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Lipstick on the Rim: Dr. Will Cole Returns for Part 2 – the Leading Functional Medicine Practitioner Myth-Busts All Things the GUT: the Connection Between Food and Feelings, “Shameflammation,” Stress, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and More

Dr. Will Cole is world-renowned. As a leading functional medicine practitioner, he specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease as well as customizing an approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. With several books (and a podcast: The Art of Being Well) under his belt, he’s touched on subject matters ranging from the keto diet to inflammation to intuitive fasting, and, now, the gut. If you’ve been listening to Lipstick on the Rim for a while now, you know we love a really focused topic to deep dive into. If you’ve been curious about gut health, now’s the time to get all your burning questions answered. 

[Dr. Cole] On Gut Feelings

“The main point of the book is this bidirectional relationship was born out of my day job. Running the Telehealth center here, I saw how mental health isn’t separate from physical health. Our brain is a part of our body just as much as anything else is. Typically in the West, we’ll relegate it to this separate abstract thing where a mental health issue is somehow different than any other health issue. It is very much physiological. [In the book] I talk about the mechanisms that are at play there. There’s a whole field of research, it’s called the, the ‘cytokine model of cognitive function.’ A lot of the book is talking about how mental, emotional, and spiritual things – the feelings side of the gut feeling’s bidirectional crosstalk, like chronic stress, unresolved trauma, and “shameflammation.”

[Dr. Cole] On “Shameflammation”

“How does something like shame and negative feelings that we have around our bodies, food and life itself [often because of unresolved trauma], impact things like inflammation, and the neuroendocrine axis, which is the intersection between our nervous system and our immune system. We have to deal with both sides – it has to be a both end approach, not an either or approach, when you’re talking about mental health and physical health because you have to deal with both the gut and the feelings, the physiological and the psychological to have optimal health.”

[Dr. Cole] On Stress Management

“Everybody has different bucket sizes. Some people have big buckets, some people have smaller buckets. That’s their own bio-individual ability to handle stressors [both physiological and psychological stressors]. Some people spend years of their life, with bigger buckets in high paced job, lots of stress. They’re smoking, they’re drinking, they’re not eating foods that love them back, and it’s gonna take a while for them to ‘pay for it’ but it’s going to catch up with them sooner or later. Then you have some people that tend to have smaller proverbial buckets where they have different methylation gene variants or HLA gene variance or detox variants, and they tend to be the ones that say, ‘I could never get away with what my friends get away with, and I pay for everything.’ And you can’t change your bucket size but you can change what you put in it. Whether it’s physiological or psychological, typically it’s both stressors. Whether it’s foods that don’t love us back, alcohol, environmental toxins or unhealthy boundaries with our job and relationships, all are going to contribute to that bucket overflow, and it’s my job, or the person’s job ultimately, to determine what can we empty from the bucket?”


Dr.Cole’s Must-Haves:

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