Dr Sandeep Gupta: A Holistic Approach To Healthcare Introduction
Well, we’ve often said that chronic inflammation is the common denominator in all diseases. And today we are going to explore that issue and taking it to a level which cuts right across a whole range of disease states, cardiovascular disease. One we touch on, but we also go into a very thorough description of early prevention and treatment of COVID. But whatever the disease, chronic inflammation is the key. And my guest today is one of Australia’s leading experts in this field.
My guest is Dr Sandeep Gupta. And Sandeep is a specialist general practitioner who’s a member of the RACGP, which includes a special interest group in integrative medicine. In fact, Sandeep does not mind using the word holistic, which I find also rather inspiring and have done for my career as well.
He graduated from medical school in Queensland in 1999 and since then has served in a range of public and private hospital settings in the Southeast Queensland region, as a cardiologist, a medical and anaesthetist registrar also in intensive care. He also has five years of experience in intensive care, particularly in the post-cardiac surgery care area.
Then in around 2005, and this is part of the story that he shares with us, he had an epiphany, and he changed course. And he went on to invest many years of training ongoing, as it is for any health practitioner, but he was in integrative medicine, and he was awarded a Fellowship of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine in 2008 and a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2010.
Now interestingly, we touch on another subject that we’ve touched on before, and that is mould. And mould from dampness and gosh, have we got dampness in our homes in Australia? I mean some of those have been up in northern New South Wales and Queensland. The flooding that has occurred is catastrophic and it’s catastrophic for many reasons, not just what happens to the building, but what it happens to people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Well, mould is a product of that and he’s also had a specialist training, physician training, with Dr Ritchie Shoemaker in chronic inflammatory illnesses. And we discussed that. It’s very interesting and a must.
He’s also got a Masters in Nutrition with Dr Gabriel Cousens, and other major influences include Dietrich Klinghardt, which is a personal hero of mine and really he’s a person that takes holistic health care to another level as well. Yes, there’s a lot of holistic health out there, folks. You got to go looking for it.
So Sandeep then established the Lotus Institute of Holistic Health in 2017 to provide training in integrative medicine for those who seek it. He’s had advocacy roles in integrative medicine. He’s been on the board of ACNEM. He’s currently on the board of the Australian Integrative Medical Association and Advocacy Committee. He’s a Founding Board Member for the Australian Chronic Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Society (ACIIDS). And Founding Diplomate Member for the International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI), an issue we should all, both as health practitioners and if we can as patients be very familiar with.
Look, that’s a long introduction. But honestly, the discussion I had with Sandeep is really… He’s a great communicator. His philosophy and approach is really, truly inspiring and that’s for someone with a having been in holistic health care for 42 years and I found it’s so inspiring. I hope you do, too. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr Sandeep Gupta.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I’m recording this podcast, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation and pay my respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:20] Hello and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Well, we’ve often said that chronic inflammation is the common denominator in all diseases. And today we are going to explore that issue and taking it to a level which cuts right across a whole range of disease states, cardiovascular disease. One we touch on, but we also go into a very thorough description of early prevention and treatment of COVID. But whatever the disease, chronic inflammation is the key. And my guest today is one of Australia’s leading experts in this field.
My guest is Dr Sandeep Gupta. And Sandeep is a specialist general practitioner who’s a member of the RACGP, which includes a special interest group in integrative medicine. In fact, Sandeep does not mind using the word holistic, which I find also rather inspiring and have done for my career as well.
He graduated from medical school in Queensland in 1999 and since then has served in a range of public and private hospital settings in the Southeast Queensland region, as a cardiologist, a medical and anaesthetist registrar also in intensive care. He also has five years of experience in intensive care, particularly in the post-cardiac surgery care area.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:01:44] Then in around 2005, and this is part of the story that he shares with us, he had an epiphany and he changed course. And he went on to invest many years of training ongoing, as it is for any health practitioner, but he was in integrative medicine and he was awarded a Fellowship of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine in 2008 and a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2010.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:02:13] Now interestingly, we touch on another subject that we’ve touched on before, and that is mould. And mould from dampness and gosh, have we got dampness in our homes in Australia? I mean some of those have been up in northern New South Wales and Queensland. The flooding that has occurred is catastrophic and it’s catastrophic for many reasons, not just what happens to the building, but what it happens to people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Well, mould is a product of that and he’s also had a specialist training, physician training, with Dr Ritchie Shoemaker in chronic inflammatory illnesses. And we discussed that. It’s very interesting and a must.
He’s also got a Master’s in Nutrition with Dr Gabriel Cousens, and other major influences include Dietrich Klinghardt, which is a personal hero of mine and really, he’s a person that takes holistic health care to another level as well. Yes, there’s a lot of holistic health out there, folks. You got to go looking for it.
So Sandeep then established the Lotus Institute of Holistic Health in 2017 to provide training in integrative medicine for those who seek it. He’s had advocacy roles in integrative medicine. He’s been on the board of ACNEM. He’s currently on the board of the Australian Integrative Medical Association and Advocacy Committee. He’s a Founding Board Member for the Australian Chronic Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Society (ACIIDS). And Founding Diplomate Member for the International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI), an issue we should all, both as health practitioners and if we can as patients, be very familiar with.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:04:04] Look, that’s a long introduction. But honestly, the discussion I had with Sandeep is really… He’s a great communicator. His philosophy and approach is really, truly inspiring, and that’s for someone with a having been in holistic health care for 42 years, and I found it’s so inspiring. I hope you do, too. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr Sandeep Gupta. Welcome to the show, Sandeep.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:04:31] Hi Ron. Thank you so much for having me.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:04:33] Sandeep, you are an integrative medical practitioner. We love talking to integrative practitioners of all descriptions and all specialities. I wondered if you might just share with us how you came to that in this stage in your career. What took you to that point?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:04:49] Yeah, actually, you could say there were a number of different steps along the way, and I recall vividly, as a fourth-year medical student, I went past a centre, and it said Holistic Medical Centre, this was in Paddington, Brisbane, and I thought, wow, what a great idea, you know, you know, I’d love to do something like that. And earlier in my training, I had read a book on Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, and I had always had an interest in that direction in terms of just my personal daily routine and so on.
However, when I graduated, there was a very strong pressure to become a specialist and to become adept at the latest technological side of medicine, if you like. And almost like there was a little bit of a flavour that if you didn’t do that and if you went into general practise, you were a little bit less intelligent. And so…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:05:53] …Which for a group of high achieving doctor medical students must have been a real prod in the back going, “Go on, I dare you.”
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:06:01] You know, I guess there was a bit of that there. And so but I did go down the specialist pathway for quite a long time. And initially, I actually became, you know, what’s called a medical registrar, you know, going down the physician training pathway. And then I actually started doing anaesthetics and then emergency medicine.
Interestingly, I could never really feel like I was in the correct place. In 2005, then, I actually had a severe health breakdown after taking antibiotics in America for a gut infection. It was a very strong antibiotic called fluoroquinolone.
And when I came home, I literally had virtually zero energy. I had massive headaches, and my moods were off. I was just a mess. I actually went and saw a neurologist at the hospital where I was working at the time, and he only spent about 3 minutes with me. And to be fair, I had pushed myself into his schedule.
So, you know, he probably didn’t have much time to see me, but he basically diagnosed cluster headaches, which I believe is correct, and gave me a prescription for a medication called prednisone at 75 milligrams a day.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:14] Huh. And corticosteroid.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:07:16] Yeah, that’s right. And, you know, I definitely believe that medication has its places, has its place and so on. And in certain cases, it can be lifesaving. However, in that particular circumstance, I didn’t actually believe that was the right path for me. And you could say there was an intuitive voice which said, “Hang on, hang on. There’s more to this.” And as I say, to be fair, you know, it was an extra appointment to push in.
So, you know, maybe he just didn’t have the time. But he asked no questions about what had happened at the start of it. And, you know, there was no attempt to uncover a history of medication use or something that affected my gut or any environmental or nutritional factor. And it may have been that is more thorough in the general consults, of course. Just to be generous.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:08:11] So my own intuition led me to just start researching further the effect of antibiotics on the gut. And really, I just started doing it through basic Internet searching, and I found a lot of information which I did not know about. Very simple information. Talking about the balance of the microbiome in the body. And that was not an understanding that I had up until then. I was actually an intensive care registrar at that point.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:08:42] So just to put this into perspective, you’ve gone through medical school, you’re about five or ten years into medical practise, and this was a total revelation to you.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:08:51] Exactly. And so you could say that basically all of the emphasis in my training was on recognising disease conditions, working out diagnostic pathways, and then looking at various treatment modalities, knowing how to monitor those treatment modalities and looking at when further investigations are needed, looking at when surgical intervention is needed, a whole range of things. But we did not actually address the question, how do you make a person healthy?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:09:28] I mean, that statement and it bears pausing at that point because that is such a fundamental statement in health care.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:09:35] Yeah.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:09:36] But here you were. No one ever asks really that… No one asked that question. What’s gone wrong? How do you make them healthy?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:09:42] Yeah. So it was quite hard to believe. And you could say it was a little bit of a disillusionment moment, in a sense. And I started realising then that, you know, I actually still do believe in intensive care medicine, like as being very, very beneficial.
You know western acute medicine is excellent. There’s no doubt about it. If someone’s had a massive trauma or myocardial infarction or whatever it might be, you know, or sepsis, you know, it’s very, very good to be able to, you know, get them into intensive care and have all those technological treatments available, such as ventilation, inotropes and all the other things, you know, dialysis, etc. All of those are absolutely lifesaving.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:10:26] However, what I did find is in many cases, after people left the intensive care unit, they would still have low-grade symptoms. Sometimes their energy would be down. They had low-grade joint pains, and sometimes they had gut symptoms. And generally speaking, those sorts of low-grade symptoms were never addressed. And that started me also taking an interest in just this area of chronic inflammation and starting to realise that these patients actually had a degree of chronic inflammation going on.
So that was something that was often not being addressed, although acute inflammation was very well addressed through a number of means. For instance, in sepsis, just low-grade chronic inflammation, low-grade microbiome disruption, low-grade nutritional deficiencies, all of those sorts of things just seemed to unfortunately fall, you know, fall through the radar.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:11:25] And it’s probably worth reminding our listener that chronic inflammation, if I’m not mistaken, Sandeep, is the common denominator in almost every disease.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:11:35] Yes, correct. And you could say another way of referring to it is the body on fire. There’s a silent fire going on in the body of inflammation. And the fire is caused by what we call cytokines. And cytokines are compounds in the body which are trying to help repair acute damage or injury. But when they persist, they actually start causing damage and injury to the body. So inflammation is actually a very beneficial thing. It’s part of the repair process, but there are this many reasons whereby it becomes prolonged.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:12:16] When do we move from acute to chronic? I mean, inflammation is part of the healing process, and that’s good. But at which point does an acute inflammation switch into a chronic and become destructive?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:12:29] Let’s say, yeah, you could say 2 to 4 weeks somewhere around that.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:12:32] 2 to 4 weeks. Wow.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:12:33] Now, it might even be less in some cases. But, you know, you take the example, if you go and fall over while just after leaving this podcast, you trip over your own laces and go smackdown on your knee. You would expect that that knee would go really red and swollen and be painful. All the cardinal signs of inflammation. For how long? Maybe up to a couple of weeks would be quite reasonable, wouldn’t it?
And then, you know, you’d expect it would start to settle. That’s the body’s natural way of healing that damage which has been done by the fall. However, if six months down the track, that knee is still swollen and inflamed and painful, you would be starting to ask the question, hang on, is something going wrong here? This shouldn’t be like this for so long. So that has actually become chronic inflammation, and something has gone wrong there in terms of the body’s healing mechanism.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:13:30] Mm hmm. And so, this is quite a journey. It’s so fascinating. And it always has been to me, as I’m sure it is to you too why every doctor doesn’t take this approach of a more integrative, holistic approach. Why? Why do you what do you think the impediment there is?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:13:49] I can only speculate, but the way that the medical system and medical training is directed is very much towards the system of preventing death from acute problems. And you could say you could speculate that politically what a politician doesn’t want is that people are unnecessarily dying of acute conditions. And if they had a medical system in which this was occurring, they would be sure to get in there and make some changes.
However, for a politician or for policymakers, if people are experiencing low-grade chronic illness, that doesn’t necessarily result in political blame, so to speak. So that could be one possible angle of looking at it that even just political pressures have led to the fact that acute conditions have been largely emphasised and chronic low-grade conditions haven’t been emphasised. That’s one part of it.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:14:53] Yeah. I think there’s another one, though, isn’t there the philosophical kind of what role do you feel as a doctor you play in the picture of health?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:15:05] Yep. Yep. And I think I think probably both feed into each other, you know, the philosophy of medicine that has evolved and the different pressures and different influences which have also taken place on the medical system. And certainly, you can’t exclude the influences from pharmaceutical companies as being very, very large driving factors. And it’s also probably a matter of scientific study and what is easily “study-able,” if that’s actually a word.
And some of these interventions for more chronic illness are not as amenable to being studied in a randomised controlled trial, and therefore that seems to have gone in the direction that if you ask someone about if you ask a general practitioner about something like, “Could I take curcumin for depression?” The standard answer will always be, “There’s no evidence for that.”.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:04] Mm hmm.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:16:05] You know, one problem is they haven’t actually looked. In most cases, they haven’t actually looked. So the statements are actually incorrect. They should actually say, “I haven’t come across any evidence, but I haven’t specifically done a search.” Now, so why haven’t they done a search? Simply because in the training, there hasn’t been, they haven’t been directed in that area of starting to ask the question as to how about an intervention for inflammation in chronic depression? Could that be a possibility that that could be helpful in addition to anti-depressants, let’s say? Let’s ask that question.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:44] Yeah. It’s so interesting you choose that as an example, because I was about to say we had Julia Rucklidge, Professor Julia Rucklidge on as a guest a few months ago, and she said something which was a huge Aha! moment to me. And she said, “Doctors need to be both sceptical and curious.” And I thought, okay, that’s good. But at what level of their education does that curiosity set in?
And I wondered that, and I put it to her that for the majority of doctors, they really felt they were starting to really be doctors when they got into the pharmacology of medicine, and they kind of forgot about the biochemistry, physiology, you know, the things that go out of balance. That’s not as intellectually stimulating or doesn’t appear to be until you start to explore it. What do you think of that?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:17:31] That’s an interesting question, and I’ve never actually thought that one through. I personally did find physiology to be quite, quite interesting and partly because we had interesting lectures and lecturers rather. So I do think it partly goes down to the lecturers and their interest in the subject. I do also think it depends on what sort of mind you have. I did have a very practical mind.
So, for instance, in fifth-year medical school, what I used to do in the afternoons was go into the hospital and just read the charts and just, you know, just go through and say, “Okay, so what has this person been diagnosed with? How have they been diagnosed? And then how have they been treated? And then how has that been monitored?” And I would just read a ton of charts. And for me, that was my real interest area in the practical side of it. So pharmacology was okay. I didn’t mind it, but I wouldn’t say that my curiosity really took off. I liked case studies. And so that’s my mind.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:18:31] But yeah, look, I think going back to your question about curiosity and scepticism, I think part of it is the life of a doctor. Starting in your intern year is so busy. It’s so busy. And part of the problem is time management is a huge part of it. And to some degree, I think what happens with a lot of doctors, and I won’t exclude myself from this, is you want just to exclude anything that is seen as a time-waster. And you have a certain amount of knowledge, which is basically largely around pharmacology and pharmacological approaches for diagnosable conditions. That’s what you know. I know how to treat depression. I know how to treat anxiety. I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to talk about cooking.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:19:21] Yeah, that’s basically, and so I think for a lot of doctors, let’s say they have someone comes in and start saying, “Look, doc, I wonder if I have, you know, a chronic inflammatory condition that’s lesser-known and whether, you know, something like cholestyramine might help you.”
I think the first thought that goes through the doctor’s head is, “How can I get this person out of my consultation room as soon as possible? Because I’ve got three other people waiting.” And unfortunately, that’s a real part of medicine, especially if you’re doing bulk billing medicine and so on. And the ability to say, “Hey, that I’m really curious.”.
I think the level of busyness and the level of time pressure gets in the way of just having curiosity and saying, this is really interesting. And I’ve had those kind of experiences many times along the way where a patient has come in and told me something, and I’m like, “Okay, well, this is totally new to me. I’m not going to say that you’re wrong, but I’ve got to say that I’ll have to research that and get back to you because this is totally new.”.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:20:24] So I’ve had those kinds of episodes, but, you know, that I think is especially when I’ve directed my practise towards longer consultations, that gives you a bit of freedom to be able to be curious if you like. So I think that’s one of the things is do you want to set up your practise to enable curiosity, or do you want to just set up your practise to be like a factory.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:20:46] What an interesting…
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:20:48] And that’s with no disrespect to people who do it, that there is definitely an absolute need for that for people who just do quick medicine, give people antibiotics, etc.. Yeah, but it’s just a different flavour of medicine.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:21:02] It’s interesting to hear you say that because I think both of us, we’ve been associated with the Australasian College of Nutritional Environmental Medicine for many years, and many of us know integrative doctors, and I know many of us, you and I, would know many doctors who run a practise of short consultations. And I always preface this by saying the thing I think they all have in common is they want the best for their patients. I think that needs to be said.
But you mentioned your three-minute consultation with your neurologist, which I agree, you know, unusual, but I’ve been to see a specialist. And if I got 20 to 30 minutes, that was exceptional. What does an integrative, what is a… I come to you as a new patient, Sandeep. What does that look like to you? Because I think most people’s experience of medical interactions with specialists or general practitioners is a ten, 15, 20. Gotcha. They got a 30-minute consultation. Extraordinary. What does it look like in your practise?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:21:59] Okay. So the first thing is we have an enquiry process, so there’s an enquiry form. And what I ask you is ABCDEFG, in terms of are you willing to do the following things: (A) is to change your diet.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:13] Right.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:22:14] (B) is take multiple supplements if necessary. I’m not saying we’re not saying it’s necessarily going to be the case. (C) Change your lifestyle. (D) Look at your emotional well-being. (E) Look at your home environment and work environment in terms of things like electromagnetic radiation, mould, chemicals, etc.. (F) Take part in regular exercise and (G) return for regular follow up appointments.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:38] Wow. So you are screening your patients?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:22:41] Yes. So there’s a screening, but it’s also setting expectations.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:46] Yeah.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:22:46] So it’s to do with understanding in holistic medicine if you like. And I’m probably in the jump from calling it integrative medicine to holistic medicine.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:56] I love that. I love that word, Sandeep. Having had a holistic practise for 42 years. Go on.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:23:02] Yeah. So it’s about, so it’s about the concept of, of holism. Now that takes some people to feel that they want a holistic approach, but they haven’t totally got it yet. And, you know, look, my understanding is evolving all the time. I’m not suggesting that I’m the one who gets it. I still have a lot to learn.
But, you know, you need to have a certain level of understanding it. And so, for instance, if someone comes in and says, yes, I want to see a holistic doctor because I want an excellent supplement. But on the other hand, I’m not willing to look at my diet or my lifestyle. Well, they get a stop sign at that point and they get feedback. They get a letter back explaining why I don’t think their approach is going to be successful at this point.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:49] Fantastic.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:23:50] Yeah, we go to that effort.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:51] Yeah.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:23:52] You know, because part of a big part of this is education. And of course, not everyone loves getting that letter back, etc. And this can be a bit of a to and fro, but that’s the first part. Now, assuming they’re on board with all that and they answer most of the questions with, yes, I’m highly willing to do these things, then the next step is basically getting a 30-page questionnaire, intake questionnaire, where they’re asked a lot of questions around, you know, past history.
What are the symptoms they’re getting? Now, what have they noticed about the timing of those symptoms? And has there been any factors I’ve noticed have been? So it’s getting them thinking about patterns before they come in.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:24:34] Now, what medications and supplements are they being on? Do they have any allergies? And then really going into lifestyle questions to a large degree, do they still feel that they have any issues with their family of origin? Have they been exposed to mould or EMF or heavy metals? What is their diet like? Can they actually ride out three days of their diet, etc.? And then and then we actually quickly go over that readiness questionnaire again and then also ask them what is their real goal and what do they think is going to be needed to get there?
So we feel that the education process starts even before they come in. And there’s a process of introspection there. Now, some people won’t even finish that questionnaire. They don’t like it or whatever. And that, you know, to me, that’s fine.
That’s just, you know, there’s another stop sign there. And that’s no problem. It’s you have to be at a certain level of readiness to be willing to do that introspection. But if they did fill that out, then the process is usually they get somewhere between a 1 to 2-hour consultation. And the first part of that consultation is all about validation.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:25:45] Okay, what do you mean?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:25:47] Validation means being heard and not interrupted and not corrected and not being told that it’s in your head.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:25:55] Yes.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:25:56] So that’s the first thing. There are many people who have had the experience of not being believed, being told that they are psychiatrically unwell. Etc.. Now, I mean, there’ll be an assessment. I’m not excluding the possibility someone may have a mental health issue, but I start from the assumption that most likely their experiences are real, that I start from that assumption.
I do think there is there there is a small subset of the medical profession who stop-start with the assumption that most likely, if someone’s telling you something outside the main diagnostic categories, that most likely the person’s psychiatrically unwell, which I believe is an incorrect assumption.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:26:42] True and only a very small percentage of cases. I mean, we would be talking less than one or 2%.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:26:48] Yeah, that’s right. So I just simply believe it’s an incorrect assumption. And for whatever reason that’s come into medicine, I don’t know. So I start out with a different view, which is just open listening and start with that. And I do ask some questions regarding timing and patterning. So have you noticed that there’s any relationship to anything in your lifestyle or your living environment? Those sorts of questions. What was happening in your life around the time that happened? That would be a good open question.
So there’s a process of bringing out the history, and it’s not. So it’s not forcing the history. I remember when I was a cardiology registrar, I used to force up the history. So that was, “When did your chest pain stop, ma’am?” And they would say, “Well, I wasn’t feeling so well.” “Ma’am. I just asked you, when did the chest pain start?” I had so basically and it’s sort of it is understandable to a certain degree if you’re in an emergency. Basically, you have five or six questions. I wanted the answer to those questions and I didn’t want anything else.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:57] Hmm. Hmm.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:27:58] And look, the more emergency it is, the more understandable it is. But in chronic disease care, there’s no place for that kind of thing. You need to have open listening, and you need to be willing for the person to tell you things that you weren’t expecting and for you to consider them.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:28:16] Yeah. Yeah.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:28:18] So that’s the first part of the process. Then, of course, I go through the normal process of listing their medications and supplements and allergies and, dietary history and environmental history, doing a thorough examination. And then it’s like a collaborative discussion. It’s saying, “Look, there are some patterns that are showing up here, and this is my impression.” Or, you know, sometimes it’s like, “You know, right at this point, I’m not clear what’s going on here.”
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:28:50] I’ve heard you now say that twice, Sandeep, that you may not know everything, that you may not, you know, clearer. And I think that is focussing on for a moment, because I think for many medical practitioners or so-called health experts, if they don’t know something, they will often say, “Oh, there’s no evidence to support that.” And it’s dismissed almost as an aside.
And it’s like saying, Hail Mary. You know, I’ve resolved myself of anything. And yet I think for many medical practitioners, and I know I’ve found this myself in my own practise, saying to a patient, “Gee, I’m not sure about that. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.” Talk about validation. I mean, that’s validating your own humanity as well as the patient’s symptoms.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:29:41] Well, it’s fundamentally the truth. Yeah. And I don’t believe that that diminishes you as a practitioner. Absolutely. I believe it enhances trust. I believe if you try to wash things away that you don’t haven’t looked into or don’t understand, it actually diminishes trust in the relationship, especially, for instance, someone’s gone and researched something and they’ve come to a certain conclusion. And then particularly if you just wash that away instantly, well, yeah, that doesn’t diminish or that doesn’t build a relationship with the client.
So yeah, I’m willing to say, look, I don’t know, but I’m going to try and find out and I have no problem with that. Yeah. And, you know, there’s a whole philosophy that, you know, basically, when you’re conscious of your lack of knowledge, you’re one step towards wisdom. Now, if you’re unconscious of your lack of knowledge, then you’re two or three steps away.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:30:51] Hmm. It’s interesting because I’ve often said ignorance is a wonderful thing. I know I practise it regularly and I acknowledge it often, but when ignorance is combined with ego, arrogance and hubris, people suffer.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:31:08] Yeah, I think so. I think so. I think the other thing is that look, what you going to remember is this patient is, you know, at sometimes it feels annoying. Let’s say someone comes in and says they’ve done a Google search and you’re wanting to get on with your day or whatever. But I think we need to remember that fundamentally this person is suffering. They’re not coming to annoy you.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:31:27] Yeah.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:31:28] They’re actually coming because they’re really looking for help with their suffering, you know, from another human being who has expertise. Now, I believe ethically in that relationship there is a responsibility to be honest and truthful when it comes to expertise or lack of any particular point.
And so, if I’ve genuinely just never looked into curcumin and depression, I simply say that “That’s very interesting. I haven’t actually looked into it. I can do a search either now or at another time and get back to you.” But I think saying there’s no evidence for that without doing a search is actually not an honest approach.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:11] No. Now, listen. Wow, what a… And that’s quite a background in your journey and what distinguishes an integrative approach. And I have to say, I just, I love it. I just think that sitting down the rules, engaging with the patient, bringing them on the journey, making them aware that they are on this journey together, that you are not going to provide all the answers is such a powerful beginning to that thing. I’m just… Brilliant. Thank you for sharing that.
Listen, I also notice, and you’ve mentioned that cardiology is and has been an interest for you. And I know, again, your approach would be an integrative one. And cardiovascular disease still number one killer. I think 18 million people die every year. I think that equates now that we’re familiar with it on daily basis of deaths. I think that equates to 50,000 deaths a day globally. Cardiovascular disease. Yeah. So what is an integrative approach to cardiology look like in your practise?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:33:10] Yeah. So, so basically an integrated approach to cardiology, it doesn’t discard firstly the conventional approach.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:33:17] Yep.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:33:18] Many of those tools are still used and often those same medications are needed when particularly when someone has established cardiac disease. I think the big difference is we were trying to ask the question of why. And the answer it’s probably your genes mate is not considered to be satisfactory. We need to look a little bit further than that.
And so, for instance, going back to the concept of chronic inflammation, that’s also another pinnacle principle. So I think originally the model of coronary artery disease was that you have high cholesterol. And so, therefore, you develop plaques in your arteries and they slowly, slowly increase until you start getting angina and then they finally blow off. And that’s a heart attack.
Now, that’s clearly been shown not to be the case. That it’s not just a progressive increase. You can get, like, a 10% plaque that then all of a sudden gets a clot on it. Now. Why does it get a clot? Because it was damaged and inflamed and the body’s trying to repair itself.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:34:34] And so one of the main things then and so cholesterol is part of the whole equation, but it’s not the whole piece at all. Probably inflammation is the biggest piece. Okay? Insulin resistance is huge due to diet.
So if people have been eating a diet full of processed sugars and processed foods throughout their life, that is going to be a major risk factor for insulin resistance syndrome, which is the precursor for a number of conditions, including type two diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and a range of other conditions.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:35:17] So diet is huge. And so you often hear people saying, you know, in the conventional world, people are saying, “Well, look, you can’t do anything about it through diet. You’ve just got to go on a statin.” Well, that’s only taking the narrow view of looking at that, you know, that LDL cholesterol and the effect of diet. But we believe there’s a lot more to it.
So insulin resistance is definitely able to be influenced by lifestyle and diet. Number one, you’ve got to take all the sugar out of the diet and you’ve got to go back to whole unprocessed foods like just about almost said processed.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:35:55] But that’s okay. No one would have believed that. No. But it’s interesting because insulin resistance is I mean, it’s it we say inflammation is the problem. It’s the insulin resistance which provides the fuel for the inflammation, isn’t it really?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:36:13] That’s a big part of it. Exactly. When it comes to the endothelial lining, which is the, you know, the most lining of the blood vessels, that’s the part that starts to become inflamed. We call that endothelial dysfunction.
Now, there’s another really big part of the puzzle, which is called nitric oxide. Now nitric oxide is the compound in the body that’s vital for relaxing that part of the blood vessels and keeping the blood vessels healthy. Now, it’s related to a lot of things, but environmental toxins can knock out nitric oxide. So that can include chemicals from plastics. It can include mould. It can include heavy metals. It’s also related to something called methylation.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:36:58] So methylation is the process of exchanging the most basic group and biological chemistry called CH3 or methyl around the body. Now, if that process is not working properly or is broken down, that can also impact nitric oxide production.
And that’s also linked to environmental toxins and also nutritional deficiencies of things like vitamin B12 and folate and B6. So already you can see this is open the whole equation of heart disease quite a lot when we’re just talking about coronary artery disease.
So, of course, we’re still controlling blood pressure. Of course, we’re advising against smoking. And of course, we’re controlling weight and we’re looking for things like sleep apnoea that’s actually not a classic part of the picture they’re in in coronary artery disease management. But that’s another little piece.
If someone’s overweight and the type two diabetic, you’ve got to make sure you look for sleep apnoea, obstructive sleep apnoea, even in other cases where they’re showing any signs of, for instance, daytime somnolence or snoring or napping during the day, etc.. There are a number of other symptoms you need to always think of as obstructive sleep apnoea. That’s going to be a very, very big factor there. So that’s another piece as well, which is from conventional medicine that needs to be added in that often gets forgotten about.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:38:35] So we’ve talked about insulin resistance syndrome. We’ve talked about nitric oxide and the importance of methylation. Vitamin D and vitamin K, so fat-soluble vitamins, and E, particularly the subtype of vitamin E, which is called delta-tocotrienol, appears to be very helpful. It’s almost like a natural statin and then also coenzyme Q10. Those are a few nutrients that are vital. So having vitamin D levels that are in the optimal range, so you don’t want to just be in the reference range. Of course, you know this one, I’m just going to say this for everyone.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:39:15] No, no, no, do tell me. I don’t want to assume anything. Okay.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:39:19] So for those, you know, so, so the reference range in Australia generally reads that at 50 to 150 nanomoles per litre. However, if you’re 51 you will read in the reference range, but that’s very suboptimal in terms of that. And this is in the peer-reviewed literature. I’m not giving you anything vague here that really you should be looking at trying to be in that 125 to 175 type of range if you have coronary artery disease.
And ideally, at least part of that should be through sun exposure. And so you don’t want to get it all through a supplement. Although I do think in the converses it was also the case. I think it’s difficult to try and get it all through sun exposure and not through supplements.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:40:05] Particularly if you’re following NHMRC guidelines of Slip Slop Slap.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:40:10] Yeah. That’s right. Yeah, exactly. So, you know, of course, people have to be careful and not to be burnt, which, you know, is going to raise the risk. But sensible sun exposure, you know, perhaps around 20 minutes a day to 30 minutes a day should not be a high risk for skin cancers, etc. So I do recommend that and I do also recommend a supplement in conjunction with that. So that’s very important. And then using vitamin K and E at the same time. So you want to you want a broad spectrum of fat-soluble vitamins.
The reason the fat-soluble vitamins seem to be the ones that are more important is that the endothelium lining and plaque and so on, that’s all fat, that’s all fat-soluble. So that’s why it appears that they’re more important. Now, coQ10 is also considered to be a fat-soluble nutrient. So those are all extremely important.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:41:06] Now there’s also something called Lipoprotein A. So lipoprotein little is a type of lipid-protein combination that, if elevated, does appear to increase the risk for coronary artery disease. Now it doesn’t get the same air time that things like LDL do, but it is very, very important. And the main interventions to bring it down are things like vitamin C with proline and lysine and glycine and niacin, and also a supplement called… let me see.
So it’s lumbrokinase, which actually helps with thinning the blood as well. So that’s very important to try and keep your lipoprotein little a in the normal reference range. And if you haven’t had that done before, I highly recommend asking your cardiologist or GP to have that checked.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:42:06] Yes. Well, you’ll be pleased to know, no, I wasn’t going to say resident cardiologist, he’s my cardiologist, Dr Ross Walker, was on the programme a few weeks ago talking very much about that lipoprotein little a.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:42:19] Okay. And what was his strategy specifically?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:42:21] Well, actually, he has his bergamot and his vitamin K2 and his ubiquinol, which is a different form of Q10. We did a programme on ubiquinol versus ubiquinone and actually interestingly co Q10, if I’m not mistaken, is depleted when people take that.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:42:43] Yes, exactly right.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:42:45] Ironic is it?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:42:45] Yeah, that’s right. So, yeah. So, generally speaking, we tend to be I tend to have a bias towards low-dose of statins rather than a high dose because it’s an anti-inflammatory effect, which I believe is the biggest aspect of the action.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:42:59] So say that again.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:43:02] I prefer to use statins at a very low dose.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:43:05] Low dose, yes. Yes.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:43:06] Rather than that, you know, that the classic thing used to be at one point the fashion was to use Lipitor or Atorvastatin at a dose of 80 milligrams. Wow. A lot of people will start getting muscle pains and all sorts of other all kinds of other muscle problems and cognitive problems of that because you will get major depletion.
While my belief and look, I stand to be corrected on this one is that with the lower dose use, you still get a strong anti-inflammatory effect, but you don’t appear to get as significant a depletion of CoQ10 and also other healthy fats in the body. You want to have a certain amount of liver, and you certainly keep your cholesterol too low.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:43:46] Yes. Well, that’s another story, isn’t it? I mean, we can go down that rabbit hole as well. But, gee, that’s quite a list there. And I think coming back to nitric oxide, which is it’s such an interesting compound, vasodilator, vasoconstrictor, anti-microbial. I mean, we focus on it a lot in our practise because of breathing. You know, because of it’s…
We’ve talked about this on a few programmes that I had a guest who has a PhD, Dr Rosalba Courtney, who has a PhD in breathing, and she said something which was such an Aha! moment to me when she said 60% of the body’s nitric oxide is produced in the paranasal sinuses only when you breathe through your nose.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:44:30] Wow. That’s really amazing.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:44:32] Well, that’s exactly what I said to us. What? That I mean, even if it was less or more. But that is, nasal breathing is not as common as one would hope.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:44:43] Yeah, exactly. Exactly….mould another because if you’ve got a switch on your home, you’re generally going to have a degree of sinusitis and congested nasal passages. Also, dairy, gluten and sugar in the diet will tend to promote that.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:44:57] Yeah.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:44:57] So yeah, someone actually at the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association Conference in Auckland, which happened just the week that COVID started in 2020, someone came up to me after my lecture and said, “You do know that we take our breathing as the biggest way to get the nitric oxide up, didn’t you?” And I said, “No, I did not. So thank you.”
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:45:21] Well, this just comes back to the use of micropore at night. And I’ve been using that for the last 15 or so years in our practise. And it was interesting too. I’ll send you the article from the Journal of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, which actually validated that it was a reasonable approach to mild obstructive sleep apnoea.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:45:44] Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Yeah, exactly. Just getting the breathing back. Right. That’s another part of holism, isn’t it?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:45:53] Yep. Yep. Now, Sandeep, we recently had I know you’ve lectured with her and she’s a regular on this podcast too, Nicole Bijlsma, who I think is an absolute legend. And if you look over my shoulder, you will see her book on the shelf. You know, it’s a wonderful book, Healthy Homes Healthy Family.
And I know you lecture with her. She’s the building biologist. Mould is clearly a huge and growing problem. We just have to look at the floods that have gone up in the northern and all of that. How big a problem is mould and what are some of the signs that might alert people to the fact that they are suffering from it? Because an easy one to overlook, isn’t it?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:46:32] Exactly. Look, it’s a huge problem. And it’s somewhat subtle in that if you don’t ask the right questions, you’ll never find it. And therefore, you may believe that it’s not a problem as a doctor. And I think that’s probably the case for the majority of medical practitioners. And for me, I won’t say that I’m anything special in that regard.
I had to go through flooding myself in the 2011 Brisbane floods and have a partner at the time who became bedbound to open my eyes to the fact that mould can cause severe illness. And probably if that hadn’t happened, I’m not sure that I would have ever sought out further information on it.
So that led me to contacting Ritchie Shoemaker, who was considered to be by many the world expert at the time, and to start his physician training and speak to him at 1 a.m. in the morning once a month, despite the fact that he was talking, jogging, that I had no idea the meaning of. And him sending me thousand-page documents that had none of the answers to the exam questions on it.
It was a little more like a wild goose chase. It was a very, very difficult way of learning the information. But, you know, because I had someone close to me, he was suffering with it. I decided to go through that arduous process of learning and came out the other side, passed the exam and became actually the first person outside the US who was certified by him. And I believe…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:48:11] So he runs courses for medical practitioners?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:48:14] Yeah he does a physician training. But not many people go through it, actually, because it’s pretty arduous. And, you know, for instance, it’s nowhere near the sort of thing where you get given a small document and all the answers to the exam questions are in it.
It’s like you get thousand-page documents, and the exam questions are nowhere to be seen. So you need to ask a lot of questions along the way. And he starts talking about, you know, Pfiesteria. And I’m like, “What’s Pfiesteria got to do with the mould?” And so, you know, so there’s a whole story of how he got into it.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:48:52] So Pfiesteria is actually a type of blue-green algae that grows in certain rivers and estuaries. So he lives in a pair in an area of America called the Chesapeake Bay area. And there was a bunch of people got on well near where he was all of a sudden one year. And he tried one of them on a medication called cholestyramine just for their diarrhoea. But he found that not just their diarrhoea improved, everything improved, the person just got better.
And that’s how he started speculating that there was some kind of biological toxin involved. And he developed a treatment programme and I also a diagnostic test called visual contrast sensitivity for Pfiesteria and other blue-green algae related toxin syndromes, which is what hysteria is all about.
And later, he then applied that to many chronically ill patients and found that they were failing the same test and had a benefit on the same medication. And he then developed a whole range of biomarkers for chronic inflammation in these patients. So it’s quite an amazing story how he came across.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:50:01] So this, I think you just said… You said it. I looked, I wrote it down, visual contrast sensitivity. So literally, people are being shown a series of images to determine their ability to distinguish contrast. And from that, a diagnosis can be made about the potential influence of mycotoxins.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:50:24] So look. It’s a screening test. It’s not diagnostic. There are many other things that can cause it as well. But yeah, there is a decrease in the ability to detect subtle shades of grey, and that’s due to neuroinflammation.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:50:40] Neuroinflammation.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:50:41] So that’s one of the hallmark signs of chronic inflammatory response syndrome, as he refers to it, which can be due to a number of different things, but most commonly biotoxins from water-damaged buildings.
So look, I sought that information out and then, to my greatest surprise, a huge number of patients came out of the woodwork who were wanting to explore this in themself. And the majority of them, it did turn out to be the case that this was involved in their illness. Now, many of these patients were people who had been diagnosed with things such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia and so on.
And I just happened to fall across this at the same time that the whole chronic fatigue syndrome community started taking an interest in this. So I got deluged. I’ve now got two other doctors at the practise and, you know, there are no signs of these patients slowing down.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:51:39] I mean, I can only I mean, we looked at the images because I live in Sydney and look at the images up in the northern parts of New South Wales and southern Queensland with houses, literally two-storey houses almost inundated to the roof. It’s just mind-boggling, and the thought of the damp and the mould, and I mean, it’s just from Nicole’s perspective to remediate a house like that, is almost impossible.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:52:07] Yes, that’s correct.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:52:10] And then and then the the the health effects that go on from there are extraordinary. Wow. That is so just so interesting. And domain apart from the avoidance of that mould, building resilience back in is, I guess, the key how to. How do we? You mentioned a few things there already?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:52:27] Yeah, that’s so so yeah, absolutely. That avoidance is the key. And then the use of toxin binders, or we call them bile acid-binding resins, such as cholestyramine and other things, is very important. Now there’s a whole series of things that which is you might could develop. 14 steps. We’ve developed in Australia our own modified version of the Shoemaker protocol if you like.
And we’ve found generally that there are a number of other things that are beneficial, including low dose naltrexone, which is a very strong anti-inflammatory which has been found to be useful in chronic fatigue syndrome, specifically by Griffith University and a range of other things. And then, the protocol ends with something called VIP nasal spray, which is also very anti-inflammatory. There are a number of other treatments that many of us find helpful, including addressing muscle activation if present.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:53:22] We’ve talked about that with, of course, a person, you know, Dr Christabelle Yeoh.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:53:27] A very smart doc. Yeah.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:53:30] But but but remind us, give us a little bit very short what muscle activation syndrome is?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:53:34] Basically, it’s inflammation that’s mediated specifically by one immune cell called mass cells, which are the first line of defence of the immune system. And they mainly live on mucosal services such as in the mouth or the ears or the nose or genitalia etc., and in the gastrointestinal system.
So there are some of the areas that tend to be more affected, but basically, it’s whole body inflammation and yeah, so it’s just a slightly different flavour and the slightly different treatments which appear to be helping those.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:54:06] So let’s just quickly touch on if you don’t mind. I’m interested to hear your perspective on how one could deal with COVID because COVID is something that people and you talked about cytokine use the word cytokine early on. And I think people may have heard the word cytokine storm in the complications. I’m interested to hear your perspective on prevention and early treatment.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:54:31] Okay. Yeah, sure. So prevention. So some of the things that are not often talked about are your basic nutritional status. And the study done by the National Institute of Integrative Medicine by Professor Avni Sali and so on. And Torfick Benjamin and Karen Reed found that actually, the critical factor is vitamin D.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:54:55] Yes. And if you get your vitamin D up into those same sorts of ranges I was talking about with regard to coronary artery disease, around 125 to 175 nanomoles per litre, your risk of hospitalisation and death starts approaching zero. Now it does need further research to validate that. But that is what the preliminary study shows.
And if that’s the case, then we need to be shouting from the rooftops about the importance of vitamin D because virtually no government around the world has recommended it. Other than, I’m very proud to say, Uttar Pradesh, India. Uttar Pradesh, India has actually led the way in the world with their COVID pack, which has… Can you tell us?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:55:45] Yeah, well, it was published by let me see which doctor. I don’t remember which doctor published it, but they had a look at it. It’s a treatment pack, and it did include a face mask, and it included paracetamol. But then it was vitamin D, zinc ivermectin. Now. I don’t recall whether it was hydroxychloroquine or not.
I’ll have to have another look at it. But I said vitamin D, didn’t I? And then vitamin and then vitamin C, I believe, was in there as well. So those are the critical nutrients. Those are the absolutely critical nutrients.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:56:20] I think it bears saying because when this Delta variant came out, it was called the Indian variant initially and Uttar Pradesh has got a population I think of about 250 million people. So it seemed that if the Delta variant, very virulent, would be ravaging Uttar Pradesh or anywhere, there would be literally millions of people dropping dead in the street. That, in fact, didn’t happen.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:56:41] And Uttar Pradesh was able to control this pandemic very, very well. Now, you could say for a scientific mind. You can’t exclude the possibility that other factors were involved. You know, some other factor. But you’d have to ask, you’d have to strongly question the fact that did that treatment.
Was that the primary factor that led to those improvements? So, look, vitamin D is critical. You could say it’s also a marker for sunlight exposure. So getting out in the sun is vital wherever you are, getting out into nature and also getting your feet on the earth is also very, very important.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:57:22] Now, Vitamin C is next is important. Now, you could say vitamin C is also a marker of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. Yeah. So it’s actually a surprising amount of people around the world who are vitamin C deficient. So yeah. So vitamin C is one of the simplest things. Linus Pauling put a huge amount of emphasis on it. It was a double Nobel Prise winner. He was ignored. It’s still one of the simplest and most important things out there in nutrition.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:57:52] It’s almost like, Sandeep, if you got a Nobel Prise for something that almost guarantees that it has no place to play in COVID management because Ivermectin is another Nobel Prise winning medicine in 2015. So not that long ago. And it was won a prise for human health, as you know, as well as animal health. But then same end. Oh boy, let’s not even go down this path because I’m kind of that’s something a theme we follow on this podcast quite a bit. So yeah, this sets us up for prevention and early treatment.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:58:27] Sorry. Do you mind if I just finish the last bit there? So the last bit is.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:58:30] No, please go on.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:58:32] …Is also vital.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:58:33] Yep, it’s zinc.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:58:33] It’s important almost every enzyme in the immune system. Number four is melatonin. Now, you should discuss that with your medical practitioner if that’s appropriate for you. But melatonin is vital. And the other thing is just to look at how much blue light and how much electromagnetic radiation you’re being exposed to in the evenings. Because if you are being exposed to those, you’re blocking your own melatonin production.
And number five is Quercetin, which is a bioflavonoid, which also helps to get zinc into inside cells, or it’s a zinc-iron for now. Those are the five main nutrients which are recommended by the Frontline Critical Care Group, which includes Paul Marik. I believe to be a genius who, who’s been unfairly prosecuted or not prosecuted, persecuted was the word. And so that’s a very useful group in my opinion.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [00:59:29] So then moving over to early treatment, if you live in Uttar Pradesh, India, you get given one of those packs which contains vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, ivermectin and possibly hydroxychloroquine. I’m not sure. Now, in Australia, the TGA has decided that its ivermectin is not safe for general practitioners to use, and therefore they’ve banned it. I believe that this is an incorrect decision.
I agree there is extensive evidence to show that ivermectin is effective as an early treatment. The Chief Medical Officer of Australia came out and said the zero evidence for ivermectin. I believe that statement is thoroughly incorrect, and either he did not do the research, or he purposely is misleading people.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:00:31] Yes, this leads us into a whole area of some of the whole response. And I recently, I don’t know whether you bothered to listen to it, but there was a two-hour forum from the Australian Health Department on COVID 19, early treatment, and it went on for 2 hours.
I forced myself to listen to the whole thing, and now well, let me summarise it for you because if you’ve recently read an article in the BMJ, the British Medical Journal, called The Illusion of Evidence-based Medicine, they talk about two worrying signs and they are key opinion leaders and product champions distracting us from what is actually good health and championing products in the pharmaceutical industry. So they call product champions.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:01:18] This was a two-hour fest of key opinion leaders and product champions. Promoting summit was the summit of the monoclonal… Sotrovimab, plaxlovid, molnupiravir and remdesivir. They were the remdesivir and they were the main products that were being championed by the head of the TGA, Professor John Skerritt, the chief medical officer of Australia, who, as you mentioned, Paul Kelly felt there was no evidence to support the use of ivermectin.
By the way, we had a similar response to when Ian BrightHope and I co-signed a letter to the TGA about vitamin D in the first weeks of the pandemic. Not enough evidence. And who else? Many other chief medical officers. But look, we could go on and on about this, but that is a great little bit of a toolkit, if you like, for dealing with these issues. Early treatment, again, I imagine. Would you just get that treatment back?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:02:27] Yeah, exactly. I think the British have got it exactly right. I actually personally don’t recommend paracetamol unless you’re getting very, very high fevers because it does actually reduce glutathione levels. So I would say using NAC or glutathione also have good evidence for being used and avoiding paracetamol.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:02:50] Right.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:02:51] If you need to use anti-inflammatories, I probably would use colchicine. Which has some evidence for being useful or possibly a nonsteroidal if you don’t have stomach inflammation for only for a very short period of time.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:03:07] Hmm.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:03:08] So those. Those would be the main elements. And I do recommend going to higher doses of the nutrient. So generally up to around 10,000 international units of vitamin D trying to get up to around 6 to 10 grams of vitamin C. And if you’re eating normally now, a lot of people during COVID, I’ve noticed their appetite goes down.
So I have to be a bit careful with the zinc because you can make people really nauseous, but if they’re eating normally, then actually getting up to around 100 milligrams a day for around three days is a good idea.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:03:43] But typically, you know, that would be, what, around 25 to 30 milligrams of zinc or what?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:03:49] No, no, no. I’m saying actually one hundred.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:03:51] 100 for a few days.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:03:53] Yeah, that’s right. For a few days. But offer prevention. Yeah. 25 or 30 would be fine. Of course, ideally, you should have your blood levels of these things locked up. And the other thing I recommend is getting something called a pulse oximeter. You can get them from a chemist relatively inexpensively. I think it’s around $50 and keeping an eye on your oxygen levels.
Now, if you start getting shortness of breath or lung symptoms, you should check this regularly. Now, if you start dropping below around 94 to 95, you should hundred percent make sure you have a phone consultation organised with a doctor who’s well versed with COVID 19 management. And you may need to consider getting onto steroids such as prednisone, which I didn’t take for my cluster headaches, but I would take if that happened to me.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:04:49] But not at that. Not at that 75. Would you take it at 75 mg?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:04:54] Actually, to be honest, there’s still a lot of discussion about what the correct dose is. It can be that high, actually.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:05:01] Hmm. Is that what dexamethasone is targeting?
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:05:04] Yeah. Yeah, same thing. So you can use dexamethasone, or you can use prednisone. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So some there was a Dr. Shetty in South Africa who’s actually using up to 100 milligrams or more for a couple of days. But the thing is, that’s only very short term.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:05:18] Short term.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:05:18] Like sometimes only for a day or two. And then you’d want to wind right back.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:05:22] Because some people are on that kind of prednisone for a long time and being type it offered and it creates all sorts of issues. Sandeep. This has just been the most incredible time. I’ve so enjoyed talking to you. I want to just finish up with another question. Taking a step back from your role as a medical practitioner and researcher, and teacher because we’re all on a health journey together in this modern world. What do you think the biggest challenge is for us as individuals on that journey?
The Biggest Health Challenge
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:05:54] Great question. I don’t know if I’ve actually thought about this, to be honest. The biggest impediment, I think I think it’s probably the gravitational pull of the culture. So what I mean by that just like gravity, you come close to Earth. For instance, you can’t help but getting pulled towards it. So what I mean by the gravitational pull of culture is it’s very easy to get pulled into a certain lifestyle that is the norm for the culture now.
The norm for the culture in Australia and most other countries in the world is not holistic living, and it’s very easy to get pulled into the cultural norm by your family, by close friends, etc. That basically involves things such as workaholism, excessive alcohol consumption, excessive socialising, not getting enough sleep and a range of other unhealthy lifestyle factors.
And I call it a gravitational pull because there’s, you know, there’s a certain pressure that comes along with being part of a family group and a social group. And that’s what comes into my head just from, you know, dealing with a lot of people.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:07:18] Yeah.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:07:18] I think that’s the biggest challenge is not getting pulled into that. And I’ve seen a lot of people go on to more of a holistic lifestyle and holistic medicine programme, and then that’s, that’s the thing that pulls them out. And some people get pulled out. Then they go back in, and they get pulled out again.
And so I guess one of the things is being aware. You’ve got to be aware that there’s a gravitational force there, and you’ve got to have a strategy for trying to navigate that and being able to deal with the effect.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:07:49] Wow. What a note to finish on. Sandeep, and again, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us. Thank you.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:07:58] Thank you very much for the insightful questions which have made me dig a bit deeper and ask questions that I haven’t asked myself before.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:08:07] A pleasure. Thanks, Sandeep.
Dr Sandeep Gupta: [01:08:08] All right.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:08:09] Well, I have been a holistic practitioner for 42 years, and as my regular listeners would know, I’ve often said that the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know. And talking to somebody like Sandeep, who is just a wealth of knowledge and enquiring curiosity and open-mindedness and intellect and compassion and empathy, do I need to go on? I’m just blown away, you know?
I mean, I think the idea of when we see a new patient as a practitioner to set an agenda and to screen patients for how serious are they about entering this journey with you as a practitioner? And I do that to some extent in my own practise, but I’m going to be taking it up to a whole new level with his ten points of screening diet supplements, emotion, homework, sleep, exercise, and follow up. Are you willing to be followed up?
You know, I mean, we need to be engaged in our health journey, which is why you’re listening to this podcast, because you are. I know you are. And what a wealth of knowledge thereon chronic inflammation and what insights into the common denominator in all chronic diseases and what a great package of advice around COVID.
Now, you know, as I recently had the opportunity, as I mentioned, I think in the podcast of listening to the Australian Government’s two-hour forum on COVID treatment, early treatment, and this came out in April 2022, remembering that the pandemic started in March or February in March 2020. So 26 months after the TGA, the NHMRC, the Health Department, all the senior chief medical officers felt that it was incumbent on them to reduce harm, particularly for high-risk people. And I’ve doing a whole podcast summary of that, which will also share with you some highlights.
So I take a little bit of an indulgent record part of it, stop the recording, make a few comments, and I hope they’re insightful comments. And, and of course, the Health Bite we did a few weeks ago on that article, which came out in the British Medical Journal in 2022, called The Illusion of Evidence-based Medicine. It’s why taking control of your own health is the best alternative.
And as Sandeep said, thank goodness we have a Western health model that is there to catch us in emergencies, in acute crises, thank goodness. And I have been the beneficiary, as has my family. In many cases, it’s been life saving and definitely been life-altering. So I’m eternally grateful for that.
But when it comes to preventable chronic degenerative diseases, taking control of your own health with advice from holistic, integrative practitioners is a wonderful journey to embark on and making it the habit of a lifetime.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:11:29] I hope this finds you well. We will, of course, have links to Sandeep’s site, and he also had that site moldillnessmadesimple.com. I hope I got that right I’ve checked written in the notes. I hope this finds you well. Until next time. This is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Be well.
This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.