Autobiology with Jennifer Little-Fleck

Unraveling the Mysteries of Functional Medicine and Chronic Health Issues with Dr. Forrest Sauer

August 17, 2023 Jennifer Little-Fleck Season 2 Episode 44
Autobiology with Jennifer Little-Fleck
Unraveling the Mysteries of Functional Medicine and Chronic Health Issues with Dr. Forrest Sauer
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever felt overwhelmed by brain fog and fatigue? You're not alone - I've been there, and have discovered the transformative power of functional medicine. Join me as I host Dr. Forrest Sauer of Twin Oaks Health in a thought-provoking conversation that takes us through my personal journey from chronic health issues to discovering the world of functional medicine. We explore the key role of lab tests in unraveling the root cause of thyroid disorders and how a holistic approach can lead to genuine, lasting improvements.

Imagine a doctor who looks beyond mere symptoms and treats you as a whole. That's what functional medicine is all about and why Dr. Sauer is here. We delve deep into the intricate dance of stress, health, and the influence of the environment on our bodies. We discuss the potent triad of physical, chemical, and emotional stress and how they manifest in our health. Drawing from the fascinating concept of 'orchids and dandelions,' we highlight why health outcomes can drastically differ within the same family. We also touch upon how companies are stepping up to support employees' wellbeing in our fast-paced world.

But wait, there's more. We also take a hard look at the U.S. healthcare system, acknowledging its shortcomings in addressing chronic diseases. We share our experiences and debate the pressing need for a shift to preventive care. Then, we pivot to the dietary front, debunking myths about artificial sweeteners and exercise, and emphasizing the need to fight inflammation with powerful lifestyle changes. As we wrap up our enlightening exchange, we chat about Dr. Sauer's practice at Twin Oaks Health and the crucial role of patient education in achieving health goals. So tune in, grab a cup of tea, and get ready for an adventure in health and wellness like no other!

$50 off your Test from The DNA Company
Revolutionizing DNA interpretation by matching genetic systems to human biochemistry.

BiOptimizers: Digestion & Nootropics!
The digestion experts (MassZymes is the best!) and leading Nooptropics provider (Nootopia) all in 1!

Safe Tech & Pharma-grade Supplements
DefenderShield® & Lightbody Labs are proud to offer the best EMF/5G physical and cellular protection

EnergyBits: Nutrition for Mitochondria
Use code AUTOBIOLOGY to get 20% off your purchase of any EnergyBits package.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Connect with Me!
IG: @autobiologywithjennifer
Rumble: @autobiologywithjennifer
YouTube: autobiology
FB: @autobiology
TikTok: @jenniferlittlefleck
Website: https://autobiology.net/
Autobiology Podcast on Apple, Google Play, Spotify and all your other favorite places!

Jennifer:

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Autobiology. Today I have with me Dr Forrest Sauer of Twin Oaks Health, and you are out of Fargo, north Dakota. Is that correct ?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

You got it, you got a bonus. Jennifer Fargo, North Dakota.

Jennifer:

I know I was going to really practice my North Dakota accent and I was like I can't pull this off.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

I'll take over for the both of us.

Jennifer:

Okay, all right, great, dr Sauer is a functional medicine practitioner and I'm going to have him go into kind of what. Really, what I'd love for you to feel people in on first is we all have that story of like how the heck we ended up here, and I know from your background that you were a young person that had a lot of issues going on. You had depression, you had brain fog, moodiness, ibs, overweight, fatigue, and you were like what the heck's going on with me? And you were one of those people that was like I want to understand what's happening in my body, and I imagine that that's one of the reasons that you discovered chiropractic medicine and that's what kind of led you there. But could you take us a little bit on that journey, because I'm sure there's somebody listening right now who says, oh, I feel that way too. So how are you feeling and how did you end up deciding to go this route?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Great question. I was even feeling that way while I was getting my doctor in chiropractic. I had brain fog, I had IBS. I hit the snooze button five times and I still felt like exhausted in the morning. And I was in my early 20s. And it wasn't until I went to a education seminar that a friend of mine bribed me to go because it was free lunch. Poor college student, yes, I'll be there.

Jennifer:

For sure, free food. I'm there.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And so I was there and this and the guy who's teaching was explaining, in his practice he was actively reversing diabetes.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And keep in mind, I was halfway through chiropractic college to get my doctorate, and this was brand new information to me and it changed absolutely everything. And so I started recognizing and realizing that the symptoms that I was experiencing the brain fog, the acne, the lack of motivation wasn't normal, the fact that I couldn't lose weight and I kept trying, and all that was signs and symptoms of something that was bigger at heart. And so I took a really deep dive into the field of functional medicine and really fell in love with it, about how just simply having the education and then taking action on that education is not just powerful enough to reverse your symptoms but radically change the course of your entire life. And so, because of that experience, that really empowered me to do what I do now, which is take people through that same experience and educate them on what kind of a lifestyle they need to adopt, I love that answer because one of my questions that I had written down in advance, literally was when you were at that initial nutrition seminar that you talk about.

Jennifer:

you know what was the biggest surprise or aha moment for you? It was the fact that you get diabetes. It doesn't mean that you're going to have diabetes for forever. Is that a fair statement?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Diabetes is not a death sentence, but what I found to be true is neither is thyroid, neither is autoimmune, neither is having Crohn's or Celiac's disease, like a lot of these chronic, long-term lifestyle diseases are reversible and that what that I mean having the fundamental belief is like the body has the power, in a power to heal itself. And if you believe that the body has the power to heal and if you change your healthy habits, you can change your health, then those are the kind of clients that we're able to help.

Jennifer:

Totally tracking with you. I have a thousand things going through my mind as you're talking, because I love everything that you said. Now let's say that somebody listening right now they were like hold on a second did he just say thyroid is not a chronic like for I'm not going to have thyroid issues for forever, potentially. So what do you say to somebody who comes in with a thyroid and that's a thyroid issue and that's what they say. How do you help start helping educate them?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Okay, great question. I could take this in about a thousand different directions. Yes, what I'm going to do is I'll go through and just kind of break down really kind of the process on how we systematically get results with people with, specifically, thyroid, because that's what we'll talk about. So if we have someone with thyroid, fundamentally let's go ahead and understand what does the thyroid do? It is the gas pedal for your body, so it controls the speed at which your body works. Now, your thyroid just didn't simply stop working just because, just because it's Monday, we're going to stop working. No, that's not how your thyroid works. It stopped working for a reason. So, in order to get the proper reason, what we realized, that, what I realized early on and what we need to do is we need to take the proper lab tests. So one of the most common challenges that we hear with clients who have thyroid symptoms is that their labs are always coming back normal Yep, yep, that's the number one thing.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

I feel like crap. But my doctor says everything's fine and it's because insurance only pays for what lab, for what medications they can prescribe. So, taking that truth, that fundamental truth, that there's going to be very basic labs that are going to be drawn, and there's a lot of guessing games, now the thyroid it impacts your whole body. It just simply doesn't work in isolation. And yet we have all of these specialists we have a cardiologist for your heart, we have a dermatologist for your skin, we got endocrinologist for your hormones and for your thyroid.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Your body doesn't work that way. It works holistically. Your thyroid impacts your stomach, it impacts your heart, it impacts your skin, it impacts how you're feeling day to day, it impacts your weight. So if you're going to fix the thyroid, you need to take that same thought process and recognize what role your gut has on your thyroid, what role your liver has on your thyroid, what role your immune system can have on your thyroid and, quite frankly, the main medical system. God bless them. They save lives. I'm not blaming them. They're not equipped to deal with it, though. They're not equipped to properly educate people on the kind of lifestyle that they need to adopt to heal the gut, to heal the liver, to heal the root and cause the problem naturally. So that's where we started to start with.

Jennifer:

Yeah, I was just going to say. One of the things that I say a lot is, I feel like one of the worst things that ever happened to medicine was specialization, because people, while they know, can go up five miles deep, like within their specialty. You lose perspective on what's happening in other critical systems and how they all work together. And when we talk about the thyroid specifically, I mean the thyroid is literally what controls every hormone in your body. It's this giant cascade, it's a giant communication system, so it doesn't affect just one part. Everything's talking to everything else. And so to your point, I love that you said that it's unfortunate the body doesn't work that way in silence and you can have someone with the classic hypothyroid symptoms.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

They could have hair loss, they could have mood imbalances, they're feeling exhausted, they're gaining weight and they haven't changed a thing in their life. Those are depression and anxiety. Those are the classic symptoms. However, with client A, it could be a vitamin D deficiency. Client B, it could be an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto's or Graves. Client C, it could be problems with their gut. The challenge is you don't know until you have the proper lab testing that it's done. Even if I have someone coming to me and they're taking 20 different vitamins and supplements and a handful of medications, I know they're desperately trying to feel better, but they're playing the guessing game because they don't know where to start.

Jennifer:

It's interesting. I'm just a family member of mine recently, who's a male, was diagnosed with, you know, a thyroid issue and of course I was a little surprised when they told me that, yes, they're going to be on the typical prescription some thyroid for a while, but that it might be just for a while, that they would try at some point to try and dial them back once. Maybe they fixed some other imbalances going on. So to me that was great news, Because I feel like you can't ignore all of the clinical data that has come out about how reversible things can be. If we address the elephant in a room, which is the gut is involved in almost everything.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

You know when you think about it. Absolutely.

Jennifer:

Okay, so you talked a little bit about diabetes, you talked a little bit about thyroid. I'm curious, though, like when people come to you, and what is the most typical thing that you hear when you see a new patient, like why do they finally seek you out, dr Sauer?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

There's three main driving factors that people come and see me, and number one, most common, is people are not happy with their health. They're sick and tired of being sick and tired, for lack of a better way to put it. They don't like the way that they feel. The second, most common is they don't want to end up like mom and dad, that's a good one.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

They don't want to end up like some of their friends. They see the direction that their health could be taking and they want to take some action against it. And the third one is kind of the same as the second, but it is like if I don't take action now, it might become too late three to five years from now. I want to start taking action before things do get worse, because we can handle it like we can tough it out.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

You know those people where they've been burning the candle at both ends and they just kind of mentally they can chew down a tree with their teeth.

Jennifer:

They're fine, how are?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

you doing Great, maybe Right, and what it is? It can be an over accumulation of stress. So there's three different kinds of stress. There's physical, chemical and emotional stress. And if we have too much physical stress, that's the arthritis, bumps, bruises, breaking bones, like that's pretty easily understandable kind of physical stress. Or if you have a physically demanding job, the other one is more sneaky and that's chemical stress. So that's all the chemicals that we have in our food, all the preservatives and pesticides. In fact, I was just reviewing some research yesterday about how increasing your daily caloric intake of ultra processed foods by simply 10% increases your risk of adopting cancer and or dementia. It goes up by 25%, which is mind boggling. If you want to increase your risk of mortality by 25%, just simply eat more processed foods. It's because of the chemicals that are in those processed foods. So that's the chemical stress. And then we got emotional stress and I know everybody lives perfectly emotionally stress free lifestyles right now.

Jennifer:

So we're fine, we don't need to talk about that.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

But yeah, that can be divorces, death in the family, stressful jobs and for someone who pays constant attention to the news or our socio political environment and gets stressed out about that, that can be very emotionally stressful. And our body can only handle so much stress and we think about the last time that you felt absolutely tapped out. Your body isn't as resilient.

Jennifer:

Nope, it's not. You know what's so interesting about that, though, and I love how you put it in terms of the three types of stress. But no, if most people are probably like I used to be, which is whatever emotional stress we're all like, you know, we go through all trying times. Emotion is not impacting my health, and so in my studies with cognitive research scientists, specifically Dr Kiran Omani, I was introduced to the concept of orchids and dandelions.

Jennifer:

I don't know if you, if you follow this, it's a Dr Thomas Boyce. He was a pediatrician turned, you know, clinical psychologist for children, and he wanted to figure out why some children, even though they're born in the same household, live with the same parents, grew up in the same rules and the same environment one flourished and one did not Like to the point where they were just plagued with biological diseases or mental disorders like throughout their whole life, and what he discovered was their inability to process emotions, or their sensitivity to emotions actually affected their biology, and in what the research has shown since then is that doesn't change. Those kids grow up, they become adults, and if they don't know that, they don't know that they need to pay attention to how that stress is managed, it absolutely comes out in the form of autoimmune diseases and so on and so forth, so I pay a lot more attention to that than I used to.

Jennifer:

So what do people say, though, when you try to educate them on that sort of stress? Are they more willing to listen to you at this point, or what are some things that can help people kind of get this a little better.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

I love that research that you just said, because it's ultimately the individual's choice on how you want to respond. It's not the event that is going to control your responses how you view that event, Because you can have you probably have heard of this very common example. You have two sons. Your dad was an alcoholic. One group very successful doesn't touch alcohol. The other one is under a bridge and it's not good.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

He's chronic alcoholic. You ask him the same question and he's like why don't you drink out? Why did you end up the way that you did? The son, who's very successful, says well, I had no choice. My dad was an alcoholic. You ask the same question to the brother who's living under the bridge why did you end up the way that you did? Well, I didn't have a choice. My dad was an alcoholic.

Jennifer:

Exactly this is what I'm talking about that the kid who was successful, he was the dandelion. The kid that ended up under the bridge he was an orchid. This is a thing. This really happens. It's based on how their autonomic nervous system processes information. It's different People have to make that choice to recognize it and do something different.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

It's not the events that happened to you, it's your perception of the events.

Jennifer:

Exactly Right.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And Jennifer, I think the reason why this is not popular is because, when you take this stance, it puts the ownership back on the individual.

Jennifer:

This is a huge topic right now, in fact, believe it or not. I've had a couple of companies reach out to me and ask me to create programs to teach their employees how to deal with change, how to deal with stress, because nobody's ever taught this. In fact, up until what do you think? Maybe the last 15 or 20 years it was kind of voodoo to talk about your emotions at work, but now we're getting to the point where we're like, hey, let's actually talk about how you figured this out, so that you're happier and you're a better employee at the same time.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Yeah, and you think about, like you just said, the common sentiment of American culture. It is go, go, go. Everything's fine, everything's perfect. We're just going to keep going and it's never stopping taking the time processing. How do I actually feel about this? You asked the question about how do I educate my clients to deal with emotional stress or physical stress or chemical stress.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Really, it's all about resilience. We're never going to live in this perfect world. There's always going to be things that are emotionally stressful. But sometimes, if we're exhausted, we didn't get a good night's sleep, we're not confident in the reflection that we see in the mirror. We're taking medications that we don't want to take and yet it feels like we don't have any choice. We feel like we're trapped. We're a lot less patient with things that are challenging in our world, so a lot better place to come from is if you are working at getting your health back. You're seeing the slow but steady progress with your health and you know you're moving in the right direction. You feel like you have a purpose. Once again, the exact same stressful event could come around and you could handle it with grace, and it's because you're coming from a place that's more resilient.

Jennifer:

Yeah, you kind of have to build up those reserves, but you have to recognize that you have to build them up in the first place.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

So what connection does this have with autoimmune conditions?

Jennifer:

Right, thank you.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

The connection is if your immune system is directly connected with how your nervous system works. If you have, if you're in chronic fight and flight state, that is going to drive your immune system to become worse and worse. It's called a positive feedback loop, where what we need to do is we need to start breaking that loop, allowing your body to chill out, and then your immune system is going to be able to calm down and stop attacking your body. So why is it called autoimmune? Well, think of the root words auto mean self immune, meaning your immune system. So your immune system is attacking yourself. That's autoimmune disease. What is autoimmune disease? It can be Hashimoto's attacking your thyroid, can be Graves attacking your thyroid, crohn's, celiacs, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis. It's all your immune system that's attacking your body in different areas, but it has the same root underlying cause of the problem.

Jennifer:

I would have to say about all you know as because I am a scientific medical writer, so I have written on so many disease states and at the end of the day it always comes back to the reality is this is in. A lot of people say it's all one disease. It just depends on your genetic predisposition and your environment, in which genes have been turned on or off. That dictates how it shows up in you personally. Do we have to treat the organ system? You know that it ended up in you know, maybe differently than somebody else? Yeah, absolutely. But and I and I think this is one of the things that you talk about in your practice you have to recognize that you have to. If you get the fire put out, you have to kind of go back to all right. So what started this in the first place?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Absolutely.

Jennifer:

Let's go back to you for a second. When you were going through all that stuff, when you were growing up, all right, thinking about all those issues you had, what is like one thing that you wish you had known then, that you know now that would have probably helped. Would either not, you know, maybe not all of them, but a significant portion of what you were going through. Like what's that? One thing, or one or two things?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Instead of just simply a helpful health tip, I think what would probably be best service is the fact of taking action. So knowledge is not power. The action on the knowledge is power. So you can know all the fancy stuff you can know. You know, taking turmeric is going to decrease inflammation, taking fish oil is great, taking a probiotic blah, blah, blah. But if you don't actually do it, it's not going to be a benefit.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

So that leads me to tell the story of when, me and my wife, we were taking a vacation out on the East Coast, and one of my wife's bucket list items is she wanted to see the sunrise on the ocean, and I was all on board. I was like, yep, babe, that sounds great, that sounds like an awesome experience, let's do it. But she neglected to tell me the time at which the sun got up and what time I was going to have to get up in order to beat the sun on the ocean. And I didn't want to wake up at four. I didn't want to do it. And so the alarm clock goes off and we're in the hotel. She takes her back, she puts it against the wall, she takes her feet, she pushes it against my body and she just pushes me right out of bed. So guess where forest is going? I'm going to the beach.

Jennifer:

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

So we get there and, jennifer, like as soon as we get there, before the sun like the crest of the top of the sun is just coming up over the water and we're sitting there on the beach and we got our coffee and we see these crabs and there's hundreds of crabs all around us and they're all doing their things with their claws and so you're hearing just tiny little clicks with the same….

Jennifer:

Oh my gosh, that's so cool. Yeah, it's just amazing.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And we got seagulls that are flying overhead and they're calling and they're doing their thing and the sun's coming up and it starts throwing off all of these colors. So it's showing off all of the purples and the iridescent blues and the pinks and the orange colors and it's just changing by the second. And as the sun's about halfway up, we're close to a naval base. So there's a battleship that's coming across and it just intersects right with the sun. And the sun keeps coming up, the battleship goes off and here behold, five minutes later, here's a pot of dolphins and it's just… it is a picture of the most perfect and most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen. Okay, that was that Now.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

I used to be an amazing procrastinator. I used to put things off until the very last minute and always wait, wait, wait, wait. Like I'll do it later Now, it didn't hit me until the plane ride home that I almost missed that morning. I almost hit the snooze button. We've been…. Me and my wife, we've been married close to 14 years now and you ask her some of the highlights she's going to mention that morning and I almost missed it because I wanted to sleep in, because I wanted to procrastinate. So I wanted to see as many sunrises as I can in the future and I want my clients to see as many sunrises and have those experiences, and we just can't do that if we're constantly feeling like crap.

Jennifer:

What a great visual to give people to walk away with. I absolutely love that and I love that you brought up the whole subject of procrastination For some reason this week. I was just… I was doing some research and I came across this whole trove of research on procrastination and I did not realize… Maybe you probably knew this, I did not know this that procrastination is actually an emotional dysregulation issue. It's fear.

Jennifer:

Yes, it's fear and all this time, all these people like me I thought it was time management issues and they're like. No, it is a psychological, deeply varied, emotional issue and in most of the time it's fear, and I think that that's what happens with people with their health. They're almost afraid of knowing, maybe, or afraid of what might happen, good or bad. It's just fear of the unknown.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

I think it's fear of the unknown, but I also believe it is fear of being wrong again, because most of our clients have already tried getting their health back before. They've already tried making dietary changes, taking labs and they are scared of being wrong again, and I completely understand it.

Jennifer:

I was once there, all right, I have to share a story with you, because I want you to tell me what you would have done if you were me. So here I am. I'm just you know, jennifer, I want. I've been really sick, I got over being sick and I just I want to make sure that I'm healthy, but I hate going to doctors. I specifically do not like going to PCPs, and so I have put that off for probably 13 years. Okay, and I manage. I know a lot of stuff. I can manage just stuff on my own. But I decide, you know what, I'm going to get some blood work done. I go get my own blood work done and something comes back really weird. That was unexplainable to me and I know a lot of stuff about blood tests. So I actually went to a PCP and said, hey, can you make sense of this, because I do not get this? And they looked at it. They were like you're right, this doesn't make any sense whatsoever. We're going to rerun your blood work. I said, great, just in mind. I had specifically not wanted to go to a doctor for like literally 13 years. So they call me that afternoon. I was like, wow, you guys ran it that quickly. I was like, holy cow, this is cool. Maybe my you know, maybe my experience has been all for none, you know. And they say you know, that really anomalous number that you got is not there anymore. That must have just been a weird one off fluke with, you know, the lab processing. And I'm like, okay, they're like, but there was something else we're not sure about. So we'll get back to you, we'll let you know. For sure, you know, I'm like, okay, so this is on a Monday.

Jennifer:

On a Friday I was in a continuing education class so I missed a bunch of phone calls and it wasn't until Saturday morning that my husband was like hey, whatever happened with that you know blood work. And I was like you know what I don't know. They were supposed to call me back and they didn't. Let me, let me see if I have any messages. And lo and behold, I had two messages and I was like oh, let me listen, we're on a family hike in the middle of the woods. Huge mistake, should not have checked at that point. And the first message I get is from a cancer center letting me know that I am a new patient referral and to please call them immediately to make an appointment. So I was like, excuse me, okay, the second one. The second message that I got is the doctor's office that I went to the PCP office.

Jennifer:

I went to making sure that I knew that there was a cancer center trying to get a hold of me to make an appointment and it was so critical that they went ahead and made the appointment for me this Saturday. I can't do anything until Monday. I had never the actual doctor that I had the appointment with, never. I've never spoken to her since I left that day. It's all been like nurses and just people giving me a call back.

Jennifer:

So for two days I thought I had cancer. So first thing Monday morning my husband and I we call the office and I'm like I need to speak to that doctor. And they're like, oh well, you know they'll give you a call back. So an hour later again she calls and says oh yeah, actually you know what your blood work was actually fine, you don't have to go to that appointment. And you know, if you want to go, you can. And I was like, well, why would I want to go to that? You're like, oh, you know, because you had that weird result when we first came in. I thought if you wanted to follow up on that. And my husband is like next to me and he's. He said do you mean to tell me that there's absolutely no reason whatsoever she should go that way? And she's like no, no, you really don't need to. I was like okay, great Thanks. That happened the last month to me.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Is that?

Jennifer:

recent, yeah, last month. So I have a deep, deep sense of empathy now for anybody who got that phone call where it wasn't a mistake, because I was horrified. This is what it's like and I think, oh my gosh, where has the empathy gone? What do people do when you know that's what they feel like? The only choice that they have in their healthcare is to go to people like that, and I just want to make people aware of like there's a completely different way to you know practice medicine, but anyway. So what's your take on that?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Well, I first want to say I'm sorry that you had to go through that. That is something, quite frankly, that nobody should ever have to go through with is that feeling of uncertainty and unknowing. I wish that was the first time I've heard something, a story kind of like that. Unfortunately, that's a fairly common theme that I hear in my practice and I don't want to judge anybody on everybody else's failures, because you know that's the way I always want to approach someone with humility. But the fundamental truth is that we are no longer in a healthcare system, we're in a disease management system. When you see your doctor and they put you on diabetic medication or they put you on well, your brother on thyroid medication, the reality is is once you get on that medication, you rarely, if ever, get to have a conversation about what it looks like to actually get off. Sure, they may say it, but are they going to put a plan of action on what it actually looks like to either reduce or get off that medication? There is no financial incentive to get people off of meds. In fact, the reverse is true. Big Pharma has no financial incentive to having you stop taking your high blood pressure, your thyroid medication, your cholesterol medication. They make more money when you take more meds. The same thing is when you go in for more doctor's visits your insurance premiums go up, you have to pay your deductibles, you have to pay more copays.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

So to say that we're in a healthcare system yes, it saves lives. If you're in a car accident, have your leg chopped off, something comes in as emergency. Absolutely go to them. That's what they're honestly best at. When it comes to lifestyle diseases, enhancing the quality of your life, this is where it falls very short. I believe us, as Americans, have been duped into believing that the doctor of Big Pharma and insurance is going to take care of us because as long as we can keep banging our insurance card, they're going to keep taking the labs. But really it's a very broken system that isn't meant to empower. It's meant to simply prescribe and lead you on a life that is ultimately, I believe, in my opinion, unfulfilling, because you are feeling fat and sick and depressed.

Jennifer:

So how do you see a better way to approach medicine? I'm sure you have people that come to see you, like me, that see the value in Western medicine for some things. Listen, I am with you on acute care. I want my surgeon, I want my anesthesiologist, I want my critical care doc. When shit is hitting the fan, those people, they know what to do to save your life at that particular moment. It's just the chronic disease stuff that we're not so good at, and so there's this whole other avenue. It's almost like medicine needs to be two different things moving forward. You can go to school for preventative medicine and you can go to school for acute care and hopefully, if we do the preventative stuff correctly, rewarding chronic disease.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And that's seeing people like yourself naturopathic physicians, traditional Chinese herbalists, medicine doctors- that's why I call what I practice as a brand new way of medicine, because that's exactly what it is. I mean. So I practice functional medicine. It's getting through it. It's a serious problem. If we're dealing with the root problem, it has to come from an education standpoint. I need to empower my clients so that way, they are very well knowledgeable about what kind of a lifestyle they need to adopt. They need to change to in order to stop the cause Now.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

You're either going to take time for your health now or you're going to be forced to do it later. The common narrative is as we age, we're taught to take the medication to go home, and this is how things are. And then the last one, two, five, 10 years are not filled with a high quality of life as you reach those golden years, and so I can't guarantee anybody's future, but what I learned at a very early age is that I'm going to start living my life, so that way, I can start stacking the deck of cards of life in my favor. Yes, and I can see those sunrises.

Jennifer:

Tell me one of your favorite patient stories.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Oh man, okay, so this is a gal named Abby and her and her husband came in and they're just one of my favorite people. She had she had Okay, it was psoriatic arthritis, is what it was. So it's an autoimmune condition, immune systems attacking her joints, and she was young she's got young kids at home and she was on medication. She was on methotrexate, which is immune immodulator, so it decreases her immune system. She had to be very, very careful with going out and seeing people and she'd been on and off this medication because she knew it killed her liver. But there was no other options that she was given.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

So they came in and we made lifestyle changes. We took very detailed labs so we knew exactly where to start with her. There's no more guessing games. That's exactly what we do with all of our clients. And then we brought her through a very step-by-step process. We said, okay, I want Abby to make these three healthy habit changes this week and I want you to focus on only these three. Don't eat the elephant all at once, abby, simply focus on these three, because next week we're going to give you three more.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And so we helped coach and educate her about what foods to buy, how to cook them, how to exercise, what vitamins and supplements that are going to make her healing go faster, and watching her health radically change just over the period of three or four short months. She's no longer on the medication, and this was years ago. She's still not on the medication. Her symptoms completely resolved as far as the arthritis and her autoimmune condition is now in balance, because she has a healthy lifestyle and I have many more. But that's one that oftentimes sticks out, and hearing their story afterwards is just like not only did she get off the medication and not only did she lose some weight, but she got to be mom again, she got to be a spouse again and live the way that she wanted to live.

Jennifer:

I love that you said all right. So here's the three things I want you to start with and we're not going to eat the whole elephant at once. I love that. Recently I was speaking with Catherine Arnston, so she started a company called Energy Vits out of trying to help her sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, because she wanted to find some thing that was super easy for her to get the nutrition she needed to be able to heal.

Jennifer:

And when people ask me what is one thing that I can start doing differently and that's kind of what it is People just want what's one thing I can start doing, because any more than that is they just can't. They have to start with one super basic, simple thing. So obviously I'm not a practitioner, so I'm going to say it's something like that where we're giving the cells what they need to make energy. Her product is algae based, so we have the mitochondrial support with the nutritional side, which is going to give you energy, but it's also going to start decreasing the oxidated damage. So when you get people, though, that you know it's going to be really hard for them to start these lifestyle changes. What are those baby steps that you recommend to people?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

The number one thing that would make people decrease inflammation the fastest and this is not new information, jennifer. This is something that everybody has heard a thousand times, but it still remains the truth and that is eliminating sugar. Now that includes not replacing it with artificial sweeteners.

Jennifer:

Oh, that's a big one. You know what that is a big one? People forget. It's like the two sides of a coin. Right, Get rid of sugar, but you can't add in the aspartame or the sucralose or what have you.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And the reason why is because that is one of the number one reason, or drivers of inflammation. And inflammation makes autoimmune worse, it makes your weight worse, it throws your hormones off even more, it makes your sleep worse, like inflammation. Think of it like this. Inflammation jams the gears of your metabolism and the rest of your body. So if you want to become a more efficient human being, decrease the inflammation in your body. So sugar is one of the number one big ones.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Another one that I would give your audience is pay attention to where the healthy fats are and what kind of fats they're consuming. Is it vegetable oil? Is it canola oil? Is it peanuts, soybean oil, cotton seed? These just that and sugar drive inflammation almost more than anything else. So if you want the biggest bang for your buck, you want to see results within two weeks, within 30 days. Eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners and bad, unhealthy fats. That is it. That is it. Don't go to the gym, don't? I mean, if you want to drink, have your body weight announces and water, do that, but don't worry about anything else. Just simply establish these habits, these healthy habits, and your body is going to start healing itself. It's going to start empowering your body and gaining more energy.

Jennifer:

I like that you mentioned the gym. I think that one of the biggest misconceptions people have is that exercise is what helps you lose weight, and it's not. I mean, exercise is great, it has a ton of benefits and it does other things for you, but it's not how you rewire your metabolism, absolutely not, thank you.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

No, we don't even educate on people with exercise, like it's a part of what we do, but we don't start with that until people start getting energy back.

Jennifer:

Back to the healthy fats. I think that was a huge aha for people in the last five years or so, learning about the seed oils and how bad they are for you because of how they actually get metabolized in the body and then in fact, they increase, like you said, inflammation through oxidation, and in our household we got rid of them, probably for good probably, I want to say two years ago, and so we cook now exclusively with beef, tallow and coconut oil.

Jennifer:

So are these things that you recommend people replace with that you educate them on, Like how far do you go when you're trying to help people understand what the alternatives are?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

To answer your question, yes, it has to be. We have a five pillar system that we educate people on. So first we do labs, that way we know where to start, and then we move on to a detox. And I believe I actually disagree with the vast majority of detoxes that I see online, because it's something like starving yourself, drinking this nasty tea, stick your foot in this bath or shove a hose up your butt Something crazy. Don't do that, that's not wrong. Detox everybody. So a detox is a very gentle process that should lay the foundation for your gut and your liver. So it's labs detox. Then we start focusing on nutrition. We bring them through a food elimination phase. That way we know what foods are building their body up, what foods are turning their body down, and then we start talking about exercise.

Jennifer:

And then after that it's hormones.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

And then we put someone together with a health and wellness coach, having a guide, having a mentor showing you exactly what to do, when to do it, how to do it, so that way you have someone to be accountable to and that way you can actually make certain you're doing the right things in the right order, in the right way so that you get results. So let me walk you through that again. It's labs, detox, nutrition, fitness, hormones, mentorship. We've taken an all-encompassing approach Because if you simply throw someone in the gym, you're not going to get results. If you simply start changing someone's diet but you don't know specifically what's wrong, or don't do a detox, again, it's going to be very frustrating.

Jennifer:

I like the detoxing. Just one more quick question. I know we're coming up on time here and I can probably talk to you for three more hours. Do you ever recommend people use binders for detox, like simple binders, maybe like charcoal or chlorella or any specific supplement binders?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

Great question. It depends upon the person. Often we will, yes, and it is obviously you don't want to take them with other vitamins and supplements, because then it's going to bind onto those. But if we're dealing with any kind of mold or any kind of possible heavy metals, then yes, yes, we will.

Jennifer:

Okay, great, All right, Before we go, can you share with people how they can learn more about what you do? Where to find you? If they have questions about your protocol? What's the best way to get in touch with you?

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

The best way to do it is simply go to our website. It's twinolkshealthcom. We're education first, so we want to make certain people are well educated, not just simply on functional medicine, but really our style of medicine. It is a brand new way of medicine. It's something different than what most people have ever experienced, even if they've spent years in the alternative wellness space, and so we want to make sure that they're well educated and know how we practice them. It feels like a good fit. We'd love to have a conversation with them.

Jennifer:

Well, thank you so much, Dr Sauer. This has been enlightening and, like I said, I feel like we could talk a lot more. I think you have some great stories and analogies to share, so maybe we'll schedule a part two, but thanks again.

Dr. Forrest Sauer:

I would love that. Thank you, jennifer, appreciate it.

Functional Medicine and Reversing Chronic Conditions
Stress Types' Effect on Health
Healthcare Challenges and New Approaches
Decreasing Inflammation
Contacting Twin Oaks Health for Education