Dr Khaleed I Ep #1 | Naturopathic approach on men’s reproductive health



hey guys i’m tasha hey listeners this is ghooni and you’re tuned in to dot of the podcast where we chat and explore all things on integrative medicine so dr khalid elsin is a naturopathic

physician in portland oregon in the u.s his medical practice specializes in men’s health autoimmune conditions erectile dysfunction prostate issues nutritional counseling therapeutic fasting performance optimization and longevity dr khalid utilizes a combination of naturopathic and conventional treatment approaches along with advanced laboratory biomarkers to craft individual treatments to approach his patients so dr khalid welcome to dutch of the podcast thank you so much it’s a pleasure to be here i’m excited i’m excited to talk to both of you so i guess to kick off our conversation i we’re really actually curious to know how you got into your journey to become a naturopathic physician yeah so thanks for asking me it actually started with my mother so my mother she was diagnosed with breast cancer a while ago and she actually kept it a secret from us for a while because you know how mothers are they want to make sure that their children are not stressing about them and unfortunately when i found out that she was dealing with breast cancer it was a little bit further along in the journey and she had already exhausted conventional medicine and it was no longer accomplishing what she what she wanted to accomplish and at that point she kind of transitioned over to doing self-care and quote unquote natural therapies and when she transitioned over there i became a primary caretaker right and we actually extended her life about a year and a half longer than what conventional medicine total was possible wow that right there opened my eyes to the power of natural medicine um she eventually passed away but one thing that i always say is that had we had access to qualified and knowledgeable net natural doctors or at least doctors who are trained in alternative cancer therapies i have no doubt that she would still be alive you know because we were two people with no medical training just like doing things that we were reading online piecemealing pieces of treatment together but if we had some type of guidance from somebody who was actually trained in this then i again i have no doubt that the outcome would have been different yeah so is this how you started studying naturopathy you know the drive that got you there to that yeah so during that experience i changed my life i changed my lifestyle at the time i became vegan i’m no longer vegan i became very very adamant about like just treating my body well and i just saw the transition or the changes that was happening in her body by doing so and then also in myself as well and so that’s when i knew that i wanted to do something like this somehow i wanted to tell people about natural medicine and just like the power of just the diet and lifestyle and but i knew that i didn’t want to just be another random person online telling people just to eat vegetables yeah there’s so many of them out there so there are so many of them out there and you know they have their place and they they share valuable information but i knew that yeah you could come from a place of authority and be able to speak knowledgeably and accurately about what i do and why it is effective and i actually it’s funny i learned about naturopathic medicine from an mmd it was actually a black woman who said that back in the day when she went through school she would have gone through naturopathic medicine herself however she chose not to because she was a black woman in the united states and she needed a degree that was a little bit more secure so tell us more about what it is about naturopathy that even though you have people who actually really believe in this but decide not to pick that as an option yeah it’s unfortunate i know this is the same around the world probably in different ways but the reality is with natural therapies or naturopathic medicine traditional healers whatever you want to call them they don’t get the same respect that the people who are conventional medical doctors do it also comes with for some positions lower pay with stigma by lack of respect and and we’re talking specifically about the united states we know that united the united states has a long and ugly history of racial discrimination and um marginalization and so if we’re speaking about this woman specifically she knew that history it was a while ago so she was also a little bit it was a little bit closer to them pretty bad and in making the decision between going the route that she wanted to go and and going with naturopathic medicine she went the conventional medical route because again she knew that as a black woman trying to be a doctor in order to get the respect that she needed to get and in order to achieve the income that she wanted to achieve she needed to be um a conventional medical doctor sorry about the beeping that’s oh okay i was gonna ask you like okay she had to go the conventional medical route but that unfortunately that stigma is changing yeah there is still a stigma there still are financial hurdles that people go through but the reality is that more and more people are realizing that naturopathic physicians are actual physicians we are medically trained and we are we’re the real deal yeah yeah very much so i think it’s great that now we have the transparency and also the access to get knowledge of not just uh the traditional western reactive care type of approach to health and wellness so like i guess how how is naturopathy different or what what what is unique about naturopathy how do we how do we identify in a nutshell yeah and so in naturopathic medicine we’d like to talk about something called the therapeutic order and so with the therapeutic order it’s kind of like a pyramid or a stepwise progression in which the way that we look at a patient and naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine we’re brothers and sisters like we’re not against conventional medicine we just have a different framework with which we approach the situation and approach disease or sickness so with the therapeutic order what that means is when we see somebody with a condition or when we see an issue we start at the lowest level and slowly work our way up a pyramid towards the top level and so for example the base level are what we call the fundamentals of health and so when we talk about the fundamentals of health or the barriers to health what that means is we’re talking about diet nutrition exercise lifestyle we’re talking about drinking water we’re talking about all of those foundational things to health and wellness and it’s our solid solid belief that without changing those right there you’re not really getting to the root cause of many issues and many and the cause of many people suffering and then what happens is we slowly walk our way up that pyramid so once we address the lifestyle nutrition we can step our way up the pyramid and then we may move on to herbs or supplements or nutrients then we may move our way up to some type of physical medicine some type of physical manipulation then we may move our way up to a pharmaceutical and then we to surgery so when you say physical medicine what is it exactly that you mean so naturopathic doctors are trained in naturopathic manipulations a lot of my a lot of my professors were chiropractors or are chiropractors all right so in um in school i i’ve learned to adjust people and i can adjust people and it is within my scope of practice to do naturopathic adjustments so it’s interesting that it comes after supplements it actually comes with four supplements okay all right i just i messed up that order but yeah so from the four supplements okay um but again the the idea is like you don’t start with the pharmaceutical you don’t start with the supplement right you want to do everything for the fit because the whole idea of naturopathic medicine is that we’re getting to the root cause of disease which means you’ve got to peel back the layers of the onion and try to figure out what’s actually going on with somebody’s body and then also once you peel back those layers we also talk about barriers to care or barriers to health which means that we’re working to remove those barriers to give the body the tools that it needs to heal itself because the body is always in a state where it’s trying to achieve homeostasis is always in a state where it’s trying to heal so no matter how badly you feel and how crummy your body feels your body is in a state where it’s working and fighting to get back to a place of health wellness and happiness and sometimes more complicated for other people depending on your on your case but what you need to do is give your body the tools and the time and space to be able to get itself back to a place of homeostasis or a place of happiness because that is as long as we’re alive that is what our body is trying to do that’s such a beautiful way of seeing the body right to just be happy it’s so simplified when you say it that way that’s what it’s here for the body’s here to try to be happy and is here to try to help us like do what we want to do so our body is just 24 7 working towards that goal and we get in the way yeah um as you mentioned it there are other things i mean we all predisposed to a certain extent to get to to remove those barriers or not to and as we read your bio the fact that you focus on men’s health is quite highlighted why did you choose to to specialize in in men’s health so i do a lot of work with men because when we think about gaps or differences in the way people access healthcare we look at men and the reality is that we don’t go to the doctor as much without without a wife or a partner pushing us into the office we often avoid those things and i do men’s health care specifically to create a space or safe space for men when the reality is is that the issues that are affecting men are the same things that are affecting everybody else yeah right it’s i do a lot of work with diabetes and so men are diabetic at alarming rates so again i say that i do men’s health care yeah but when i say that what i’m really doing is saying hey men fellas come into my office i’m another gentleman and you can come speak to me about your erectile dysfunction you can come speak to me about the fact that you’re urinating throughout the night and all these other things and guess what at the root cause it’s probably the same thing that is affecting the women around the world as well men have hormones as well so your hormones can go out of whack as well the difference is we don’t bleed every month so we don’t have a big like red the irony yeah like a reminder every month we don’t have a reminder every month that hey something is off we don’t have that but the reality is that men’s hormones can go out of wet i i really love how you just frame this because i mean as a woman in my recent years i’ve come to appreciate the fact that we have like a monthly cycle and like we that’s our indicator that we haven’t been treating ourselves right but before that i used to cringe and hate the fact that i would be in pain and suffering in that that one week of having my period not realizing that it was just there to indicate and tell me like hey listen you’re not taking care of yourself and this is my way to force you to rest but now when you put it this way it’s like maybe guys are more alone in this process than women are the one thing i’d say there is that guys are pretty oblivious enough credit to say that we’re there on that journey with you but yeah i digress a little bit no i mean you bring up a good point because society and the messages that we tell people we tell young women that menstrual cycles are something to be ashamed of menstrual cycles or something that are inconvenienced something that the men need to know zero or nothing about because it is a woman issue but in reality is that it is part of life it is what allows us to procreate and have life and it shouldn’t be something that’s in the closet and these practitioners should be hopefully men who are competent and or women who are able to be empathetic and provide adequate and just like quality advice rather than just saying here take some advil and you know suck it up yeah but that’s fair point yeah i think education and awareness plays such a big part and um what what is something that you see the most on men’s reproductive health with men something that happens pretty commonly is going to be low testosterone with men’s health and depending on what’s going on with the male they may be dealing with fatigue weight gain they may be dealing with general malaise or just like feeling crummy and there could be a number of issues so testosterone is our main hormone and it helps to build muscle it helps us to produce sperm it helps give us energy plays a vital role in our ability to procreate as our ability to regulate our weight it controls our hair growth the analogy i like to use with hormones is that it’s kind of like a football team in that you’ve got all of these different players and for example testosterone may be the quarterback or the running back but then you also have sex hormone binding globulin dht estradiol or estrogen you have all these different hormones if one thing doesn’t run then it has a cascading effect downstream so if you have a football team the quarterback may be working perfectly well but if your receiver has a broken ankle then the play is not going to work like if any one of those players are not working properly then the entire play or the entire game is not going to run and you’re not going to win and so when we think about how you address people with hormonal issues we’ve got to go back and dissect the team and figure out where the problem is and then once we fix that and the team starts to run again like a well-oiled machine because again you’ve got to take a step back and say okay where is the issue on this hormonal pathway what is what is going wrong yeah so you’re looking at it in a very integrative way of seeing how your different hormones are working um so i guess that you’re creating this space for men to come and speak to you with regards to reproductive health um do men really feel comfortable to speak to a naturopathic doctor versus a medical doctor yeah i think so i mean i think what makes naturopathic medicine and what makes what i do slightly different is that i ask those questions right and i’m interested in finding the root cause or doing prevention again i do a lot of work with diabetes and because i know that diabetes is a a silent killer which means it is asymptomatic and people live with this in a state where they’re pre-diabetic for many years without actually knowing it right and so because i do a lot of work in that area i’m in my first visit with patients when my first visit with people i’m saying hey how’s your penis working right how you know are you having difficulty with libido are you having difficulty with erections and if so what is the problem are you too stressed are you struggling with fertility and then when we talk about fertility it’s like yeah i know that your wife is going through all these treatments and your wife is stressed out about this but guess what your semen actually does play a role in how how likely you guys are to get pregnant because there’s two it takes two to tango exactly yeah i guess in that line right what is the role that men play in infertility when they’re trying to get pregnant in a couple like what is the extent of it men do play a huge role in it unfortunately is not spoken about enough so when there’s an issue with fertility guess whose fault it is is the women’s but that’s not the full case so the reality is it’s actually kind of even yeah as i said it takes two to tango the man is bringing half of the equipment half of the um half of the equipment i like it and if your equipment is not functioning right at the construction site then guess what you have you have a role to play there you bring faulty equipment to the construction site then yeah the job is not going to get done yeah and so when you tell them that they have an equal responsibility how do they usually react in my experience everybody is super open to it because when we think about infertility you usually have people who are coming to your office they’re in a place where they are frustrated they’re motivated they want to become pregnant and oftentimes men feel helpless in that situation because they see their partner going through all these treatments and they’ve been told or they or even if they haven’t been told they just think that you know again i don’t play a role in that and so at least in my practice that when you educate people properly then the change follows yeah i guess the patients that come they’re already ready to make that change that but i also have like so i’m thinking about somebody who came to my office about a week ago they again they were never told so i have i have a gentleman who came to my office just for a general visit general wellness and then it comes up that him and his wife are trying to get pregnant and it comes up that his wife has pcos and so the conversation switches and i’m saying what we need to start doing is working on your health so that you bring your a game and b support her pcos naturally so again like in this situation he didn’t come to me before infertility but as you again as you ask the questions you peel back the layers of the onions you realize that he is struggling with that sorry to interrupt that just no no it’s actually a great example because when you look at health care in a holistic in an integrative way that’s what happens so do you mind just sharing factors that kind of affect uh infertility in men yeah so first and foremost their underlying health status so if you are overweight hypertensive if you are diabetic if you have any type of chronic disease all of these things are going to affect your semen production and your semen quality and so first and foremost people need to address their underlying health status when they’re talking about fertility you also want to address things that are coming from the outside right so you want to get the toxins out of your world you want to get rid of um sorry use stop using so much plastic start using more glass and stainless steel if you’re smoking if you have any of those unhealthy lifestyle unhealthy habits or addictions you definitely want to take care of that you also have stress and trauma to the testicular area and so that may mean if you’re getting hit in the testicles and stop getting the testicles but also more low-level things right low-level things like bike riding having a computer on your lap you know um wow yeah so actually people who are um men or professional cyclers actually have low sperm counts and have difficulty with fertility because you are on that you’re on the seat and you’re constantly putting pressure down there you’re constantly warming up warming it up higher than it needs to be down there and so one of those things if you are also dealing with infertility is you want to get off of a bicycle if you are a cyclist you want to wear looser pants right and you want to stop having your computer directly on your lap and again it kind of makes it we don’t think about it but it makes sense in that you want to decrease the amount of trauma pressure heat external stimuli that are going to your testicular area because that is where that’s that’s the that’s the production factory okay so you would say that like all these factors affect um will they affect the sperm quality like yeah they can’t like absolutely so when we think about sperm there are a few things that you want to think about so you have the the quantity you have the morphology which is like the shape right so you want you want your you want them to be the correct shape you have motility so motility means you want them to be able to move correctly like if they can’t swim then they can’t make it to the egg yeah and then um you have something called agglutination or stickiness right so if all them kind of stick together then again they can’t swim and so that brings me to the last thing which is if you’re dealing with infertility then make sure that you get a semen analysis that way you can address you can know exactly what the issue is and then there are targeted ways that you can address those issues but until you know exactly what you’re dealing with or struggling with you’re kind of throwing darts in the dark what would be your message for the men that not necessarily aware that they have a part to do and as they are trying to get pregnant what are three things that they can start doing and three things they can stop doing if they want to help get pregnant that’s a fantastic question gooney for people who are actively trying to conceive it comes down to the same thing so if you take care of your underlying health status you will take care of a lot of issues and they they will start to resolve themselves naturally so what i’ll say are three things that you can do first you want to take care of your diet and nutrition and within your diet and nutrition you want to achieve tight glycemic control in my opinion and so what that’s going to mean is keeping your glucose levels your sugar levels within a healthy range which which is below 105 in my opinion you want to have your fasting glucose somewhere in your 80s low 90s and you want to make sure that you’re avoiding spikes and dips and so by doing that you’re also controlling your insulin levels and making sure that you are decreasing and controlling inflammation throughout your entire body two you’re going to want to have some general supplementation so a few things that i recommend to to pretty much everybody is to get a good multivitamin on board get a good methylated b complex higher dose fatty acids taking omega-3s fish oils upwards of two to four grams a day some vitamin d you’re taking a probiotic and yeah and then possibly um a few nourishing herbs and so these are things that are helpful for everybody across the board and it’s also going to help support fertility and then the last thing or then i’ll give two more things so that’s just what i do um the other thing is i’m going to recommend detox and so detox can be multiple things avoiding whatever it is that’s mentally and spiritually aggravating you are you physically stressed where you are exposing yourselves to toxins figure out what the external things that you’re putting into your body and you’re exposing yourself to that are causing stress and inflammation on your body and then quote unquote detox from those things and then the last thing the bonus is to go to a doctor if you are not going to the doctor you don’t know what you’re addressing again get something that’s going to look under the hood and give you that objective information so that you know what is going on that makes a lot of sense actually and yeah i think it’s just general health practices that we should all be practicing right but it just goes to show that to reduce yourself of disease or get rid of it it’s a lifestyle and a lifetime investment because it has lasting effects absolutely and as we’re thinking about fertility and as we’re thinking about lifetime effects you also need to start thinking about the generational effects and so a lot of people who are struggling with infertility a lot of people who are struggling with health issues when you have children what you what we often forget is a lot of times we are absorbing and bringing on the traumas and learn behaviors that we that we picked up from our parents oftentimes we are modeling and or picking up a few of those things from our parents and or whomever helped to raise us so now as we think about ushering through the next generation it’s so important that as as parents we break that cycle with us and you address your underlying health issues you do what it what you can and what’s in your power to get as healthy as possible and by doing so then you are you are starting to teach those habits practices values to your children and you’re breaking that cycle of chronic disease in your lineage that your children and their children don’t have to deal with it or have significantly lower chances of dealing with it yeah i don’t think most of us reflect about it in a deep way like that it’s also about prevention in in general like what type of life do you want to live and you want to be your best self regardless so that when you actually come to a point of even wanting to procreate you’re on your a-game yeah absolutely thanks for listening to part one of our discussion with dr khalid part two drops next week where you can expect to hear more on how naturopathic physicians get certified as doctors and how they fit into the overall medical landscape in america with that said if you enjoyed this episode go ahead and select that follow a subscribe button for now stay safe and we’ll see you next week

Dr Khaleed I Ep #1 | Naturopathic approach on men’s reproductive health

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