EPISODE 106

Chronic Disease Reversal

We’ve been taught to think of chronic diseases as ailments that just get worse over time. In many cases, conventional medicine has little to offer but symptom suppression. But in recent years, we’ve seen exciting developments in addressing the root causes of chronic illnesses, and in the power we have to reverse them — often by taking health-creation into our own hands.

This week we’re talking about chronic disease reversal. Over the past decade there’s been an emerging clinical awareness, with increasing research support, that many diseases we’ve been told are progressive and incurable can in fact often be turned around — or at least significantly ameliorated — through systems-based functional and lifestyle medicine strategies.

So here, Dallas and Pilar explore the approaches that are proving most successful in interrupting the chronic inflammatory processes involved in most chronic conditions. We highlight the exciting progress being made by leading practitioners who are disrupting the status quo and moving beyond conventional disease management strategies to address the real root causes of chronic ailments that affect millions.

We explore the power of elimination diets and other lifestyle medicine interventions to help identify and remove common disease triggers, and we consider the importance of supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms.

We explain why chronic disease reversal can no longer be the exclusive domain of doctors, and why it must instead involve us and our daily choices.

Finally, we offer you some experiments in re-framing what we’ve been encouraged to think of as incurable health ailments, and we invite you to re-imagine how a whole bunch of us might begin healing ourselves in ways the conventional medical system might not yet think is possible.

This episode also marks the beginning of a series of guest episodes with leading physicians and thinkers who are raising awareness of how numerous chronic diseases can be reversed, while helping regular people recover from ailments they were told they would suffer from for a lifetime.

“Chronic Disease Reversal” Episode Highlights

  • The healing power of food and short-term interventions as evidenced by the Whole30 program (which was not designed to be a chronic disease reversal program)
  • “Content as therapeutic” (a line borrowed from our functional-medicine colleague Tom Blue): How healing can start with simple self-education and awareness
  • Lifestyle interventions that have proven effective in resolving chronic conditions: Elimination diets, intermittent fasting, gut healing and microbiome rebalancing protocols, basic nutrition supplementation, augmented rest and recovery, moderate exercise/interval training, mindfulness stress management and resilience training, resetting daily rhythms
  • Why many medical provider-assisted interventions are unavailable to most people
  • The often dis-empowering and discouraging approaches taken by many conventional medical-advice websites
  • The difference between evidence-based, data-driven medicine and real-life personal interventions
  • Books by leading physicians that outline chronic disease reversal interventions you can begin embracing — at least in part — on your own (see Resources below for links)
  • Dr. Mark Hyman’s observation: 80% of his patients get 80% better using a nutrient-dense elimination diet alone
  • The fundamental concept: Allowing your body to heal itself after removing offending/irritating agents and supplying necessary support
  • Dr. Alessio Fasano’s three common drivers for all autoimmune diseases: Genetic pre-disposition to a particular disease, leaky gut (intestinal permeability), and a stressful trigger
  • The importance of dealing with trauma of any kind (including inter-generational) while addressing a chronic illness
  • Why you don’t necessarily have to understand all the science in order for many of these interventions to work for you (although understanding how your body works is often highly motivating)

If you haven’t already done it, do the Whole30 program. There are free resources on the website or you can buy the book for an all-in-one handbook. Changing your eating is often the single most important thing you can do to start reversing your chronic disease.

Look in the Resources below and read an article or book that speaks to you.

List the number of people you know (including yourself) who have chronic diseases — psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, cancer, depression, anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, etc. Or check out the “Weird Symptom Checklist” in Pilar’s book, The Healthy Deviant, to reflect on the ways your body may be indicating its displeasure with the way you are currently living.

Resources

Order Our Books!

You’ve heard us talking about them for years now. Wouldn’t you like to among the very first to read them? Pilar’s book is on shelves now, and Dallas’s is available for pre-order!

The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World by Pilar Gerasimo.
ON SHELVES NOW!

ORDER FROM AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER

ORDER FROM AMAZON
The 4-Season Solution: The Groundbreaking New Plan for Feeling Better, Living Well, and Powering Down Our Always-On Lives by Dallas Hartwig
LAUNCHES MARCH 2020

PRE-ORDER FROM AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER

PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON

Plus …

Sign up for The Living Experiment newsletter so you can stay up to date with us, and receive notifications when new episodes are released.

Subscribe to The Living Experiment on Apple Podcasts to have fresh episodes delivered to your podcast feed as soon as they’re released.

Share the Love!

Have you told your friends and family about The Living Experiment? If you dig the podcast, please share it! And leave a review at Apple Podcasts or wherever you subscribe. Every recommendation from you means a lot!

We’d also love to have you connect with us on Facebook. Tell us about your experiments, and share your thoughts, stories and reflections there.