S2 E8: The Gut Skin Connection with Christa Biegler

In this episode, we are covering one of our most requested topics and that is gut health and its connection to our skin. To dig into this more, I’m joined by my friend and colleague Christa Biegler. Christa is an award-winning dietitian nutritionist, host of the Less Stressed Life podcast, and author of The Eczema Relief Diet & Cookbook. She helps health-savvy women beat bloat, burnout & eczema breakouts with her podcast, programs and private practice. She lives with her unicycling husband & kids in the Midwest. The Less Stressed Life Podcast & Nutrition mission is to educate and inspire women with science to take control of their health and heal their bodies, creating a positive domino effect on family health.
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Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian.

Emily 0:03
And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner and this is

Amanda Montalvo 0:06
the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods.

Emily 0:12
Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology and metabolic health.

Amanda Montalvo 0:20
Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey.

Emily 0:25
We hope you enjoy it.

Amanda Montalvo 0:37
In this episode, we are covering one of our most requested topics and that is gut health and its connection to our skin. We’re specifically going to be focusing on eczema as well. We have lots of lots of questions for my friend Krista and that’s really why I’m joined by Krista Biegler. She’s at anti inflammatory nutritionist on Instagram and Chris is an award winning dietician, nutritionist. She’s host of the less stress life podcasts that I’ve been on twice, and author of the eczema relief diet and cookbook. She helps health savvy women beat bloat burnout and eczema breakouts with her podcast programs and private practice. She lives with her unicycling husband and kids in the Midwest. The less stress life podcast and nutrition mission is to educate and inspire women with science to take control of their health and heal their bodies creating a positive domino effect on Family Health. Thank you so much for being here. Krista. I can’t express how cool Chris is guys, the bio doesn’t do it justice. You’re just into a lot of cool things. And like Chris said, is everything? Oh, gosh,

Christa Biegler 1:34
I think it’s because I often say to myself and other people I’m like, if I wanted to just understand how I behave and how my interactions with everyone else are in the world, I just look at the Enneagram because it kind of in as an Enneagram three, nothing’s like ever good enough. Or there’s always like new mountains to climb and new things to experience and, and whatnot. So if you talk to me a year ago or two years ago, you’re gonna get a fully different perspective than next year. We’re just probably both of us. I think you’re also in Enneagram. Three or number three? Yeah, it’s like, kind of sometimes you just have a moment you’re like, it’s kind of exhausting to want to, like, make everything better all the time. But yeah,

Amanda Montalvo 2:11
I try everything like you get you I just get passionate about so many different things. And I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna focus,

Christa Biegler 2:17
right, I know. And then it’s really nice to be able to talk to other people to help you like, zone and like, okay, we can kind of do everything, but where can we be most helpful in the world. So today we’re talking about eczema, right, which is like one area that we can be helpful in the world. Even though I never wanted to talk about eczema.

Amanda Montalvo 2:37
That kind of blows my mind, because I feel like you’re so good at teaching around this topic. So why don’t you just get into it? What brought you to want to focus on gut health skin issues, specifically eczema, and just like burnout in general? Well,

Christa Biegler 2:50
you know, when I read your story, it’s kind of like that as well. It’s like I had these things happen. And then you solve them. And then when people ask you to guest to, you know, speak on a certain topic. You know, things kind of snowballed from there. So backing up. I remember experiencing skin issues as early as high school and I remember being a common person, right, like a typical a typical human being, saying, Oh, I think it’s genetic, my sister’s also get dry skin, it would pop up in the winter, I put a little cream on it, that would go away, etc, right, like not ruining my life didn’t really even realize there was an issue. So that’s kind of like step one, right? And that’s a ton of people. I mean, eczema affects 10 to 20% of children. And to be quite honest, there’s a I mean, that’s a whole ball a racket itself, and we can certainly talk about pediatric versus adult and adults one to 3%. And there’s different like, ways this presents etc. So as a high school person, right, I go get this met or put the topicals on right and I move on with my life. And then somewhere in between starting private practice being a mom, managing multiple I was a contract dieticians I was like doing different things. It’s like a perfect storm. So if you have all the genetic predisposition, I never blamed things on genetics ever. But I felt so good. I felt better about myself when I understood genetic predisposition and I think we can presume some genetic predisposition. Do your parents have any anything in the atopic March allergies, asthma or eczema? If they do you have some genetic predisposition to having this right. So all you need is a perfect storm to happen. And then it’s going to present so for me my story kind of the the not the crash, the health crash. The one you know, there may have been a lot of stuff going on inside that we tend to ignore, right? We’re like, we’re all frogs and a pot of boiling water. We don’t just like it’s the boiling water situation that makes us like jump out, which is when my skin flared, like a crazy person. I was like, Okay, I gotta like this is now clearly a problem. But most of us a lot of our stuff kind of adds up slowly. And so we don’t even like all of a sudden one day we’re like, what what is wrong with me? You know, because if you put a frog in A pot that’s warm, and then you turn it up slowly, it’s just going to die because it continues to acclimate and adjust over time. And that is how we are as humans as as things build up. So what happened was, I was taking my kiddos to a swimming pool for a week straight for swimming lessons. And so we were swimming after swimming lessons. And I after that many days of swimming lessons, I broke out in this like horrific flare, it was very convenient, because it was all over my face on my neck. So it’s very exciting. And this is why skin issues are kind of like the last straw, there’s usually other signs and symptoms that are going on. But if they’re not really inhibiting our life, we’re probably not going to deal with them. But when they get visual, you know, it’s like a new level, which is why skin issues are kind of frustrating, I think, because we want to go about things in the way that makes sense to us. So I always say you can go through any issue with this triad type of approach, it helps me kind of focus or help explain things. So there’s three angles to the triangle. And you can go about something from the emotional angle, right? Nervous System and balances all of those things. The structural angle, maybe on the skin topically or like, you know, another common structural angle is like adjust chiropractic adjustments, whatever the common ancillary things that people do. And then the other corner would be nutritional, which is like a whole gamut of stuff, gut health and nutrient stuff, etc. For example, if you’ve got a kid with that’s having tantrums, where are you going to start, you’re probably going to start with a counseling maybe. And then maybe you’re going to go to chiropractor, because your friend is going to tell you that they went there and it really helped their kids behavior. And then maybe you’re gonna end up in the nutrition realm, too. It’s like, okay, maybe nutrition does affect that, but you start where it makes sense. So in skin, you start where it makes sense, you start in that structural or topical angle. And that’s often where people are like, I’ve tried everything, like no, you’ve only really tried that one angle. You’ve only tried part of that one angle, like if you switch creams every other day, right? And that’s understandable because we view it as a topical problem. But obviously skin grows from the inside out, right? It’s like ODA, right? There are some unanimously held beliefs or like, I would say, generally accepted truths around eczema, for example, conventionally and beyond, we would say generally, Eczema is associated with a Staphylococcus aureus overgrowth in the skin, I would say the way it presents and looks. Not everyone is like that. So a staph aureus overgrowth on the skin will typically, in my opinion, look pink, or light colored and spotted. And actually I should comment about melanated skin because that often we kind of miss you miss eczema and melanated skin, it actually looks darker. And sometimes the whole tone looks a little more ashen or gray. So just kind of commenting on that I go off on tangents. So Staph aureus, kind of widely held acceptable truth, but usually how that actually presents in real life as it looks kind of spotted pink and flamed. And then there’s the other area which is kind of dry, flaky, etc. And I think that those two are different based on how I’ve seen with history and what how they respond, etc. So, so I’m going to end that there. But I want to say our biggest issue with eczema and why it’s such a mystery and why we can talk about it endlessly. Is because we’re treating it all the same. We’re just pretending it’s all the same. And there’s many different types and it’s presented differently. And the research is kind of out. It’s like you have eczema, cool. Try this or this right, but we’re not subtyping eczema very well. So there’s 10 technically different types of eczema, all types and so there’s like people who say I don’t have eczema dermatitis, okay, it’s the same thing. So atopic dermatitis contact dermatitis, which is like touching things dyshidrotic eczema, nummular, eczema, sub seborrhea dermatitis usually in the head, you know, these are all terms to describe the same thing. A rash, itchy, itchy, inflamed, rash, essentially like that is what Eczema is at the bottom bottom line,

Amanda Montalvo 8:53
and what type did you have?

Christa Biegler 8:55
I was just ever diagnosed as eczema. I didn’t go to a dermatologist after high school for eczema. So I was just diagnosed with straight up eczema. So let’s talk about some of these other ones contact dermatitis would be like you touch something and you get you get eczema, right? Just dried it can look like kind of like posh stools are like little like Pimply things on the skin. It really presents quite a bit on the hands. nummular is like round circles I didn’t have that I find that really got mediated by the way seborrhea dermatitis if I did have separate dermatitis, and we know that above the shoulders, there is this major fungal species like the overarching umbrellas Malassezia. So typically, stuff on the head is often actually going to be a pretty big fungal component. I found that it can itch at different times of the day, like sometimes people will just get like crazy itchy at night. Another good Pearl for someone with seborrhea dermatitis, and they probably know this but this is one of those things where as a practitioner who hasn’t had it, you wouldn’t think about it you would never want to wash your hair and go to bed with a wet head. Because you’re kind of like allowing your fruit creating a really lovely environment for bacteria and fungus to thrive like warm and wet. Lovely, right? And so you want to go ahead and try that. And actually speaking to the hairdryer, that’s like a nice tip to help. Because anytime you scratch, open your skin, remember we talked about Staph aureus, what happens is you scratch under the nails, and then you spread it around. And now you have eczema everywhere. So if it is staff related, you are much more likely to spread it. Oh, yeah. Right. And so that it’s like so many, so like a lot of like small details like that. But so scratching is kind of like not so hot. But then what do you do about it? Right, so an option to scratch. But that’s not scratch. I mean, the sad things I have heard from parents because we will work we don’t really advertise about this. It’s just referral based, but we try to work with we like five and under. Because once you’re like five to 18, you have a lot of feelings of like, what you want to do, you know, and how you want to how good of a client you want to be. So we like five and under because their mom decides everything at that age. You know, they don’t have a total mind of their own. But Mama’s will say like, they’re, they their kid is I mean, they’re they’re asleep distract from this, and their kid is getting up and they have to scratch them in the middle of the night for them. So they have like gloves and things but an interesting option. I mean, I like to there’s like different ways you can topically help quell this temporarily. But like a hairdryer, since we were talking about what had a hairdryer, like used on the skin kind of like allows you to kind of quell that itch without scratching a little bit, which is kind of a fun, fun little idea, a hot tip.

Amanda Montalvo 11:33
If you’re struggling with eczema, and you’re now like, Wait, I don’t want to scratch because if I do have the staff kind of don’t want to spread it. Use a hairdryer. You’re at your swimming lessons with your kids. After a week, your skin’s finally just like absolutely not you get this egg smell break all of your face from there, like at this point, like you’re already a dietitian, right. Oh, yeah, it’s really annoying. And then I was like, I was early in private, like I was just starting my private practice, I’m

Christa Biegler 11:59
sure stress was at play. And I did not recognize that it was all a common problem for humans. And so I you know, in like, you’re further stressed by like how you look and literally being in pain. So like, you’re kind of like this was a new look for my eczema that I hadn’t seen. Yes, I had dry flakiness, but it was fully inflamed. Like there was a bacterial disruption as well. And so it was different, like I was puffy and swollen, and the only eyes and I mean, there’s like a whole thing around, I have never found an amazing resource for Chinese. I mean, I don’t know how we are. But the Chinese are smart, right? Like they always have everything figured out before us. I mean, physical therapy, for example, uses multiple Chinese modalities, including scraping, which is essentially guasha. And dry needling, which is essentially acupuncture, but the 10s unit, right? So we have utilized some and we’re very familiar with acupuncture. But the Chinese say that the face can kind of indicate what areas or organs of the body are disrupted. And so I had eczema really shine up around this eye, and all over right here. And so my eye could be sometimes swelled shot anyway, that’s really related to liver issues. And I found that to be true in every single eye exam case I’ve ever seen or eczema on the eye. Yeah, I mean, and that’s the thing. That’s a cool part about practice that you don’t I mean, there’s a truce or eczema toolbox is not impressive. We can just say that, right? I mean, like, it’s pretty much like go on the steroid. And then the is in real quick. The problem with this is that you’re not supposed to be on steroids long term. But there’s not there’s rarely a titration off situation. So there are, there’s a whole community of people who are injured by steroids. So that’s not a scare tactic. It’s just like, we’re here for awareness purposes. And so our goal is like, yeah, it’s for us to like, seek better. It’s all so where was I? You wanted to know what happened next after I had that issue?

Amanda Montalvo 13:51
Because I’m like, okay, so

Christa Biegler 13:52
you’re getting this. I’m just picturing, like, imagine getting this like eczema all over your face in your neck. You’re like, what’s going on? You just started your private practice, did you is that what really like sparked the skin health and the eczema deep note, well, actually, where I didn’t want to work with skin health, because it was my own journey was really frustrating. I looked to many professionals and came up pretty short or just with the generic toolbox, you know, the generic toolbox includes like zinc probiotics, omegas. So I mean, when people come to me, and they’re on that stuff, I’m like, Oh, I see. You’ve seen someone who doesn’t specialize in this, which is cool. That’s fine. Like, you can start there. If you wanted to, I guess. I mean, that’s a whole tangent on its own. But first, you’re frustrated because like you’re looking for help, and you cannot find help. So that blows. And then from there, I don’t remember the exact timeline, but I did some experimentation around food as a dietitian, right and did some experimentation on food. This is where a lot of people land as well, and made it worse. So that was fun. So I restricted food and then upon reality at that time, at that time I got was already like messy. So at that time I’m after I react to things, there was a time where like, I could eat a handful of pecans and I could feel my ice. Well, I was like, I’ve never seen this before in my life, like I’ve never had that, like this was all new for me. And like uncontrolled. And I did not know what to do. Long story short, I did like a boatload of research, and got to a manageable place where I was not reacting from food profusely. And then continue to do healing from there. And then along me piecing it together, because I literally could not find someone to be helpful, which is not a real likes a lovely story, right. But that’s the reality of eczema. It’s like, yeah, not a lot of people want to do this, because people think it’s going to be quick and easy and fast. And it’s the exact opposite. It’s an internal and external problem. So you got to calm down the external. And you got to, like, rebalance everything internally. And so, so I did a ton of research did a lot of things for supporting gut health. At that time, that got me to a really stable place. And from there, I could just continue to improve and like use different modalities, I will say that I got to a place where I was like, 90%, good to go. And I was still doing like other stuff. I mean, along the along the journey, which was longer than I would have liked it to be. I learned about genetics, I learned how crappy my liver was like, literally, like it was like, Oh, you suck at clearing things. And so we should probably talk about why eggs, Ms. Eczema and any skin condition has to do with a process of elimination, or how you detoxify things. Because for me, I’m really passionate about detoxification and doing it well. And giving it lip service to the cool process that it fully is because, you know, we know that detox is kind of a thrown out word. And I’m like, hey, it’s really awesome and important. And if I didn’t have really well supported detox, I’d still wake up with a puffy face to be honest, because my lymph system is just like, not amazing. Genetically, as evidenced by a lot of family history. Now that I know that my eyes are open, I can see it. And then lastly, what I was going to say was that I got like 90% of the way clear, but I still had roughness, where my skin was inflamed previously, so it was still rough. And so infrared sauna helped me get the last little bit percent, you know, and that’s fun, because that’s an exogenous or that’s something else to put your mouse. It’s a nice detoxification opportunity. And it’s a way for you to get things out through the skin efficiently. And that was like a big thing for me. And then I will say that I still was working on healing for quite a while. And when I say that, I would say that I would still be kind of cautious of dairy for a while, unfortunately, right? Because I could tell it was giving me some symptomatic changes. Another thing that used to happen to me was, if I drank crappy coffee, which is a whole nother thing, like around low grade mold stuff, I would just feel like terrible, I’d have like a high in a crash. And so just like learning about how you respond to things has been really useful. And so my point I’m telling you, the coffee thing is sometimes I go on trips, and when I go on trips, I’d love to like, eat all the things do all the things because I live in the middle of nowhere, with access to none of those things. And so I like to get all the things do all the things. And I have for a while for quite a while after that whole flare, I noticed that when I was like indulging a little hard for a little long, I would get like a it’s almost like a sensation, I would get a sensation on my car. I used to have the eczema because I was drinking crappy coffee too hard, you know, with this things. And so it’s just interesting, because I share that because I have the predisposition. So if I allowed everything to just fall apart, I would for sure have eczema again, for sure have eczema again. So yeah, that’s, you know, not the not the prettiest story. And so where that led me after that was someone was looking for a speaker to talk about food relationship and eczema. So it’s a big topic, and we have to give it lip service, right, like people recognize, or they think that there’s a food issue. So I’m gonna talk about what that looks like, and what’s really going on underneath. It’s like, why is it like that? Right? Should we should be able to eat lots of foods. That’s our goal. And so I did a presentation kind of talking about different food reactions. And from there, I had some moms of kids reach out and ask if I could help them or their kids with eczema. I was very transparent, and everything just kind of rolled from there. You know, so

Amanda Montalvo 19:13
I can totally see that. That’s really cool that you actually did it because sometimes, it’s like the things that we don’t even want to focus on. Like, I never thought I would focus on women’s health. I was like, um, sports nutrition, like there’s no way I’m focusing on that. So we’ll kind of get to where we’re supposed to be. So one thing that you mentioned that I know that everyone’s probably wondering about now, was the liver and elimination, which I feel like brings us kind of to our gut health

Christa Biegler 19:38
it what is the connection of eczema to our gut, kind of no matter which type you have, I’m guessing there’s always some type of connection to the gut. And that I mean, definitely feel free to cover detoxification since the livers so closely tied. Yeah. And so in short first, if you’ve got unwelcome guests in your gut, that’s going to put stress on the liver. So Let’s try to use a good analogy. This is like I have house guests this weekend. And they’re wanted, but a lot of people just I had like 10 people moving in for fun. They’re eating all the food out of my fridge, they’re taking up all my nutrition. And they’re using, they’re like creating a lot of waste and a lot of garbage or endotoxins. And so there’s a lot of trash to take out, which is the liver, I hope that that like oversimplifies it because I tend to be a little too heavy on topics. So I’m trying to be really simple. And hopefully, like unwanted guests eating up all your nutrition, so you are fatigued, you don’t feel well, your skin doesn’t heal very fast. I mean, the list can go on and on and on. Lots more trash, the skin is a safe place for your body to get rid of things if the trashcan is already full. So we eliminate through urine bottles, skin and respiration are kind of our primary modalities of elimination. So if you are not pooping, I mean, I love a good skin case, he’s not pooping every day, like sign me up, because then I don’t have to explain, you know, and that’s not super typical. But this is where I think this is why there’s not a lot of people who work in eczema, because there is like a mountain of not education almost to get through first. And we’re like fast, you know, and I want this to heal quickly. And some types of eggs may heal faster than others. But you can see it’s like there’s a big education climbing. And so if they’re if they recognize that there’s got issues first, then it’s not such a you know, Far Cry to say there’s some good issues here. By the way,

Amanda Montalvo 21:25
I’m really focusing on my skin, my skin is the problem not here for my gut, you know, exactly.

Christa Biegler 21:30
So I mean, for me, I’m like, can we can you show up and know that already? That’d be awesome. Because because I want to hit the ground running. And if I have to, like step back and be like so anyway, that’s the purpose of a podcast. So speaking of gut health, what are some common patterns we see inside the gut? So we talked about how Staph aureus on the skin is kind of unanimously or widely accepted as an issue with eczema, you’ll see that. I mean, you could ask any dermatologist and they would say, yep, for sure. So guess what we see on the inside a lot of staph and strep overgrowth. Ooh, fun pearl. I learned this the hard way, just like everything right, with clients and with myself. Because Eximus is very commonly Staph and Strep overgrowth. And when you have unwanted guests, those guys, overgrowth of imbalanced bacteria will throw a wrench in digestive processes is my simple way to say that. So undigested stuff continues to feed them, and then you’re not getting the nutrition you need, etc, etc. So if you get like a sinus infection for eggs, and if you get like a common cold, you’ve got an up regulation maybe of staph and strep. And so what I see happening is like, you know, the phases of the cold where you get the cold, feel like poop for like a week, at least right. And then after that, then people are like, I’m fine, but they really don’t feel fine for like a couple of weeks most people. So about three weeks later, I mean, this is my stupid analogy for this. It’s like you’re in a gymnasium, and you’ve got like, two colors of balls, red ones, and, and green ones. And the green ones are good, and the red ones aren’t so good. And so in a cold, you have like so many red ones to where you’re like you’re just down and out. And then you’re able just like your immune system is able to kick out those red bad ones. But there’s still like a low grade amount of them regardless for a while afterwards. So what you’ll see is skin is slow, right, which is why it’s so annoying. It’s growing from the inside out. So you don’t see it necessarily right away. But a few weeks later, you can see a little flare in the skin after a cold. So valuable thing to realize, because even if you’re like on the healing journey, and then you have a setback, especially like kids get sick, a fair amount, right? Or they can they can get sick a fair amount, because suppressed immune system is a really common thing to see on on gut tests as well. So if we don’t have like there’s a whole bunch to supporting a strong immune system right in the gut is you gotta get rid of unwanted houseguests. You gotta be really supportive. You got to reduce stress. I mean, there’s, there’s lots of opportunity there to improve. But we’ll see a lot of staph and strep overgrowth, there’s a lot of other things that can show up to kid that test results are a lot more honest than adults. Sometimes there’s not like layers of issues over time and biofilms. I always, I always say, let’s address your issues by symptoms, is equal to or even more than your test results. The test results are beautiful. People want those at this point, right? But your symptoms are really valuable as well. So if they’re not getting better, then you’re not on the right track, right. Or if your symptoms say one thing and your test results, say another. Sometimes there’s like extra layers to kind of work through the longer you’ve had an issue. So in short, there’s a lot of things that we could see on gut we can totally go into that but I would say the most common denominators for sure staph and strep, and then considering how you can continue to reenact you late with too much staph and strep and cause kind of a cascade of, okay, we have got too much overgrowth, too many unwanted houseguests were not digesting or they’re using up food, you know, like like crazy, and then they’re creating all that waste. And it’s your genetic predisposition or your predisposition, whatever for whatever reason To allow that to show up on the skin, because you are not, you don’t have a good trashcan man. Or you need to support that trashcan, man, and you’re not supporting it quite enough. So I think with everything with health, like you can continue to get better. And I think you should continue to get better year after year. It’s like, cool. I’ve cleared my eczema. But you heard my story. It’s like, cool, I cleared my eczema. But I was like, I could still like I was I was still improving after that, right? I was, I was not being crazy. I’m not like a really realistic human. Some people will ask, they’ll be like, Do you believe do should I am I going to have to like, leave out bla bla bla forever. And I’m like, I am really like a normal rational person, like I like to eat. So I’d love for you to be able to eat whatever you want. With, you know, with like, a good healthy, broad diet. Like we want you to enjoy the most things and not be you’re not being a handful of pecans and having your eyes swell up. I mean, lame, right? Like, that’s not very fun. I have

Amanda Montalvo 25:53
is terrifying. But it’s just interesting how like, even later on when you would have like a bunch of coffee that maybe wasn’t the best quality and you get the sensation. It’s just our bodies communicating. I think that’s it’s really hard with skin. Because like you said, it’s presenting in such like an in your face way other people are going to notice it, it brings out so many insecurities. And I mean, I struggled with acne my entire life. So I and that took me forever to heal. And I had Robin on, we talked about acne and everything was great. But skin stuff is so hard because it does often take time, it’s usually goes up and down. And like you said, like eczema like that’s your symptom, right? If you’re overdoing things, if you’re not taking care of yourself, it sounds like that’s the thing that kind of pops up for you. Well, and just from a normal human behavior standpoint,

Christa Biegler 26:40
there’s so many issues because like if you have Crohn’s and Colitis, and endoscopy is like three grand and your biologics are a few grand, like you’re invested in making some changes and seeing those results. And with skin, you’re very annoyed, it’s affecting your vanity, but you don’t think it should take that much work. Like it doesn’t see it’s just a skin issue, right. And I think that’s why more people don’t spend time in this space. And it’s always difficult for me, because we have done some different projects around eczema. And I’m always kind of like, that wasn’t fulfilling, in terms of like, it’s just funny, I, I every time we do something that’s kind of like more public facing or group wise, I’m like, that wasn’t as fun as helping people individually, because there’s a lot of little nuances that happen. And that’s okay. It’s just like, personally where I am, as a helper with eczema is that it is a frustrating little bugger. But and so it’s almost like, you know, like, our story is, you know, part of the gifts that that we’re, we’re obligated to share with the world. So I’m hyper aware of this. And I’m always like, How can I give away information around? How can I please just be as helpful as possible, because there is such a lack of information. And so if today, we can kind of like help elevate, you know, someone a few a few notches, they’re going to be in such a better place to like deal with some of the layers that may need to be done. And like I said earlier, there are some types of eczema that are easier than others. And I might just address that really quick. If you have this, like if your eye like my favorite case is a kiddo or someone has kind of gotten newer eczema, and it’s just that pink, splotchy kind, or even nummular eczema because I’m like, well, we can just start with get and clear things, some things up and do pretty well there, right. And then there’s always other other symptoms that people want to correct as well. So that I think is really good or inflammatory mediative, kind of call it either one of those. And then that may look like that redness or again, and Melania skin, it may just look darker, so that a generally redness, it’s going to look, there are some food, like triggers potentially, and those are not permanent. They’re just things not functioning well. And so your body’s not able to get rid of certain neurotransmitters. It may look worse at the end of the day versus the beginning of the day. I may have some seasons, it may cycle, it may flare more with your period or with ovulation. What else was I going to say about it? Yeah, worse at the end of the day, I would say are the main ones bright redness worse with activity or exercise sometimes hopefully, I’m not forgetting anything. So that is really got immediate, I mean, it can look like round circles like nummular The kind that I had, is not as easy. And that is the kind of the dry flaky one or there’s more of a sensitivity to chemicals for sure in history, right? Like you’re sensitive to smells, maybe have some contact dermatitis, all of that is like there’s a big environmental component or a big toxin component or a big Hey, you got to work on like really supporting all the nutrients for your liver to do its job. You got to like help your waste man clean up before you even can go making marker like helping take out the garbage. So to go back to the analogy where you have all these houseguests and then you’ve got to take out more garbage. If you don’t have, you know the equipment to help take out the garbage and you could because when you get rid of the house guests, they’re still leftover garbage So you can’t really like up. And that’s another reason eczema gets really challenging is if you don’t recognize those different types from their history and from their presentation, you might start doing that stuff. And it might look worse, and I hate the expression, it might get worse before it gets better. I do not like that I appreciate when a client says, Hey, should this get worse before it gets better? I was like, I sure hope not. Because we’ve been trying real hard not to have that happen. Now, we can always, you know, like, you never know, with anything ever, like anything is always possible. But we’re always trying not to have a bad experience. Like, who wants to have that, right. So when people say it gets worse before it gets better, I think that’s baloney. And that if you just support people in the right manner, so if they are more, we’ll call it toxin, or like liver presentation, that I know I’ve got to work on that stuff before I can go after, like cleaning up after the house guests, because if I clean up after the house guests and pick up all their trash, I’m still creating more trash. So if the trash man isn’t taking out the garbage in the first place, I’m not going to make it better by going to pick up all the trash from the guests.

Amanda Montalvo 31:04
Hey, Amanda, here, just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break for your brain in the middle of this podcast episode, to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health or mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there. And the main reason for that is because you’re going to hear us say things like mineral foundation, having a solid foundation, are you putting the foundations in place, especially what as we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the body, the the mineral foundation is always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t watched the free training, you can find it in our show notes. Or you can go to hormone healing rd.com. And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there so you can understand how is your current mineral status? How do you assess this? And how to get started with all that just so you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it, I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode. One question that I feel like will come up and I can think of a few a few people that will probably listen to those podcasts that are gonna have this is I have a lot of people that will reach out about dermatitis flares happening around stress, why does that happen? One good thing.

Christa Biegler 32:20
So it’s really hard when you’re on a flare to differentiate between your triggers, because it’s like a perfect storm. So as soon as you start to like address some of those triggers, supporting gut health by addressing whichever get houseguests are there or whatever, right addressing maybe nutrient deficiencies to help support detoxification. And that, you know, that’s minerals, that’s amino acids, etc. But stress, its whole thing at the very top of the umbrella is that it’s creating physiological changes down the pipeline. So we know and so the nice thing is about once you start addressing some of those root causes, you can start to identify that stress has become an issue or that stress is an issue or creates more of a flare situation. Whereas before, you may not have been able to recognize that all the time. So let’s think about some of the things stress does. If we were just thinking about the cycle, we know that when estrogen just like jabbering here for a second, let me come back to the hormone one, because it’s just slightly more complex to think through when you’re listening to audio. At the very top level, we know stress influences microbiota. So and one of the primary ways I see an influence like a downstream impact of microbiota changes under prolonged stress, regardless of whether you’re aware of it or not, it’s really annoying. When you’re just a fast talker going from appointment to appointment appointment, you didn’t realize that was stressed too. It’s annoying, right. So prolonged stress, as you know, dumps minerals first, and those are cofactors for stomach acid. And if you can’t digest food well, or if you don’t, if you can’t stomach acids, like the gate, and so if you don’t have a very good gate to the digestive system, you’ve opened up the gate, and now you’re allowing unwanted houseguest to just live at your house, like you’ve left the door wide open. So it’s kind of obnoxious because it like doesn’t always happen super instantly. It’s like, oh, this happened. And then this happened later. And then this happened later. Right? It’s like the door was open before the house was full of flies, right? For a while, depending on the season, and an illness that may have happened and all these things or if you have a suppressed immune system, kind of a similar thing. And you I’m always like wary of someone who’s like, oh, I have lactose intolerance or someone who’s like kind of predisposed. Like they’re the person who kind of gets sick after you eat somewhere and no one else did. You kind of have a predisposition to that like if you’re like oh, if you’re if you know someone who’s like saying I must have ate something wrong, and that’s like not a very good sign, right? Because if you have a strong immune system, you should be able to kick things out. And if it’s quite weak, you’re not kicking things out and you’re having like maybe a bit more distress digestive Lee. So stress at the top, that’s like the easiest one I I think of right away that helps kind of create this like domino effect in the gut. Right? So it’s like multi step. And from there, I think like, also for dumping minerals, we’re impacting detoxification, right. So because it’s like a very mineral dense process, as well as Oh, and the other thing is detoxification is a very, essentially protein reliant process as well. So if you don’t digest protein, because of stress, dumping minerals that help you make the stuff that helps you digest protein, then like, you’re just quickly robbed of the things to do your jobs. And so when you it’s like having a lot of people calling in sick all at once, it’s like, you can kind of manage for a while, and then it’s like, oh, stuff was just falling apart around here, like, you know, it’s just not working. Again, this is why it’s kind of annoying, because it starts to kind of like happen slowly. I’m just thinking more through like all the opportunities, stress, and and some people will say, there’s a lot of ways to teach about this or talk about it. For me. Stress is part of my branding. And it’s really frustrating for me, like, Why did I pick that term? It was because I was looking for a synonym for inflammation, because I was super interested in inflammation in 2016. And so, but it’s been kind of a nemesis, that to some extent, because we don’t record like high power women we don’t recognize we’re like, we’re not stressed. That’s like a weak word, you know. And for me, it’s now become like, you deserve a less stressful life. And really, stress is not the word people resonate with. And so we’re sexing it up over here and calling it nervous system imbalances, which is what really is happening. Because, again, so many ways to teach and talk about this. But if you have if you’re constantly in fight or flight, which by the way, just looking at your phone has been shown to put you in fight or flight, nervous systems, inconveniently right, so surfing while we’re eating. I mean, I’m not here from a pedestal, I’m here is up here. So, so if we’re in fight or flight, and we’re, we’re setting that neural pathway, so like driving that path to work every day, we can just do that on autopilot, and it becomes our norm over here, this other road is not getting well worn, right? So it starts to atrophy, that’s our rest and digest. Before you know you’re not able to switch between fight or flight and rest and digest very quickly. So from a very quick perspective, you’ve now limited your ability to use, like digest and use nutrients from food. So that’s a pretty quick version, that version before it was like kind of slower, right? This is pretty quick. If you are like scrolling your phone while you’re eating, you’re probably not digesting and getting the nutrients. How obnoxious right. So a lot of people will say like, you need to start with gut health or just with anything from the top down approach, there’s always a lot of ways to like go about a problem, always multiple ways. So that those are all some options. And then one more thing, since you are always talking about hormones and sex hormones, you know, we know with estrogen detoxification, when you go around that to a wage corner, like you’re trying to clear out to a wage estrogen, that one of the roadblocks to clearing that stress, right. So we just know, for a variety of reasons. Like if you’ve got this, you know, and so I don’t know how many more things are like that as well. And it wouldn’t, why are all the things you know, for me, I’m like, That’s enough reasons. For me personally, like that makes enough sense. But I’m sure there’s a lot of things we don’t fully completely understand. I mean, the other thing that happened, I will just mention this to under long term, chronic stress if your adrenals have suffered for a long time. And I mean, that’s just like poor resilience. And I found that you just do not heal as quickly under poor resilience. So yeah, it’s all like, how do you help people with this as fast as possible? Right, it’s such a fun friend. It’s like you can’t

Amanda Montalvo 38:37
skip the foundations, you really can’t. And like that’s why it’s very tempting, especially with something like eczema, like the skin issue, especially if you’ve been dealing with for a really long time. It is tempting to be like what supplements should I take or what nutrient is important for getting rid of eczema or for skin health, but we have to look beyond that. Because like Chris is saying, there’s such a big connection to our gut health, but also to whatever impacts digestion, your metabolism, your thyroid, right, those are going to slow down digestion that could be triggering for some gas production, then before you know it, you have all these unwanted houseguests in your gut. And then that’s impacting your liver is so many different things. And then of course, hormones play a huge role. Do you want to talk about how our how our cycle can impact our skin, especially with eczema and how that can flare around different times? Yeah,

Christa Biegler 39:25
most people will complain of an increased flare around basically right before their period or kind of around ovulation right before ovulation and a lot of people aren’t really, your audience probably is. Not everyone I encounter is really monitoring their cycle. They just know it’s kind of they probably don’t associate it with their actual study or startup lead or the start of their cycle more often. So let’s see what kind of flare around that time. And it’s been a little bit since I’ve like I did a whole episode on this with someone one time but essentially, there’s a synergistic relationship somehow with histamine and estrogen. And so if you have that really gut driven And let me back up. Let’s talk about histamine for a second to make this make more sense, because this is a I mean, the whole premise of the cookbook was around this. And I’ll just back up. Like The annoying thing here with people with, with not with people, but just like with in general, is that we are looking for like one or two things that we can do. And there are a lot of like simple tips. That could be helpful, but we want really immediate results with skin unfortunately. And so you will not see me coming out. You know, it’s funny, I say, every time I say something, I’m not going to do that I do like a week later, but I’m really not ever coming out with a supplement line around eczema. Because for me, it would be really frustrating because people would try it and be like, Oh, this didn’t help tomorrow. You know, my skin didn’t clear overnight. And that would not be realistic whatsoever. Literally, we talk I think my favorite example is that having that head cold it’s like this, the byproducts show up weeks later, which is like might you know, it’s not mind boggling, but it’s like, Oh, that would be so easy to miss, like super, super easy to miss. Alright, so back to histamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter our body’s wicked smart and it’s always going to break down and move things out. It doesn’t need like it’s got processes system is a neurotransmitter is just a chemical messenger that our bodies should be able to break down and move out. So if you have slow light switches or genes for breaking down and breaking it down, then gut imbalances will further slow down that light switch you know everyone’s turned on a light switch it’s a little slow. So and then some people are just eating like full out like histamine all day long. Histamine is like a basically a short cookery platter at a wine bar. So like my dad has allergies, and I never really thought about anyone else in my family really weren’t having allergies. I didn’t really think about him having allergies growing up. But this is where like, oh, oh yeah, I guess he did have allergies. I guess the guy did have allergy so I got some poor genetics for that light switch right Dao hm tea or this snips or the genes that help you break down histamine. And again, people kind of know what histamine is. Because people take antihistamines, right? And so that’s kind of a blocker. But really, my my plea is, can we break it down and just move out what what we’re not supposed to use? Can we just like let things happen the way they’re supposed to, instead of like, constantly trying to like block things or detoxing professors like can we just like support the process, so we can get access histamine buildup? So when we’re just having a histamine smoothie, a pineapple, spinach, almond milk and whatever, you know, or like

Amanda Montalvo 42:27
kefir, you know, sort of like fermented like,

Christa Biegler 42:31
yeah, yeah. I mean, like kombucha I used to. It’s funny because I was like a kombucha nut. Like I was spending hundreds of dollars and kombucha and I was making kombucha. And I was like, I am so flipping healthy. I’m so flipping healthy. And then look what happens to my skin. Oh my gosh, I was fueling the fire without wildness of my fermented food, like the wild bacteria of the kombucha. Kind of like rogue road fermented food like I am, I still feel like Kombucha is not a health food. It’s kind of a fun food. That’s kind of my personal feeling is

Amanda Montalvo 43:05
I like fermented foods, but it’s just like a lot of people their gut cannot actually handle it. Right. It’s like you have to get your you have digestion is gotta be in a good place. And like sometimes people see benefits from adding in fermented foods. At first, I often will get people that are like, Oh, I tried like having like sauerkraut or kombucha and they felt worse. It’s like, well, it’s likely that your digestion needs some support.

Christa Biegler 43:26
And I think certain ones are superior, I do not consider condition to be a superior fermented product.

Amanda Montalvo 43:31
Yeah, when you’re not getting the prebiotics, you know, like, at least like the fermented foods have the prebiotics to in there. So it’s kind

Christa Biegler 43:37
of a fun food. And I was just over here like dumping it down, like lots of histamine, lots of like, all kinds of crazy things to an already kind of not awesome microbiota, whereby so we have all these like histamine input, and if our genes are light switches aren’t working very quickly to help break those down. And then let’s say we don’t clear it out from your liver or your garbage man, then we’re gonna build up and so histamines can be pretty solid trigger. So like, I just love when someone’s like, oh, eat a banana and this happens or tomato products really irritate my skin. I’m like, awesome. Let’s get busy. Let’s get after that. So so that’s kind of histamine in a nutshell. I hope I hope I gave it enough lip service there. And and because increases with estrogen. That’s what’s causing the changes during your cycle. Yes, exactly. So you’re seeing kind of an overall uptick and so you’re gonna usually see it in that gut mediated eczema more often, you know, what fuels the DAO enzyme, please do tell copper. Yeah, of course I have available

Amanda Montalvo 44:37
kiobel Copper, so copper and vitamin A, I’ve seen amazing results with women focusing on improving digestion, like doing all the basics, but also like really mindfully trying to get more copper and vitamin A rich foods in their diet and then having that show like oh, my, I actually feel like what it helps with estrogen, but like allergies and have or having responses to high histamine foods, because it’s kind of like you said in the beginning, which I really appreciate it and you kind of like blew right past it. And I don’t want to interrupt you. But I was like, well come back, you said something about how like some people find like dairy really triggers their skin. So then like they take it out the in they think the dairy is the issue, but we should be able to digest dairy properly and not have it cause an eczema or acne flare, right, we should be able to eat high history like a banana or what like avocado or citrus without having this reaction. So it’s not that that food is something you have to eliminate forever, or that that’s the cause. It’s how it’s impacting your digestive system, gut health and

Christa Biegler 45:42
the rest of your body. Totally. And since you brought up copper, let us go ahead and talk about the standard toolbox for eczema. Very commonly, people have zinc thrown at them, it’s very well known because of zincs opportu. Like its ability to help with tissue healing. So I have used zinc topically, but internally I was I always learned that zinc and copper and a 15 to one balance and ratio. And then let’s get a lot crazier, you would speak to that much better than I would. So my point is if people are taking and this is really common, if they’re out taking super doses a zinc, or let’s just say that the last two years, someone’s been taking a high dose of zinc. And I would call a high dose, 30 milligrams of zinc, they’ve just been over, you’re taking zinc, they’re depleting their copper stores is how I view it. And so now they can be creating on unintended consequences from single supplementation of nutrients. And so this kind of drives me crazy. And why, you know, in Enneagram, three style I’ve been like, how can we help people with everything at the same time? You know, I used to love love micronutrient testing, and like my health professional clients loved it. And I was like, I felt like it was pretty solid and interpretation. And I loved helping people like feel better very quickly. And there’s a lot of reasons I don’t use it anymore. Mostly expense. But then also, you know, I’ll ultimately, there’s a lot of people where if I put them on something, they’re just gonna keep doing it. Even I said not to after a while, like, they’re like, Oh, I’m just doing the same thing you told me to like a year ago. And I was like, no, no, we have to always be switching things up. But that’s just a human behavior, too. It’s like, you order the same crap for pickup grocery pickup every single week to you know, like, it’s just easier to leave it as such, instead of diversifying. But, you know, this is good to keep in mind, because and this is again, you know, backing up to something you said earlier, people are like, Oh, I hear fermented foods are so good for gut health. And that’s where that’s like the boat I was in at that time, you know, when I broke out. And I didn’t even really understand gut health at that point, right. That’s how I viewed it as like, Oh, I thought I knew what I was doing. I knew nothing at that time. But really, that’s really confusing for people, when they hear that fermented foods are good for their gut health. And then they go take them, and then they get worse, or they take a probiotic, which they’ve heard is good for their gut health, which by the way, there’s plenty of strains that are histamine inducing, or histamine producing. And then their skin gets worse too. It’s really like, Damn, why is health so confusing? And so I mean, in that’s kind of where I’m like, I understand it kind of is a challenge. But we do. I do like to oversimplify things, but sometimes we oversimplify them to the point where, you know, to speak your language, like, you know, iron deficiency give iron. Hmm, not that simple. And I just had a conversation

Amanda Montalvo 48:29
about this with my friend Michelle, she has she’s the anxiety podcast episode that’s coming out. Michelle Shapiro. Yeah. And we were kind of thankful for socializing anxiety. But yeah, she, she’s amazing. And it was such a good conversation. And one of the things he talked about was getting your health information online, and why you need to be careful. And when I think of someone, like you mentioned, seeing that fermented foods are good for your gut health, and then like taking them and feeling terrible, or like insert any supplement, right? I mean, so many people are looking for like a diet, change a supplement, whatever it is, we’re taking advice from someone online who does not know us, and then it can make us feel worse or kind of lead us down the wrong path. And when you think about it, you have to you have to look at the health information from different perspectives of like, like for you, for example, you had your eyes was really bad gut health was not in a great place. So you are in the more of that, like, lower percentage of people where you were, you had a lot of symptoms, you were not functioning where you wanted to be functioning. So that tip of you know, eating some fermented foods, drinking kombucha, maybe that would be beneficial for someone that already has decent health and they’re just looking to optimize it, but it was actually awful and the opposite of what you should have been doing as someone that had a lot more symptoms. I don’t want to say sick, but you know, like symptomatic you had clear issues. And I didn’t think I was I didn’t think I had symptoms to be honest before the skin thing flared.

Christa Biegler 49:55
I really didn’t see any symptoms. In retrospect, I was too tired to clean my house. Yeah. And I just like, didn’t feel like I didn’t have sleep issues. I was just like too tired to clean the house, you know. And that’s like the main one that makes sense to me. Like, for me inflammation was very fatigue inducing. So like, in doing what, you know, anytime I was like on the right track, I was like, Whoa, I got a lot of energy. That’s not everybody, but it’s probably it’s funny because like to kind of like, I do kind of like really enjoy working on fatigue, because there’s a lot of options for it. Yeah, there’s a lot of potential causes. I think that’s the, and also, I’m gonna be devil’s advocate on something you just said, because I think most people pursue health, because they’ve got some things going on, to be honest. And they’re aware of it so that people are health conscious, they start to recognize little things that could be optimized. I mean, so yeah, people can be in a healthy state, but I’m just saying,

Amanda Montalvo 50:49
but I just mean, like the information that they’re taking in like you don’t know that, like you see some dietician or health professional online talking about a specific food or supplement or whatever. And it’s good for gut health. And you’re like, oh, I have gut issues. So like, I’m going to do that. And it’s like, but is that really meant for you, and it can be so hard to distinguish that you got to do your research.

Christa Biegler 51:08
This is why like, I do not enjoy Instagram personally, because it’s like such sound bites. And it’s like, that’s what’s catchy. But I’m like, I don’t operate in sound bites very well. Like, to some extent, I’m

Amanda Montalvo 51:22
like, I really want you to understand everything about it. So enter podcasts, it is hard to boil things down to an Instagram caption and like, you know, people comment on the post, and you’re like, Well, I reached my character limit. So I could not discuss that topic. It’s hard. It’s challenging, but I definitely am like you were you’re like, How can I put as much free information out there about this as possible, because I want it to be accessible to women, especially if they’re struggling. And you know, I, I’ve been in doctors offices similar to you. i It’s like there was no one to help me. It’s just It’s absolutely ridiculous. And that’s kind of what we talked about in episode 34. With the health care system. I want to backtrack a little bit to the supplement recommendations for eczema. So you mentioned zinc, we talked about that. Hopefully, people know they’ve listened to my supplements to avoid episode, they understand that talk about what were the probiotic piece because I get so many questions. People have a gut issue, they think I’m going to take a probiotic that’s going to fix

Christa Biegler 52:19
it. Well, the general toolbox is going to be a probiotic. Joe Schmo doesn’t even matter, I would say like there’s no specific one that people come on. It’s just like a probiotic. And old school probiotic information is and there’s a whole tangent on itself. But old school probiotic information was like, the more strains the better. And the more CF use in that we’re, we’ve kind of graduated from now that was like kind of 2005 like I did my, my college seminar paper on that. And that was the recommendation at 17 years ago. So it’s not really accurate anymore, but we still live that way. I’m not saying it doesn’t have its merits but like, most there are accounts that people like testing. G like doing continuous stool tests on probiotics and like actually not seeing changes and it’s because well, so anyway, probiotics like there’s a lot of strains, some are better for skin health and others, some are histamine producing, and then also like to make a probiotic like to make good bacteria stick. You do need probiotics. And if you have gut imbalances, you don’t usually tolerate probiotics. So isn’t that fun? Isn’t that fun? Can’t even hardly make it work. So, so sometimes you’ll see it be worse and that’s probably because you have histamine inducing strains, we have the type of eczema that’s histamine sensitive, but the other common things that we see in the toolbox would be like omega threes no harm done really here, but it’s just like you know, omega threes and zinc and probiotics I would say they’re most common ones that I would see in the toolbox. I mean, do you think I’m missing any of those are the main ones I think of

Amanda Montalvo 53:48
I think yeah, those are the ones I think of or just like a regular like ascorbic acid vitamin C

Christa Biegler 53:54
Yeah, I don’t see people coming in on that a whole bunch but feel Yeah, I understand that one not as much as some of the other ones

Amanda Montalvo 54:00
do you know the the histamine producing strains off top your head?

Christa Biegler 54:04
I think I can find it and my extensive digital notebook if you give me a moment because I’m

Amanda Montalvo 54:09
now I feel like there’s gonna be people that are thinking what are they? Are they recognized? Oh, I think I have had histamine imbalances or they noticed them at certain times in their cycle. And it’s like could my probiotic be contributing to that? Okay, I’ve

Christa Biegler 54:22
got a if you just give me a second. Oh, here we go. Histamine producing bacteria, Lactobacillus casei lactobacillus ruder I Lactobacillus bulgaricus found in most yogurts and fermented foods, right. Oh, in the ruder I that’s the one that those are a couple of the strains that you’re supposed to take to prevent streptococcus. Well, this is why things I’ve kind of moved on from like, a lot of probiotics, neutral ones, are around Gnosis which may down regulate histamine receptors and up regulate anti inflammatory agents. And then these are supposed to be histamine degraded. Bifidobacterium infantis, found in breast milk Bifidobacterium longum lactobacillus plantarum, some soil based or spore biotics, this actually makes me really want to right now and go look, there’s a product out there. That’s like just the strains for psoriasis. And for skin health is what they call it. I find it works better for psoriasis and eczema. But now it makes me want to. And I think that the the strains in our more research base for psoriasis the next month. So now that I have that open, I’m like, let me just open another tab out of 1000 and cross compare, because to me, I don’t know that off the top of my head, because it’s not information I use every day anymore, because I don’t care.

Amanda Montalvo 55:35
That’s why you might not know this information, but I’m just curious. And I feel like people will be like, which ones are though it’s, it’s I think it’s just important to know, like, why are you taking your probiotic? Is it actually appropriate for you? And then to know, I mean, hopefully, people have grasped by now that it’s so much more than just the gut bacteria, it’s your digestion, it’s your Are you in fight or flight all day, every day? The foods that you’re eating how well you can break them down how your livers working? It’s it’s so much more complex than that. I don’t think probiotics are negative or like bad. It’s just, you know, like you said, it’s like, that’s like kind of the typical toolbox, you see, and it’s not effective.

Christa Biegler 56:15
Right? I mean, if you have imbalanced bacteria in your gut, I know you want probiotics to just fix it for you. And it’s unlikely that that’s the situation and then I’ll just kind of drop a couple more thoughts here. That is like where you should start where we talked today. That is like, number one. If you have a baby that’s got eczema. This is not, there’s no, I want you to like, just, if we can purchase objectively and remove some emotions around this. Mom’s gut health is related to baby’s gut health. And to be honest, mom’s gut health is related to her partner’s got health. So for me, it’s like really drives me bonkers. I’m like, I can’t stay, I’m like, we got to just support your family, sorry. You know, and in a proper way. And and that’s really good for the family, right, because I want people to feel to have success long term. And if I don’t support their family, then we don’t. So just kind of talking about family microbiota, sometimes I get to do gut tests on mom and baby. And we see pretty similar pictures of health. And I’ve got a whole podcast on on that actually. And another thing to think about is like, I want to just say that there are some topics that are dangerous to Google. And I would say histamine, intolerance, and Candida are not great googling topics, I think you’re not going to find very useful information, you’re going to be told to reduce sugar intake, and that’s going to maybe help not feed the stuff for a little bit, but you’re not really getting rid of it. And then if you are like in a horrendous histamine state, there are some horrendous histamine states that are pretty significant, where you’re just starting to become allergic to everything. And that’s when you want to maybe could maybe consider some deeper things. And there are in some of those deeper things can be some mold and mycotoxin exposure. And I would like to stay again, I’ve maybe would be careful googling that. But I’m gonna say that just with like a really like, let’s not get too crazy. I’m just saying if it’s really, really excessive, and a professional can help us, like, look out, help you understand the text on the, if you’re inside the bottle, you’re not maybe positive, but they can kind of help you give you an idea of like, Does it seem like that or not based on? And that’s the beauty of like, if you’ve seen a lot of cases, you can kind of be like, is this extreme? No, you’re fine. You’re gonna be okay. You know? Yeah. And if you guys are

Amanda Montalvo 58:36
wondering too, like when I Krista was going through all the different types of eggs months, she actually has a quiz that I’m going to put in the show notes to help you better understand your type of eczema. Do you have time for one last question related to kids?

Christa Biegler 58:52
Of course, yeah. And I want to say about the quiz. The whole reason that I did this was like when I would have a call an introductory call with someone, I was doing this in my brain and deciding where their starting place needed to be for the fastest results long term. And so that is what I hope that the quiz does for people is helps them understand that starting point. Do people thrive on understanding the starting point without seeing the rest of them roadmap? I don’t know. Right. That’s still a question. I believe. I think people

Amanda Montalvo 59:19
I’m just saying my answer and validate you know, understand that okay, mine is like actually the type that she was talking about, or Nope, it’s this like specific dermatitis or whatever it is. So I’ll link that quiz. I recommend doing that. I I know when we did Robins episode on acne, people really appreciated doing her acne quiz and better understanding like, Oh, I’m actually like an prob most likely, like infection based acne. It just gives you better next steps to take. So I think I’m all the same. Yeah. And I think that one of the big things with eczema, I get a lot of questions about kids with eczema. And it’s because statistically, there’s many more kids affected, which I was really I’m not surprised to hear you say on you what that out in the beginning? How come some kids get eczema and some don’t?

Christa Biegler 1:00:08
Yeah, so and I’m sure you get to see this because then you get to see the downward strain and downstream effects of the mom feeling hormone stuff because they’re she’s under a lot of stress and our kiddos eczema, like, oh, there’s a whole bunch of emotional pieces around that and sleep issues and whatnot. So there’s multiple reasons. First, I’m gonna look at parent I, the first one of the first thing I always whenever I’m doing this, I go through kids history, sometimes they had early stage antibiotics. And so their gut microbiota, like got wiped out pretty early. And so they need some help correcting that, like they’ve now invited on, like, unwanted guests in. And this is more of a rampant thing. And these times, I guess, I don’t know. So that is often in the history, not always C section. I mean, I also had a C section as my first baby didn’t, you know, I didn’t have a lot of saying that and, and so C section baby or being on antibiotics for a really long time with Group B strep, during vaginal birth is pretty much the same thing. Because if you’ve been on those for hours and hours and hours, you’ve also cleared out the vaginal microbiota. So just like starting from birth, you know, and there’s a lot of things you can’t do anything about there. So we just take that information and use it like, Oh, I didn’t get a great microbiota. So now, I’ve allowed gut imbalances to come in and take up residence. So that’s one thing, genetic predisposition. So I always ask about parents will like what they’ve got gone into, they’ve got health issues going on, in general? Do they have reflux? Do they have? Just like, what do they have? Do they have any of the atopic March? Did either parent have asthma, eczema or allergies at all? So that’s a little bit of a genetic predisposition fed by the perfect storm of like, maybe, you know, some, some early antibiotics or whatever, right? So those are all like super duper common situations. I think that might actually be like, the majority like, and we might be able to boil down everything to like, a lot of those rarely, it’s a lot more than that, like it’s like, and that’s why I guess we want to just say, it’s not, it’s like, hey, as part of helping your child, you’re gonna get to help yourself too. So we just kind of reframe this as positive, not negative. Okay, cool. There’s opportunity for you to feel a lot better than you do currently. Even if you didn’t really think that, like, you might have just thought you retired. Did you have a baby, but you have the opportunity to feel a lot better as well. So genetic predisposition fed by what’s going on in life through their short, short history, you know, and then, you know, what, what the microbiota health is of the entire family, because we know there was a study where there one person and I’m a I am pro antibiotics when needed, we can unanimously agree that they’re very overused. The government is like, please stop using them so much. Whatever. So they are a little overused. I would really like us to support our immune health. And use them when needed. If everyone if we could all just do our part there. We could reduce antibiotic resistance. So that’s a good thing. I lost my train of thought where I was going there. Amanda, where was it going there?

Amanda Montalvo 1:03:06
You mentioned the antibiotics. I was curious if you were going to talk about specifically how the about excellent antibiotics is Aviva Romm. She talks about a group B strep and like do the antibiotics, do you not? If you do them, there’s a much higher rate of eczema in the children. Well, I’m

Christa Biegler 1:03:23
glad you asked that more specifically. So Jeanette Berry, I used to be in a group with her she’s a brilliant functional medicine dietitian out of Oklahoma. She I learned from her that you can do vaginal like super high strain probiotics. And there’s a product from zymogen that I only use for this occasion to try to get a negative Group B strep. You know, I’d be intrigued by like, because I had positive group B strep. I think both of the second pregnancies and I just don’t know what that, you know, I my eczema story happened after I was not having children, there could have been something going on in your gut, or there could have been something going on at that time. But we would not have thought that like we wouldn’t have made that association. And now in retrospect, I’m like, wonder what I could have done there. Right. So I didn’t, you know, you don’t necessarily, usually they don’t really give you a choice around that. But if you can try to get a negative Group B strep test before, that is one of those things where like, you know, you can always try to work with a health professional around that if you want. It’s, you know, that’s a tricky, a tricky, annoying piece. And then also like, okay, cool, this happened. Now, what can I do to really support baby’s microbiome? Well, if you’re breastfeeding, you’re going to support your microbiome as part of that because you you’re you will give your baby the bacteria that you have in your gut, it just is what it is. And that’s okay. I mean, it’s still you already heard that histamine degrading bacteria is in breast milk. And so ultimately, that’s great if that’s what the opportunities present themselves as I mean, I just have like a lot of curiosity about pregnancy and postpartum and preconception nutrition that I don’t always get to like go down the rabbit hole on but I had this client once who was quite She’s a health practitioner and her her own feelings that she learned about her own health was that she really struggled with milk production. And she’s like, I think it was like all of my nutrients, like, all of her deficiencies in her gut health stuff, and whatever she just she personally felt after learning more about herself, like, because every child sucks, like, she had more and more trouble with it. And I think, you know, we can’t really make assumptions about that. We can just say like, in general, if we don’t have resources, our body can’t do what it wants to do.

Amanda Montalvo 1:05:28
Yeah, it doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s an if anyone’s, like, pregnant, and they’re like, how do I avoid Group B strep, I just want to say that we don’t just want to get a negative test, we want to make sure we actually don’t have it. Because obviously, we want the baby to be healthy after and it’s a very tiny risk, but it is still there. And that’s why they do the antibiotics if you’re in a hospital, but Aviva ROM has a great podcast episode all about it. And she presents the research. She’s very like pro antibiotics, if you have it, because you want to protect the baby. She goes into a lot of detail of like the probiotic that she recommends to start taking second trimester. So it’s like you don’t want to wait until like, you don’t want to put your positive tests in the third trimester and then be like, I gotta fix it. Now. I would say like, ideally, you start working on these things. second trimester if you can, but there’s plenty like like that lactobacillus brooder. I like that, as you said that it was like, oh, that’s the one for Group B strep that they recommend to help just get rid of eradicate that streptococcus strain. Yeah, sure. No, that’s

Christa Biegler 1:06:27
really great. It’s a great resource. I love Aviva ROM. She’s another person who’s just out there trying to provide really great high quality information. She’s definitely a pretty amazing leader in our field. I

Amanda Montalvo 1:06:37
think. I read your blog post on kids and eczema. You mentioned which is probably from 28, jaundice. And I was like, Oh, that’s really interesting, because there are, what did I say jaundice? Oh, yeah, I

Christa Biegler 1:06:49
learned that we, we did a pediatric eczema group program. I think in 2017, I ran it with a eczema clothing company. And it was great. It was you know, there’s the thing with eczema is there’s a whole lot of emotions to manage. And so it was really, it was fulfilling, but it was like, Yeah, this, how do we do this, and make it make it easier for everyone involved. So one thing I did learn what we attracted in our marketing was really severe cases. And so in really severe cases, I saw John has kept popping up again and again and again. And their history, which I thought was really interesting. And I can only I mean, so it’s anecdotal, but it’s like multiple cases. And so occasionally, I still see that in history is when I’m going through them. Worse severity, sometimes they’ll have had jaundice as a child and really like that doesn’t have to mean anything too crazy. It’s just like, you know, kind of subpar liver function at that time, you know, not not crazy, just like, hey, could use a little love and support. So not crazy things are showing up on your skin. You know,

Amanda Montalvo 1:07:47
it wasn’t shocking when I saw that. I was like, Oh, that makes like a ton of sense. Perfect.

Christa Biegler 1:07:51
Yeah, makes perfect sense. Right.

Amanda Montalvo 1:07:53
So we covered a lot in this episode. If I would just want to say like Chris’s podcast is an amazing resource, the last dress podcast, if you are like I kind of want to dig more into like she has a whole episode on like probiotics. Any one of these topics. I’m sure she has like an episode that’s gonna go deeper into it. So definitely check that out as a resource. We’ll have the quiz, the eczema type quiz linked in the show notes as well. And then make sure you follow Krista on Instagram at the anti inflammatory nutritionist anything you want to leave people with.

Christa Biegler 1:08:25
I was just gonna say we have like, we did a pretty solid month of eczema base podcasts and March of 2020. If you want to scroll back that far, there’s some really good stuff. Like if you’re like a super nerd, you need to really up level like there’s some good stuff in there. Awesome.

Amanda Montalvo 1:08:40
That’ll be I’m sure that I’m that people that are struggling with it. That’ll be a great resource that they can dig into right away since they’re already out. And I just really appreciate you coming on and sharing all your knowledge about eczema and gut health and skin. And I’ll have to have you back in the future. I’m sure we’ll have questions and we can dig more into this topic was super

Christa Biegler 1:08:59
fun. Thanks for letting me come on.

Amanda Montalvo 1:09:09
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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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