Hello, everyone! I’m Dr. Trish Murray – physician, author, and the Health Catalyst Speaker. Welcome to this episode of Discover Health Podcast. Today our podcast is entitled “Stress and Hormones” and I have on for a second time (I’m really excited to have him back) is Reed Davis. Hi Reed, how are you doing today?

Doing fantastic, Dr. Trish. So glad to be back with you today.

Oh, it’s awesome to have you back on. Our first episode was great, so we had to have you back again! Let me remind people a bit about your bio. I’m going to read this out, and then we’ll kind of get into the topic here about stress and hormones.

Folks, Reed Davis, founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® is an expert in functional lab testing, data-guided health building protocols, and holistic lifestyle approaches. Reed is widely known as one of the most successful and experienced functional lab educators in the world today, having provided functional assessments to over 10,000 clients as a Clinical Nutrition Therapist and teaching over 3,000 health coaches and allied health professionals about hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, and nervous system issues.

Reed is on a mission to help as many health-minded people as possible in growing their knowledge and with getting access to the right resources so they can help people on a deeper level and finally solve their own issues once and for all.Click To Tweet

Isn’t that why we’re all into functional medicine?! Welcome back, Reed!

Thanks so much! Thanks for a great introduction, and I’m glad we’re on the same page!

Absolutely! Reed, like last time I always start with asking folks kind of what led them into the way they’re being of service today. You’ve been a Certified Nutritional Therapist for quite a while. This time, why don’t I ask about the business you’ve created. This time, please let folks know how you came to be the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®.

Yeah, thanks so much again. As you alluded to, last time we talked we talked about the ten years I spent in the clinic running thousands of labs on thousands of people. I just wanted to help people. I wanted to be the last person they needed to see because most of the patients walking in the door had already seen five or ten or eight different people and still had a lot of their complaints. I became an investigator of sorts and then I taught people what to do with what we found. I just started getting pushed, Dr. Trish, into you should be teaching, you should be teaching. The labs that I was using on all of these…people were coming to me and saying, “Who the heck are you? Nobody runs these many labs. You’re running as many labs as offices that have five doctors!” I was the only guy in our office really running labs. I only did it, Dr. Trish, because I didn’t know you couldn’t do it! I didn’t know I was working harder than everyone else; I just thought everyone worked that hard and loved doing what they were doing as much as I did!

So, I took on that challenge and I said, “Well, let me see if I can teach my system.” Because I did want to start deputizing people to do what I was doing. I knew I was doing was good. I had very happy successful business and so I thought, Well, if I can duplicate that or get other people to duplicate, we could reach a lot more people.

My mission is the same, it’s still to help as many people as possible, but I can’t see them all myself, so I have to deputize others.Click To Tweet

In 2008 I started teaching. I started off with just a two-day weekend. I stood in front of about 200 slides going over what I had been doing in the office and discovered all the sort of secrets and things we hadn’t covered in all those years. People loved it! It was international from day one. People flew to San Diego (I did this at a hotel), and I had people from England and from Canada and from all over. That was the beginning of the course. Now, it was successful. It paid well, and a lot of people said, “We want more! We want more! What else can we do?” And so, the next time I taught it, I went online. I didn’t have another live event. I went online and I signed up maybe twice as many people and I spread the lessons out over ten weeks. I then I did that again. And then I did that again.

Then I got smart. One of my students said, “Hey Reed, if you record it then you wouldn’t have to do it over and over again. I could listen to the recordings.” I wasn’t a really tech-savvy guy. I started and ran that whole huge business with just a pager. You remember the days when we had a pager on our hip? It was just buzz and buzz and we’d finally call the person paging or whatever. I was low tech, and I had to learn a lot. Now it’s not 2008 anymore. Obviously, we’ve re-iterated, of course, time and time and time again. Now it’s this huge sort of robust educational platform that’s delivered very professionally. I came to it out of the same desire to help as many people as possible, deciding that deputizing others to duplicate our system would be the best way and it’s worked out pretty well. The course is available to anyone.

Anyone who wants to help others and is willing to walk the talk. You’ve got to want to live this way that uses the lifestyle medicine forms that we’ve developed. That’s the best way to help othersClick To Tweet, is to give them an example to follow.

Absolutely. Reed, who are the type of folks or the most common folks that come and go through your whole program?

You know, I use the term “allied practitioners” because people who have usually a college degree and then they’ve got some kind of certification in a modality. It could be nutrition…like I was a nutritionist. I was also a personal trainer certified, and I have a number of other certifications. It’s usually someone like that with a college degree. My college was actually environmental law, so I wasn’t even in this field, but I switched to working with people as we went over last time. They have a college degree; they have some sort of certifications (it could even be massage or yoga instruction). Just people who want to do some good in the world who want to help others and they enjoy that. What will happen to them is what happened to me – you just fall in love with the clinical side. Running the labs on people, looking at their hormones and their immune system, digestion, and detoxification markers actually on paper is very exciting! You have to learn the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry so you have to have kind of an itch or a nerdiness. A little nerdiness helps, to answer your question. Not too much, we hope!


You know, you’ve got to be a friendly, nice, warm, considerate, kind, and helpful person and a little nerdiness. We’ll teach you what you need to know. We teach everything that you need to know about the labs and then it’s practical. Remember, it’s all developed out of my experience doing one-on-one work with people, so you’ll learn how to apply those or do the investigation and then apply the principles of wellness, the principles of healing. We don’t do drugs. As a matter of fact, we’re fully accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and all of my graduates are board-eligible for their Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) certification. You really just have to join the AADP and you automatically get it. It’s like two certs for one. You get my certification which means you’re eligible…if you’re non-licensed as we’ve mentioned with most of the allied practitioners then you still get to run the labs through our Medical Director Program with your clients. It’s basically a direct to consumer, but you’re looking at the data on your clients and you’re able to identify these healing opportunities and then again, you coach them, we’re health coaches.

We’re kind of the ultimate health coaches.

It’s not necessarily what a person does in the office, although in your office they do get the manipulations and things like that, it’s what they do between visits that matters most. We’re doing that. We fill that gap.Click To Tweet We bridge that gap, if you will, of well what happens between those office visits? I can teach anyone. I don’t hold back. Just about anyone can join. You do have to have some tech savvy because you have to use a computer for programs and things.

Well that’s awesome! First of all, I totally agree it’s between the visits. I teach every one of my patients how to do particular stretching exercises. For example, to start out with level one and then there’s a level two. If they’re not doing their homework in between visits, I tell them, “You can come and see me. It’s just going to be a band-aid. You’ve got to walk the walk and talk the talk yourself.”

In any aspect of functional or holistic medicine, people realize that they have to be proactive about their health.Click To Tweet

I’m so glad you said that.

Yeah, I just wanted to ask about labs. As a physician, of course, I’m ordering labs all the time. Then I have to put diagnostic codes down and then they go to the national labs to get their blood drawn and all that stuff. How do folks through your programs, if someone’s working with yourself or someone else who is an allied practitioner and sometimes not certified, if you will, through the insurance model, correct me if I’m wrong, order the labs? How do people get them done?

Well, we’re taking advantage of kind of a new phenomenon. As a matter of fact, we actually initiated or kind of pioneered this system of the consumer going direct to the lab. And so, our practitioners aren’t ordering a lab like you do as a physician with the diagnosis and CPT codes and such so the insurance can pay for it. This is pretty much a cash practice model and so my practitioners will expedite the lab kit being sent to their client, but the client themselves is actually paying for the lab and collecting their own specimens. That’s why we like test kits. Saliva can be done at home, urine can be done at home, stool can be collected at home. We do have to send people in for blood draws, but even with that they’re not having to go to some of these big reference labs like these national labs, LabCorp or Quest. There’s a lot of private blood draw companies now. They drive around in cars and do mobile blood draw and things like that.

There are lots of ways to skin a cat, but our medical director program allows the patient to get the lab direct but also allows the health practitioner, the health coach if you will, to look at the lab test results. That’s between the client and the health coach by their agreement. We just manage the whole thing and our trainees and graduates just absolutely love it! They love, we call it “cooking with gas” because if you’re not testing, you’re guessing. That’s why you run labs and that’s why health coaches want to look at labs, too. They may not look at them exactly the same way. Again, we’re not looking for treatment options. What’s the agent to use for the symptoms or what’s the dosage and what’s the frequency? We don’t look at things like that. We’re truly trying to identify some healing opportunities. It’s sort of what’s broken upstream or what metabolic weak link exists somewhere upstream. Usually there are multiple. It’s never really just one. And so, we look at this cluster of data and then can form your impression and clinically correlate to explain why the client or patient feels so bad or looks so bad or whatever it might be. You have to do the clinical correlation. Then you give them things to do. We don’t prescribe any particular agents. Again, we’re not worried too much about doses and frequency of what will make their symptoms go away. It’s like, how do you really fix what’s wrong so that it goes away permanently or as close as possible? I have to add that it doesn’t fix every single problem. In many cases it’s something truly medical that needs oversight, and in that case, we’ll be the junior partner to the physician who’s managing something that could turn south really quick.


Doctors order CT scans and X-rays and MRIs and all kinds of things that we aren’t trained in. Thank God there is a physician to provide that oversight.

When it comes to diet, rest, exercise, reducing stress, and taking some supplements we’re really knowledgeable. We know how to apply those therapies, if you will, or lifestyle holistic behavior patternsClick To Tweet, and you’d be amazed at what the two together can accomplish.

Oh, absolutely! I have a health coach in my office, and I wouldn’t be able to live without her anymore! I take, if you will, the 30,000-foot view and she’s walking the walk and talking the talk with them every day. It’s just such an excellent partnership. Let’s get into the stress and sex hormones. First of all, you mentioned some kits. The first question would be – what presentation, let’s say, would a patient come in with or a client come in with that makes you say, “Okay, I believe that checking out this person’s stress hormones and their sex hormones.” And then what kits…for example you mentioned these kits they can get. How are they tested? How do we test the stress hormones and the sex hormones?

Well, the presentation – people come in and they’re stressed out, they’ve gained weight, they can’t maintain their weight, they’ve got low energy and fatigue, could be brain fog, poor memory, can’t fall asleep, poor sleep, these kinds of things. And there’s worse, they may get dizzy on standing which is usually an indication of adrenal dysfunction of some sort, if their blood pressure’s being regulated properly. Eyes sensitive to light – that’s a huge one. Anxiety or irritability. But generally speaking, Doctor, a lot of these folks have been to a physician, had their CBC chem panel or standard bloodwork looked at and have often been told, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re in the parameters. You’re in the normal reference ranges. There’s not much to look at here on the standard blood panel.” Raise your hand if that’s ever happened to you or if you know someone who has been told that!

We say, “Well, you’re not crazy and you don’t need some pills just for your symptoms. We can look a little deeper.” We would run either a saliva or dried urine test for all the hormones. We do this on every person because just about every person with a chronic stress-related condition has hormonal imbalances of some sort. Could be the cortisol to DHEA. Could be the progesterone to estrogen or testosterone to estrogen ratio.

Rather than just look again for treatment options like, “Oh, your estrogen’s low, here’s some estrogen,” we look at what are the stressors that caused it.Click To Tweet That’s more work, and it’s the work that you do at home in between your doctor visits as we’ve both agreed is the critical time period. If someone shows up with those symptoms including, you’re just crashing early in the day. You might get a second wind, you might not, but you need a lot of coffee in the mornings and you need alcohol to get to sleep and you’re just not what you used to be. You know something’s wrong, but you’ve been told that things look pretty normal in your bloodwork. That’s a perfect candidate for a health coach – if I’ve trained them!

The other part of your question – what do you look at? I’ve preferred saliva testing for many years. The dried urine is also very good. We would have you take saliva samples morning, noon, afternoon, and nighttime, and we’d look at the circadian rhythm. You know, there’s a natural diurnal pattern that cortisol should follow. Cortisol is your stress hormone (most people know that), and it’s made in the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands also make the counter-regulatory hormone which is DHEA and the long form of that is dehydroepiandrosterone. The cortisol to DHEA ratio is very, very important as you know. You are kind of identifying the catabolic dominance that people have. You have cortisol which is your stress hormone that breaks the body down mostly to maintain blood sugar levels. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, painkiller. It’s a really good hormone under stress, but if it’s constant you’ll end up with this cortisol or catabolic dominance over the DHEA. Remember, they’re supposed to be balanced. They’re both made in the adrenals, they are supposed to be in balance. It’s a major indicator for a health coach that you’re in a catabolic state versus an anabolic state. DHEA would be the anabolic side of the equation that builds you up. We all are going to break down a bit and break down a bit.

If you keep that in balance you can go for decades and decades as a health person. If you’re in a catabolic state dominant, then you’re going to break down, age, and be old before your time and that’s how people show up feeling.Click To Tweet

Absolutely. The idea would be with the symptoms you said and even before you came on the air, we were even talking about bone density. If your cortisol is up all the time and your DHEA is down, the idea of this catabolic state you’re degenerating and beating up your system and this cortisol is up you’re not going to sleep because, of course, another hormone that’s supposed to be up when we are asleep is melatonin and cortisol is supposed to be low. But if it’s up at three in the morning – bing – you’re wide awake! If your cortisol is up it’s going to cause problems. You’re going to increase your bone catabolism (breaking down of bone). More commonly with women but men too can have osteopenia or osteoporosis, but the bottom line is a lot of women come in and they’re talking about their osteopenia or osteoporosis and they don’t realize that their stress hormones are very much related to that. How about your comments on that piece of it?

That’s a beautiful segue into something that’s very real for people. People think of stress as basically mental/emotion. It has a real deleterious physical effect on your body. Again, in the adrenals where cortisol and DHEA are made, we said cortisol is catabolic and breaks your body down and it inhibits the development of new bone. There’s nothing wrong with breaking down bone as long as it’s replaced with new, healthy bone. Again, it’s the imbalances that we’re worried about. The other hormones, of course, are the sort of “children” of the DHEA. DHEA is the “parent” of your testosterone, which is great for bones and of estrogen, which basically is what helps to erode the bone. Again, it’s okay because if it’s in balance you’re in pretty good shape. Cortisol suppresses the formation of new bone, which is generally stimulated by progesterone. You need your sex hormones, the estrogen and progesterone in balance. Let me back up and say that generally for women, it’s your estrogen and progesterone balance, but they are affected by stress too. Estrogen helps to catabolize, like you said, break down the bone whereas progesterone helps build up the bone. That progesterone effect of building up the bone is suppressed by the stress hormone cortisol. There are other hormones involved, there are lots of factors. You can mitigate this to some extent with the right nutrients and great diet and good rest and good exercise, especially vigorous exercise (something that rattles the bones a bit – that’s actually good for them). You look at cortisol and DHEA as being maybe master regulatory but DHEA has metabolites that really affect the bones and it’s all got to be in balance.

How about diet and in particular, what diets would you say you find yourself promoting to people the most when their stress hormones are off or, for example, they have bone problems?

You know, it’s been said so many times I guess that eating whole foods, eating things that are not coming in a bag or box. We call it “just eat real food” – that’s a phrase coined by a friend of mine Sean Croxton. I’ve been on his show many, many times. Lots of old recordings of me talking about real food. The things around the perimeter of the store. I’m an omnivore, I eat plenty of meat and eggs. I don’t do a lot of dairy, but I do eat meat and eggs. I eat a lot of vegetables, especially green vegetables – they tend to be really high in minerals. If you think about it, for diet you want to get your macronutrients right, the amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and the carbohydrates need to be really high quality, nutrient dense.

By the time food gets processed…if it’s in a bag or a box it’s probably been so processed that the nutrients have been sort of ripped off and they might put new ones in.Click To Tweet You know, the fortified foods, but it’s not the same thing. I just keep picturing my grandfathers who both grew food. We ate out of the backyard, and that food was really nutritious. It had all of the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. It had the antioxidants, the phytonutrients, and the trace elements. You need really good whole food and probably lots of it if you’re doing everything else right too.


the foundational diet I talk with folks about I call the “rainbow diet.” I think the rainbow should be the foundation of no matter what dietClick To Tweet. Even if you’re ketogenic, it should be based in plants first and color and phytonutrients and the rainbow of red, yellow, green, orange, blue, purple – and I don’t mean Skittles!


The other thing is a lot of people will come in particularly bringing up the idea of bone health. Many women will come in and they’re eating mostly plants and grains of the plant world and they’re not, let’s say, maybe getting enough protein and so the cortisol is up, their protein levels are down. Protein is the building block of our structure so it’s just something for people to make sure they are getting enough protein in your diet. You want healthy protein. You want grass-fed meat and you want wild caught fish and other proteins, but the bottom line is

you do want to try and make sure you’re getting enough and if you are a vegetarian or a vegan you just want to make sure you’re getting the right combination of plants to get all of the essential amino acids.Click To Tweet What would you comment about all that topic, Reed?

I’ve studied diet a lot. I’ve actually follow the work of a couple real smart people like Bill Wolcott, he wrote a book called The Metabolic Typing Diet. There’s a website called mtdiet.com where you can go and take this little test online and it’ll help you determine the macronutrient ratios. The first thing I have to say about your comments is you’re right on! You’re made of food. You’re made of food! The reason you start off at eight pounds or whatever you’re born at and now you’re 108 or, like me, 208 – that’s all because of eating food and being it processed and assimilated, and you mix the protein and the building blocks. But you need fat for energy, you need the carbohydrates for energy and plus those foods contain those amino acids and antioxidants and trace elements and all the different things you’re genetically required to have.

The better your nutrition is, the better your cells can function, and cells don’t need to be taught what their job is. There’s an intelligence in every cell, every tissue, every organ, every system, the entire organism.Click To Tweet Pretty darn smart how it works if you feed it right! We feed our pets better than we feed our kids sometimes. We buy the most expensive pet food, it’s got this, that, and all the other things. And there’s all these different kinds. We let our kids eat sugary colored cereal. It’s kind of amazing.

I love diet. Listen, I haven’t eaten in a fast food restaurant in well over twenty years. You learn that whole food tastes better. It’s a little more work, but it’s much more nutritious. You feel better on it. You don’t have the health problems that people who eat just fast food have. It’s a whole epidemic, so I’m with you 100% on your comments about diet.

Yeah, and the more I’ve learned and the more I cook (and I love to cook, some people say they hate to cook I think if you really want to be healthy you’ve got to learn how to cook some) the idea is though I hardly ever go out to eat anymore. People say it’s more expensive to eat healthy. I disagree. Yeah, maybe it’s more expensive getting out of the grocery store, but I don’t go out to eat because to tell you the truth the food is so good that I make. When I go out to eat, I am disappointed because it just doesn’t taste good. It’s just not as good as what we can make at home!

Absolutely! If you go out to dinner often enough, you’ll spend thousands and thousands of dollars at restaurants where if you spent that money or less just getting whole food and preparing it yourself actually there are things that are very relaxing about being in your own kitchen and cooking nutritious food. There’s something very wholesome about it, and you don’t get that wholesomeness from going to a restaurant and you get your drink order and your appetizer order, and you spend all this money. You know you’re getting a lot of sugar and salt and trans fats. Trans fats are huge even in the best restaurants. They’re used in hydrogenated oils and what have you. You just can’t compare the two, I don’t think.

By the way, I don’t know if you’ve tried, Dr. Trish, any of the services around that will send you food that you can cook. It’s already cut. I love that stuff! It’s wholesome, it’s good. You pay a little more for the organic version, but I get three meals a week that way, and it’s fun! Anyone can get a frying pan out and put a little coconut oil or olive oil (I use a little garlic oil), and you throw a little garlic in there and then you throw the hard vegetables in and you might cook the meat separately or even in the same pan. Even in the same pan. It’s a wonderful service, and it’s delicious. There are a lot of those.

Yeah, there are a lot of those companies out there now. People are starting to use them especially like I say, if you’re someone who says, “I don’t like to cook,” then that would be a great place to start! Looking up the different home services where you can order from menus and they’ll send you the organic already made (you just heat it up) food. That’s awesome!

So, Reed, let’s ask you about a particular hormone that I’d love to hear you talk to folks about. When you’re doing hormone testing, where does sex hormone binding globulin come in for you? We talk about free testosterone for men, for example, or other hormones. You may have a total testosterone number that’s pretty good but your free testosterone, let’s say, is really quite low. Your sex hormone binding globulin is quite high. Tell people about that, and when you find that, what would you suggest they do to try and correct it?

Well, it’s a great question. Just about every hormone has a corresponding binding hormone. Most of them are made in the liver. It could by thyroid binding globulin, it could be cortisol binding hormone, it could be sex hormone binding globulin, and you have these things. You don’t want too much binding and you don’t want too little binding. The over-binding generally means you don’t have enough of the free hormone; it’s bound up and it’s just not really available. Typically, hormones that are bound up should get to the receptor sites and be unbound, but there’s other things that could be going on with the receptor sites and you just don’t want over-binding. Now, under-binding would make the hormone too available and you could burn out the receptor sites. You reduce sensitivity of the receptor sites and so you won’t have the effect that the hormone’s supposed to have and you’ll end up with the symptoms of either too much or too little of that hormone. I think we mentioned it a little bit in the last talk about thyroid – it’s such a great example – but you want lots of free hormone available to the receptor sites so that you can have the effect that that hormone is supposed to have. That’s if everything else is equal like the use of the hormone by the cells that transcription, transduction, the things that happen within a cell. Over-binding and under-binding, most of those globulins are made in the liver, so guess what? You better be nice to your liver!

Also, remember that some of these hormones are being converted in the liver from an inactive form to an active form. I kind of, like you do sometimes, you mentioned taking the 30,000-foot view. I try to take the broadest view possible and not zero in too much on a particular thing. Health coaches have to take this broad view and just say, “What would be the healthiest state?” Having a really good, functioning liver would be a good way to look at that problem. There are probably some supplements that would help you pretty well. You might throw something else out of balance by eating too much of it. That’s why we want to take the broad view and what’s the way you can behave yourself best and get the best overall results. Remember, I’m not a physician. I’m not doing drugs and surgery and treating specific things. I’m really trying to help a person self-treat every cell, tissue, organ, and system in their body. It’s a good question about the hormone binding globulins and since they’re made in the liver, I’d keep my liver in good shape and every other organ too!

Right, right! If someone is interested in become a health coach and learning how to do that and then taking your program through Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® whether they’re looking to be of service to a lot of people or even if they just want to learn for themselves to optimize their own health, what does that look like?

Well, we just published a blog actually on the top ten health coaching programs. We’re among those. I think we’re number one, personally, but it depends on the person. I say most health coaches, if they’re professionals, I separate them from the hobbyists, that they actually want to do this for a living will want a course like ours that will actually teach you a practical application of the principles involved:

  1. Looking at what’s wrong with the person
  2. The healing opportunities (how the person themselves can overcome, repair, restore, rebuild those functions that are less than optimal)
  3. A good business model

We teach all three of those things in our course, and that’s what I would look for. When you went to osteopathic school, did they teach you all about business? Or did you have to come out and learn that later?

I had to learn that later!

You had to learn that later! Same thing with chiropractic school or acupuncture school. With health coaching school you should get a good business model. Remember, I was a very successful practitioner. We didn’t really use the word “health coach” back then; that’s a newer develop, but I don’t care what you call it. I know how to get business, get people to make commitments to their health. We have this onboarding process that we teach. I think you want all three of those things in your program.

And then what does working with a health coach you’ve trained look like?

If you have a problem with something about the way you look or the way you feel that you want to change and you really want to change it you don’t just want information and to pick someone’s brain and maybe you’ll do it and maybe you won’t…we take people through a process of discovering how’s this really affecting their life. What does it prevent you from doing that you love to do? We go through what sort of support system you might have. What would prevent you from completing a program? What are your goals? What is it you really want to accomplish in a relatively short period of time? We’re not talking about years here. If that’s reasonable then we would onboard you and say, “Okay. Number one, we think we can help you. Number two, we’ll take you on as a client.” You have to kind of pass a test to become one of our clients. It means you’re highly motivated, we can narrow in what you want to work on, and what you want to change about the way you look or feel.

Then you’d pay us. Most of the fees are paid in advance. Then you pay for any lab fees, anything else that comes along with your particular program. You could hire me, for instance, to investigate. I’d run the labs, figure out the healing opportunities, what needs fixing so to speak. Then we’d customize a program of diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, and supplementation. That’s step two. That alone would be worth the fee.

The fact that we also will coach you up for a time period (minimum of ninety days) and correct the course as we go. Implementation is the key. If you paid me to run the labs and figure out what’s wrong and then create a program that’s going to repair that, restore all of that, someone still has to run program. That’s you – the client! That’s why we do good onboarding to make sure. You can’t buy health by writing a check.

You can buy the information and the program, but you still have to run the program on yourself. That’s where the rubber meets the road, and that’s why health coaching is so valuable because we actually can work with youClick To Tweet. You mention some of the programs that might specialize more in the positive psychology, behavior change, replacing bad habits with good habits, and that’s what a health coach could do for you. On top of if you’re trained by me figure out what’s wrong and know how to fix it.

It sounds like if someone’s thinking about becoming a health coach and they’re looking how to understand how to interpret labs and know what labs to order and also the tools to be able to work with people, your Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® program would be great! So, how do people find out more about it?

Well, actually, Dr. Trish, we have a place on the internet they can go. It’s www.fdn.today/discoverhealth (the name of your program). FDN is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® – that’s what we call what we do.

Cool! Now, let’s ask a question that would be interesting to round up with. Reed, if you had to pick…because many times I’ll ask the folks I interview what’s the top number one secret to living a healthy life? Let’s keep it focused on stress and sex hormones. If you had to pick the top three, let’s say, things that if someone came to you and their primary concerns were the list you gave us in the beginning of stress and brain fog and sleep problems and dizziness and crashing in the afternoon and these different symptoms that you alluded to. You’re absolutely right! In the traditional medical model so many patients go in and they tell their doctor this list that you gave us, and they get this complete metabolic panel, they get their CBC and everything comes back normal and they’re told, “Well, you’re fine.” They’re like, “Well, what about the list I just told you about how I feel, Doc?”


The labs we’ve talked about today are not done in the traditional medical model. What would you say are the top three things lifestyle-wise that you would suggest somebody do to optimize these symptoms and try to help them get better?

You know, it’s really a fantastic question. We didn’t touch on this much today, maybe on the last call.

I start every day with a moment of appreciation, gratitude, and self-awareness. No matter what happened yesterday, today doesn’t have to be that day.Click To Tweet Typically, Dr. Trish, I don’t walk around with a big rearview mirror. I have little teeny tiny one maybe and I try not to look in it. I’m always looking forward. I just think that you’ve got today, you’ve got to get up and try to be joyful. You have to seek some kind of joy. Now, if you have all of those symptoms it might be pretty hard, but it can be a better day. You have to decide that you’re going to have a good day and that you’re going to be nice to people! Don’t be grumpy. If you’re tired, well take a nap.

Try not to reach for drugs. Try not to self-medicate would be my next thing. If you find yourself grabbing stuff like a lot of coffee in the morning…it’s fine if you want to have a cup of coffee, have it. There’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee in the morning if you’re pretty healthy. But if it’s you can’t do anything without two, three cups and you find yourself at your fourth cup by ten in the morning, that’s a sign.

Number one is you’ve got to have an attitude of joy. Number two is if you find yourself self-medicating with that or with alcohol…I know people who drink six cups of coffee in the day and have two, three, or four beers or glasses of wine at night. That’s a problem! You’ve got to find out why. Hire someone who can help you get out of those habits. They are not debilitating today but the accumulative effect is what we’re concerned with. The other thing I could pick something else – if something stresses you and you know it get rid of it. Get it out of your life. You’re not stuck; there’s no law that says you have to put up with much of anything. I know there’s financial concerns, I know there’s social, economic, family, there’s a lot of pressure, but everyone’s a unique individual and you need to stand in your own power and just be yourself! I got asked this just the other day, someone was having trouble. I said, “You know what I told my kid when he was having trouble? ‘Just be yourself. You’re a good kid. You know what’s right. You know right from wrong.’” Sometimes you have to stand in your own power.

This is coming completely off the top of my head, Doc. To get up in the morning in a state of gratitude and today’s going to be a great day, put your bare feet on the patio or on a rock or dirt outside; there are all these different things you could add to that. Say a prayer. Just be mindful, take a few deep breaths, and try to have a good attitude. Then the other things too, if you find yourself self-medicating cut that out. Find out why; there’s something wrong and you need to investigate. The third thing is you could start with the known stressors – get them out of your life.

Yeah. If I could add one more to that it would be movement. Think of some type of movement that you enjoy, whether it be stretching, whether it be a walk in the woods, get outside and be outside or go for a run or life some weights. Whatever it is but move your body and exercise. The bottom line is too many of us are sitting at desks and on these zoom things now, of course, because of coronavirus and not moving enough. Absolutely, move!

Fantastic! And go to bed early and get a good night sleep too! You said, “Top three,” so I’ve got five or six!

Right! We also start to add a couple more but start somewhere! It’s not a destination, life is a journey.


Choose one thing. If you do anything, choose one thing over the next four to six weeks that you’re going to try and do better with. Then look back four or six weeks later and say, “Wow! I did that and actually I also improved this!” Everybody can do it. We’re all just on a journey. We only have so long to try and be here and the optimal quality life we’d really like to live. Have gratitude, as Reed said, and try to come at life as happily and at least in gratitude. You’re happy to be here.

No matter what life brings us, there’s always going to be an answer, and maybe functional medicine and finding the right health coach is going to be the answer for you!Click To Tweet

Thank you.

Reed, thank you so much for coming on the show again! It’s been great!

It’s been awesome again, Dr. Trish! I’m always here to help people who want help. I think you’re doing amazing work. You’re teaching great stuff, so kudos to you for maintaining through these, I guess they’re being called “difficult times,” but they’re what you make them too. Thanks for the positive psychology as well!

Absolutely. If folks want to check out the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® program, tell them that connection one more time, Reed.

It’s www.fdn.today/discoverhealth.

Awesome! Well, thanks again, Reed. Take care everyone! We’ll see you on the next episode of Discover Health Podcast!


Connect with Reed Davis


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