Answering your questions: Part 2

The medical team at Seaworthy is unified in its commitment to caring for patients- it starts with the first in-person meeting, email or voice on the phone and continues into every lab result, query response, trouble-shooting or prescription refill. What sets Seaworthy apart is that each team member patiently, thoughtfully and promptly attends to each detail of building and following up functional medicine plans built for patients one a time, like tailored jackets.  This commitment meets best-practice standards in medicine every patient deserves and its part of the “secret sauce” of why Seaworthy patients have such good outcomes.

I have received a question about 4G and 5G contributing to the spread of the mortality rate of COVID-19. I’m not aware of a specific relationship between 4G or 5G and COVID. Centers for Disease Control has said that we don’t have much likelihood of getting COVID-19 from a package or a delivery. The focus from Centers for Disease Control is not to be hypervigilant about the package itself, but instead to let the package be left and then sort of grabbed off the curb or the doorstep, and to have a mask on and try to have the delivery person have a mask on. So again, the focus is on droplet spread and masks.

The Center for Disease Control recommends immediately going to 20 seconds of handwashing right away after accepting a delivery of food or a package. It’s looking like the virus has a hard time persisting on inanimate surfaces as it were, like packaging materials. We know that the virus can stick around for a little while on some of these surfaces, but not terribly long. Most of the threat comes from droplet and aerosolized spread from people’s mouths. And that’s why the best thing we can do for one another, as a service to other individuals is, to wear a mask. There’s a lot of not so accurate scientific information out there right now, floating in the digital ether of the internet and elsewhere. 

We, in Functional Medicine, believe the key thing to remember is that one of the most important things that you do wearing a mask is you protect the others, because you can be asymptomatic with COVID-19.

Probiotics can be helpful, but lacto-fermented foods are an easier way to get more organisms for less cost. Half cup of potently lacto-fermented food, like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, certain kinds of pickling, two half cup servings daily is recommended.

Then the sort of a dream team for vitamin, mineral, and nutraceutical support of the bones is magnesium, adequate amount of D to get to 55 to 65 nanograms per mil in the blood of D, a little melatonin at night. That’s a good idea for some individuals, not others, one to three milligrams, best to not go above three milligrams.

Calcium: People with bone density issues need about 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium every 24 hours, and half of that should come from supplements because usually folks can only get about half from their food, even if they have calcium-rich foods. Unfortunately the most common calcium, calcium carbonate, or oyster shell calcium, from my perspective, you might as well gnaw on an oyster shell because the bioavailability of it is so low, hardly any of it gets where it needs to go. Calcium citrate is a much better source of calcium. 

The body can’t absorb more than 500 milligrams of calcium in one setting or sitting. 

Anybody that’s going to shoot for 750 milligrams needs to get 500 one place, typically breakfast, and then 250 or 500, the remainder of the 750 dinner or bedtime, something like that.

This is about food sensitivities. You have eliminated certain foods from your diet for a few months, and now you would like to introduce them back. You’re wondering how you would listen to your body about whether or not to introduce these foods back. 

The key thing to know is that we have food sensitivities and there are food allergies. 

That is one end of the spectrum. And so when somebody seeing an allergic, he/she is having signs and symptoms like diarrhea or rashes, or what have you, shortness of breath, throat swelling.

The allergist does patch testing on the person’s skin, typically, also blood testing sometimes and determines what you are allergic to. That’s immunoglobulin E just to get a little bit technical, IgE. We would call that true allergy. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s what’s called food intolerance. That is when every time the person has that food, they don’t feel well. We currently do not have testing to determine why is this happening, but we know that certain people don’t get along with certain foods.

 It makes common sense to stay away from those foods.

Then there’s this intermediate zone of food intolerance, which has to do with certain foods crossing the gut barrier that aren’t meant to be coming unduly to the attention of the immune system. But due to what’s called leaky gut or impaired gut barrier permeability, those foods are getting flagged more than they would. They’re driving inflammation, perpetuating leaky gut, causing symptoms. Usually, three to six months away from a problem food could be helpful either if you’ve IgG tested positive to that food via functional medicine or other doctor that does that type of testing, or if you’re just are staying away from the big immune disruptor foods.

It’s worth closing on this one to just mention that the top three immune disruptive foods. 

  • Number one is gluten. 
  • Number two is dairy.
  • Number three is eggs.

That varies a little bit, depending on which expert you talk to. Sometimes people can just restrict or eliminate gluten, gluten and dairy, gluten, dairy and eggs for three months, six months, as they listen to their body. A lot of these foods weren’t eaten by ancestral people. Again, we didn’t, when we were hunter gatherers in the pre agricultural era, from the perspective of our immune system, that wasn’t that long ago, we would only eat gluten when we were crossing areas of Mesopotamia that had kemu ancient wheat.

Gluten is just kind of an alien to our immune system. It’s a big troublemaker. David Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain, remains brilliant for people to want to learn more about that. Ancestral pre-agricultural people weren’t milking kangaroos and jaguars, so we really didn’t have milk beyond human milk after infancy and weaning. If people want to know the high yield foods to avoid, they’re gluten and dairy milk products, which many of us love, but also which many of us do better without, myself included.

-Dr. Rob Downey

PS: We, at Seaworthy Functional Medicine Center, will look for the root cause of disease or how to most rapidly to optimize your vitality. We will address lifestyle modifications to enhance personal wellness and build a functional medicine plan tailored to you. We offer in-person visits at our “brick and mortar” clinic in beautiful Homer, AL or “virtual” telemedicine visits via an app called MyCarePlan from Qure4U. 


Rob Downey, MD

Founder of Seaworthy Functional Medicine