343: Debugging Your Health
Susan Luschas and Ashley James
Susan Luschas, Ph.D. recounts how their daughter's diagnoses of failure to thrive and full-blown autism led the family to undertake a journey of healing through diet, sleep, stress relief, detox, and supplements. Desperation led to the discovery of “new science,” and they compiled the resources in their website, Debug Your Health, for anyone to use for free.
[00:00:14] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. You are in for such a treat today. This interview is mind-blowing. You are going to love it.
One of the things we talked about in the interview was the importance of using the sauna to help detox. I already let you know that my absolute favorite company is Sunlighten Sauna last February, so it's been over a year. I finally made the purchase to get a Sunlighten Sauna. My naturopath has told me I needed to use this type of detox. It's very gentle, but it is the most effective way to remove toxins stored in our fat cells.
I noticed an improvement in my inflammation. It went down. My liver health began to improve. I started to lose weight. I lost about twelve pounds in my first month of using it. Of course, that was inflammation. Some of that might have been fat, but that was toxins and inflammation, and I started to feel better. Now, I can't even imagine life without using my sauna. I use it almost every day. It is so relaxing. It's me time. It's a wonderful experience.
I had several episodes where we talked about the benefits of sauna therapy. You can go to learntruehealth.com and search. There is a search function on our website where you can type in ‘sauna.' I have interviewed the founder of Sunlighten, as well as one of the women who work there. I know she is listening — hello! It was a great interview with both of them because we dove into wonderful stories of how the body heals itself using this type of therapy.
Not everyone can have a wooden sauna in their house, apartment, or condo, and so Sunlighten does have a portable system. It's wonderful for doctors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists. What it provides is the ability to get the benefits of sauna therapy in a very small space. It becomes about the size of a massage table. You can store it away in your closet when you're not using it.
Many of my listeners have contacted me and told me that they purchased the Solo system, and they enjoy it. The reason why my husband loves it is your head is not inside. You're not breathing in hot air. For me, I love the 3-in-1 Sunlighten wooden sauna where my whole body is in it, and I'm sitting in it. I really enjoy that. The air is not that stuffy and hot. It's very enjoyable.
But some people get claustrophobic, or they just don't want to breathe in hot air. With the Solo system, you're lying down on non-toxic bamboo-based memory foam. It's very comfortable, and then you have this cocoon around you. Everything is non-toxic, ultra-low EMF, and you begin to sweat in a gentle way, but your head is outside of it on a pillow, and so you're comfortable. A lot of people end up falling asleep or meditating while they're doing it. It's so relaxing.
Afterward, you take a towel, wipe it down, and put it away. You take a shower, and that's it. It's something that you can do for half an hour a day, in your evening or your morning, or after a workout because it does reduce the pain and inflammation from workouts. People do notice that they bounce back or rebound after their workout, depending on what your goals are, whether it's endurance, weight loss, or detox.
For me, my biggest thing is detox and weight loss, but some people do it for the cardiovascular benefits. There are studies that show that it significantly helps to balance blood pressure, and so there's that cardiovascular component. But whatever your goals are, I have found that sauna therapy is incredibly supportive.
If you want more information, give them a call. You can Google Sunlighten, give them a call, and talk to them about their different systems and what works best for you. I do know that they will give us a great special. I told Sunlighten, “Hey, if I enjoy this and it works for me, I'm definitely going to tell my listeners about it.” I want to make sure that we get a group buy discount, that all of my listeners get some kind of special, and so they gave us a great deal. Just like anything else that I use and recommend, I make sure that I get some great deal because if we're all going to buy it together, we might as well get some special, right?
If you do have a sauna and you've been using sauna therapy, join the Facebook group, Learn True Health on Facebook, and please share your experience. I want to know how it's positively impacted your life. A lot of the listeners keep sharing that sauna therapy has been key to helping them to get on the other side of what they're suffering from.
I know you're going to love today's show. Enjoy, and as always, continue to share this podcast with those you know it'll help. My goal is to help over a million people to get their health back and to discover true health for themselves. I'm going to do that with your help. Together, we're going to turn this ripple into a tidal wave and help as many people as possible to learn true health.
I am so excited about today's interview. We have with us an amazing woman, Susan Luschas, Ph.D., who has a story that you are going to love hearing. Her website is Debug Your Health. That's a hundred-percent free website that is a gift to the world, a resource of all the information she has collected on how to heal the body.
I love your website. I love your mission. I first heard about you through Scott Forsgren. We've had him on the show twice, and the listeners loved learning from him. He healed himself from Lyme disease and has gone on to help many others do the same, as well as other people who don't have Lyme disease but want to learn how to gain better health.
Susan, he highly recommended that we have you on the show because your resources are phenomenal. I'm excited to learn more about you and how you came to build the website, Debugging Your Health. Welcome to the show.
[00:06:45] Susan Luschas: Thank you. Thanks for having me. It's so great that you're out there doing podcasts like this with information that you can't always find online or with your health care provider. Thank you for doing this podcast.
[00:07:00] Ashley James: Absolutely. You're welcome. I do it because I spent years being sick. I think similar to your story, when I started finding the answers that helped me, I knew I had a mission to spread this information. Let's hear your story. Take us back to the beginning. What led you on this path? You are an MIT-trained scientist and engineer. What made you focus on health?
[00:07:25] Susan Luschas: Out of desperation, which is how I think many of us end up working on health issues. My desperation was not my health. It was the health of my oldest child, and I always say the only thing worse than being sick yourself is having a child who's sick.
What I did with my oldest child was I took her around to all of her doctors and said, “What's wrong? What can we do?” She had all kinds of diagnoses. She had failure to thrive — super skinny, not growing enough. She had mood issues. She didn't want to eat. She was nauseous. There were behavior issues — all kinds of things, sometimes, not wanting to go to school or do things that she used to want to do. I'd take her here or there, and she got all kinds of diagnoses.
We tried everything that everybody said. Doctor A would say, “Take vitamin C,” we took vitamin C. Doctor B would say, “Go to the hospital and get these x-rays,” we went to the hospital and got the x-rays. She was hospitalized twice for various tests. We went in for upper GI, a barium test, and an ultrasound. Anything anybody told us to do, we did and went to the end of that road with Practitioner A, and then we'd go on to Practitioner B.
I was spending all these time and money driving my child around, trying to figure this out, and finally, I realized clearly after all these practitioners and hundreds of thousands of dollars per year deducted on our taxes, even though we have insurance — they don't know. We came to that conclusion.
And so the question is, “Who does know?” Thank God, my husband and I have the resources that we could fly anywhere if we had to, pay money if we had to because we both had engineering jobs. But it was unclear that even if we did that, anyone would be able to help us. At the end of the day, we did end up flying to one practitioner. But anyway, if I continue as to what happened, we got to the end of the road, and it became, “Are we going to institutionalize her and go on with working?” because I was struggling to work between all these doctor appointments, her being sick and what-not?
The other idea would be, “Let's give it a try ourselves. Let's use our heads here and try and figure it out by ourselves.” Because after all these practitioner visits and all these, along the way I'm thinking — because I'm an engineer and scientist and I'm trained to think. So I would say, “What about this? What about that? What if we do this?”
I didn't even care if it was Western. I didn't care if it was Eastern. I didn't care if it was energy. I didn't really care what it was. I'd gladly stand on my head for five hours a day if that helped her. It didn't matter what kind of modality it was.
My husband and I almost got divorced over the issue, but finally, I said, “Well, you're going to drive her to the institution.” He's like, “No, I can't do that.” I said, “Well, then we're going to try it ourselves.” If you won't even drive her and drop her off, then we got to try it ourselves.
I took over essentially as her primary care provider and called all the shots. I started thinking of these practitioners as consultants on my team. I stopped going to them and doing what they said. I started going to them if I needed to and taking what they said and maybe thinking about it or considering it, and then either do something related to that or not. It started to change my thought about how I approach health and wellness and these practitioners.
To summarize, my husband and I started doing muscle testing. We learned how over many years of just practice, practice, practice. That ended up helping to give us a lot of the answers. Does she need an antimicrobial? Does she need detox? Does she need to go in the sauna and sweat?
Fast-forwarding, we got her back to what I would say is about 90% health with mostly diet and gut work. We started with no gluten. That didn't do anything. No dairy — that didn't do anything. No grains, we went to one cup of rice a week — that didn't do anything either.
I had already gotten rid of all sugar, any sugar — not like we ever ate much of it anyway. But finally, I got rid of fruit and the last couple of rice, and boom — she went completely autistic, rocking back and forth in the closet. My husband freaked out, almost divorced me for the second time, and said “We got to stop. We got to give her some fruit and some rice.” I said, “No, this is part of her detox. We have to support her detox pathways and get her moving through this.” Sure enough, a couple of days of full autism, she came out just the best we've seen her in many years.
This whole process took us several years of her life. At one point, she had gotten so sick, and she could barely walk. She couldn't go to school. She had gotten down to that point, but what ended up being the big hitter for her was the diet and gut piece. By the time we had eliminated all these stuff, and she was finally doing better, the diet was basically meat and vegetables — no sugars, no grains, no processed food. It was grass-fed meats and organic vegetables. We had always eaten organic vegetables, but we had to get rid of everything else and shift her gut.
I also fasted with her at age four and six. She is now twelve, so it's hard for me to remember. I think it was around age four, five, or six — something like that. We fasted twice for thirty days. Who would do that with a kid that's failing to thrive? But that's what she needed at that time. That got her 90% on the way, and then right about that time, our family had a horrible head lice infestation. I never had head lice before. It turns out the head lice spread whatever she had to the rest of us.
[00:14:18] Ashley James: Oh, wow!
[00:14:19] Susan Luschas: Right around that time that she was finally better and we got the head lice, almost simultaneously a couple of things happened. One was we finally got a positive Lyme diagnosis. She had been tested for Lyme many times over these years, and it always came out somewhat negative, meaning negative but maybe positive on band 41, which some practitioner say band 41 could be a dental infection. It could be an infection somewhere else. It doesn't necessarily mean it's Lyme.
Right around that time that she was better, we tested again for Lyme, and she came up positive on every single active band. Basically, what happens is the Lyme Western blot test, which is not the test, but that's what we were using, measures antibodies. If your body is not fighting it, there are no antibodies. If your body is too overwhelmed to fight it, you won't produce the antibodies that the test is looking for. It turns out that's what she had.
She had Lyme and every single co-infection that comes with Lyme that we've tested for. She has Borrelia, Babesia, Mycoplasma, and Ehrlichia. Everything that we've tested for, she got with the Lyme. She had a couple of tick bites. We're assuming the Lyme came from the first tick bite she had, but can't prove that for sure. The head lice infestation, you can catch Lyme from head lice. There are people who say you can't — not in our experience.
About six months after the head lice, the rest of our health started to go down the tubes — myself, my husband, and her little sister. Luckily, she had suffered for years, so we didn't have to. I knew exactly what it must be. I knew exactly where to look. Her suffering sort of saved the rest of us from a lot of Lyme suffering because we already knew where to look for that.
Going back to her health, she was about at 90%. She still had some things that were a little funky, like the Lyme went after the hypothalamus and she stopped sweating. She lost the ability to sweat. Here in NorCal, we have a lot of sun, and she would literally get red in the face and all over, and she wouldn't sweat. We had to solve that problem, which was a weird problem to solve in a young child. We ended up solving that with some supplements and constant sauna therapy, which she still does to this day.
She also had this horseshoe rash that kept coming on her arm. It wasn't bothering her, but it was bothering me. It's like, “Something is still going on there. Something is still wrong there.” Potentially, she can have even better health than she has now. I don't know who this child is because she's been sick for so long. I don't know what healthy looks like for her. I assumed she was healthy because she was going to school, playing sports, and acting like a normal kid. She is eating. She's sleeping. She's back on the growth chart — all those things.
But the horseshoe rash bothered me. I figured it must be some parasite because it came and went usually with the full moon. That's when our family flew to Dr. Simon Yu in St. Louis. He's the only one, in my opinion, that we have right now who's treating parasites. To be fair, I knew they were parasites, so obviously I tried a bunch of things at home. I tried every known parasite herb and supplement and things like that. The one thing I had not tried at that point was enemas because how do you do an enema in a five-year-old and her sister was two or three? So that was the one thing I hadn't tried, but all the other supplements, rife machine, and light therapy — we had done all that for parasites and weren't there.
That's when we flew to Simon Yu. We worked with him on the parasite piece. He helped fill in some pieces there. We came home, and then I finally said, “This kid got to take some enemas.” We started doing enemas in a five-year-old, which some people say is child abuse. It turns out it was one of the best things I ever did for both the children. I made them both do it because Simon tells us that if one person in the family has parasites, probably everyone does, and they're very easy to catch and re-catch and spread around. I was intelligent enough to treat the whole family while we were treating her.
Immediately after the enema, we had some worms come out, and the kids definitely stepped up their behavior, and their overall health and well-being after the enema started, and then we ended up doing prescription parasite medications that Simon prescribed us as well — super steps forward for us.
Along the way, once you have Lyme, one of the things you have to do is try to clear up other infections. Things like parasite infections, hidden dental infections, your gut, structural issues, chiropractic/osteopathic issues, you need to make sure your body is methylating and getting all the minerals it needs. You need to make sure your heavy metal level isn't too high, that you're constantly detoxing. There are all these things you need to do to solve Lyme disease in addition to the diet in the gut.
The diet and the gut process was the big piece, but to be fair, we were doing some of these other things, too. Along the way, we had done many forms of chelation, most of it natural versions, and many forms of detox, minerals, and things like that to support. Along the way, my husband and I also went through the dental infections and clearing those out, gallbladder and liver flush, parasite medications, orthodontics. The kids mostly went through that — all kinds of topics that we had to go through to regain health.
At the end of all these, I was like, “Wow, I actually feel better than I have in twenty years. I've never felt this good.” I think most of that for me was clearing out my dental issues and clearing out my parasite issues. It's like, “Whoa, whole new life! Who cares if my body is fighting Lyme in the background?” I just felt so much better — so much more vitality. Some of these chronic problems I've had all my life like cold hands, cold feet — that's all gone. Tight shoulders, tight back, tight neck — that's all gone.
A lot of these little things that I just thought were normal are gone. In the end, I felt like we got to better health than we ever had, and it educated us a lot by necessity about diet, gut, how to live, and how to detox. I think those are essential tools these days. If you want to shine your light as brightly as you can in this world, you have to take care of your health and body.
At the end of all these, I realized that a lot of the things we did and a lot of things we learned were nowhere to be found. They were things we had tried or discovered, or trial and error, and maybe offbeat things. I thought if I had all this information five to seven years ago, I could have saved myself hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of my life and years of my children's lives. That's worth a lot. That's huge.
My husband also said we need to disseminate this information, get it out there so it can help people like us, people who are looking for improved health. So the question then became, “What's the best way to do it?” I'm not interested in becoming a health practitioner; neither is my husband. So we just put up a website with basically all the information organized as well as I could on all these topics.
It's completely free. There are no pop-ups. I'm not trying to sell you anything. I don't make any money. There is a ‘donate' button. My husband and I committed to put this website up and fund it for five years. Beyond that, we figured if people donate in, we'll keep it up longer or depending on how things go. If people donate enough money, I could do some little studies or little scientific research that's more up our alley than becoming a health practitioner.
Everything on the site is completely free. One of the gifts of it is that we're not trying to sell anything. I have no loyalties to anybody. I'm sure I have offended almost everybody who clicks at the site on one topic or another. But at the end of the day, I respect other people's opinion, and this is the information that we went through and helped us, and so that's what we put out there.
[00:23:39] Ashley James: Awesome. That's so great. I know my listeners are going to go to your website and donate to support your cause as they read through your website and find that it is helping. The website is debugyourhealth.com. You're the perfect person to put that website together, between you and your husband being MIT-trained scientists and engineers. You have that methodical, logical mindset and it shows on your website. I think that's wonderful.
I know that everyone right now is thinking to themselves, “Where do I start?” You mentioned some symptoms that people think are genetic or normal, like “My hands are cold. My feet are cold. My shoulders are always tight,” or sleep issues, gut issues, emotional/mental issues, and the list goes on. Little things, little symptoms they've had for many years that they might not have a diagnosis, but they have a bunch of symptoms. They're not truly happy with their health, and they don't know where to start because there are a million parasite concepts out there. There are a million supplements out there. They don't know whether their problems are dental, detoxing, methylation, or epigenetic. Where does someone start when they have a host of symptoms, and what they're looking for is supporting the body at the root level and the body's ability to come back in the balance?
[00:25:10] Susan Luschas: That's a tough one because we didn't know where to start. We were shooting in the dark. One practitioner says metals, and another practitioner says gut. We're shooting all over the place in the dark.
I think a great starting place though, in general, without hearing specifics of what the symptoms are, is just back to basics which is lifestyle issues — sleep, diet, stress relief or whatever you do to de-stress. The other thing would be if you're in a toxic situation. For instance, I worked for years in a lab where lead was soldered, and it was not ventilated. If you have some work hazard environment like that, if you're in a toxic situation, detox is part of that, too.
For some of us, we got a lot of heavy metals, maybe passed down from our mom who maybe had a lot of fillings, anything like that. Today our air isn't really clean anymore. Our water is not clean anymore — our environment. Detox is always a good one to start with.
We are so socialized at every event, it feels like, that it pretty much transcends to a sugar event. Anything at school, work, or whatever, these events turn into sugar events. The sugar addiction thing is a real issue. My personal opinion is that sugar is one of the most addictive drugs out there, and it's legal. It's really hard to get off it. You go through classic cocaine addiction withdrawal symptoms. People get shaky. They get sweaty. They spend a day in bed. Our family definitely went through that. My oldest child, she went through a couple of days of full-blown autism when we finally got all the sugars out of her diet.
Diet — organic, vegetables, meat. Our family is not a fan of any grains or sugar, so we tend to eat more of paleo or keto. Now we're to the point where we can eat a little bit of rice or a little bit of whatever. If we're at someone's house for dinner with meat, vegetables, and rice, we'll have a little bit. It's a special treat, but to this day these still aren't things that we have in our house or that we cook at home. We still cook a lot of our food. We spend a lot of time cooking. My children are now twelve and nine, and they make one meal a week, which is great for them to learn about these things. Eat a good diet. That may not be exactly our diet for everybody, but clean it up basically.
Sleep — we all need sleep. We need uninterrupted sleep, with no lights. I am personally a fan of going to bed when it's dark and wake up when the sun comes out. I think that's naturally what our bodies were meant to do, but you've got to prioritize sleep.
Stress relief — there's so much information coming at us these days. There are a thousand text messages, a thousand emails. There are a thousand things to do somehow. Technology has done amazing things for our lifestyle, but on the other hand, somehow many of us have gotten busier and distracted with more things to do. How you manage stress is a big challenge for all of us.
I can tell you what our family does. Maybe some people have kids, and they're interested in what the kids do as well. Personally, I like to exercise. I didn't list it as one of the lifestyle things because for me it goes under stress. I exercise every day. I do think it's important. Everyone should be exercising every day for twenty minutes. It may be high-intensity aerobics. It may be walking. Whatever it is, I think exercise is really important.
The other thing I do for stress is I meditate every day. Not everybody is into meditation, but I think it's worth trying. You don't necessarily have to sit and act like a monk. You can walk in nature and focus on your breath. That's another way to meditate.
For stress relief, some people maybe go out with friends or plan a vacation or something like that. These are all great ideas. For my kids, we learned how to breathe deep, how to calm our emotions. My kids and I chant and sing. Sometimes singing can help. We also do yoga.
The other thing we do to relieve stress is that we go to services on Sunday. I didn't think about religion as necessarily relieving stress, but for some people, it really can — a connection to something greater than themselves, and a reminder of their life purpose, that their life is to shine as brightly as possible. Sometimes religion can help people.
To disclose because I'm pretty straightforward, our family goes to a yoga and meditation temple — it's Kriya Yoga. They have scriptures and sort of a normal Sunday service. At the center temple, the kids learn how to calm themselves down, how to breathe, how to see things from a different perspective, how to take a step back.
Detox –– I think that's important in everyday life these days. The main things our family does for detox are probably sauna therapy and enemas. We still do enemas, not so much anymore for parasites but more for detox. The sauna is sweat therapy, so you can get some of that if you're exercising. There are lots of other things for detox. Yoga can help get things moving. Lymph massage — there's the chiropractic or osteopathic piece of it. There are all kinds of ways to detox.
Supplements — sometimes your body needs different supplements.
That's a general place to start — start with the basics of lifestyle. Once you've got those dialed in, see how you're feeling. That may clear it up for many people. I think leading a cleaner lifestyle, for some people it can allow their immune system to function better and fight whatever infections that they may have be they dental, parasites, or dealing with heavy metals or the wrong bacteria in the gut. A lot of times, if you clean up your lifestyle, your immune system can function better, and you can fight off some of those other things better.
[00:33:19] Ashley James: Yeah, that's something that I keep hearing. Scott Forsgren shared that, and Dr. Klinghardt and many others who've been on the show have shared that if the body was like a fish tank and it is sick — it's got green goop all over it, the weird algae — it's just an unhealthy, anaerobic tank full of bad bacteria. The fish in the tank will suffer. But if you clean a tank, and now you've got crystal clear tank, you can even see there's water in it because it's so clear, and there are good, healthy bacteria in there and it's fully oxygenated, then the fish are going to thrive.
That's the same with our body. When the body is toxic, the parasites live. It's like a parasite hotel. Whereas when you make the whole body so healthy through all the things you've just talked about, then it becomes inhospitable to these co-infections and parasites. It makes it so those who are fighting all these Lyme co-infections, parasites, or gut dysbiosis, it makes it harder for the bad stuff to live here in the body, and it makes it easier for the good stuff, the good bacteria to thrive.
It makes so much sense. You weren't majorly sick your whole life, but you had those symptoms. And then you had that new Lyme diagnosis, so you weren't a chronic Lyme person suffering for years luckily. Through working on the foundations of your health, you felt even better than you ever had before. I love that. I think that's so cool. I definitely want to get into talking about hidden dental infections and detox a bit more.
But first, I have some questions about your story. After you removed that one cup of grains a week and you had completely removed fruit, so the only thing she was eating was a low-carbohydrate diet with meat, healthy fats, and vegetables, how did you know that while she was rocking there and holding herself, full-blown autism, that she needed to continue? Of course, the knee-jerk reaction, as your husband had, is the same thing I would do. I'd go, “No, this is wrong. Oh, my gosh, we're going in the wrong direction.” How do you know it was the right direction and you need to help her through it to the other side?
[00:35:49] Susan Luschas: Good question. I had heard in all of my research and looking online, reading, following people like Klinghardt and Scott once we got the Lyme diagnosis. I read through most of their stuff at some point in time. Not that I remember all of it, but I read through so many things about the topic of Lyme, specifically autism and things like that.
I knew she had some autistic symptoms before she went fully autistic, but it's like, “Yeah, she has some autistic symptoms.” But most kids do these days. When she went fully autistic, it's like, “Okay, this is full autism.” But I had heard that a lot of times autistic kids have to get worse before they get better. That wasn't a new concept. I don't have a specific reference for it off the top of my head. I have to search around for it, but I can remember reading that and hearing that a few different places or a few different people saying that. Now, the question is, how do you find the guts to do it?
I had read that before, and I had the mommy intuition or just the gut feeling that the right thing to do was push through. Between those two, in your head, you have to lose the fear. I am generally pretty fearless. If you look at the website, you'd be like, “Oh, my gosh, I can't believe she did that to her five-year-old.” But at some point, getting better was so important for my child and me.
But like I said if some practitioner had told me, “Stand on your head. Do a headstand for five hours a day,” I probably would have tried it. I just really wanted us to be better so that we could be the best people we could be in the world. My husband was against it, but I said, “Then you drive her to the institution.” He said, “No, I'm not going to drive her to the institution.” “Well, then, this is what we're doing,” because I had kind of taken over as a primary care provider. I had taken some time off work. I had to because of my health but also to work on her health. I was the primary care provider and called the shots.
It was a combination of having heard of it before, having that gut intuition, and just being a little fearless. Her MD pediatrician told me before — not to rag on her right now, but she has a practice in the area with a year-long waiting list, like your kid will be eighteen before you get into this person's practice. She told me that I would kill the child by taking out fruits and grains because the child won't get enough sugar. My child was already on the failure to thrive diagnosis, below the growth chart.
She told me already we can't do that. There's no way. And I said to her, “Okay. But then what can I do?” because I had already everything she said years ago. She said, “You could try this homeopathic remedy,” and I'm like, “We did that three years ago or five years ago, remember?”
It's funny because now she recommends this to a lot of people. It's cool though. To her credit, she has learned, and she's seen it not just with us, but with other people. She recommends this and is now writing blog posts in this direction, which is very cool. But I think, sometimes in life, life deals us crises and uncomfortable situations. Sometimes there is some nastiness, but we have to calm ourselves down, take a deep breath, live our lives, and go for our intuition and our knowledge.
I'm not saying anything anybody says on the internet you should try at home. You should think about it yourself. You should research it. Things like that are what I did. But at the end of the day, I had to go with my thinking and thoughts and think for myself, which is something a lot of people don't do when it concerns their health. They don't think for themselves. They want a practitioner to tell them X.
The problem is, in some topics, like chelation is a fantastic one. You can go to all these MDs who've been practicing chelation for ten, twenty, some of them thirty years, and ask them, “How do you chelate lead or mercury out of the body?” In my case, it was more of lead. They'll all give you a completely different answer. Some of them will say oral DMSA. Some of them will say you need IV DMPS once a week. They're all over the spectrum. They don't know what's the answer. We don't really know how to chelate the body.
They know they've done some things in the past and it's worked for some people, but you start to realize that a lot of these practitioners, they may be one small piece of the puzzle. But I have yet to find the practitioner who has all the pieces of the puzzle and understands each piece. I think that's where we have to take over our health, find all these pieces, and figure out how they piece together.
[00:41:38] Ashley James: Yes, I love it. I love that you said, consider the doctors and experts on your team as though they're your team. Don't put them on a pedestal. You hired them. They're your employees, and you're the CEO of your health. If we have that mindset, we can fire and hire the right doctors for us that are going to inform us, and we definitely want to get second and third opinions because I don't want to be a guinea pig. I don't want to go to one doctor, whether it's a naturopath or an allopathic practitioner and be told to go on one protocol to find out that they're guessing based on someone else's experience or based on some study where some people, for a small percentage, had results. I want to know what works, the one that works all the time, and I want to know why. We need to advocate for ourselves and be willing to step up and go to more than one practitioner to find the answers.
It's really interesting, the experience you went through. Now, your daughter, is she on the spectrum? Is she autistic?
[00:42:53] Susan Luschas: My answer is no. I do not see any autistic symptoms in her on a daily basis. Occasionally, maybe once a year, I'll be like, “Hmm, she's acting a little funny or a little moody. Maybe we should hit an enema. Maybe we should test.” We do muscle testing now at home all the time like a lot. What I'll do is I'll pull up the enema bucket. I'll be like, “How is she testing? Does she need an enema? How is she testing on the sauna? Does she need to go to the sauna? How is she testing on some supplements?” Activated charcoal is a go-to for her.
For example, I'll pull out a bunch of things and start testing, but I'm not sure if that's really moody. Now, she's 12, so she's going on puberty. So the answer is, no. As far as I know, there are no autistic symptoms. In the school, they have no knowledge of any of this, and I kind of keep it that way. She has no special tracking or anything. They think she's a completely normal kid. Not to brag about that child, but she is at the top of her class academically, and she plays lots of sports and has lots of friends. To be honest, I can't even keep up with her schedule half the time. Thank god, she has a bike and now can bike herself to practice and friend's house and whatever.
She's living a pretty healthy normal American life. She eats. She's on the growth chart. I'm not a huge person myself. So I think on the growth chart, she's been following around 25-30%. My second child is following about 50%. That's just how she's built; she's built a little differently, I don't know. But I'm happy with 25-30%. I'm still 25-30% myself because I'm not a big person, and she's 12. So I would say no, she's got no more autistic symptoms.
It's interesting because her kindergarten teacher moved to a different state. Her kindergarten teacher no longer has the ability to influence anything regarding her schooling, so I told her, “She had a full autism diagnosis. According to her pediatrician, she is diagnosed with autism, and she always will be because we can't cure autism.” If you ask her pediatrician, she'll be like, “Yes, of course. She's on the spectrum because she always will be.”
I told her kindergarten teacher, “You know, she had a full autism diagnosis,” and she just looked at me and she goes, “No, she didn't.” That was pretty cool because, in kindergarten, she was still going through a lot of things. She was able to start kindergarten on time, but even at kindergarten, she was still going through parasites and still detoxing, chelation, and learning to sweat again. She was still going through all that in kindergarten, but the kindergarten teacher said, “No, I don't think she was autistic at all. I don't know what you're talking about.”
[00:46:15] Ashley James: This is the biggest paradigm shift that people could go through that is like coming out of The Matrix for help. Almost everyone has watched the movie The Matrix where Neo takes the red pill and all of a sudden he wakes up in a totally different world, and he realized his entire life he's been living in a pod, and he's been hooked up to a digital computer. What he thought was real was actually computer.
This experience, if we were to imagine ourselves being pulled out of the matrix or paradigm of the mainstream health care and pretend for a moment, suspend disbelief, suspend your belief system and go, “Autism doesn't exist. There's a world in which it doesn't exist,” and yet the symptoms exist. Imagine no one has ever invented the word ‘autism.' No one has ever diagnosed it as a disease. What we see is a bunch of children, more and more in the last thirty years, with symptoms, and the doctors have not created a box called disease to label it.
The symptoms are our guide to supporting the child to go towards health, and when the symptoms get worse chronically, we know that there's something wrong — there's something we're doing wrong in diet, in detox, in methylation. Something is going on, and when we support the child, and ultimately they get better, the symptoms are our guide.
Back when I was in school when I was a kid, it was like one in 10,000 was diagnosed as autistic. Now, it's one in 40 children, almost one kid for every classroom in the United States, and there's a spectrum. Unfortunately, you get some diagnosis, and the doctors can tell you, “Your kid is going to be that way his whole life. Let's get him on drugs now.”
And then we stopped. We shut down. We stopped searching for answers. We stopped searching to help them, and we keep bringing them to McDonald's and Burger King. We keep going to 7/11 giving them Slurpees. We keep injecting them with things, giving them pills, and letting them eat pizza. We have a disconnect between what goes in their body is either healing them or harming them, and because we've been told they are ADHD, autistic or whatever label, they're just baked into the cake, we cannot change it. You can't change it, therefore, why would you even try to look for answers?
We're set up in a world in which we're told to be dumb and not search for answers. But if we can suspend our disbelief and imagine that there's a world where diseases don't exist — any disease — labels don't exist, but symptoms. Symptoms are the truth. I can't give you a barrel of diabetes. It's a label that we've used so that we can medicate.
But if we look at symptoms and go, “How can I support the body to come back into balance?” Forget that there's disease, but look at symptoms and support the body, then we can begin to take action. I want to get people so motivated and get their mindset in a place where they realize that even though their doctors told them they're going to be sick for the rest of their lives, there are actions they can take.
Anything a doctor says that makes you not want to keep seeking answers has been the wrong thing. They've told you the wrong thing. You want always to seek the answers. You want always to get information. You want always to look to support the body. I love that what you're showing us today is another powerful example that the body demonstrates illness and out of balance through symptoms, and it can be neurological, behavioral, emotional or mental. But the physical is demonstrating illness through all these different symptoms, and the more we support, the more it's going to come back in the balance.
When I had Dr. Klinghardt on the show, he shared that there are thousands of kids he has helped in the last forty years, who were diagnosed with full-blown autism and now they do not have autism. I nearly fell off my chair. Absolutely — because now what we're seeing is basically a misdiagnosis. There's a bunch of sick children whose bodies are toxic. They're unable to detox. They have heavy metals. They're not methylating correctly. Parasites — you name it. We're feeding them junk, and when you do that to a child, those symptoms are going to demonstrate. And then we give them a diagnosis so that we can feel like there's no hope. But again, if we pull back this idea that there's a diagnosis, and instead go after the symptoms, then we can help them. Then we can take action.
That's my biggest passion is to shift us to a space feeling helpless to feeling empowered.
Why did you choose to cut out grains and fruits? What was it doing to your daughter's body? Were the grains and fruits feeding an infection? Were they feeding the parasite? Were they causing inflammation? Were they inhibiting her ability to detox? What was it about grains and fruit that was so disruptive to her health?
[00:52:26] Susan Luschas: That answer is very easy, and it's I don't know. I can tell you what I think based on hindsight as a little bit 20/20, or it's not necessarily 20/20 — I have a guess or a theory based on my experience. Again, I don't sell anything, so I'm not biased towards any product or anything like that. One of the things we were monitoring at that time was her stool test — microbiology and yeast stool test. We also did through normal labs. You could do Doctor's Data. There are other companies besides Doctor's Data. There is Rocky Mountain or whatever they're called now and some others.
We've been monitoring her stool test through these various companies over the years. There's always some dysbiotic bacteria. No one in our family ever had yeast because we just never ate enough sugar to begin with. We never ate dessert anyway. We never went to McDonald's anyway. We weren't that kind of family. It's amazing that we could have such serious gut problems when we never ate that badly anyway.
We've been monitoring stool tests over time. Of course, being a scientist, I want to plot these things versus time on an X and Y axis. She definitely always had some dysbiotic bacteria in there. Sometimes it would be the same ones coming up over and over. Sometimes a new one would come up.
Of course, on these tests, there are thousands, if not millions of other bacteria that we don't even know how to test for, that are important in digestion and for our immune system. So after the grains and the fruit, my theory is that taking those out of her diet radically shifted the balance of the bacteria in the gut. It may not be just bacteria. It may also be yeasty things. Even though we never tested on yeast, it doesn't mean we don't have it. There are beneficial forms of yeast. It could be some viral things that were going on in her gut as well.
I am personally of the opinion that if you have some dysbiotic bacteria, let's say E. coli — it's actually a normal flora for us as humans, but it can become dysbiotic, and certain strains of it are more dysbiotic than others. You're probably not going ever to get rid of that completely. You'll get to the point where it won't show up on a stool test. But if you go back to your old lifestyle habits, it will probably come back on your stool test, which has been my experience. I'm not of the opinion that we necessarily get rid of these dysbiotic bacteria or these nasty things in our gut, but we can radically shift the balance by the food we eat.
I'm not a huge fan of probiotics, while I'm on the topic. We've tried so many over the years. If you dig deep enough in the website, there's an article about which probiotic is best. I actually have a table of the probiotics and what I think they're best for, like killing your gut or stomach flu, digestion, or whatever.
I'm not a huge fan of any of them in terms of healing your gut or shifting the balance. I think most of the probiotics we take, we just come out the other end. Personally, I think you have to get doses in several billions to even try to do anything. But I think the better way to shift the balance in the gut is through diet. The one exception to that is there is a probiotic for E. coli specifically that I think can be very useful for those people out there who do have dysbiotic E. coli. Other than that, I'm not a huge fan of the probiotics.
[00:57:02] Ashley James: Are you a fan of fermented foods to help with the gut culture?
[00:57:08] Susan Luschas: Yes and no. Our family makes our ferments. We have a humungous crock-pot, so big the kids can play hide and seek in it. We don't make sauerkraut from less than twenty head bunches. I'm just thinking, right now at the house, we have red kraut with ginger, green kraut with garlic and dill, and we have pickles. We make our ferments, and we always have, and we always had fermented foods, but we were still sick. So the answer is no, I don't think fermented foods are going to radically change some of these very serious infections and issues.
On the other hand, if you've never eaten fermented foods, I think it's something we should all be doing every day anyway, just in that general health category. We should all be eating fermented foods at every meal. I'm not even perfect about it. At least one meal per day has fermented foods in our house, usually two, sometimes I get the third.
[00:58:25] Ashley James: When someone has severe dysbiosis, obviously cutting out the sugar, potentially cutting out grains, eating fermented foods as a staple anyway for basic health, but then would you say that feeding the healthy gut bacteria through vegetables — is that your solution? In that case, are you looking more to taking supplements and herbs to restore the balance?
[00:58:58] Susan Luschas: You mean like how do I feed the good guys?
[00:59:02] Ashley James: Feed the good guys, starve the bad guys — yeah.
[00:59:06] Susan Luschas: That's the hard part. When you're doing something — for example, a 30-day fast like I did with the oldest child twice — naturally, everything is going to go down. But in general, the dysbiotic guys, in my opinion, tend to feed more on sugar than the good guys. The good guys are a little more able to extract sugar from vegetables than the bad guys are. The bad guys usually tend to get dysbiotic because of excessive sugar.
Back to what my pediatrician said, “You can't take that out of her diet. She's not going to get enough sugar.” There is sugar in vegetables, believe it or not. Broccoli today is not the broccoli that I grew up with, unfortunately. We've sort of engineered but not genetically, but we have selected our vegetables more and more over time based on what tastes good, and what tastes good to most people is usually the sweeter ones.
I'm of the opinion that we do get quite a bit of sugar even just from vegetables, and that is enough for the good guys, believe it or not. Our family does occasionally now eat some vegetables like sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a lot of sugar in them. We don't often eat sweet potatoes, but we can eat those, and we do eat them once every couple of months or something. It's not a staple for us. It's kind of like someone said, or it was in some research somewhere that the fruit of today is like the candy bars our grandmas ate in terms of sugar. We just selected these things to be more and more sweet, less and less nutritious.
One thing our family does — we're lucky we have a garden, not a huge one. We do grow quite a bit of our food. I would love to grow 100%. We're not there, but maybe someday and we'll keep striving for it.
[01:01:19] Ashley James: Very cool. I found a documentary just a year ago. It's a free documentary on YouTube called Back to Eden Gardening, and it teaches people how to garden even in the desert. It's using a type of mulch that preserves the moisture of the soil, so you do very little watering. You do very little weeding, and it remineralizes the soil through the mulch.
This man — his story is fascinating — just like you, for free, teaches people how to garden. It's called Back to Eden Gardening. I recommend people watch it on YouTube. Even if someone just has a few square feet of a back yard or front yard, they can turn it into something that can grow them some kale, zucchini, or fresh herbs to get started.
Last year, because we have 5 acres to work with, I convinced my husband. He wanted to do 10 x 10, and I convinced him through a lot of coercion to do 25-foot-by-50-foot garden, which is a huge endeavor for our first garden ever. I was learning. I think I planted everything too deep, but what did take was the massive amount of zucchinis and squash, which took over the whole garden because I had no idea how big these things get.
Last summer, that's all we did. We eat zucchini that we grew ourselves — giant zucchini steaks. I figured out a hundred new ways to make zucchini, and of course, everyone that came to our house walked away with an entire grocery bag full of zucchini. But it is so rewarding and so much fun to grow your own food. You know where it came from. It's fresh. It's so delicious that you don't need to add any seasoning to it or cover it with anything unhealthy like cheese or whatever people put on vegetables if they don't taste good.
We would sometimes sit out in the garden, eat it straight out of the garden. It's amazing what happens when you gain contact back with the soil. You have that access to freshly grown food. We forget what real food tastes like until we have that first experience. I absolutely agree with you. That is something to do for decreasing stress, a great family activity, and great for health as well.
The first time you did the enemas with your children, what was in the enemas? Is it just water? Is it a coffee enema? The first enema you did that had worms come out that convinced your children this was viable.
[01:04:14] Susan Luschas: We just did a Fleet enema from the drug store because I didn't know how it was going to go. I got a Fleet enema from the drug store and did it on myself first. With a kid, especially a young kid, the little one at that time we did it was three-ish. I think she was about three or four; it's somewhat a bit of a blur. But I did it on myself first, and then I said, “Okay, kids, we're going to do this.” I wrote a whole article on my website. If you're interested in the topic, definitely read the article because I had to bribe the children.
I don't bribe my children. But this was one of the issues where I had to bribe the children. It turns out that we don't watch TV. We don't have TV service or anything like that. So I bribed them with being able to watch TV.
How do you watch TV if you don't have a TV service or TV? I got a portable DVD player, and I checked out some Little House on the Prairie episodes from the library. It was one of those mommy win-win moments, where I get to do my enema, and they get to watch this wonderful programming of Little House on the Prairie which talks about values and ethics, and they're getting social-emotional learning. If they started crying or creating a fuss with the enema, I turn the movie off, so they stopped. Once they stopped and were ready to cooperate again, we turn it back on. We only had to turn it off about twice the first time, and then they got the feeling, “Oh, yeah, we really want to watch TV because everybody watches TV.” So I had something very easy to bribe my children with.
I just had the Fleet enema because I'm like, “Okay, let's see how it goes.” No one recommends doing an enema on a three-year-old — “You're gonna kill them.” But luckily, Kerri Rivera had done it on her young children as well, and she had posted some instructions and some tips and things like that. That gave me, at least, one level of confidence that someone else had done it on a young child.
It turns out, that was one of the best things I ever did for the children. The three-year-old, the enema was already over, and the movie was over. We sat in the bathroom getting her ready for bed, and we're brushing teeth and what-not. She just said, “Mommy, that enema was great. We have to do it again.” I said, “Why?” She said, “Because the worm just came from my head and it came out of my body.” That's what she told me at age three, and I was like, “Whoa!” She was on the toilet when we were having this conversation. She got up from the toilet, and there was a baseball-sized tapeworm out of this three-year-old. I could not believe it.
I started losing my blood pressure. I started fainting. I just had to pick myself up literally off the floor because I couldn't believe it. I shot some pictures of that particular worm. So my experience generally with the enemas is they're fantastic for all people that have worm-type parasites especially. Do it a week before the full moon if your symptoms flare with the full moon. If they're flaring with the new moon, do it a week before the new moon or a few days before the moon, somewhere in there. Hopefully, you're going to get quite a few out with the enemas. That's just absolutely fantastic. Hopefully, that's enough that you feel better and you just live your life and enjoy life.
For some of us who've had parasite infections for a long time and they become systemic, they're not just in the digestive tract. There are other places in our body. That's when you want to think about parasite medications, in my opinion, but enemas are actually fantastic.
[01:08:28] Ashley James: Were your daughters constipated before or did they have totally normal bowel movements? I can't wrap my brain around just a regular pharmacy-bought Fleet enema. Why would that have caused worms to come out? Why is that different than just going poo if they don't have any constipation?
[01:08:49] Susan Luschas: My kids never really had any constipation. They were pooping a couple of times a day usually — sometimes once a day, sometimes two or three times a day. They never had constipation issues that I was aware of. I am not a poop digger, so it's possible that they had worms in their poop, and I never saw it. Some moms or dads fish out the poop and go through it. I have never done that, looking for worms or whatever. I don't tend to go in after they go to the bathroom and look at their poo, and no one has ever said to me, “Mommy, what's that in my poo?” So it's 100% possible worms were coming out of their poo, and I just never noticed it, but who knows?
In my opinion, it's just saline water basically and it just literally washed them right out. What they do is grip on to the walls of the digestive tract. There are all kinds of worms out there, but most worms tend to come into the digestive tract, slightly before the full moon to mate and meet each other, and then they go back to potentially being systemic in other parts of the body. If you hit them with an enema around that time, when they're just literally sucking and holding on to the walls of the digestive tract, sometimes you can break some of them loose, and they'll flush out. Especially when you have hundreds of them, then it's usually easy to flush out a couple so that you can see them.
[01:10:30] Ashley James: The Fleet enema is only in the rectum and part of the colon. It's not going into the whole colon, is it?
[01:10:38] Susan Luschas: It depends on how much water you do for the size of the person. I forget what the number is, but I think the digestive tract of kids at age five to eight or something like that is 80% of what it is in adults. They have as long of a digestive tract as we do to the first order. It's not as physically big, but it's almost as long, not significantly shorter. So it depends on how much water you do for the size of the person. The Fleet enema from the drug store has instructions on it. Initially, I followed that, and then I realized, that's not enough. We need to do more volume.
As for the topic of Fleet enema versus coffee enema versus whatever other kind of enema, it depends on what you're trying to do. I'm of the opinion that, for example, if you think you have worms, I don't think it matters. It's just about the volume of water to flush a couple of them out so you can see them. I think for worms — anything. It doesn't matter what you put in it.
If you have, for example, an autistic child and you're trying to get them to detox quickly, like my child who went fully autistic, personally I would muscle test the child first and see what would work the best. But without the ability to muscle test, I would hit him with activated charcoal and the enema. That tends to work very well for autistic children to get an immediate detox. We've even done minerals in the enema. We've done probiotics in the enema. We've done homeopathic remedies and drainage remedies in the enemas. It just depends on what we're working on and what we're doing.
[01:12:42] Ashley James: For those who don't know, because people are thinking, “You're just putting it up your butt and then releasing it into the toilet. Why are you putting all these things in it?” That's because the skin is so thin there that we absorb it quickly and there's a vein that goes right to the liver. The quickest way to deliver some nutrients to the liver is through the rectum. I have felt that. I have done coffee enemas.
Coffee enemas are not Starbucks coffee that you put up there. It's a blond blend. You want it to be organic. You don't make it strong. It's not drinking coffee. It's totally different. But when you do a proper coffee enema, it delivers that caffeine to the liver, which forces the liver to increase the amount of antioxidant that it makes.
It does a bunch of other things too, but it's cool that it stimulates the liver to go in overdrive and do a lot more detoxing. Those who are in chronic pain sometimes feel hours of relief from doing a coffee enema because it causes the liver to ramp up its efforts to make more antioxidants. There are all kinds of good things, but you're right — we need to think about what we're here to solve.
If it's something as simple as we want to see if we could flush out some worms, that's one thing. But we can use it to deliver some nutrients to the body as well. It's an interesting topic — the idea of doing it.
Our son is turning four this week, and if I had to, I think I could talk him into it, but it will be a very interesting conversation. But when a child is sick, they're willing to do anything if they believe it's going to make them feel better. Your daughter immediately started to feel better. That's amazing. It's so exciting.
[01:14:45] Susan Luschas: Yeah. We even went to who can get out the biggest worm contest. So you can make it fun — who can get out the biggest worm and who can get out the most worms, who can get out the fattest worms, and who can get out the worms where you can see all the organs inside.
[01:15:06] Ashley James: Kids are more fascinated than grossed out at that point, and then when they start to feel better, then it's like, “Whoa, this is working. Let's keep doing it.”
Now, you also mentioned that your daughter had lost the ability to sweat. Can we talk about that? I do know some adults that have lost the ability to sweat, and I think that's quite fascinating to learn. Why do people lose the ability to sweat, and how can they get it back?
[01:15:38] Susan Luschas: I'm not an expert on any of these topics, but I can tell you our experience with losing the ability to sweat. I think the Lyme Borrelia went after her hypothalamus. I think that's what happened in her case. I don't know other people who've lost the ability to sweat. I'm not sure if that's the case for them or not. Personally, if someone comes and says, “I've lost the ability to sweat,” I would say, “Just get a Lyme test.” It would be good to know.
If you're feeling great, you don't have to do anything about it. But you may want that information just to double check that. We didn't know what to do to get her to start sweating again, and no practitioner had answers to get her sweating again. We tried all kinds of things over the years. What finally worked in her case were two things: forced sweating in the sauna, which was incredibly painful.
For someone who doesn't sweat, to go in the sauna is torture in many ways, so this was another case where I got out the DVD player and the episodes of Little House on the Prairie, and I bribed her to sit in the sauna. When she was watching the TV in the sauna, she lost track of how horrible she was feeling and how she was almost passed out right in the face, which is a scary thing for a child. But we could always bring her out and put her in a nice bath if we had to, but we were trying to push the limits of what she could sweat. Slowly, over time, time being many months, she finally started to sweat. We would go into sauna until she either passed out initially or gave us one drop of sweat — literally one drop, and it's like, “Okay, that's enough.” And then the next time, it was like, “Can you give us two drops before you go out?”
We just worked up, and now we still go in the sauna as part of our healthy lifestyle routine. She sweats almost like a normal person now. Now, she'll start sweating at the same time the rest of us do and sweats about the same amount, which is super. And now we stay in there for 30 minutes at 125-130.
This is also challenging with the child because you can't just take them to the gym. What you want to do as an adult is to be cheap about it and go to the gym, go in their sauna, try it out, see how you do with it and how you like it, get used to it before you potentially buy a home one. But with children, you can't do that. When we were at Simon Yu in Saint Louis, he has a sauna that he'll let children try out, so we were able to try it out a little bit there, and then decide, “What do we want to get for our home use to help her start sweating?”
Number one was forced sweating in the sauna, and it was incredibly painful. But we finally got there over many months.
The other thing though that she needed with the sauna at the same time was a hypothalamus supplement. It was the one from Bio-Design, I think. It's a hypothalamus supplement that she needed at the same time. She took two of those twice a day for a couple of years. It's desiccated hypothalamus supplement from Bio-Design, and she took two capsules twice a day for two years.
[01:19:23] Ashley James: Is that an herbal supplement?
[01:19:25] Susan Luschas: It's desiccated hypothalamus — I think it's bovine. I'm not sure what it is about that supplement. If you'll ask me, “Why that? Is it actually the nutrients in the hypothalamus?” I don't know. It could be energetic. I don't know why, but that's the thing that she needed along with the sauna. The homeopathic remedy was helpful too, but the two essential things were the sauna and the desiccated hypothalamus supplement. Again, I don't get any money from that endorsement at all.
[01:20:06] Ashley James: For sure. Why did sauna therapy work for your daughter?
[01:20:09] Susan Luschas: Good question. I don't know is my constant answer. It's just like anything else — it's practice. Just kind of like baseball, you got to practice hitting the ball with the bat, and you're going to get better. I think it's just practice of pushing her body to the point where it should be sweating and getting her body, “I should be sweating, but my hypothalamus isn't working right or whatever.” Just keep pushing. In a way, I almost think of it as an allergy shot. They give allergy shots so that you get used to whatever the allergen is and potentially your allergy goes away. I'm not a fan of allergy shots, but I kind of think of it as somewhat the same theory.
[01:20:58] Ashley James: It does make sense. You're trying to force the body to sweat. With her, in her condition, you wanted to help her detox. Sweating is supposed to be one of the gentlest and effective ways to get rid of fats or toxins. That's the body's way of getting rid of toxins through the sweat glands. When you're not sweating, your body is not detoxing, so something is going on.
Were there concerns that she was not methylating? Were there concerns that her liver was not going through both stages of detox? Were there other areas you're looking to see where she wasn't detoxing?
[01:21:43] Susan Luschas: Let me go back for a minute to the sweating. I wasn't smart enough back then to understand what you just said about sweating being so important to detoxing. I was doing it so she could play soccer because she would get red in the face and collapse at the soccer games. That's the major problem. You can't play soccer if you're passed out. I was doing it for different reasons. I didn't fully realize that.
Yes, we went through all these other detox things like methylation. She has mutations, as do our whole family has various methylation mutations, as do most people out there have them. We had gone through methylation. She tends to be a Methyl-Guard Plus by Thorne person. There are tons of methylation supplements out there. We've tried almost all of them, it feels like, maybe not, but we've tried quite a few.
Initially, she needed that support of Methyl-Guard Plus. She needed one capsule twice a day usually. Now, she hardly ever takes the Methyl-Guard Plus. She doesn't need it very much anymore. The question is why. I'm not sure. I think it's just her body is functioning in a much better place with improved lifestyle, being that she sweats now, she has a better diet, things like that.
I think from her sister, the little sister, the tongue tie was a huge part of the methylation puzzle for her. The little sister also needed methylation support, but after she got her first frenectomy. She didn't need as many methylation supplements anymore, so if someone is dependent on methylation supplements, in my experience, the two places to look would be clean up the rest of your lifestyle, meaning things we already talked about.
The second place to look would be frenectomy or frenulum. It's this flap of skin that connects your tongue to the lower jaw too tight. Another thing you could look at related to that without having a frenectomy is some kind of an osteopathic treatment, and a lot of times the osteopath could give you an opinion on whether they think that's too tight or not.
[01:24:14] Ashley James: I'm a little confused about the chicken or the egg. Are you saying that when someone has a frenectomy, and they had their frenulum cut so that it's stretched out more, that after that they don't need as much methylation support?
[01:24:29] Susan Luschas: Right. That's been our experience.
[01:24:35] Ashley James: I'm kind of like in “mind being blown land” — my son needed to have a frenectomy. When he was seven days old, his naturopathic pediatrician did a little surgery and cut his frenulum, and then he could suckle. In doing a little bit of reading deeper into this and a little bit of research, I discovered that there's a hypothesis that it's a mild deficiency of folate in utero that is causing the tongue ties and the lip ties, much like a large deficiency would cause spina bifida. And so they're thinking a mild form in the mother, and I have methylation issues on 50% of both branches for the MTHFR. It was interesting to think that.
I was saying that because of methylation issues, they needed a tongue tie. Their body, in utero, didn't develop correctly in a minor birth defect sort of way. And you're saying that when it's corrected, something happens to the body that makes them able to methylate better?
[01:26:05] Susan Luschas: Yes. I don't know if it's true for everybody. I can say it is true for us. If you go to my website and you click on the methylation tab, there's one reference — Ben Lynch ND. He wrote an article, “The Intersection of Tongue Tie & MTHFR.” I am so glad he wrote that because I found that article after I noticed that after the frenectomy — so we had the frenectomy not because we thought it would improve our methylation. This is all hindsight.
We had the frenectomy for other reasons, and by the way, I'll mention, both my kids suckled just fine and breastfed for eighteen months. It was never an issue with breastfeeding. We only did this as older children. I noticed myself because, of course, I don't do anything on my kids without doing it myself, so I got a frenectomy as well.
[01:27:15] Ashley James: Really?
[01:27:16] Susan Luschas: Yeah. I didn't do it first. I did it at the same time as the younger child. I felt a huge improvement after that frenectomy.
[01:27:31] Ashley James: That is fascinating. I'm like mind-blown. There's part of Kriya Yoga where you are to stretch the frenulum. Do you know about that part of Kriya Yoga?
[01:27:40] Susan Luschas: Yeah.
[01:27:44] Ashley James: I'm wondering if there's a meridian that is at that base of the tongue that is related to the liver or methylation, detox, or something. It would be interesting to talk to an acupuncturist and see if there's something there — an energetic channel.
If we're coming at it logically, if we're coming at it very Western thinking, this doesn't make sense. It's the methylation problem that probably caused the tongue tie, so why is it that reversing a tongue tie would then affect — like changing something physical in the body affects something biochemical? In a Western mind, it would go, “That doesn't compute.” But of course, we're looking at it, this world of health, from a much broader perspective.
We don't know all the answers, but let's dive in and see. Here you are finding that it did work. You found relief through having the frenulum stretched or cut, and so did your children. Is this part of the dental procedures? You talked about hidden dental infections and some dental procedures that you had done that made a difference? Was that around the same time?
[01:29:08] Susan Luschas: We did those within a few years of each other. These aren't really infections. This is just the structural issue, as you mentioned, of the frenulum being too tight.
The other thing I noticed when I did do the frenectomy in myself is that my posture was straighter, so I felt like I didn't need to go to the chiropractor as often, and I have this naturally straighter posture now. It almost felt like, afterward, I learned how to walk again because I was feeling so different.
The other part I was going to mention as you were talking about the structural connection to the biochemistry, another thing we do for detox is chiropractic treatments. My kids go to the chiropractor or the osteopath. We switch between the two different practitioners, actually switch between four different practitioners because they all have different strengths.
I think chiropractic is part of detox or osteopathic. I think this topic of the methylation and the tongue tie and the connection between the two, this is new science. I don't think we've figured this out yet at all. The only reference I could find on it was a blog post that Ben Lynch wrote. I just haven't been able to find any other real science about it. But I can say observationally, with both of my children, after the frenectomy they were less dependent on their methylation supplement. That was not true for me, but I was never dependent on the methylation supplement. I never needed to take it every day as they did.
[01:30:50] Ashley James: Fascinating. Oh, my gosh. My mind is blown. I'm so excited to dive deeper into this. That's really interesting. Can you touch on the importance of smoking out hidden dental infections and how to treat them? This is such a hugely important topic. Hidden dental infections can cause abscesses in the brain, heart disease, just a long list of problems that you wouldn't think would start in the mouth.
[01:31:30] Susan Luschas: Exactly as you said, these dental infections can cause symptoms anywhere in the body. You're talking about acupuncture meridians. Each tooth is on a meridian on the meridian chart. Depending on which tooth is infected, that can affect your lungs, liver, kidneys, and all kinds of things.
Most people, the hidden dental infections would be either a socket from an extracted tooth, a root canal, or an implant. All three of those could be the source or the location of the hidden dental infection. In my case, I had wisdom tooth sockets that hadn't been extracted when I was sixteen years old. Those were all four infected. I had no root canals. My husband had a root canal, and his root canal was infected. My husband had his root canal pulled, and immediately noticed improved chiropractic in his back. He said he felt like his back just got completely re-adjusted, and again he also said he almost felt like he had to learn to walk again because it was so different. He also had less brain fog after it was removed.
From my cavitation surgery — when you go into an extracted tooth socket, it's called cavitation surgery — I just felt like my shoulders dropped, my neck relaxed. That was also in a different chiropractic situation.
The other big thing for me was, I got rid of the ringing in my ears. I've had ringing in my ears as long as I can remember, apparently since I was 16. Finally, after the surgery, my ears are quiet. So cool.
The tricky part of this is none of us like to lose our teeth if we're losing the root canal. Going into a wisdom tooth socket, dental surgery is uncomfortable and unpleasant — period. There's no way to sugar-coat that at all, as far as I'm concerned. It is very difficult to get to the point that you decide to make that decision to do it, but the benefits of it can be truly amazing, really life-changing.
Not for everybody — I have cases where people have the cavitation surgery or have a root canal pulled, and they're like, “I feel the same.” It depends on the person, the symptoms, and whether that's bothering them or not. I think a lot of us with Lyme though do have to address the dental infections again because we need the immune system not to be fighting with dental infection but rather to be fighting the Lyme, and it also gives one last place for the Lyme to hide in our bodies.
[01:34:39] Ashley James: How would someone know if they have a hidden dental infection?
[01:34:45] Susan Luschas: That's part of the problem of it. There's no great way. One thing you can Google or you can go on my website is the tooth/organ chart. It's like an acupuncture meridian chart with the teeth on it. You go to the tooth/organ chart, and then you look up the teeth that you have that are either extracted, implants, or root canals. Hopefully, that's not every tooth. Hopefully, you just got one or two teeth in those three categories. And then you look down at that meridian, and you see on the chart, “What's bothering me?”
In my case, for example, I had the wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth is inner ear if you click on the chart or Google tooth/organ meridian chart. Surprise, surprise, my ringing went away. Who knew? Shoulder/elbow — like I said, my shoulder has dropped. Some spinal segments here — C8, T1, T5, T6, T7 if you tend to have discomfort; S1, S2, S3, if you tend to be needing adjustments in those a lot; organs are heart, duodenum. I didn't notice any problems with my heart or duodenum before or after, but those aren't really organs you notice. Just go down the meridian on the chart for those teeth, that will give you one clue.
The other thing my family does is muscle testing. If you have a practitioner who muscle-tests, or if you muscle-test yourself, even better. Sometimes you can see a hidden dental infection. You can't see if it's infected, but you could see maybe a pocket, for example, of an extracted tooth. Mostly, I'm talking about x-rays for extracted teeth. You can sometimes see that they left in the periodontal membrane when they extracted the tooth, and sometimes you can see that membrane and a pocket where the infection could live. There's an example of that on my website if you click on ‘Dental' and you scroll down. There's an example of my x-ray, and I circled the pockets so you can see on the x-ray what I'm thinking about. That tells me I have pockets.
It doesn't necessarily tell me I'm infected there, but it's a clue. The symptoms on the meridian on the chart are one clue; the x-ray may be another clue; muscle testing may be another clue; and then the other way is you can fly to St. Louis and Simon Yu is still practicing, bless his heart. He is diagnosing them as well. He uses acupuncture meridian assessment. He has an electronic machine that measures acupuncture meridians, and that's how he diagnoses them.
[01:37:42] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh. That is so cool. I am a little bit in shock right now. I had my wisdom teeth taken out years ago. I wish I had kept them in hindsight. For the last few months, I've had like 1 in 10 discomfort. There's a sensation in my left lower jaw, right where the socket is, where the tooth used to be.
On the same side, I'm having hearing problems. I've been having chronic ear infections. I've been using mullein oil, warmed up onion muffs, or cold/hot compresses — all kinds of stuff to help. I kept blaming it on the fact that I do sleep a lot on my left side. I was thinking maybe it was my pillow, so I replaced my pillow to one that breathes more. I wear studio headphones all day long. I've been taking them off of my left ear because I thought maybe it's my ears being constrained too much. But I didn't think that it could be a possible problem with the wisdom tooth socket to my ear. That's pretty interesting.
[01:39:05] Susan Luschas: I want to give also one caution about this. There's a diagnostic part figuring out, “I think I have an infection in my root canal or my wisdom tooth socket.” Then there's the how-to-fix-it part. Unfortunately, this is not an easy topic. Again, go into my website because there's not much other information out there. I wrote an article about cavitation surgery and also root canal surgery, and on that, there's a PDF file.
If you do not have the surgery with the one practitioner that I recommend — I hate to be a snob like that, but I only have one practitioner that I recommend because he's the only one consistently getting good results — then print out this PDF file and at least take it with you to your dentist, oral surgeon, or whoever you're having do this. At least take it with you and say, “There's a checklist. Do you do this?” because this dental surgery can kill you. It's a very serious thing. I went septic after my first time because my practitioner made tons of mistakes. You could argue my body didn't heal it, but he also made quite a few mistakes. Hindsight is always 20-20, so I had it redone. I have had it a second time.
I also know lots of people have had this cavitation surgery or root canal pull or whatever, and they've gotten worse, or the infection hasn't gone away. It is an art to find a practitioner who can do this right. We have people flying to see the one practitioner that I recommend. We have people flying to see him, and I think if you have the money, that's the right thing to do because he's the only that I'm trusting and recommending at this point. I do get lots of emails, calls, and what-not from people who have gotten to other practitioners. I just am not seeing the same kind of results from other practitioners. Finding the right practitioner for this is also not trivial.
[01:41:19] Ashley James: What's his name?
[01:41:21] Susan Luschas: His name is Robert Jarvis. He works out of Santa Rosa, California, which is not too far away from where I live, it just so happens. But he's the only one that I am recommending at this time. He actually retired, and then some other people and I got him to come back. He still is practicing, and he has just been doing this forever, and he's really good at it.
The other thing is, I hate to say this, but I think the energy of the practitioner also matters, having someone who cares about the patient and you feel cared for. He is professional, caring, and all of that. I'm just going to give his phone number because he does try to hide them sometimes. His phone number is 415-924-6551. He practices out of Marine Dental Wellness right now. He is semi-retired, but I think he's still practicing three days a week last I checked.
[01:42:37] Ashley James: That's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that. I have a friend who's a doctor here in Washington. She went to her holistic dentist, and soon after developed an abscess in her brain that left her blind, and she had to get major brain surgery, almost died. Now, she's not blind anymore, but when she's under stress, she goes blind. That's pretty scary. She went back to the dentist and talked to him about it, not in like “You did this to me,” but, “Hey, soon after you did this work, I developed a brain abscess and almost died.” He got very angry at her and very defensive. It's scary.
[01:43:25] Susan Luschas: It is scary. That's why I took some time to emphasize that point, that these dental procedures can be very scary. Personally, I think we have a few people doing them that don't know what they're doing. That's why I published this PDF checklist, print it out, take it with you, go through the list with your dentist or your oral surgeon before you have it. Show it to them, give them a copy; I don't care. They can send me all kinds of nasty grams or whatever — I get them all the time.
But the good news is, because of this checklist, we have had a few practitioners improve their procedures. That's what this is intended to do. I'm putting myself out there, my family is putting ourselves out there, and we're hoping to help people get better, and also to help some of these practitioners improve their procedures. I know the practitioner who made some mistakes on me because I've heard from other people that he's definitely not doing some of those things anymore. That's a huge win. We're all learning. We're all in this together. But if you want to maximize your chance of getting it right the first time, I would go with Dr. Jarvis and do it now before the man does retire.
[01:44:45] Ashley James: I wish you would start teaching more doctors.
[01:44:48] Susan Luschas: I know! I've been working on that with him. I've had numerous conversations with him about that. If anybody is still listening out there and goes to see him, please tell him the same thing. If enough of us tell him, he usually does it.
[01:45:06] Ashley James: Could this be something that someone could film him teaching and then disseminate the information to dentists, or is it really hands-on, something that they need to be there in person? Film him teaching everything and just put it up on YouTube and get it out there for enough dentists to start to learn or people to bring to their dentists. That's one thing to think about.
I think you saw much. This has been a wealth of information. I really want to have you back on the show. You are welcome any time you want a platform to share information.
You did mention that you have a list of things that your kids do themselves now as their own routines for helping maintain their health and relieve stress. Can you share some of the things that your kids do on their own?
[01:46:10] Susan Luschas: The biggest thing that comes to mind there is social. I have a social tab on my website which is funny because now there's social media. But back when I started doing this, that wasn't as prevalent.
One of the big things my kids do is social acceptance or social strength. In other words, when other kids are eating junk at lunchtime, every day they sit next to kids who eat all kinds of junk at lunchtime, that's a huge challenge for them. And birthday parties — they always get picked up after the first hour, so they don't have to be around the food. It's a huge challenge to build that social and emotional strength to be healthy and to still feel mentally supported and okay and accepted at school. I think that's challenging, and that's something that they do every day.
How do they do that? We talk about it a lot at home. We eat dinner and breakfast together every day as a family. We talk about it. We talk about how the kids are starting to notice that certain kids can't behave or don't do well in school and look at their lunch box. They're starting to notice some of those connections themselves, so we'd talk about that and support it at home. Some of the other things the kids do are that I always tell them now that they're older, they're 9 and 12, they need to tell me when they're not feeling well. Sometimes, they'll come up and say, “Mama, I need an enema.” I'll be like, “Why?” They'll be like, “I don't know. I just need one.”
Sometimes you have to follow that inner intuition or inner knowing that we all have, but a lot of times, it gets stifled by culture, by other people imposing views or inability to hear our voice. I've also had them come up to me and say, “Mom, I need some activated charcoal.” So kind of being in touch with their voice.
I think some of this go back to religion and Kriya Yoga, and some of these meditation, yoga, and self-awareness, social/emotional learning tools. A lot of schools don't teach social-emotional learning, but our school luckily has a couple of programs. One is called Recess 101, and the other one is called Schnitzel Shop. I want to plug both those programs that are getting into schools right now that teach kids how to be different, how to think for themselves.
That's more the main thing that comes to mind. But on the physical, practical level, my kids make one meal a week. My kids work in the garden. We still do enemas and sauna. They go to bed at a reasonable time. My 12-year-old complains about going to bed every night at 7:30, but on the other hand, I think she recognizes that that enables her to make every sports team that she wants to and be at the top of her class without studying. It's just those basic things. I think she's starting to make the connection between those healthy lifestyle routines. The kids will also sometimes come, and they'll be like, “Mom, I'm tired. I need to go to bed even though it's not 7:30.”
Those are some of the things that they do, and then there are some things we “force” them to do, like take some supplements if they need them, or if we're working on chelation, it's a constant topic that we work on, and then we take a break, and then we work on it.
Another thing they do is they stuff their pillboxes, and we do that as a family. When we were doing the parasite medications, we even compounded our medications at home. The kids would help, which is kind of maybe crazy, but once you get into the parasite world, it might not sound so crazy anymore.
I think, also in the topic of kids and health, chores are important in general to build self-esteem and self-confidence. That's what you really need to have a healthy kid. You need them to have the self-esteem and the self-confidence to be different because healthy, unfortunately, especially in public schools these days, is different.
[01:50:52] Ashley James: Very well said. Sounds like they're listening to their bodies and advocating for themselves, and you're setting them up for success later in life. Those are lessons that we as adults are still learning. That's brilliant. We didn't even get to dive into chelation. I'd love to have you back on and do a whole another exploration around chelation, heavy metals, and detox. We'd love to have you back. Thank you so much. This has been ‘enlifting' — enlightening and uplifting.
Your website is debugyourhealth.com. Of course, I'm going to create a discussion in the Learntruehealth Facebook group, so those who aren't there yet, please go to learntruehealth.com/group or search Learn True Health in Facebook, join the group, and join us in the discussion around this episode as we continue to bring up things that we love about this episode and things that we're still learning and uncovering from your website. I'm sure there will be lots of comments from the listeners as we learn more from resources.
Thank you for putting it together. I'm a big fan of your mission. We're definitely kindred spirits in that regard. I am grateful for what you do. Thank you. I'll make sure that I donate to your cause as well, and I invite the listeners, if they found value in everything you're sharing and also website, to please donate anything that helps. It does cost money to host websites and continue to be the owner of a domain. Like you said, if you raise enough money, you will put even more effort into the website and compile data from studies and bring us more resources that are unbiased. That is beneficial for all of us, so thank you so much.
[01:52:55] Susan Luschas: Thank you for having me. It's been fun to talk to you, and thank you for what you're doing with this podcast.
[01:53:02] Ashley James: Absolutely. All right, let's have you back on the show. I'd love to continue this discussion.
[01:53:06] Susan Luschas: Sounds great.
[01:53:07] Ashley James: Are you into optimizing your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to takeyoursupplements.com, and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That's takeyoursupplements.com. Be sure to ask about free shipping at our awesome referral program.
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Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing
Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.
In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!
The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine
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