering to me, but all this is mostly free also.

Josh Dech [:

Breathing is free. Sunlight is free. Let's just go get it.

Boots Knighton [:

I'm pissed.

Josh Dech [:

You should be. You absolutely should be pissed.

Boots Knighton [:

I'm like, pissed in, like, all the right ways though. Right? Like, it's not right. It's not fair that this isn't talked about. And I'm just going through the 24 hours prior to my heart surgery, and it was the opposite of all that. It was the complete opposite. And I had a horrible first 24 hours post open-heart surgery, I threw up 25 times post sternotomy. It was like the dumpster fire of dumpster fires, and it could have been prevented.

Josh Dech [:

Yeah. Or at the very least mitigated. I mean, imagine how much nicer it would have been if you threw up twice instead of 25.

Boots Knighton [:

Right. I have PTSD from it. It was terrible. It's such a departure from what we're taught. And I'm just having a moment of, if anyone's seen The Matrix,

Josh Dech [:

you're being unplugged. Ironically, when Neo got unplugged, he also threw up. So, there's that.

Boots Knighton [:

Yes. You're right. I like when to throw stuff right now. Okay. Obviously, I didn't get to prepare my gut appropriately. There'll be other people listening to this who are in the same boat. Now we went through our own little personal dumpster fires. And so now how do we repair now after the dumpster fire.

Josh Dech [:

Well, there's 2 things we're going to see major here. Number 1, we saw we talked about the assembly line being thrown off, and so now your gut just never really been the same. Number 2, you may have been given a shitload of antibiotics to take, and now that's created issues in your gut. In those cases, I absolutely recommend get what's called a GI map.

Boots Knighton [:

Oh, I did that.

Josh Dech [:

You did? Oh, good. That's everything. Yes.

Boots Knighton [:

Yes. I mean, you have to get over playing with your own.

Josh Dech [:

It’s very humanizing experience. Like, the first time I did a GI map, they sent me this kit, and it comes in as this little paper tray. It looks like a hot dog tray you get at the ballpark, and I'm like, I got to poop in that. Alright. So, I stripped down, and I squatted into my bathtub, and I tried to line everything up. And I'm like, this is what it's like to be a human. This is weird. And so, you have to get in there and scoop it out and put it in a container and you ship it off, but here's what a GI map does.

Josh Dech [:

Next to humbling you, what else it does is it gives you a really good overview of your gut bacteria. Now we talked about we have millions of them. 100 trillion individuals. You have about up to 20 million different strands. So, we say, you know, species and subspecies multiply out to about 20 million different ones. Even the best GI maps, we can maybe see 100. That's the reality of it. It's a grain of sand on a beach, but that's very actionable material. We can do a lot with those 100.

Josh Dech [:

In fact, it's the core of what I'm using a lot of cases, probably 70, 80% to help people reverse some of the worst gut disease, Crohn's and colitis, and even severe IBS were reversing it by just looking at this little grain of sand. And so, I'm excited for the next 50 to 100 years of exploration in this, but here's what we do know. We can make some of these changes to the gut bacteria. I do recommend caution. Obviously, it's very, very dangerous to do yourself. You may have mentioned I think you mentioned earlier, fecal transplant. I'm not sure if we're recording at the time or not, but what's really interesting is fecal transplants pretty new. It's just recently be approved by the FDA, and it's very hard to get on the list.

Josh Dech [:

You got to have, like, recurring CDF infections. But the point of that being that you can have changes to your bacteria in your stool, and that will change the entire landscape of your gut in your body. And, again, there was even a story of a fella. There's actually a great little documentary if anybody's going through colitis, called Designer Shit. And I had the pleasure of speaking on one of the panels. It's a great story. But they talk about FMT and how it's actually, like, it's designer shit. Like, you have these really beautiful microbes. You have super donors, and it's just this beautiful stuff.

Josh Dech [:

And it's the next blood bank, the next sperm bank. Quick sidebar, Boots, because this is just really cool. This fella, he gave himself a homemade FMT. He actually used his mom's stool, and he gave himself a hypertension enema with her stool, and he healed his colitis, but he also picked up her menopause symptoms. And so, that's fun.

Boots Knighton [:

Stop it.

Josh Dech [:

Shit you not. No pun intended. Absolutely. Yeah.

Boots Knighton [:

Like, you know, hot flashes, the whole,

Josh Dech [:

yep. Irritability, hot flashes, the works. It's like he had menopause. I call it menopause, but he got that from her stool. Yeah. But the danger of that, on the other hand, there have been many stories of people trying their own FMTs at home who've actually died, and so you do have to be very careful playing with your microbes.

Boots Knighton [:

How do you die from that?

Josh Dech [:

You don't know what they've got. So, think, for example, if you have an abundance of species 1, 2, and 3, and you're perfectly healthy otherwise. You can feel fine, no gut issues. I have an abundance of species 1, 2, and 3, and my gut's a dumpster fire. I add your 1, 2, 3 to my 1, 2, 3, I put gasoline on the fire. I've contributed to my overgrowth of my symptoms and boom, there's a problem. Maybe you had an E. coli in there that was being really well suppressed because you're healthy otherwise, and my gut's early weak.

Josh Dech [:

I introduce that. I get sick. I die. And so, we have to be very, very careful in playing with microbes. So, getting a GI map is great because we can see these 50 to 100 actionable bacteria that we can really do stuff with. But I do not recommend taking intervention on a GI map unless you're working with a professional because it can be very problematic. Again, like we talked about these detox pathways. If we look in, you have all kinds of bacterial overgrowth and all kinds of issues contributing to your problem.

Josh Dech [:

They're producing an abundance of toxins. If you go to try to kill them off without properly priming your body, picture having a glass of water. When you fill that bad boy up with toxins, it overflows. You've got problems. And that's when we get what's called a Horkheimer reaction. You can get joint pain, muscle aches, anxiety, insomnia, permanent kidney and liver damage, all kinds of issues to your detox pathways. So, there's a lot of prepping and priming and meticulousness involved. But a GI map, they’re easy enough to get. Sometimes you do need them. Most labs require a practitioner like myself or someone else to authorize and sign off like a doctor's office. But, you know, anywhere from 4 to $500 US on average, and you get yourself a stool sample, look at your bacteria, see what's contributing, and then we can take action accordingly. And so that's really sort of the corrective steps toward getting your gut back to normal. If you've had a ton of antibiotics or you've had your assembly line discombobulated, start with the basics. Introduce good foods. Obviously, eating well. Prep your detox pathways.

Josh Dech [:

But remember, you can clean out your liver and all these things, but if your gut's contributing to liver detoxification, you're, again, you're just trying to build the house as it's burning down. So really get to what's causing the fire, and that comes down to the gut.

Boots Knighton [:

Wow. Thinking about how I'm going to see my internist next week and I love her, but she's not going to ask me about how my gut is, you know, for my yearly checkup. She just, you know, feels my neck and asked me some general questions, but why isn't this at the root of every conversation with a health professional.

Josh Dech [:

That's a great question. And, again, I look at it one of my tinfoil hats, I'm like, some just aren't interested. Some aren't taught, and a lot of doctors don't have time. They got to see patients 7 to 9 minutes in and out to meet their quotas.

Boots Knighton [:

It's the system.

Josh Dech [:

Yeah. The system is designed to keep them uneducated, unfortunately. And those who do educate themselves, like a lot of the doctors I'm working with, we have a roundtable every Thursday. We get in and meet. We have masterclasses once a month. I get to lecture a few times a year, and they get to lecture us. And so, a lot of them actually left their traditional practices because they saw the problems with it, they couldn't do it anymore. They couldn't willingly do this to their patients and keep them sick and medicated, but they didn't have time. They had to leave their practice, become health coaches or doctors of other kinds because they couldn't be in the insurance system and help people. And so, it's really unfortunate how it stuck that way. That's number 1, the system is built this way.

Josh Dech [:

Number 2, there is a fair bit of ego and hubris, unfortunately. I see GI specialists, like I said, who will tell their patients, food does not matter. Eat whatever you want, has no impact on your health or your gut. And these are GI specialists, and you're in the hospital eating white bread and fast food and Jell-o and sugar. And so, the medical system sometimes ignores it willingly. I had a 16-year-old with Crohn's I was working with, 5 foot 7 down to 93 pounds. Just skin and bone, very sick, very frail, and we were with him about 8, 10 weeks. He gained 25 pounds. He's now a 118 pounds, goes back to his GI doctor for a checkup who says, I'm glad you're feeling better. I just don't love how you're going about it. The disconnect, like, you think they'd ask questions, or I've had, you know, clients who have brought their GI maps before and after, and they're perfectly healthy. Complete clinical histological remission gone in for colonoscopies and CT enterorrhaphy. No signs of Crohn's disease or colitis at all. They show their GI maps. The doctor's like, yeah. Those things don't work.

Josh Dech [:

It's like, that's what we use to get you better, and there's no interest. On the other hand, there are doctors who do want to do better. That's where I can credit that actually to Dr. JP Salibi with the FLCCC. He was working with a patient for about 3 years, and she was okay. She was doing a bit better, but we went in and reworked everything after 90 days. She was almost completely healed of her ulcerative colitis. And so, he calls me. He's like, what's going on? How did you do this? Let's talk.

Josh Dech [:

And now I lecture for his medical academy, and so that's the other side of medicine. Yay. There are wonderful doctors who do that stuff. And I have much of my career to credit to Dr. Salibi for bringing me into the circle and introducing me to these amazing doctors, Dr. Peter McCullough, Paul Merrick, William Lee, like, all these amazing doctors, and these doors open because of him. And so there is hope, I think, in the medical community as stark and dry, depressing as it can be, even though it may be the 90%, that 1% is now 10%, and it's rising. There are health professionals all over the world. Also, unfortunately, like Dr. Eric Berg on YouTube used to get 100 million downloads a month on his YouTube content. He's being censored. He's now getting about 25 million, which is still a lot, but it's a 75% censorship. He's not even allowed to talk about the benefits of sunshine anymore because, you know, of Health Canada, the WHO, there's massive censorship going on right now. Even Health Canada right now, up here in Canada, they are putting all kinds of red tape and legislation around herbs and natural supplements to make it unaffordable. We're not going to be able to pay for this stuff soon because it's going to cost thousands of dollars like pharmaceutical drugs for a bottle of vitamins. And so, I get laughed at as being a quack, but this is a reality. Natural health is being phased out. Corporations and pharmaceutical companies are the new ruling class. They are really dictating what we can and can't do. And if it's not profitable, they don't want it. It's really unfortunate.

Boots Knighton [:

In the US, the FDA, there's a company called LifeWave, this light patch you wear, and the FDA just told them they can't use the word stem cells, and they now classify our own stem cells and our own bodies as drugs that they can regulate.

Josh Dech [:

ousands of years up until the:

Boots Knighton [:

We're going to need to leave it there. But I want you before we hang up, I want you to brag about yourself and tell us all the ways we can work with you. And I will also have it in the show notes, but the spoken explanation is also helpful.

Josh Dech [:

Sure. So, the best place to learn more about this stuff is through my podcast, ReversABLE. That's spelled reverse able, the ultimate gut health podcast, and that's found anywhere you listen to podcasts. And we have the absolute pleasure having some of the world's greatest doctors and specialists. We talk about the gut. It's kind of the center of, like yours, like the heart, but it's all the things that the gut affects in our world and that our world how it affects our gut from farming to trauma, to wellness, to food, to all these different aspects. And we do 2 episodes a week. 1 is a beautiful interview with some kind of expert for 45 minutes to an hour, some doctor, experts, world renowned, world famous. And then once a week is just me, 10 minutes answering a question from our audience, which, of course, you can go to ReversABLEpod.com. And on there, you can submit questions. You can reach out and contact. There are also tons of free programs. I created those because I believe this information should be free. At the time of recording right now, my personal roster is full. Like, I don't have room for more clients. If you're listening to this now, I might.

Josh Dech [:

You can reach out, but we did also create free programs so that people aren't stuck. And for those who even maybe are financially in a place that can't afford to work with someone 1-on-1, we wanted this to be accessible to them as well. So, you can go to ReversABLEpod.com, and just click the tab that says free stuff and get all that stuff there as well.

Boots Knighton [:

My mind is just blown. And I say this all the time, but, like, it seems truer than ever. Like, I know I've made a new friend, and you are just an angel on earth, and I just so appreciate your generosity and sharing with me and my listeners on The Heart Chamber today.

Josh Dech [:

It's been an absolute pleasure to be here, and I really hope someone's taken some value from this and can really take their lives and their health and well-being to the next step.

Boots Knighton [:

Oh, yes. Yes. Well, thank you, Josh, and we will leave it there for today.

Boots Knighton [:

Thank you for sharing a few heartbeats of your day with me today. Please be sure to follow or subscribe to this podcast wherever you are listening. Share with a friend who will value what we discussed. Go to either Apple Podcasts and write us a review or mark those stars on Spotify. I read these, and your feedback is so encouraging, and it also helps others find this podcast. Also, please feel free to drop me a note at boots@theheartchamberpodcast.com. I truly want to know how you're doing and if this podcast has been a source of hope, inspiration, and healing for you. Again, I am your host, Boots Knighton, and thanks for listening. Be sure to tune in next Tuesday for another episode of The Heart Chamber.

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The Heart Chamber
Hope, Inspiration, and Healing. Conversations on Open Heart Surgery.

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