There are so many ways you can heal yourself that does not include the use of medication. Diving into a more holistic and natural way to help you with your mental health, Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. sits down with Jodie Skillicorn, DO, in this episode. Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology and the Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Integrative Medicine, Dr. Skillicorn takes us through other alternatives to healthy living with nutrition and exercise. She provides great scientific research and insights that help us understand why exercise is important, even just going outside. On the food we eat, Dr. Skillicorn then shares some methods we can work our way to proper nutrition, taking the entire journey one step at a time, slowly but surely. Plus, she also discusses toxins and how we can reduce them in our system.
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Exercise And Nutrition: Holistic Ways To Heal Depression With Jodie Skillicorn, DO
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is a Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. She is the Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Integrative Medicine. Dr. Skillicorn is the author of the book, Healing Depression without Medication: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul.
Welcome, Dr. Skillicorn. Thank you for joining us again.
Thanks for having me back.
I know that we’ve talked about trying to fill out a little bit more on several different topics that you use to help people when they come to you other than meds. Topics like nutrition, exercise, toxins and their impact on our mood and our mental health. I appreciate your willingness to dive into this topic. Let’s start with exercise. How do you use that in your practice?
I like to encourage everyone to exercise. I think saying that, that happens almost every physician. It’s good to exercise, but having data to back it up and educating people on why it’s important is helpful. For depression, there are decades now of research showing it works as well as any antidepressant. There’s even data showing that there’s an amazing study as part of the smile studies, lifestyle modification and mood studies. They looked at antidepressants compared to medication and exercise. They found that at 4 or 6 weeks that they were virtually identical, but after you looked at ten months, suddenly 70% of the exercisers had gotten better or remitted versus 45% of those on medicines.
Most interesting, those on the combination of medicine and exercise did the worst, which I thought was curious, but it backs up the idea that when we disempower people because in that case, the medication has seen and felt as what’s doing the work. The exercise is something you’re supposed to do versus empowering someone with exercise alone and recognizing they have their power to heal. I think the medication takes that away. That group did the worst and when you looked at relapse rates, only 8% of those who in that exercise group relapsed over a ten-month period. Both the other groups have roughly the same 30% to 40%. It’s powerful and it’s often either missed entirely or, “You should exercise. It’s helpful,” which isn’t all that motivating.
It’s not accurate. It’s not helpful. It’s the most helpful thing you can do. I remember when I first got into the field way back years ago, it was the thing to do when somebody got completely overwhelmed, burned out, depressed and anxious. Put them in a safe, comfortable environment and let them get as much physical activity as possible. There weren’t any the antidepressants. There weren’t any of the so-called new and anti-psychotics that many people are put on and people got better. The long-term outcomes studies from back then are far better than they are with meds.
That’s even with severe. Even back moral treatment with people that were severely mentally ill with Schizophrenia and other things. The exercise was always part of that program and it was effective. I saw the headlines where some research was done on an inpatient unit with Schizophrenia in augmentation with meds, but still those that were doing the exercise are improving and how could they not. Normally in an inpatient unit, you’re sitting around doing nothing, not moving, and wallowing. Your mind and this strange environment that doesn’t make any sense.
When you think about it, our bodies developed to live a much more active lifestyle to be walking, moving, to some degree to be lifting, far more throughout the day than what most modern lifestyle routines would afford us.
We live in an incredibly sedentary life. Even when you’re feeling tired, the last thing you want to do is get up and move. When you do move, you instantly feel better. It can be a whole range of whether you’re trying to give yourself more energy or rather improve your mood overall. It changes the brain in similar ways to meditation. It increases your neurotransmitters. It increases the growth of the hippocampus. It increases the connections in the brain. It increases neuroplasticity, so that it’s better able to shift and change with new information. It’s powerful not to mention all the physical effects. Improving our immune system, decreasing our risk for about any chronic disease you can think of.Do whatever you love, that's the place to start. That's going to keep you going. Click To Tweet
What I often tell people is if ideally do whatever you love, that’s the place to start. That’s going to keep you going. If you don’t like it, you’re not going to keep doing it. If you go outside in nature and exercise on top of that, you’ve got a double antidepressant effect going on because nature itself improves mood or stress, decreases depression and anxiety. Fifteen minutes outside can improve your immune system and improve your mood for up a month being outside in green space. When we’re outside of nature, our parasympathetic nervous system turns on. When we’re outside of urban areas around loud noises, our sympathetic system turns on. Getting into nature can calm things down too. I often encourage people to go hiking and try out new parks. Get out of their comfort zone, which is also so much of depression is being stuck. Instead, you can get someone to go to a new park or explore something new.
A little bit of sunshine and a little bit of fresh air goes far. When we’re isolated from nature in our homes and our offices.
If you can’t get outside, there are even studies showing, having a picture beside your computer of nature can decrease stress versus having a plant. They’ve found that that can decrease stress by 50%, in the room with you when you’re working. We’re designed to be connected with nature. Not just the sounds, but the visuals. You can decrease it by looking at images of pine cones, the patterns or the patterns of trees. The branching of trees has a powerful effect on our system as well, also touching the ground. No one ever talks about this, but the ground is anti-inflammatory. The Earth is anti-inflammatory if we take our shoes off, otherwise we’re blocked from it.
The Earth is like this huge magnetic ball of negative charge and our bodies when we have inflammation going on, we have all these free radicals, these positive charges and it neutralizes. We need those positive charges if we have acute inflammation. The positive charge, there are negative charges in pathogens that might be in our body or the tissue if it’s damaged. It can have a positive effect, but in the long run, inflammation starts to eat at our cells. Having contact with the Earth acts to neutralize that whole process. It’s free. All you have to do is take your shoes off and walk outside. You get the sun, the air and everything else with it.
Years ago, they would sell grounding pads for people who can’t get out. For whatever reason, they can’t walk barefoot. That knowledge of that grounding and the grounding of sleeping on the Earth, walking on the Earth. Some people say if you can get up in the morning, if you have anywhere in your green space and go before sunrise and lay down in the dune grass, that’s an amazing healing benefit.
I keep a grounding pad on my computer because the computer throws me off. I get spacey when I sit in front of a computer all day when I work virtually.
I’ve had some people over the years who did not want to do medication for whatever reason. They would beg me, “What can we do other than exercise?” We can talk about some things in therapy, but back then I had some research. I would quote them that if you can do two different episodes in the day of getting yourself to aerobic level exercise, and then maintain it for 15 or 20 minutes, that’s going to change your brain chemistry. That’s going to be a benefit. I only had about 3 or 4 people who’ve done it and come back and reported, “That’s it. I’m 3, 4 or 6 months later I’m doing great. As long as I keep up that exercise routine, I don’t need medication and I’m not depressed.”
It doesn’t take that much. There was a study in The American Journal of Psychiatry where they found that exercising for one hour a week could decrease the risk of depression by 44%. I tell people, it also doesn’t have to be what we consider exercise. We forget that gardening or parking. When you’re going to a store, park as far away in a parking lot as you can. Those things add up as well. A lot of people do the Fitbits to keep track so you can see, and then it becomes an incentive to keep moving, to get to your certain goal. Things like that can be helpful. I use Charity Miles. It’s an app that keeps track of your miles and then some of that money gets donated to different charities, which is a cool way to both help others and get miles in each week.
We were talking about the mindset I have, the study they did with hotel and motel workers that they were convinced they didn’t get any exercise. When they help them reframe, all they’re doing all day long, walking, the bending, the lifting, it was a game-changer.
Part of it is shifting perspective.
The older study said you’ve got to go out there and get to an aerobic level for twenty minutes, twice a day, a lot of people get overwhelmed by that and say, “What I’m doing isn’t good enough.” If my mind is telling me what I’m doing isn’t good enough, then it’s not good enough. When we have someone like you say there are other studies say, if you can exercise an hour every week, that’s good enough. I put that different interpretation on it, I’m going to get better effects.
That’s doable. We can all find nine minutes. I think that’s the other thing about exercise or with anything is we get stuck in that all or nothing. If I’m not going to spend that hour at the gym working full out, then I’m not exercising and it’s not even worth starting. We get stuck there.
I’m encouraging people to do a little bit more than they’re already doing and give them the idea that within that if they have the mindset that every little bit, they do have huge benefits for their mood, that’s a good plan. That’s going to help people more than thinking you have to be a triathlete to fight your depression. Starting with some exercise and then moving to what? How do you work with people regarding nutrition?
It’s the same deal. You start where you’re at. I’ve seen people come into my office and I had one woman, she was drinking 3 liters of Pepsi or Coke. For her, the first step was to reduce it to 2 liters, and then we reduced it to 1 liter. Then we tried to get it out of the house and then I found out she was hoarding in the garage. We got it out of the garage. She’s slowly starting where you’re at but the main idea is I try to keep it simple for most people unless there’s something specific. If there’s more chronic illness going on, then there might be other things to look at for sure.
To start with simple as much as possible eat real food, whole foods not processed foods. Foods that are recognizable like vegetables, fruits, grass feed, organic meats, whole grains, nuts. The stuff that you find outside of a grocery store, not the inside. The thing that you can see not inside a box. The stuff that has less than five ingredients, which is hard to find. Even if you look at a loaf of bread these days. Whenever I go to the grocery store, I start looking, and often the ingredients are twenty in a loaf of bread with all these preservatives so they can stay on the shelf forever.
Maybe to try to eliminate those additives and stick to the basics as much as possible. Again, starting where you are. If all your meals are takeout, then maybe you can cook one meal a week. If all your meals are from boxes, maybe you can make a salad one day a week. Starting and moving slow and that’s possible. Otherwise, it’s overwhelming. There was a survey that showed that people consider it easier to do taxes, to figure out taxes than it is to figure out what’s healthy to eat because there’s much mixed advice.
The simplest thing I tell people is to start putting a little more of something you know. It grows in the ground or in a tree into your daily routine because that’s what you call real food. There’s the whole thing about emotional eating and this impulse. Many people use their food as a drug to not feel their emotions. Since we can’t wave a magic wand and get rid of all those emotions, what I tell people is if they eat a little bit more of that whole foodstuff, whether it’s a fruit, a vegetable or nuts and grains, whole grains in every meal, there’s a little less room. If they can slow down there eating a little bit, there will be less room for the other stuff.
It doesn’t take much. There was a study done with adolescents which I think is the hardest work with having two of my own. Even small shifts in their diet profoundly shifted their mood. To have that stuff around versus having some emotional eating get stopped if it’s not in your house. Even being home, when I’m working at home now, the kitchen’s next to me, it’s the room next door. It’s easy when you’re walking by to graze. You can grab something almost out of boredom, out of stress, all of it. I try to always keep veggies there and there’s fruit there and that’s what I’m going to grab or nuts there. If there were brownies and a bag of chips, that would be easy to grab too. To not have it within reach is also a critical point to avoid that emotional eating. It’s tuning to mindfulness from what we’ve talked about before, but noticing that craving and instead take a moment and take a few breaths. Notice what you’re feeling and notice what it is you want at that moment or what you need.
There are some successful programs that help people with their eating. It’s not a diet. They focus on this mindfulness piece you’re talking about. You’re allowed to eat whatever you want, as long as you plan it out the day before. There’re only two rules for when you’re eating. You don’t eat unless you’re hungry and you stop as soon as you’re satisfied. You’re not bloated full. If you can put that conscious effort to map out and you can have fast food, you can have candy. You can have cake, as long as you plan it out the day before. During the day when you go to eat, you maintain enough mindfulness to say, “I’m going to wait until I’m hungry before I eat. As I’m eating, I’m going to eat slowly enough that I can stop as soon as I’m satisfied.” It’s transformational.
The trick for a lot of people is recognizing when they are hungry. That’s the first step and when they are full because it’s tricky. A lot of us have lost connection with that.
When you start to introduce that as a concept, it helps break the cycle of, “Here’s the clock. It’s noon. It’s time to eat.” People are used to either eating on the clock when they get a break from work or when they are scheduled in a day, or they’re busy that they’re grabbing things between events or episodes of work. They’re not thinking about it. They throw the substance in. They get that full feeling and then they go on.The Earth is anti-inflammatory if we take our shoes off. Click To Tweet
All these micro-organisms in our gut and they’re in constant bi-directional communication with the brain. It’s beyond that. When we eat a lot of sugary foods, the microorganisms that thrive on sugary foods, the unhealthier ones take over. I think of it like gangs and they become bigger and stronger. They start sending messages to the brain that you want and you need a sugary substance now because it’s their way of survival. It becomes hard because it’s not about willpower. There’s often all the negative, “I wanted,” and when I have it, “I feel guilty.” Some of it is beyond that.
These organisms are telling our brain like, “You need the sugar now.” They make it hard to counteract that and that is a matter of eliminating those things from the diet temporarily so that we can re-establish and we can get clear messages to the brain of when we’re full, when we’re not full and what we need versus these powerful sources that are not even part of us sending these messages of a different message. I agree with what you’re saying, as far as the mindfulness that I think that is the other piece of everything we do have to watch what we’re eating, especially initially to get enough balance to find that place.
There have been several people I’ve worked with and they’re locked in that sugar craze and crave that the only way they had success was to do a day or two to fast from all of the carbs and all of the sugar. Slowly reintroduce actual food and then helps break that cycle. There is an actual physical urge to get some of that sugar in me.
It’s incredibly powerful.
Thinking about the woman that you’re talking about who would consume 3 liters of Coke. Think about the quantity of sugar that her body has gotten accustomed to processing. There are all kinds of receptor sites and mechanisms in there saying, “Feed me, more sugar.” Most of us know that when we eat the donut, cupcake or Fudgsicle, we don’t stay satisfied for a long time. It’s maybe an hour and then the craving is up again.
It creates a whole cycle of wanting more and then goes into withdrawal. That is what’s happening. It’s no different than any other drug. You need to fill that craving and that withdrawal space.
A good book or a good article or two on fasting is helpful for a lot of people. Not that they’re going to end up depriving themselves of food for an extended time, but to help break the cycle of all the unhealthy stuff going on. That can be useful to begin a new pattern.
The other thing I was telling my patients is, “If you continue to eat the standard American diet with lots of processed, fatty foods and lots of sugar, it doubles the risk of depression.” For those with a history of depression, it’s an important piece in the chain to shift. There are lots of studies now showing that by making these small shifts, it can be a significant improvement in mood and health altogether. It’s linked so it’s impossible to separate them.
If we can help people become aware of the link because sometimes the changes happen gradually if I’m going from an unhealthy or moderately unhealthy to a healthier diet. It’s not like a light switch is thrown in and I’m hit with lightning. It’s this gradual change in after a week or two that I realize that I’m moving better. I don’t have as much pain in my joints. I’m a little bit brighter mood. If we can help people understand that’s happening for known causes related to a little bit more movement, a lot less sugar, a little bit more of the whole foods, a little bit better intention and mindfulness, then they can help them stay motivated to continue that practice.
The one other piece with a lot of people I see, especially if there’s a chronic physical illness going on is then you also have to look at sensitivities to different kinds of foods. I can use myself as an example. I had a Graves’ disease when I was in medical school. My thyroid was way jacked up. I was jacked up that when I had to wear a white coat, which I’ve waited at all costs, I would have to change clothes several times a day because I was sweating much and everything was wrapped up. Conventional medicine has nothing to offer for Graves other than a whole lot of toxic medications.
I had an allergy treatment done and against my own body and it solves the problem. It was a combination of acupressure and desensitization. Being exposed to the things that were triggering me. In this process, I also learned that I was sensitive to gluten. When I cut gluten out over the next two years, I got off my thyroid medications and everything normalized for me. My whole body shifts and emotionally too. What I noticed for myself is when I eat it. It’s like almost rage. It comes out of nowhere. I know if I eat something that I didn’t know there was gluten in it, but I’ll feel it come on, it’s intense.
I’ve heard many people tell me that same story. There is a huge association with anger and I haven’t seen that in the literature. Lots of people feel that but it’s strange because it comes without any context. It’s coming up and shifts the mood rapidly. Other people have other ones, sensitive to dairy or sensitive to eggs, they’re sensitive to these things. This is not the same thing as being allergic, but it’s causing this mild inflammation, which disrupts the gut and disrupts the microbiome. It links back to mood and how we feel. These are important things to look at. Also, mindfully noticing how you feel after you eat certain things and not all of us, even if it’s good for us can eat it. There are certain fruits that people are sensitive to. They may be good for you, but they may not be good for you as an individual, even though they’re good for the public. I’ll also start to notice those specific patterns.
There are all kinds of them. When people talk about various foods that are linked to inflammation and nightshades. I have somebody I was talking to who love their tomatoes and tomato sauces. They found out that when they eat it, their inflammation goes through the roof. It’s one of those things they’re sensitive to. The more they pay attention to that and decrease that the less inflammation they have. I don’t know anybody who can walk around perhaps some Buddhist monk with 40 years of experience meditating and be in chronic pain and inflammation and stay in a good mood.
I can’t even stay in a good mood if I have a headache. Until I take a few moments to at least acknowledge the pain, breathe into it and then it can start to settle. The more you resist it, the bigger it gets. When it’s there, you are not in a good mood. It is all linked.
If we’re helping people, do you give them something to read or look at to start analyzing what food sensitivities they might have. You said with your Graves, you went through an allergy treatment for your body. In general, with people coming to you when you’re trying to help them explore food sensitivities, how do you go about that?
The ideal way is an elimination diet. First, listening to the story and starting to have them notice, like when they get symptoms or when their mood might shift and starting to get ideas. Once I have those ideas, we start to eliminate one at a time how to do it because the elimination diet is trying a whole bunch of stuff all at once and slowly add them back in. With my patients, it’s hard enough to get them to eliminate one thing. Often, it’s the thing we crave the most. If someone’s telling me a story where they eat dairy to say for every single meal and they crave it all the time, then that’s the way I’m suspecting the most. I’ll have them try to go for 2 to 3 weeks without any dairy, and notice how they feel. Add it back in and notice how they feel. That’s the only positive way to figure out what’s going on. There are lots of tests you can take too.
I think it’s giving you an idea, especially if there are random things you would never think of. I know I had one and things like ginger showed up and bananas. I put ginger in everything which is why. In my case, I stopped ginger for a while, and then my body calibrated and now I can eat ginger again. It’s not always a permanent thing. Sometimes if you get too much of anything, our body starts to react against it. It’s all a matter of balance. That’s how I go about it, in general. If dairy is off the thing, then maybe we try gluten. I go through them one at a time. If someone has gut health problems, then I have them go for the full getting rid of all the main triggers that are the most common and then slowly adding them back in.
By gut health, are we talking about obvious indigestion, pain after eating or diarrhea?
Constipation, diarrhea, IBS symptoms but not necessarily. It could be anyone with any chronic disease. The gut is central to our health and our immune system. I always look at the gut.
In terms of nutrition or foods, if you have somebody who’s been told maybe they have a Leaky Gut Syndrome or the doctor has told them that, is there something that you recommend in terms of nutrition other than medications? I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of eating fermented foods and probiotics. Although there’s quite a debate about whether or not the probiotics you get in the stores can be useful since they have few.The gut is central to our health and our immune system. Click To Tweet
You need higher doses. I do use a lot of probiotics. Starting with the diet, fermented foods are great and in anti-inflammatory foods, which is back to what we were talking about fruits, veggies, whole grains, avoiding sugar, fried foods, fatty foods, all of that. As far as supplements, it depends on the person. One of my favorites is curcumin, which is an active ingredient on turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. I often use that. Also, turmeric has been compared to fluoxetine and shown to be as effective for depression. That’s why it’s one’s favorite is it not only helps with depression and mood but also healing the gut.
Do you recommend people take that in adding into their foods or in capsule form? What do you do?
If someone’s open to the taste and flavor, I have them dump it all over their food for lots of their meals. I do that myself. If not, then capsule form, 1,000 milligrams a day is what the study showed for depression and has also shown for anti-inflammatory properties. There are tons of different supplements to help heal the gut, and combinations of stuff. When my gut starts to get upset, I use Biocidin. It’s a bunch of natural herbs. It’s a liquid and it helps heal the gut, but things like aloe and ginger. That’s sold on Amazon as well as through the company and other places. It’s not cheap, but it’s easy to get. I’ve tried lots of them and that one has worked and has been quite effective.
What do you notice when you take the Biocidin?
For example, if you have bloating or symptoms like that, it settles the symptoms and also settles some of the cravings I found.
Is that something you take as needed or daily?
It can be either. For myself, I take it as needed when I started to notice my diet. I usually take it after I go on vacation, my diet always messed up. I go back to my normal diet and then everything goes away. For other people that are having issues taking it until things start to settle and until their diet can start to shift enough, the diet can support gut health.
Is there a particular probiotic that you recommend?
It varies by the person because sometimes for some people if you take too much it can make the problem worse initially. You almost have to titrate up. A lot of the reasons a lot of people have problems with the probiotics is they either are taking one that’s little that it’s not doing anything or so much that there’s an internal war going on between the healthy bacteria and unhealthy bacteria. It doesn’t feel good. It feels uncomfortable. No specific brand. I play around with different ones, depending on the person and depending on what’s available.
They range dramatically in price and ease of use. I know some of the more expensive ones, you get the starter kit at home and you’re growing your own. You have to keep adding it to yogurt culture and things like that, either a range of prices and ease of use for those.
Truly the best way to get fermented products is a great way to get it as instead of taking the pill. I try to eat something fermented every day.
A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to make your sauerkraut and things like that. Simple recipes that you can’t eat it the same day you make it, but a week or later, you can have. You know what’s in it. There were no additives and preservatives, it’s all salt and little cabbage.
I still have to try that too. I’ve never made my own.
It’s remarkably easy now. People talk about kimchi. I think that’s a little bit more involved, but there’s a way to fix kale and have it raw so it’s not been heated, but it’s cooked. You take equal portions of white miso, olive oil, lemon juice and you clean the kale. Strip the veins out of it and then chop it into small pieces. Massage it with your hands like you’re kneading it like dough. Work in the miso and the lemon juice and the good olive oil and whatever seasoning you want. Some people instead of seasoning it, they’ll buy a high quality few ingredients Italian dressing. It’s got the olive oil in it and seasonings, but you knead it like dough. It collapses down from whatever quantity head down to a fourth of the original size.
You’re breaking the fibers of the kale down, and then you put it in a covered container and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you’re eating it. You can eat from that for the next 4 or 5 days. By the time 4 or 5 days have gone, if you haven’t eaten at all, you’ve got something that’s like the consistency of cooked spinach. It’s an amazingly good way. The miso helps that natural, gentle fermentation process. It’s a good way to eat kale and not feel like you’re putting inside of your mouth and it’s all gooey.
I want that recipe.
There’s a book available off of the WhyAgain.org website, it’s called Raw-Cipes. They had a fabulous chef who would go for some years. He went to their intensive center and the food was off the charts. It was all raw, all vegetarian, but he was a gourmet chef. You had no idea that what you were eating were vegetables and nuts. They started collecting the recipes and it’s a little daunting for some people because they were making these meals for 15, 20, 30 people at the intensive center. That’s what is in the Raw-Cipes. You have to work some percentages and whittle it down to your family of four, if you’re eating for two, etc. That recipe is one of the many that’s in there.
It sounds good and healthy.
It’s a good thing to be adding to your diet. Before we run completely out of time here, do you want to say something about toxins? We had talked about addressing that.
We’re surrounded by many chemicals and toxins in our environment, our air, our water and the products we put on our skin. The products we use to clean our houses. It can feel overwhelming, but I tried to focus on how people focus on what they can control. To become aware of what we are being exposed to, that we can control. One is the medications themselves. A third of Americans are on medications that cause depression. Beyond that, a third of medications that have been FDA approved later, get taken off the market because of side effects. Also, our black box warning. That’s for a lot of people, I see they’re on tons of medications.Fermented products are great to get instead of taking the pill. Click To Tweet
One way of reducing toxins in our system is to reduce the number of medications. The more you’re on the more side effects are possible and it amplifies everything. Also, many of the common meds are the toxic ones. For example, Statins is a huge one. Over half of Americans over 65 handed Statins and often for no good reason other than their cholesterol is a little off. Every time my dad goes, since position wants to puts them on a Statin because he has a family history of heart disease, but he does not have a history. Every time he goes, I instantly know he’s been put on it because he cognitively shifts. He does not function well. I assume that in many people and patients. They come in complaining of cognitive problems and often it’s not a mood problem.
It is truly one of the medications, especially if it’s a new problem. Often, stopping it solves that problem. Statins themselves especially for post-menopausal women doubles the risk of diabetes and doubles the risk of depression. To be aware of how these medicines need to be affecting mood and that’s often overlooked by Physicians. They’re trying to solve their blood pressure problem or trying to solve whatever it is and there may be a good reason, but there may be other ways to do it. For example, with a Statin, and now we’re back to diet and exercise, and there are other ways to manage, rather than starting with a Statin, especially without a history. To be clear though, there are people where Statins are useful. I’m not saying there aren’t and absolutely with someone with heart disease and then that’s an important factor, but for many people that put it on it, it’s almost become protocol.
Many people have been on it for so long and they’re still getting worse. If they’re lucky, they end up in a research pro project with somebody like Dean Ornish. They’re putting on a radical diet of whole foods and all of it gets reversed.
That’s where we should be starting. What can you do to prevent this to drop it down before we go on to toxic medications? In terms of medications, the one I worry about the most is hand sanitizers and Triclosan. I see people still putting it on every box that comes in every piece of mail that comes in their house. It’s an endocrine disruptor. When it gets broken down, it becomes carcinogenic, but it has a place. I have a jar in my car and when I don’t have access when I’m out, I use it because I never have until the pandemic, but now I do, because it’s for safety. Handwashing works better.
To be clear, what’s the ingredient you were talking about in the hand sanitizers?
Triclosan and there’s another one that’s the antimicrobial part of the sanitizer. Even if you look at the CDC website, hand-washing works. With soap and water works as well. You don’t need the antibacterial soap. Soap is enough. I worry because it can change the mood and affect mood along with allergies and cause autoimmune problems and all kinds of things. There are tons of meds like that are problematic, but also the stuff we put on our bodies that we assume are fine because it’s on our skin. What’s on our skin gets absorbed into our body and these things, when they add up over time, we may be able to handle this one item or a few items, but the average American female is putting twenty different creams or whatnot on their face.
This is all being absorbed into our body and at some point, this has to have an effect. We can only handle many toxins. That’s good. Our body isn’t going to be able to handle as well and that’s going to affect us physically and emotionally. It’s important to be aware of those things. Some people are more sensitive than others. An awareness of these actions. The one I hate the most is pesticides in the yard. You go out and if your kids and dogs, animals in there. Their skin is in contact with those chemicals. Ninety percent of those are not tested. We don’t have a policy in this country where we test to make sure it’s safe. It’s only after the fact, if there are enough problems for enough people, then you can start to challenge it and try to get it off the market. That can take decades.
One thing is for all of these different toxins to minimize or avoid their use. Is there something about cleansing the system or drawing out toxins once they’re in that you discuss with people?
I don’t know as much about that. I usually focus on the diet itself or minimizing the use of the toxic versus drawing it out. There are lots of people that do more of that detox eating, but that’s not something I feel I’m equipped to talk about.
There’s a lot of debate about it. There are some simple things that fasting is always good. There’s the Master Cleanse, which is simply good, clean water. Probably best if it’s a distilled water with the juice of a lemon, as much cayenne pepper as you can stand. Most people like a little bit of either B-grade maple syrup or buckwheat honey to take the edge off of the cayenne pepper so they can put a little bit more cayenne pepper in it. Some people use that as fast. They’ll have a day or two where that’s all they’re putting in their system. Some people like to add it any time they’ve got a sniffle, anything with the mucus membranes because the combination of the lemon and the cayenne pepper helps break up the mucus and flush it out of the system. With it, the mucus is that mechanism within us is trying to hold on to toxins, trying to seal it off from us. That’s the only thing that I know that I started talking to people about in terms of detoxing.
Distilled water and lemon are a good way to go and also you can handle cayenne pepper.
It’s a delight talking to you as always. Thank you so much. I’ll stay in touch. I will send you that recipe for the cooked kale. I look forward to hearing how you like it.
I will let you know.
Stay healthy and thank you so much for taking time with us.
Thank you. Take care. Bye.
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. She’s a Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Integrative Medicine. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Skidmore College with a BA in English, and working for nearly a decade as a photojournalist, she attended Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her Psychiatry residency at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Dr. Skillicorn is the author of the book, Healing Depression without Medication: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul.
At her private practice in Stow, Ohio, Dr. Jodie Skillicorn integrates conventional medical training with evidence-based holistic methods that include breathwork, meditation, yoga, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing known as EMDR, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Mind-Body Medicine, nutrition, exercise and auricular acupuncture. She believes strongly in the body’s ability to heal itself if given resources and support, and in the importance of empowering patients to take back their health through simple, but effective lifestyle changes.
- Healing Depression without Medication: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul
- Dr. Skillicorn
- Charity Miles
About Jodie Skillicorn, DO
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Diplomate of American Board of Holistic Integrative Medicine. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Skidmore College with a BA in English, and working for nearly a decade as a photojournalist, she attended Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her Psychiatry Residency at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is the author of the book, Healing Depression Without Medications: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul. At her private practice in Stow, Ohio, Dr. Jodie Skillicorn integrates conventional medical training with evidence-based holistic methods that include breathwork, meditation, yoga, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Mind-Body Medicine, nutrition, exercise, and auricular acupuncture.
She believes strongly in the body’s ability to heal itself if given resources and support, and in the importance of empowering patients to take back their health through simple, but effective lifestyle changes.
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