Ep. 53 – Using Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) To Optimize Your Diet and Lifestyle – Dr. Casey Means from Levels Health

Ep. 53 – Using Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) To Optimize Your Diet and Lifestyle – Dr. Casey Means from Levels Health

Ever wonder if there’s another option to lowering blood glucose than the ever-popular keto diet? Then you’ll definitely want to stick around to the end of this episode. Dr. Casey Means, co-founder of Levels Health, drops some truth bombs about metabolic health, carbohydrates, and the insulin response and how you can make your own meal program to optimize your metabolic health using continuous glucose monitoring.

Dr. Casey Means completed her medical degree at Stanford Medical School, became a Head and Neck Surgeon, and then transitioned to functional medicine after finding the underlying causes of illness was not being supported in her patients through the use of surgery and medicine only. She is also one of the founders of Levels Health – a company making direct-to-consumer continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices and putting patients back in the driver’s seat of their metabolic health.

Join Dave Korsunsky, founder of Heads Up as he gets nerdy with Dr. Casey Means about Levels Health, continuous glucose monitoring, and all things metabolic health. Even learn some great tips on how to lower glucose spikes, whether you are using continuous glucose monitoring or not!

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“The fact that changing our thoughts, changing the way we perceive stress, the food and molecular information we put in our mouths, the composition of our microbiome, how much sleep we get, exposure to different traumas (low-grade and high-grade). All these things actually change the expression of our genome. This is radically empowering. When you know this information, you realize there are actually levers to change the outcome. Health is not deterministic.”

– Dr. Casey Means

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About Dr Casey Mean’s journey to founding Levels Health [2:30]
  • Epigenetics and how even thoughts can affect our genes [3:50]
  • How modern medicine is about pattern matching of signs and symptoms to diagnose and prescribe, and how bio-individuality is much less a part of things [5:45]
  • About her experience as an ENT doc and how she noticed the connection of inflammatory conditions that were being treated with surgery, rather than investigating the underlying contributors [7:00]
  • How Dr. Casey Means shifted her practice from surgery based to a longevity and metabolic practice [10:00]
  • Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) and how it could help course-correct metabolic issues [12:16]
  • How Dr. Casey Means saw symptoms greatly decline after a lot of upfront support in her appointments as her patients began buying into the changes and doing what was suggested [16:44]
  • Blood sugar dysregulation statistics [17:02]
    • 74% of American’s are overweight or obese
    • 128 million American’s pre-diabetic or diabetic
    • 88% of American’s are metabolically unhealthy – recent study out of UNC
    • About the connection between COVID-19 and metabolic health and how it appeared in April 2020 in over 100 publications that obesity, diabetes and metabolic health were the key driving factors in COVID-19 mortality [17:50
  • How Virta Health in 10 weeks, can get a patient from a diabetic HbA1c to a non-diabetic HbA1c in a program that only involves diet and exercise [18:30]
  • Diabetes is a driver in Alzheimer’s dementia which is now being called Type 3 diabetes as the brain becomes insulin resistant [20:10]
  • The effects of hyperglycemia include things such as PCOS, Peripheral Vascular Disease, gout, acne, mental health – depression and anxiety which is twice as high in people with metabolic disease, circadian rhythm disruption, and even NAFLD in children [21:23]
  • Sleep, stress, movement, and food are the four contributors to metabolic disease and about Dr. Casey Means’s shift to make her process scalable for metabolic improvements [22:30]
  • About how people have to close the loop between their actions and what is happening. Nutrition is an open-loop system and if you don’t have any direct 1:1 reaction to what’s happening, it’s really difficult to take ownership of which food(s) caused a problem for you [23:50]
  • How continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) works, what it is. It works by reading the interstitial fluid between cells and taking readings every 15 minutes automatically and sending the information to your phone [25:45]
  • Levels is an FDA approved device for type 1 and type 2 diabetes continuous glucose monitoring [26:45]
  • That insulin has a second action – to block cells from burning fat which signals the body to burn glucose, never allowing the body to dip into the fat stores for energy [29:30]
  • Most weight loss studies show failure at the 2-year mark because they’re not approaching it from a metabolic standpoint and the fact that you cannot burn fat without having a low insulin state [30:00]
  • Glucose spikes can be lowered through reduction of carbs in a meal, timing of carbs (eat them last). Use cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, or berberine as insulin sensitizers. Deep breathing can also affect it, keeping the glucose low by reducing the stress response in the body. Walking for 20 minutes after meals or even 2 minutes every 30 minutes throughout the day can also lower glucose response [31:03]
  • How to get a CGM through Levels Health – about the process and the device [33:50]
  • Dr. Casey Means describes what it’s like to wear the device and how it feels like having a superpower to be able to get immediate feedback on whether she’s feeling a particular way due to blood sugar fluctuations or a food she ate [36:16]
  • How interoception (similar to somatic awareness) helps people connect how they are feeling to what’s happening in their body [36:55]
  • About the hyper-palatability of food products and how the Levels Health CGM can help you make better decisions when the brain is hijacked by food chemicals [38:40]
  • How you can train your body to recognize blood sugar signs and signals to be able to tell what your blood sugar is by utilizing tech while you’re learning the signs from your body [40:20]
  • About the study out of Israel where they gave 800 people CGMs and provided the same meals for them all and found vastly different responses in blood sugar [41:20]
  • With the keto movement we can tap more into the fat burning because the substrates aren’t even there for burning glucose for fuel. But with CGM monitoring, you can monitor how specific carbs affect you personally. You can have a higher carb quantity in your diet and not significantly raise your blood glucose to bring a more balanced way of eating back into your life [43:40]
  • Discussion around food: how combining fats and proteins with carbs can help lower the metabolic response [46:00]
  • How long does it take to reverse metabolic issues? And how to achieve metabolic fitness [47:40]
  • About the importance of metabolic flexibility for athletes [52:15]

References

Levels Health Website
Levels Blog 
Levels – Twitter 
Levels – Instagram
Dr. Casey Means Instagram 
Dr. Casey Means Twitter
Virta Health Clinic
Israel CGM Study
Wired to Eat – Robb Wolf

About Heads Up 

Heads Up is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

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Ep. 52 – How Megan Ramos of The Fasting Method is Using Intermittent Fasting and Heads Up’s Remote Monitoring Technology to Help Patients Worldwide Reach Their Health Goals

Ep. 52 – How Megan Ramos of The Fasting Method is Using Intermittent Fasting and Heads Up’s Remote Monitoring Technology to Help Patients Worldwide Reach Their Health Goals

Megan Ramos is the co-founder of The Fasting Method Program based out of Toronto, Canada, developed with Dr. Jason Fung, author of books such as The Obesity Code and their latest book: Life in the Fasting Lane. Together, Megan Ramos and Dr. Jason Fung have helped thousands of patients get their lives back through the use of intermittent fasting and data tracking.

Join Dave Korsunsky, founder of Heads Up and his co-host, TJ Anderson, as they talk all things intermittent and long-term fasting with Megan Ramos for both practitioners and patients. 

Practitioners go through the Fasting Method Program for their own health to learn how to utilize fasting for their own patients. If you’re unsure of how to go about fasting, wonder if and when it’s safe, or how to implement it with your patients, then listen in to this episode that is jam-packed with all kinds of useful and exciting information. Megan Ramos shares a wealth of information and how you can find out more about joining in on this hot topic in health and wellness to be on the cutting edge with your patients. Learn how Megan Ramos and Dr. Jason Fung are using their unique fasting approach, powered by Heads Up, to deliver remote monitoring, support, education, tracking and behaviorial coaching to help their patients obtain greater health outcomes.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps, and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

“People who track their own data make sustainable changes to their lifestyle. They modify their habits.” – Megan Ramos

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • Megan Ramos talks about how easy it is to get started and how it’s simple because there is only one rule: Don’t eat. You’re asking your patients not to do more, but to do less [5:30]
  • Why patients with brain fog can really benefit from fasting because it takes less, not more – supplements, special foods, rules, etc. [7:50]
  • Fasting is like a muscle – the more you do it the easier it gets [8:40]
  • Examples of different types of intermittent fasting [9:50]
  • Megan Ramos talks about ways to quantify success and results with tests; i.e fasting insulin, C-peptides, ALT, GGT, HDL, ferritin, and more [11:50]
  • The importance of changes in body composition versus weight on the scale, etc. [14:30]
  • How to know if a patient is eligible for fasting and when they wouldn’t be a good candidate for fasting due to nutrient deficiencies or specific functional issues [16:40]
  • About fasting during pregnancy and breastfeeding [19:15]
  • Not to discount other disease processes that could be happening by writing off that the patient is just not eating enough [20:00]
  • How people with chronic conditions can fast too if they’re in a stable state [20:30]
  • Tracking fasting lab results – be mindful of uric acid levels – what to look for and how to navigate if they elevate while fasting [23:13]
  • About fasting, thyroid health and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the swing that can happen from hypothyroid to hyperthyroid [26:00]
  • How Megan Ramos empowers her patients with laboratory data that they can overlay with other metrics in Heads Up to see that their diet and lifestyle changes are that are working or not working for them [27:50]
  • The top measurements that Megan Ramos uses – waist to hip ratio, why BMI is bullshit, why and when/when not to use DEXA scans and how organ fat affects the results [28:45]
  • TJ asks Megan Ramos about longer-term fasts and autophagy and learns how it has helped patients lose up to 160 pounds and not require loose skin tissue removal due to autophagy [35:30]
  • Considerations for a 3, 5, or 7-day fast right out of the gate – who benefits, who shouldn’t do it [38:00]
  • Long term fasts, diabetics and their meds, hypertensives and their meds and more [39:20]
  • In a long-term fast, you need to be mindful of electrolytes early on, and not wait until later in the fast [40:20]
  • Autophagy peaks around the 72-hour mark and stays relatively active for the first 5 days of a fast [42:00]
  • How Megan Ramos and Dr. Jason Fung have systemized their process of intermittent fasting by remotely monitoring fasting patients with the use of data and teaching their patients to understand the data [44:15]
  • Their new program allows Dr. Jason Fung and Megan Ramos to help patients track their data and customize their approach all over the world through remote work [49:20]
  • That 28% of people in the program are healthcare professionals [55:39]

References

The Fasting Method – You can enroll with FSA or HSA

The Fasting Method Blog

Diet Doctor – Dr. Jason Fung

About Heads Up 

Heads Up is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!