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Dr. Tom Moorcroft 0:00
Well, I want to call and check on you. What’s your phone number? And well, I said, You know, I have no idea. Like, what, dude, you’re on the phone or it’s like right in front of you. And I literally couldn’t understand the fact that my phone number was on the phone in front of me. I mean, it was that bad.
Curt Carstensen 0:32
Episode 77 of People I Know Show and I am Curt Carstensen. Today I get to explore the topic of Lyme disease with you. I had Lyme disease a couple years ago, you’ll hear my story in the conversation today with Dr. Tom Moorcroft, and Dr. Tom had Lyme disease years ago. He’s been in medicine for 25 years. And his own experience with Lyme disease was a motivator. For him to become an expert and someone that was really great to have this conversation with on Tuesday, on my weekly live video podcast on Facebook, check out People I Know Show on Facebook and Instagram to get a preview of that leading up to Tuesday. This conversation in addition to being on video on Facebook on the People I Know Show page is also on YouTube. Also new on YouTube is the People I Know Show clips channel. I’d love for you to go there and hit subscribe. Also, on the normal People I Know Show YouTube channel hit subscribe everywhere helps you get reminders of future content on the clips channel. Each episode I’m sharing a few segments, a few clips, a few highlights of each episode, and I’m working backwards as well to do that with some past episodes. In addition to all the great Lyme disease discussion between Dr. Tom and I In this conversation, he also gets into a lot of really important general health topics something all of us need to hear and be reminded of from time to time, I would think. So no matter your connection to Lyme disease and your curiosity for it. There’ll be great information for being more healthy in general, towards the second half of this episode. Now to my conversation with Dr. Tom Moorcroft, Episode 77. Live Today on People I Know Show Curt Carstensen, joined by Dr. Tom Moorcroft in Connecticut. Hello, good afternoon, Dr. Tom.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 2:41
Hey, how’s it going, Curt?
Curt Carstensen 2:43
I’m doing quite well. It’s a lovely day here. It seems like a great day to get outside and enjoy a nice walk through a trail or something. I know I did a preview for this episode today doing that yesterday. And something like that happened a couple of years ago. That kind Some issues for me involving Lyme disease. And I want to tell you in the audience my story, but I’ve invited you on today I met you a few months ago, we had some good conversations. And I learned that you were a bit of an expert on Lyme disease and have a background personally with it yourself. So share a little bit about your both your background in medicine, but also your background with Lyme disease.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 3:26
Yeah, you know, I’ve sort of been in medicine since 1995. And, you know, in one form or another doing wilderness medicine EMT stuff and then worked in the ER and, and then after that, went to medical school and, you know, somewhere along the way, actually, I think it was right around 1997. I had contracted acute Lyme disease, really sick. I had a lot of terrible fatigue, brain fog. I really couldn’t think this is back in the day when we had the rotary phone and I was actually on the phone with Somebody in it and they said, Hey, you know, I’d call them and there’s no caller IDs. They’re like, well, I want to call and check on you, What’s your phone number? And while I said, You know, I have no idea. Like, what, dude, you’re on the phone, or it’s like right in front of you. And I literally couldn’t understand the fact that my phone number was on the phone in front of me. I mean, it was that bad. And then I ended up with this rash that covered like a fifth of my body. And so I got treated for about 10 days, and the first four days are kind of brutal, but then afterwards, it got a lot better. But then slowly over the next, you know, couple of years, I started having brain fog and fatigue crip creep back in. I started, you know, having aches and pains everywhere, then my muscles started to ache and I along the way got diagnosed with multiple different psychiatric illnesses and then the medicines didn’t work. And then they said, Oh, well, it’s fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. And so, you know, I was kind of stuck with that diagnosed dosis until I sort of, you know, stumbled upon lifestyle modifications and dietary stuff on my own, and I started to get a bit better and then eventually I ran into a two physicians in Maine who I was studying in their office while I was in medical school and like all their patients looked at the same exact symptoms like I did. And I just said, Wait, I whatever these people have, I’m pretty sure I have it, could you test and check it out? And a couple weeks later, I got testing back that showed I had Lyme disease and Babebiosis. And this is eight years after those 1010 you know, days of doxycycline Wow. And over the course of the next four years, I got treated and you know, all my symptoms went away, my brain came back my body feels amazing. You know, anybody knows me it’s like I’m super athletic. I’m always outside or doing something or in the gym. And, you know, it’s just a matter of balance out the diet and the exercise and you know, relaxation along with you. Just kind of making sure you get the right treatments when you need to.
Curt Carstensen 6:04
Was it because of the times and and people just doctors didn’t know that much about what you had going on? Are you unlucky to just kind of be in the wrong place where no one could really help you at that time? Or is this what’s happening today with people as well?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 6:21
You know, Kurt, that’s an awesome question, because I’m always giving everybody the benefit of the doubt. And I think at the time, the doctor I saw thought he was doing everything, right. That’s the information that was out there. But it was interesting. I worked at a place called the Institute of ecosystem studies, which, you know, Jean likens the guy who discovered acid rain actually started this and subsequently they renamed it to the Cary Institute and they’re doing a lot of sort of, you know, all the research on ticks and mice and the landscape ecology around this now, but they also have a beautiful garden system and they had all these people who are doing the gardening? across, it’s beautiful, sort of like, you know, they had an indoor greenhouse, and there’s beautiful gardens across this huge outside property. But all these people in their 30s, they had like, you know, 510, even 15 different episodes of Lyme disease. And they’re all like super decrepid. They all have like early arthritis symptoms in the camp, and they’re having a hard time moving. And I was like, it didn’t make any sense. And, you know, in the long run, it turns out that I got Lyme disease about 20 minutes away from Dr. Richard Horwitz, who subsequently became one of my mentors and teachers in learning about persistent Lyme disease and the treatment. And I’m just like, I wish we had all just gotten his office rather than the regular doctor’s office, because maybe we would have had a different outcome. But what we’re really seeing these days is there’s a growing awareness that Lyme disease is much more common than we used to think it was. I mean, even about five six years ago to CDC said our Estimates are probably missing are probably about tenfold too low. So meaning when they say there’s about 30,000 cases per year, it’s probably more like there’s 300,000 new cases of Lyme. And so more and more people are becoming aware, there’s more studies that are being done showing that shorter courses of antibiotics are not really all that effective. And so the awareness is is growing, but there’s not enough of it yet. So we’re still I think, so many people still have that same story like I did. Here’s your 10 days, your 14 days or you’re maybe you’re three weeks if you’re lucky. And then in two months, when you come back in with acute onset fibromyalgia, sort of the next thing you know, is your, you know, your your Oh, it’s all in your head. It’s not Lyme disease, it’s not not possible because you got your three weeks. So unfortunately, we still hear a lot of that
Curt Carstensen 8:56
my story might be a little different. I’m hoping it’s on the better side of everything. But I want you as someone who truly understands this to help explain where I’m at right now. So two years ago, it’ll be two years in June. I went home I think the week before Father’s Day, spent some time outside with my mom and my dad went on a bike ride. I came home and on the farm, although they don’t really farm anymore, he sells some farm stuff. He had some big old hay bales covered by a tarp. And my dad asked me to go fix the tarp which had like blown over and I drove the the side by side, four wheeler ATV out there was pretty careful to not walk through the tall grass but obviously I made some contact with it. I think I was wearing shorts just kind of oblivious mostly to my risk. I climbed up on the bales I fixed the tarp, got back down, went about my day. Somewhere in there, I assume is when I got a tick on me at least one who knows. Right and I did Make a point to check myself to make sure there are no ticks A few days later, only after the fact that I think about or remember that it seemed like one night in bed, I found something on me and I didn’t really think much about it. And then one day in the shower, I saw something dropped that looked unusual. That might have been a tick. I don’t know, right. But about a week after that about 10 days after that weekend, I had this really minor headache. That stayed. I’d never had a headache stay for like four days. But by about the fourth day, I thought I was getting a fever. But then I didn’t feel like I had a fever is going up and down. And then by the weekend, I had what I later heard is called brain fog or I just nothing I couldn’t concentrate in anything my memory. Like I’d go for a very simple memory. I like normal and it just wasn’t there. I couldn’t get it. And eventually I went into urgent care but I went in not even thinking about Lyme disease. They’re asking me questions about it. I saw any spots on my body. I guess I hadn’t looked that closely. Because the next day the next morning after my shower after a terrible night, not being able to sleep well, I noticed the big old bull’s eye on my back in different spots elsewhere. Oh, wow. And went back into urgent care. So I think as I never actually got officially diagnosed with a test, because I was leaving town, and they put me on the I think was doxycycline couple weeks, and I immediately start to feel better. The spot went away within a matter of days. It was kind of crazy, because it was so big. And then it was suddenly gone. So Exactly. So based on my story, Dr. Tom, is there any doubt that I had Lyme disease? And am I actually cured because I’ve told people I’m cured of it, but maybe that’s not true.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 11:49
Well, you know, I the the thing with the bull’s eye rash, or what’s more properly called an erythema migrans rash. We see that with the rash Not everybody gets the bullseye, but the rashes it’s sort of like a red splotch and stuff that’s consistent with the Lyme rash. And, you know, unless you’re living in somewhere like Hawaii, you know, or maybe north, very, very north and Alaska, that is what we call pathognomonic for Lyme disease, meaning that that seals the diagnosis, you don’t, you know, you don’t need to go and get blood tests in anything, you know, you really should start the treatment early. And what happens is the earlier the treatment, the the more likely you are to have a good outcome. And so, which is I think, super important because all the studies we have show that once you’re about four months out from infection to the part where you start treatment, it’s really hard to cure, we don’t really know what does it but when you get it right away, when that rash first comes out and you take definitive action and get that taken care of. You have a really good possibility that I should Shorter course of treatment will work. And that also you know, that that you may have a long term cure. Now, the other thing is we know from some research out of Johns Hopkins, that, you know, I guess if you if we back up for a second if you look at Lyme disease overall, people are talking about persister forms and stationary forms and even these biofilms and cysts, these things that are around for a period you know, that make lime stick around in your body longer, like you know, so basically all of these are protective mechanisms when the when the lime spire key the bacteria that causes most of the symptoms is trying to attack you, if we go after it with our immune system or with antibiotics or herbs, we actually can it’ll go into the dormant protected state for when the environment in you and is better. We know that early on that that doesn’t happen as much. So the earlier the treatment, the better but the research out of Hopkins has also shown that these forms may be able to To actually live that way in the tick, and it’s possible that the tick can actually, you know, essentially infect you with a persistent form of Lyme right away. Now, this is relatively new information. But clinically, it makes sense we see that 70 or 80% of people who get treated early on and they get their three or four weeks, like right out of the get go like you did. Those people are 70 to 80% of them are going to do really well. But there’s a small group of them that end up getting these persistent symptoms. And so those people may have been sort of infected with what they’re calling early, late, persistent Lyme disease, rather than the way we would usually think of getting it as we you know, you got bit your symptoms slowly, slowly crept up, and then by the time you actually get a diagnosis, it’s been four or six months after the tick bite. So this certainly is hope that you know, in your scenario that it is is cured and, you know, we think we can cure it at any stage is just the longest It’s been the harder it gets, you know.
Curt Carstensen 15:02
And I do have some other personal stories from my life. I had an uncle a month after me two years ago, I ended up on a phone call with him and he was telling me like the exact same symptoms, but I haven’t heard I’ve been talking lately about I haven’t heard any any additional long lasting symptoms from him. And I guess my grandma hurts yesterday when I was telling people about this telling my mom about this, my grandma had it last year, apparently, but also no long term symptoms. But going back to your story, you got it, treat it. So you are one of the 30% that that is more of an outlier than or did something else go on that I missed?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 15:41
Well, I mean, you know, the thing is, we don’t know because our diagnostic tests Don’t let us know like exactly what you were infected with. And it you know, I was at the time and we were in Dutchess County, New York, which was one of the hot beds for Lyme, and we do know that there is sort of like Location variability. Right. So I mean, there’s going to be different strains of Lyme disease in different locales. And one of the other things though, that kind of went against me getting completely better is no one tested me for other tick borne co infections. And when I was having the first four days of the doxycycline treatment, I was literally it was July I was laid out on the floor in my parents basement. And it was crazy because I, I remember being like alternating sweats and chills. I was in so much pain that I literally and I was in my early 20s, I needed someone to help me to the bathroom. That’s how much pain over the four days and then it was better. But subsequently Looking back, I had acute babesiosis that probably was at that time too. And so a lot of times when you have a co infection or more than one infection coming from that tick by, it’s harder to diagnose because the symptoms look a little more funky, and it’s also a little bit harder to treat. So it is possible that the reason I had such an issue was just because I, you know, maybe I needed three weeks instead of 10 days or maybe had to have that the babesiosis, also treated at that time in order to completely cure it early on. And so then that just led to, you know, to long term symptoms.
Curt Carstensen 17:20
I’m going to step back here because I realize, two years ago, I was somewhat oblivious to how I might get Lyme disease. And I have a question in here and I want to add to this as well. Coty asks, Can you get Lyme from mice and as I understand it, and explained to me how I’m wrong, where I’m wrong, if I am, that the the ticks, get the disease from deer or some other animal and then they have it and then they get on a human and give it to us. So how is it transferred? And how do we best than avoid it?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 17:56
Yeah, Coty, awesome question. So the What we’re seeing is that the the, the primary way that human beings get Lyme disease is from the bite of from an infected deer tick. There really are no other animal vectors that we’re aware of. There’s and really like 99.9% of the transmission is good that we are aware of is coming through that modality. Now that we’re the mice and the Chipmunks and the deer come in is sort of being the heart, they’re harboring these infections, right? So what has to happen is the ticks are born in the larval form, they feed. Usually on mice, they get the infection from the mice, and then they mow and they become nymphs. And the deer tick nymph is essentially the size of a poppy seed. So they’re really small and they’re kind of like no seams. So what we’re finding is that about 95% of people are getting Lyme disease from the NIF and presumably because it’s just so small, about 5% are getting it from a bite of the adult female. So we, and that’s the deer tick. And so what we know is the mice and even chipmunks are really important in in harboring the Lyme disease, Sparky, you know, so that the ticks can get infected because with Lyme, you know, it’s they’re essentially the tick is borne sterile, they feed on an infected mouse, they get infected, then they feed on us and infect us. Now where the deer come in, the deer can be infected with Lyme. And often we’ve seen deer, the areas where deer are is where we see a lot of deer ticks and we see a lot of Lyme disease. But what’s really interesting is there’s some research out of the University of Binghamton. that had happened. You know, a couple years ago, they started working on this where they’re finding that the, the ticks that were on the Deer had a very low level of Lyme disease infection. But in the same plots, the the, the ticks that were on the mice had a much higher level of infection. And so that was kind of new because usually people are saying, hey, the deer are a big player here. But when you step back and you look at it, you go, Hey, why are deer and mice and chipmunks you know, so related to what these ticks are, you know, get that give us Lyme disease are about and what we see is that they all live right along the edge, right. So there and in landscape ecology terms the edge is about is right where we what it sounds like the connection between your yard and the woods. And so what we’re seeing is that we have about 10 feet into the woods and 10 feet out into your yard. That strip is called the edge and so edge is great. How about Tap for mice great habitat for chipmunks, great habitat for deer. And you know, the the ticks have made that part of their life cycle as well living around that edge, one because it protects them from the sun, but also it’s where their hosts are, you know, so where all these different vectors are. So that’s where the mice lives. So that’s where the ticks are. And this is important to for, for understanding, because now we’re getting I look outside, it’s a beautiful day. Finally we’re starting to get into, you know, springtime and closer to summer. This is when the ticks start to come out and we start to have an issue because people are more outside, it’s super important to understand that not about 75% of people who get Lyme disease are going to get it in their yard or their friend’s yard. So Lyme is what we consider a pair domestic. So just because we’re getting it in our yards. So another way to create edge is to actually have a beautiful garden. So have you ever noticed like when you have gardens You know, you get a lot of critters in there. And so those same critters are the same ones that are, you know, holding in, they’re infected with Lyme and then infecting the tick, which then infects you. So it’s all just part of that life cycle.
Curt Carstensen 22:14
You mentioned the the nymph tick, so it’s very small. When I’m outside whether it’s, you know, in someone else’s garden, I don’t have my own or I’m on a trail I’m doing whatever I want to do and we’ll be continuing to do to possibly come in contact with a tick. How do I notice a tick especially if it’s so small? How What do you got? What do you need to do? Are you if you look, can you even miss some of these?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 22:44
therein lies the the challenge. I it’s like when I was younger, I got bitten by ticks all the time when I got Lyme disease, I never saw the tick. And you’re just like, What am I supposed to be doing? So a couple tips. One is like you know, you set yourself up for success. Like, one of the things I really liked doing is like compression where like kind of like the sort of compression boxer shorts and compression, athletic wear has come into vogue, those are really good when you’re going to be outside because the tics like the the sort of the dark, damp, warm places, so in the groin, in the armpit, even up in the ears, and then in the hair, right, amongst other places, but they’re sort of really common hiding places. And so if you can kind of wear something that seals it off that they can’t crawl under that can help. I’ve also found that a lot of the the tick repellent sprays don’t work all that well. What I’ve seen is a lot, much better success with things like I use honey birch farms bug and tick spray. There are a few other herbal sprays. They seem to work better than the commercially available sort of DEET and other things. But when you come in from outside, one of the things to do is to take your clothes off say in the mudroom or in the in the garage or on the porch or whatever, and then you can take your clothes and put them in a wall in the dryer and actions that it’s the heat that’s going to, you know, get a tick. So you can actually if you have ticks on your clothes, you can dry them before you wash them and then wash and dry them and you can kill the tick that way but also one of the best things to do is after you’ve been outside as for a new Take care, put your clothes in sort of isolation is to go take a shower and and really just kind of before the tick has a chance to bite you and get hooked into you. When they’re just walking around. If you just take a good you know, shower that can actually help wash them off. We certainly want to do tick checks. It’s important especially when we’re for our kids that we’re looking for the the ticks, but again, it’s hard man when they’re this little little it’s a you know, if you think about it, it’s a it’s the size of a 12 point font period, you know, which is so hard to see, or the poppy seed like we’re saying so Again, like when you do a couple of these things, the tick checks are necessary. But a lot of times that that that nymph, you know, you’re not going to see it until it’s already biting you and fill it, you know, having a blood meal unfortunately.
Curt Carstensen 25:14
I never thought it was so delicious for someone to bite into me for that long and a question I have in just a moment. But for those watching live on Facebook, happy to take more questions from you and be sure to like this or share this with anyone you think this is relevant to. And I think mostly, it’s relevant to probably almost everyone, anywhere, but especially where in the United States if you’re living and going outdoors in certain areas, where are these areas, Dr. Tom, that people should be on highest alert to be aware of the the likelihood of getting a tick and then getting Lyme disease from it.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 25:53
Yeah, I mean, certainly, I think for forever, the northeast and the middle Mid Atlantic states have been way up. They’re in the cases, you know, really well known the people throw around the the stats at 95% of the Lyme diseases in in the Mid Atlantic and New England states. The other thing, though, that we’re seeing that’s really important to understand is that in we’re seeing California has more even Arizona, a lot of these other areas of the, you know, especially the 48 contiguous states. All of these are areas where you could get Lyme disease or the upper Midwest is becoming more of a hotbed. And as we see global climate change more we see more and more landscape changes because we develop things. Basically the more and more we develop wooded lands, the more edge we create, so that we’re creating more and more and more habitat for deer for mice for chipmunks and for ticks. So it is spreading. And so I think my biggest concern is for the people outside of the Mid Atlantic and New England states because it seems like their guard is a little bit lower. And certainly, you know, like I said, upper Midwest and you know, California are certainly becoming big hotbeds. But you know, we’re even starting to see things, you know, trickling into a lot of the other states and certainly the, the whole Pacific is, is has a fair amount of reported Lyme as well. And every year, it’s it seems to be spreading.
Curt Carstensen 27:26
Dr. Tom, I want to get into some of the stories, you’re able to share aspects of the individuals that you’ve worked with over the years, like people that never knew never thought about the fact that they got to have Lyme disease and they maybe had it for years and years and years. What after many months and years of not being aware of this, what are some of the symptoms people might be dealing with that if they have these right now and they’re they’re watching now we’re coming across this video later, they should reach out to you or someone that can help them what what might they have if they don’t know about it?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 28:07
Yet, you know, I mean, a lot of the symptoms are I mean, you start with the classic symptoms of Lyme disease, right? A lot of people notice summer flu. So we see a lot of joint pains, muscle aches, fatigue is kind of an off feeling and then you know, certainly brain fog and headaches are other ones have that, you know, come up with Lyme disease acutely. And what we see then is sometimes they come on slowly and the next thing you know, you’re, you’re like you were previously fine. And then out of the blue, you get diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome, you know, or chronic fatigue. But there’s, there’s really, you know, it doesn’t make sense your diets pretty clean, you’re sleeping well. And so a lot of the people who come in with chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia they’re like, it doesn’t make sense. There’s no real no one knows this diagnosis, right? Like, why are we not you know, like, why? Don’t have a better answer for me other than Hey, you’re, we know what it is now. So it’s, you know, just deal with your fatigue, you know, or take an antidepressant, they want to look for another outcome, and another potential cause and that’s where a lot of people stumble into going, oh, maybe it was Lyme disease. And in retrospect, Oh, you know what, I was bitten by a tick. Maybe they’re at treatment, maybe they didn’t, but then it was like, you know, three or four months later their symptoms started. But the other thing that we see a lot of too is when we look at kids, they present differently so they frequently are they don’t always have that classic you know, sort of joint pain fatigue thing going on and, and and the rash. Maybe we can talk about the rash at some point in a minute. But, you know, so kids can sometimes have isolated abdominal pain. So your kid who’s having belly pain for no reason they’ve gone to the gastroenterologist, and they’ve they’ve done the big old workup, but they don’t know but they’re like, Hey, we don’t know they don’t have a you know, refund. They don’t have gastritis. So I don’t know why they’re having their belly pain. And that can be associated with Lyme. And also in children, you can see acute behavioral changes. And so like kids are reading at grade level, and then they’re, you know, they regress. And so it’s like, okay, now they’re reading like they’re in third grade, but they were previously reading at a sixth grade level, their handwriting might regress. And very commonly, we’ll see emotional and behavioral changes. So the sweet kid becomes mean and obstinate, and it’s, it’s completely out of, you know, it doesn’t make sense for them where they are in their growth phase or, you know, they’re they’re, they’re becoming a teenager and challenge it gets like way beyond anything else you would expect. So, you know, certainly behavioral stuff, and then and new school challenges where they can’t remember things and stuff like that. So and a lot of times, like executives and like people who are out working, you know, managers and stuff will be like, I just, I don’t remember that person’s name. Like how Do I not know the person’s name? You know, I go to a meeting, I forget why we’re what the you know what we’re supposed to be talking about. Or I’m, like, you know, drawing blanks, I’m having word finding issues. And these are things that sometimes creep up on you, you know, and it’s just like, where you get a guy who’s in their 40s, who night sweats. I mean, you know, I mean, what guy in their 40s is going through menopause. Now, like none of them, you know, so symptoms that don’t add up, or it looks a lot of times if you go to the doctor, you’ll be like, you have like 10 different things that don’t all kind of meet up. And in medicine, we’re always trying to get this thing called Auckland’s razor like a single unifying diagnosis. But when you can’t add things up, you kind of start scratch, scratching your temple and go, Hey, you know, maybe this is Lyme, or one of the other infections that you can get from a tick.
Curt Carstensen 31:49
I had been thinking and occasionally it pops up for me wondering if this is a sign that I’m just getting a little bit older, but maybe at 37 I’m not old enough to have a… Okay, well Have this sort of memory loss that i the only thing I can take go back to is what I felt when I was really in the the worst parts of brain fog. It’s it’s not common anymore. So I don’t necessarily want to attribute it to a lasting effect. But maybe, maybe you would that when I go occasionally when I go for a more simple memory than then I would think it’s just not there. And it surprises me sometimes why I can’t remember things, but it’s not that often. So I don’t want to necessarily attribute it to a long term effect from Lyme disease, but maybe, maybe it is.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 32:36
You know, I think that it’s about the consistency of the symptom. I mean, if you’re once in a while forgetting things, you know, maybe that’s attributed to something else. I mean, you know, so many other things that affect how your brain functions, sleep, being food choices being really big on the list, as well as stress. And certainly what I’ve found is that there are Where I have a lot of stress is a lot of stuff going on. And I’m like, what, what what, you know, or I missed some sleep last night because I had a big project to finish up. And the next day, it’s like, you know, I’m just not as sharp, you know, maybe and in my 20s, I had more resiliency, but if you consistently you’re like, hey, my diets pretty good, I’m relaxing, I’m getting relatively good sleep, you know, I mean, I’ve normal stress, it’s not super high. And then you consistently seeing that the brain function isn’t there, you know, you’re, you’re missing, you know, kind of missing words that you can’t recall memories, then you start to wonder, I mean, and there’s certainly a lot of other exposures that could cause that, you know, mold or heavy metals, you know, there’s a lot of things but again, it should be more of a consistent pattern. The other thing is, as we’re in our late 30s, and we’re moving into our 40s, and a little bit beyond, then what we start to do is we see our that our brains kind of work differently. So in the beginning, we could learn stuff really, really, really rapidly and easily. But it would take us a while to figure out how to be at a teach it well, we might have thought we would have thought we could teach it well, but the reality is maybe, you know, we’re usually as we get into our, you know, a little closer to 40. And in our through our 40s, we’re really learning how to teach others better. And we’re using our brain in a different way than before. And so, you know, there is a shift, so we’re maybe not as sharp and learning new things so quickly as we get older, but we’re able to sort of consolidate things and and sort of Teach them better. So there’s also that thing, and I think we’re so aware of that now. Because before everybody’s like, Oh, that’s just getting old, you know, and everyone’s like, oh, and now we’re like, no, getting old is not the right answer. I mean, you know, 97 is old, you know, 37 years old. So there’s certainly ways you can work on longevity. You can optimize your hormones, you can optimize your sleep, you know, everybody’s in the bio hacking It seems like these days, but it really when you when you go back to Lyme disease, I would expect a more consistent pattern of that brain fog, then sort of in a relatively intermittent thing.
Curt Carstensen 35:12
Okay, so based on that answer, Can I, can I say that I’ve been cured of it, or are you never fully cured?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 35:22
You know, I think that’s a question. That’s the multi million dollar question. And I always go back to, you know, kind of what’s going on with me right now, you know, because I had infection, it looks like after I was treated, I had about eight years of ongoing symptoms, and then I was diagnosed with, you know, active infections. I got them treated over the course of about four and a half years, and I haven’t had a symptom that I can attribute to that in over a decade. So the question is, am I actually, you know, am I cured or is there some little bits of it live in persister form living in my body, you know, and I’ve had some bad like athletic injuries and you know, every once in a while the shoulder that I busted up, man, it gets triggered for like, you know, a day, and maybe every once in a while I’m like, Oh man, I didn’t do anything. Why Did that hurt but it was 10 minutes and it’s gone and I don’t feel that again for two years. So is it possible that there’s a little bit of Lyme disease that wakes up every once in a while my body just knocks it right out and I’m, I’m in good shape. That’s that’s entirely possible. But to me, I’ve taken antibiotics and herbals for different kinds of infections and I’ve not responded in a way that makes makes it look like I had a what they call die off or a herxheimer reaction from Lyme. And I’ve certainly burnt the candle at both ends quite a bit and sometimes give myself a little extra stress that I probably needed. And I’ve been fine. You know, I’ve gotten tired, a little brain foggy, I get one night asleep and I’m right back. So to me really stressed my body, you know, I mean, there was a summer where I cycled 6000 miles on my bicycle, and I was fine. So under those amounts of stress, I can’t make Lyme disease come out. So I’m calling myself cured for 10 years or more. And I see a lot of people like that, you know, where we’re not 100% sure they’re cured, because we don’t have the test to tell us that, but they haven’t had a symptom in three years. And, and they continue to follow up and we just make sure they’re in good shape. And so I think they can be cured. Now, we also have a group of people who have persistent symptoms, and, you know, sometimes these are the people who have done everything, right. They do the lifestyle, they modify their sleep and their diet and their sleep, you know, and their stress reduction is all optimal. They’ve gotten the most out of their house, it worked on metal, like everything’s pristine, and they still have some symptoms. You know, and I think there is a small group of people that aren’t going to get better. But in Lyme disease, I also see that people who tend to stay sick the longest either, you know, it took a long time to get to their diagnosis or they’re not really willing to make the other changes that are necessary. And it’s really interesting right now, because with the whole COVID-19 thing going on, and everybody wondering how to prevent like the second wave stuff, most of the recommendations that I would make for that are the same recommendations I would make as your foundational treatments for Lyme disease, as well as if you want to live as long as possible, as healthy as possible, with your brain working as best as possible and your hormones as optimal as possible. Same kind of recommendations, right. So adults need to sleep eight or nine hours a night, when you look at things like eating, you know, get rid of the processed foods and the simple sugars. You know, we need to be eating a plant based diet, and then whatever else you’re eating at that time So like if you like steak and you like chicken or you like fish, add them after you eat, sort of essentially be a vegan and then add on whatever else you want be that vegetable person first. And you know, it’s really important to to get out and get some sunshine and some fresh air, especially in the morning. Because a lot of what we want to do is trigger our body to start making melatonin. And so the sunlight in the morning, which is our sleep hormone, but we actually start making it in the first thing in the morning when we see light, the other and then at night, as it gets darker, we should be turning down our lights or and if we can’t really turn on our lights or get off our screens at least wear like a blue blocking lens, you know with glasses that look a little orange or yellow to cut down on disturbing your circadian rhythm that that melatonin creates. Because in the evening when we see darkness, that’s what triggers our body to let the melatonin out. And melatonin not only helps you sleep, but it also is very anti inflammatory, which is really helpful and things like Lyme and COVID-19. And then, you know, the other part that creates Melatonin is your gut. So you have tons of melatonin created in your gut. So your diet is really important for your ability to create melatonin. And so it’s interesting. It’s like, when you go back to the brain part of this, when you’re sleeping, that’s primarily when your brain detoxifies. And you really, it looks like you need to get into deep sleep for that. And if your gut is off, that’ll disrupt your sleep. And if your sleep is off, that’ll disrupt your gut. So this sort of gut brain heart access is really critical. And I added in that last piece of the heart because we need to do things like you know, gratitude and getting ourselves sort of in a, a heart centered state where we calm down our nervous system, where we sort of become what we would call parasympathetic, which is our rest and rejuvenation, state. And then kind of things are really critical, whether you have Lyme, whether you’re just stressed out, or whether you want to, you have COVID-19, or you want to prevent yourself from having a bad event if you get exposed to the virus. So all of these things are really interesting to me, at least to that that interplay. So it’s really the sleep, the diet, the gentle body movement and the relaxation that are that are going to help you and what we find is, if we do if we add a little bit of like intermittent fasting on top of the food, where we’re shortening our eating window, maybe to not eating for 12 hours, and eventually not eating for 16. Along with that plant based diet, not only do we bring down inflammation and lose weight, but that actually will help optimize hormones and optimize longevity. And so, I feel like I’m rambling a little bit because it’s exciting though, because these are these are simple things that everybody listening could do at home. That will make a huge difference no matter what your health outcome that you’re looking for.
Curt Carstensen 42:01
I’m going to slide the conversation I guess further away from specifically Lyme disease at this point, if but if anyone else has any question related to Lyme disease, whether or not we’ve covered it, and you missed it because you weren’t on yet, or you want some clarification, please ask that question or anything else health related. I guess we have a few more minutes here with Dr. Tom. One thing I really like about you and our conversations together observing you at SuperHIT in Arizona, where we met a few months ago, and also I listened to you on I think, a podcast or two in preparation for my conversation with you. And it came out pretty clear and what you’re just saying there of all of the natural ways that people, people that maybe end up being unwell aren’t doing the things in their day to day life, that perhaps are frequently are almost always of the cause of whatever is ailing them. But one thing I noticed you’re you seem to be very into like learning all the advanced sciences, whatever is happening. In the medical world, you’re on top of that, at least from the way that you talk, but also the the day to day life stuff. So explain to me in Connecticut on a given day right now with COVID-19 and I’m sure your your style of your operation there in Connecticut is different. What is a day like for you? As you’re trying to both learn as much as you can and help other people? What’s life like right now for Dr. Tom?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 43:27
Yeah, less busy. I have to it was funny. In the very beginning of this, I really had to remind myself to follow my own recommendation, because I got so busy trying to help that it was you’re staying up late and getting up early. You know, I one of the most important things for me is family time. It’s it’s really you know, there’s there’s certainly days that come up where I don’t always get a chance to get as much as I’d want but definitely quality family time, is it’s very grounding for me. You know, and A lot of it is try is finding that balance, you know, I make sure that I have enough time so that I can actually sleep for eight hours, which means I need to carve out about eight and a half to nine hours of sleep time. Because there’s a little time getting ready for bed and a little time kind of getting up. I really make sleep critical a big thing. And we have two dogs. They’re a little on the older side, both 15 at 115 116. A little bit so Yeah, all right. But they’re and they’re still kicking, once hips aren’t so good. But the 15 year old still thinks he’s too. I mean, so we try to practice what we preach here
Curt Carstensen 44:39
is that I I’m 37 and I like to think that I’ve kind of lived my life backwards where I’m living my 20s and my 30s and I kind of live my 30s in my 20s if that even makes sense. But I realized that if I keep a young mindset, even at the equivalent of your your older aging dog that that acts like it’s too I think, I hope that I can still be Young well beyond that the numbers that we used to consider to be old.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 45:04
Yeah, you know, I think it’s critical to understand that you have a choice in this right? You can optimize your long term health outcome. And it’s just like, if you have if you want to have a business and you want to make a business succeed, you create a business plan. And if you want to be if you want to be healthy, you go and create a health plan. And if you, you know, if you want to financially, if you want to have financial freedom, whatever that means to you, you put down a number and you figure out ways to get there. You’re like, I want you to plan for retirement, but it’s like, it’s funny for the healthcare plan perspective. A lot of us are just kind of like going doing our day to day thing. And when we go to the doctor, Oh, I got a good checkup. So I’m in good shape. My question is like, what do you I mean, that’s okay. But what do you want life to really be like? I mean, you know, cuz it’s like, if you look at like the strong men of old, they did most of their feats. strength in their 40s and 50s, which 50 or 60 years ago, that was really kind of much older than 50 or 60. Now, and what we’re seeing is, if you create a goal, like an outcome, like if you think about what you want your health to be like, in a year from now, you know, and then you say, okay, maybe I have Lyme disease and your knees are killing you, or maybe you just have osteoarthritis or depression. Where do I want to be in a year? Okay, well, I want to be able to, you know, kneel on the ground, right? With your bad knees. And so you say, Okay, well, why do I want to kneel on the ground? Well, maybe I want to kneel on the ground because I have kids or grandkids that I want to be able to get down on the floor and play with. So then you say, Okay, what is what’s it? What’s the emotion of doing that? What’s it going to feel like when you can regularly hop up and down and your knees are working? can do your, you know, hang out with your kids or you can go skiing again or whatever? What’s that emotion. start to feel that emotion now. start to feel that emotion, like on a regular basis, start living in what that feeling will be. Because if you if you don’t plan, or if you have a negative plan, you know, you’re, you know, the likelihood of you having an all negative, longer term outcome is high. But if you have a positive plan, you at least give yourself a 50% chance of getting there, if not a lot more. And so I’m always about like, you know, take a look at what you want your you know, dream big, what do you want your future to look like? And if, if, you know, like, I love skiing, and I more recently got back into into it because of our daughter in the last three years. And I’m like, man, I just missed like, 20 years is one of the things I love the most. And I’m like, but I’m not, you know, I’m in my, like, 46 right now. And I’m like, I’m, I’m gonna be scanning my 60s, nothing stopping me. And I know what it feels like to ski and how good it feels right now. And that’s exactly how good I want it to feel then so I don’t even have to, you know, it’s like you don’t have to go to the future, to find emotion. It’s like if you’re in your 20s, and your knees felt great, and you’re you were ever on the top of the world, if you want to be that way, when you’re 60, start feeling the way you did in your 20s. But say, when I’m 60, I’m going to feel that way, but then start to feel that way today as well and start living that way. And then it’s amazing, the universe will bring you all you need to go in that direction. It’s really about the figuring out the what, not the how, right, the How will come. But if you and when you have that plan, that weird stuff will start to happen in your world that will help you get better and, and it’s interesting, it brings me back to how I got better from Lyme disease because I have a couple people have had some really hard times with this and they suffered a lot. And I said to him, I was like, you know, some kid one day asked me and he had Asperger’s syndrome. So it was like he has no filter. You know, so I mean literally no social filter whatsoever. So any word he thought of was was fair game. And so he said so how did you know how did you get better? How did you know you’re going to get better? And I said, because I said, F-you to Lyme and Bz osis, because I had better things to be doing. And I didn’t focus on being sick, I focused on what I wanted to be doing. And because I had the energy and I had the dream to do that in the future, that was the thing that allowed me to get through today and the drudgery of taking the medicines taking the supplements, clean up my diet. Why do I want to eat a good diet when I could eat a bunch of crap that tastes really good right now? Well, because I know my body works better, and feels better, my brain works better. And my emotions are more settled when I don’t eat this crap. And the reason I knew that it was in the beginning, I didn’t. But I took the chance and started to listen to my body when the opportunity presented itself and I did like an experiment. My body doesn’t seem to like this soda anymore. What What if I get rid of it? Okay, now it’s like no, I don’t have it. I feel great if I have it if I feel bad, so Okay, let’s leave that out. And it’s like you learn as he As you start to plan what you want your future to look like, from health, from finances, to relationship, whatever it is, that’s when you can get into this space where you start to hear what your body’s really trying to tell, you really hear what your emotions are telling you. And I think that that’s where we’re all the gold is here, because you have the power to do all that, like right now at COVID-19 We’re so we’re so much like so much control seems to have been taken away from us, you know, we have to stay at home, we have to wear a mask, we, you know, we might not be able to go to work, we might have lost our job, we can’t get the food we always want and so on and so forth. The virus is acting really bizarre in different age groups, you know, we get we have power over certain parts of our lives right now. So, you know, take control of that piece. And as you know, from everything we do that you know, like in Super and HIV and CT, I mean, it’s really about there’s all these ways that you can help other people. With what we’ve learned, but what we really know is that the most important person to help first is ourselves. So that’s really like if that’s the only thing that I can teach everybody cuz like, you know the word, the root word for physician, you know comes from the Greek meaning teacher and if the only thing I teach anybody is that they have tons of control over their own health with their choices. I mean, that’ll be a life well lived for me.
Curt Carstensen 51:26
There was a lot in there but I want to go back to one of the first things you said that
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 51:32
you get me going
Curt Carstensen 51:34
no worries on that. Every year when I go in for my physical I’m, I’m always excited, and like, proud of myself that there’s no issues like all everything they test for is like really good for my age group. But you make a good point that I’m leaving, they’re feeling like yeah, I’m doing things right. But I know I can do so many things better. So not that I’m wanting this but I wouldn’t be surprised if if I got a kick in the butt with, you know, some kind of bad news one time and a physical, I’d probably step it up quite a bit, but I’d you know, I’d rather not have to wait for that news to make even better choices. So it’s something for me to think about and and everyone taking in our conversation.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 52:16
think about like yeah and if you think about what’s going on with COVID-19 right now the the people we know who are who are consistently having the, the worst the worst outcomes are people with lifestyle diseases, right. And certainly there are people who are older and I mean, I, my heart goes out to everybody, but I’m just gonna let people know that if you want to bring control back, take control over the things you can control, which is these lifestyle diseases, things like diabetes, heart disease, you know, obesity and smoking, including vaping. These are things that you can change. And the beauty of a lot of this stuff is they’ve done studies on like, even if you just do meditation, Or there’s a thing called eco meditation. It’s a, it’s a kind of a combination of EFT tapping and meditation. You can do it for seven days, and you can double some of your immune system markers, they can see 108% increase in salivary IGA levels with seven days of this eco meditation. And if you look in the research, there’s all kinds of things you don’t have to do a lot and you don’t have to do it for you know, for a long time to start to have the benefits in your body. But what we do know is that if you want to have that benefit remain and get kind of compound interest on it, you meet need to do something consistently. So my recommendation and you know, and I went off on, you know, my sort of my little soapbox of the things you need to do. Pick one thing that sounds like you can almost do it, you’re gonna have to try hard to do it, but you’re going to be able to succeed and just pick one. Whether it’s your sleep Whether it’s your food, whether it’s taking five minutes every day to do a breath awareness, meditation, or just breath awareness, whatever, just know your breathing, right? That’s pretty nondenominational just breathe and know your breathing for five minutes. And what you’ll see is that’ll bring down your nervous system, you know, or even if all your you know what Dr. Tom, I’m inspired, I’m going to take my dogs out every morning for five or 10 minutes to get fresh air, instead of just letting them out in the yard, I’m going to go out with them. And it literally if you choose one thing and you do it for a week, there will be physiological benefits. Whether you feel them or not, I can measure them. And then as you make something simple a habit, you’re gonna know, I did something simple, but I did it. And now you can add a second thing, right? So now maybe rather than removing like a lot of people like right now I’m like, don’t have your kid if their diets crap. Don’t have them remove all the soda if they’re drinking. I mean, not that anybody should drink soda. It’s not even shouldn’t even be a thing. thing, but if it is in your lifestyle, let’s say you have three sodas a day. So go down to two and a half or two, and just do that, that will make a difference that will bring down inflammation that will help your gut start to heal. And then after you do two, you see you could do that, you know, instead of three a day, you do two a day for a week or two, then you go, Hey, well, you know what, I can actually do this, I’m gonna go down to one. And I’m gonna you know, and it’s and it’s like, you just you make these small changes gradually, that compound because the problem is, what we see is so many people COVID-19 boom, let’s do everything. And two weeks later, you can’t keep it up. And now you’re like, you know, now you’re out at a rally that says, Let me out of my house when, when all you did was stop your soda and freak out. It’s like, you know, let’s just take our time pick one thing to do and do it consistently. You know, put it in your in your phone, get an alarm every day at the same time. Here’s your 10 minutes for you and make it a habit. it once one thing became a habit now, you know, you can make habits. So, you know, and then you take the next step and do something else, you know, then it makes a huge difference in the long run.
Curt Carstensen 56:11
I certainly have my challenges with some of the things you mentioned the soda I, what I learned years ago, and I somehow succeeded in this and it works most of the time, is, I know, if there’s soda at my disposal, it’s in my reach, I’m gonna drink it more than I should. But if I’m at the grocery store, I don’t buy it to bring it home just to have it around. And that that’s always been for me, whether it’s that or any of the unhealthy food choices that I occasionally will make if it’s in front of me, especially the camera, whatever, but I don’t want to bring it home with me from the grocery store. So when I go grocery shopping, it’s really healthy food, most of it it’s, it’s kind of shocking to me how I can do that, where maybe years ago, I would have added a few more things that obviously weren’t good for me and I guess For me, it always starts there.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 57:02
But and I think it’s also about Finally, like for me in the beginning, it was about a substitute right because I just didn’t know enough back when I started to not like soda. I had chronic Lyme. I actually didn’t even know what it was. It just had fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue back then. And I started doing yoga. Because a friend gave me a DVD. Thankfully, I’m so blessed to have them and grateful to have them in my life to share that with me. But what was really interesting is I started going when I was working at different hospitals, they would have like the Poland spring sparkling water with orange in it, or lemon. And so I started drinking those. I’m like, why they’re bubbly, and they taste good. And I don’t have a crash after them and I don’t and I and so I’ve made it a habit of I still drink, you know, carbonated water, but that’s the way that is what got me off a lifetime of soda for 27 years. You know, and, and also it’s like, you know, and I think it’s like, find something thing that remove a little something. And like you, I think you’re what you said is brilliant, just go to the store and just don’t grab everything, you know, make it harder to get, but also find it, you know, look through like healthy recipes and stuff, find something, try a couple of them out and find one you like, and make it a lot. You know, it doesn’t have to be variety all the time, it could just be Hey, this is the what this is what I want. And so I think that that’s a really a good option as well. But, but as we learn more, and we listen to our bodies more and you know, I think COVID-19 is a cool time, as much as the suffering is terrible. And it’s scary at times. I think it’s a wake up call to to us that we need to understand that what we should be doing is is making the choices that are going to help us in the long run. So it’s short term gain, a pleasure and gain versus longer term gain. And we’re learning that it’s okay to have some of these things like I’ll be honest during COVID-19 We’ve been having a little bit more ice cream than usual, you know, it’s like but we get super high fat and, and, and natural low, relatively lower sugar but it’s still got sugar in it, I’ll admit, but what we’re getting but it’s also organic cane sugar and stuff and I try to be the best I can. But what you do is we’re each having like these minuscule little can essentially like if you’re a chef, like a canal, you know, like, but too many scoops. But rather than going hey, we’re super, you know, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on and we have a 10 year old but rather than being a monk and not having anything good, we’re having a little bit of it here and there, you know, maybe three or four days in a row then we take a break for a little while. So we’re balancing out sort of the the comfort part of it with the other part of it you know, so it’s it’s not a I don’t think and I know there I have colleagues who would disagree with me, but I don’t think it’s as be all end all you have to boom you have to do this whole thing. Wasn’t diet. Now, if you’re really sick, and you need to change and you want to get healthy, then maybe you need to be on a therapeutic diet for a while. But when you get back into eating, I think if you can do 90% healthy eating, and 10% kind of chill, you know, maybe a little more chill out. And if like, in the winter, I might be a little more at 20 because when you’re skiing, sometimes it’s not as easy and you want to hang out with your friends. But in the summer, I’m like 95% spot on. 5% give myself some leeway. You know, other people love to hang out at the beach in the summer, go, you know, do barbecues and such and whatever and maybe they’re into the chips then so maybe they’re 80% sort of good and 20% you know, kind of playing with some of the process stuff is in the summer, but it’s just it’s diets are about a lifestyle, right? A diet is not I mean, we use it as a term to say, Hey, I’m going to lose 10 pounds before I go to a wedding. So I’m going to do a diet, but really a diet describes your eating lifestyle. And so what I always recommend is that if you’re if you have a specific health issue, you really probably want to look at that, right? You you want to be more specific and the sicker you are, the more pristine you have to be on your particular diet. But for the rest of us who just want to optimize our health, we want to promote longevity, we want to just feel good and be around for a long time and, you know, optimize our immune function, we have more flexibility. And don’t beat yourself up, make it a eating lifestyle, make it movement, lifestyle, make it a sleeping lifestyle, and all of these are part of your health lifestyle. So if you fall off the wagon, so to speak for a day or two, or week, no big deal, you go on vacation, no problem, you know, just the more you’re moving in that that direction of the longer term, the longer play the health lifestyle, the better you’re going to be.
Curt Carstensen 1:01:55
Here’s a question from a previous guest of the podcast Blessing She was one of the early episodes on the first 10 episodes. And it’s something I forget, because I can drive over to the local Aldi. I can take as much of the produce aisle as I want, I can afford it, everything’s okay. Not everybody can either afford as much or I know some rural parts of the country, the grocery shoppings done often at like a Dollar General, which doesn’t have fresh produce, somebody has some frozen stuff, but doesn’t have that much for healthy food or maybe some inner cities. The supermarkets with the produce just don’t exist. So for people that can’t as easily get around and buy what they want to need, like you and I, people have some low socio economic issues where they either have Lyme disease or something else. Blessing wonders. How do you get these types of health changes when the healthy food isn’t just as available to you for whatever reasons,
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:02:52
right? I mean, that is a challenge. I will I mean, and it’s certainly why it’s like it’s interesting when I read the question As it popped up I just you just feel the heaviness in your heart you know where I want to, I want everyone to have access to to the to the best that you know for their health and I want I would love for, you know, food stamps and other things to really be focused on healthy nourishing food I would love for I used to I even had somebody used to work for me, they’re telling me they’re eating ramen every day for lunch, and I’m like, why are you doing that? They’re like, because it’s 40 cents. I’m like a pack an entire pack of ramen noodles is 42 It is literally cheaper to eat ramen noodles, like the the super process, not that fancy handmade at the place, you know, in the package and microwave it. I mean, how is that cheaper to eat that than lettuce? I mean, I just, it’s you know, so I think what blessing is saying is a real challenge. So, I mean, a couple things I think about is and again, that my frustration is you know, sugary processed foods are cheaper than whole Foods right? Which is not the store, but the actual what it really means, which is like plant based real plants. So, you know, it’s a challenge there. And I think that parents have to do the best they can. I mean, certainly, frozen bag or canned veggies are probably better than none. And I like fresh when you can get it. But the other part would be pick, you know, I wish I had a good answer on how to fix that. I know there are a lot of people who have, this is part of their mission. And certainly I’m always supportive when we can get into that. But it’s a big issue. This would be a place where with Lyme disease, the first thing I would do is make sure you’re getting adequate treatment, like medical treatment. But the other part would also be this is a time where I might focus on one of the other pieces first, when we might not be able to have access to the foods we want, but we can certainly work on, you know, sleep as an example. You know, we certainly I mean that’s that is something that we have have more control over. And it may require the parents to kind of change their evening around and spend more quality time turning off the televisions and sitting down and talking to the kids. You know, but that might be a place to start working. You know, the food is a rough one. I mean, I feel like you know, I feel like I would love to have a really good answer now, because I feel like there’s that little dagger being stuck in your heart, you know, because it’s hard, you make the best choices you can in that environment. And certainly one of the other things that can be really helpful in lime and other things, as is to be his movement. What we know is that in the arms and the legs, the way the lymphatic system drains toxins, and helps with the immune recognition of invaders is through muscle contraction. So movement of the arms and the legs in the chest and the belly area and the pelvis, it’s through pressure gradient changes. So deep breathing and certainly from the brain. There’s a little bit of gravity and a lot of it’s during sleep. So if we work on the kids, and getting them out and letting them play more, letting them do things like jumping up and down, rebounders are really good again, those are things that you don’t have to go by, but you can mimic you can get them, you know, jumping up and down at the you know, at the park at the swing set, you know, you can certainly do jumping jacks or whatever, but, but get them to a point where they’re breathing heavily through movement that will help with limp, optimize lymphatic drainage, and also help them be more tired to go to sleep. So while you know it would be great to have everybody to walk into a grocery store that’s got all veggies everywhere, and like you know, it’s a farmers market and you just pick up what you need and you leave and you don’t have to pay because that’s taken care. All that would be wonderful. You know, it’d be great if we could, you know, all of us had access to all of it, but when you don’t, again, pick something different. And work on that as best you can. But it’s a challenge from the food perspective, without a doubt,
Curt Carstensen 1:07:06
those are questions that I know a lot of people, you’re only kind of thinking about the things that affect you and what you’ve been presented with. And there’s a whole different group of people and different groups of people with other challenges out there. So it’s really good to, to have the compassion for the possibility that we don’t always think about the things that other people are dealing with. So that was a very
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:07:26
well, you know, I’m like, well cut down I wanted to say cut down on a little bit of sugar. Well, it’s cheaper than real food, cut down on the processed food. It’s cheaper than real food. I mean, and and unfortunately, that’s the society we live in. And it is something that that those of us who maybe have more access can keep in the back of our minds and embrace it and be great and in our hearts be grateful for and maybe part of the thing that I like I revise my vision for my future. And one of the things that I always keep adding There’s is a way to have kids in general be more healthy to help lead a movement across the globe where we’re not only everyone’s healthier, but kids are healthier and they have more access to the things they need. So I think I’m going to sit down later and tweak it a little bit. Because I think there’s a little I needed, the more more specific you can become, the more likely you are to help. And I find that whenever people ask me that question, or some variation of it, I’m like, I should be doing more, there’s got to be a way to do more. And right now, I might not know how to do that. But again, going back to I don’t need to know how to do it. I just need to know what I want to do and then put my heart into doing that. And then the How will will come and then when it presents itself, I have to take action. So I have a lot of gratitude for blessing right now because I’m going to add that I got my, my, my workbook right here that it all goes into. So I’ll be adding more specifics to that because that’s something that we really all need to be thinking about for the health of our At least I want to be thinking more about for the health of the planet.
Curt Carstensen 1:09:03
And she works as a nurse. She’s been in the Minneapolis area, different parts of California currently now in Tennessee, that so she’s coming in across different groups of people all the time, different parts of the country where So I do want to go back to you. You’re in Connecticut. You’ve been there lifelong Connecticut guy.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:09:20
No, I actually grew up in New Jersey and then I went to Vermont and Maine I kind of like the Vermont, Maine, Colorado, Utah thing. A little bit more than right here, but it’s a pretty nice place to be.
Curt Carstensen 1:09:32
So for you whether it’s right now Lyme disease, anything else. I guess you can go over all of your different areas that you can help people but if someone’s not located in Connecticut, but they’ve liked what they’ve heard from you, they want to work with you. What are some of the ways that someone might be able to reach out to you and you could help someone?
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:09:53
Yeah. So a lot of free resources. My website is originsofhealth.com and and also our Facebook page same thing origins of health that you know I try to keep you know keep where you have a lot more blog stuff coming out on the website we have multiple I did a summit and a mini series on COVID-19 a lot of its ways to do things at home without spending money because a lot of us are you know, are getting more challenge. Those are free resources, a lot of the people who are guests on those, we link to a lot of their free resources as well. It’s really been a time where we want to give give as best we can. I also we on Facebook have a lime support group called empowered by lyme. And that’s free just have to ask to join will will, you know ask couple questions and let you in. The goal really is to get people to be able to ask questions and have positive support. There’s so much negativity and if you’re having a bad day people come in and they say I’m having a bad day and then people it’s uplifting right rather than having a complaining session. It’s really about working together for the whole community to uplift the all the members. And, you know, if anybody, you know, we, I’m able to, you know, see people in the office once and then able to see them from a distance of their, say somebody in California or Utah or whatever, who would like to be seen as sort of a medical patient, they can come out, we can do an appointment, and then we can do most of our follow ups virtually. And people in Connecticut in New York, I can actually do virtual care, you know, starting at least for the time being, we’re allowed to do that front, you know, just initiating care virtually, so a lot of options. And certainly, I have a new series that’ll be coming out soon. So if anybody’s interested in we’re going to be doing stuff online and COVID and just general topics that are gonna, you know, sort of build on a lot of the things that we’ve talked about today where it’s going to be, we’re really going to show people how that what the long play is. For getting healthy and staying healthy, but taking the but but tweaking it based upon all the new research that’s coming out. So sort of going to be a little riff on a podcast. You know it, I’m super excited because it’s like, I’m not even sure what it’s fully going to look like. But I gotta be like these weekly webinars, it’s so much fun and gonna have different guests on talking about topics as they come up, so and really getting them out right as they happen. So that should be a lot of fun. So a lot of different ways. And if anybody has any questions and needs some help, I mean, certainly just reach out through Facebook at it, you know where at origins of health or contact our office at the website,
Curt Carstensen 1:12:40
that’s one of the beauties of creating something and putting it online like you know, you have these ideas and trying to firm them up as you go and just knowing that you’re doing it because you want to be able to reach people and help them so that’s why I started a podcast and I usually finished with a couple segments. I’m gonna boil them down to one because I’m very interested in What you have to say? So I have a personal growth segment and a being wrong segment they’re kind of similar what because what I want from you Dr. Tom is a story of something how you’ve really focused on personal growth or and depending how you take it, something that you’ve totally changed your mind about. And you could look at the former version of yourself and say that you were wrong. So it’s really what this podcast is all about the ways that I’ve learned from people and learned and change my my way of being, I want to hear one final story from you of how your life is changing or has changed and in the background behind that.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:13:39
Wow, those are I love it, man. Those are powerful. I made it a habit of admitting I was wrong A long time ago, and learning for that and as a doctor, I found that that was one of the best things I could ever do. I’m gonna have to think about that one for a second because it’s like you do it so much. It’s like I don’t carry it around. You know? What I remember is when I didn’t know what was wrong with me with lime and Bz osis, and also turns out heavy metal toxicity. I, a friend of mine gave me a yoga DVD. And I said, Wow, alright, let’s check it out. And so my wife and I started doing it. And it didn’t it, it felt like something was really good. But there was something really wrong about it. It was like the move. It was movement on breath, but I felt like it wasn’t moving well. And I looked, and I looked at the end and and I said, What did you what you know, in the credits, where did this guy learn? And I went back and I researched Ashtanga Yoga, which is where power yoga comes from. And I studied that. And when I started doing that, it was like a movement with breath. It made sense. And it was a moving meditation. And so I could, I always was drawn to meditation. But I said to myself, I could never do this, because I have to sit still, and my brain won’t calm down. And so I started doing this you Yoga, and all of a sudden, like, I want to not have soda and I don’t want to eat processed foods and I want a salad. And then I was an athlete my whole life, I could literally might, my hands could barely touch my kneecaps, which is kind of pathetic, because my arms can pretty much touch him, like, you know, I mean, it’s like the length of my arms. I was so tight. And over a period of six months, we did six days a week, you know, the the yoga, we took off the new moon and the full moon as you were as what’s prescribed and I just followed it 90 minutes a day. And I’ll tell you, my whole life changed. I got so loose and open. And you know, we you know, it was a good almost two years before I sort of started to add other things back into my program. It was just focused on the yoga. And what I really learned was, if I put my mind to one thing, and I do it regularly, even when it’s hard We’ll start to see results. And out of that, interestingly, you learn that when you’re in a difficult posture, you know, a lot of people always are trying to like win, right? You’re trying to get further in the posture. Well, what you should be doing is, what they say is that you should your mood, if you can’t breathe fully, you’re going too hard, you’re pushing your body too much, it’s not ready. And so I really learned that it was basically learning to become under physical stress, which is also emotional stress, when you’re, you know, you’re balancing and you’re falling all over. And so all of a sudden, six or eight months into this yoga practice, at the end, when you sit down cross legged and you just breathe, my mind was much calmer. And then like 18 months into it, I started doing a meditation practice, because I actually could sit and so I just thought I could never sit but you know to do anything cuz my brain was too crazy. But what I needed was a different approach to getting there because anybody will sit down long enough, it’ll work. But I was so hyper aware. And so ADHD that I just needed movement, and movement brought me to it. So there’s not always one way to get to a destination I learned. And I learned that really, if I put my mind to it, it makes a massive difference. And that’s been one of the biggest shifts, I would say, my entire life I, I can’t think of what I mean, other than, you know, meeting my wife and recognizing we should be together. This is like, this is like one of those aha moments where it like, I don’t do it all the time now because I weave other pieces into my health practice, but it was just like I wanted, I wanted to feel better. And then an opportunity was presented to me and I said, I don’t even understand this. I’m going to do it anyway. Right and it came I asked for it and it came into my life. So So I went for it. You know, and I guess I was wrong. I mean, it’s not a good year wrong story, but I was I thought I would never be able to sit and get the benefits of meditation because I was too active, you know, but I learned that there is a way for all of us to get our goals, it just might not be the way we think. So set your goal and then you can maybe there’s a different way to get there for you. And that how will present itself
Curt Carstensen 1:18:24
and telling yourself that you’re not going to be able to do it, whatever it is, probably means you’re not going to do it. So just allowing yourself to be to be pushed in the direction a little bit, just say, um, maybe that’s, I think, the first step to changing your mind about anything that could prove to be very vital in your life.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:18:42
I think so. And I think it’s also when you when you have a little bit of fear, and you have a little bit of unsureness when that stuff you’re, you know, you know, that’s the time to lean into it not to pull away, right. So and I mean in that situation like you If you’re afraid to go down a dark alley, don’t lean more into that. You know what I mean? But but it’s like, there’s so many times where we we look at what’s quote, unquote, a challenge in our life. And I can’t do that. Well, why not? You know, you can. And, and, and I mean, it’s like so for me, I’ve learned that I listen to my gut. But when I get a little bit of the jitters, that’s the time to go for it. You know, I mean, it was amazing. Like a couple like a month ago when I did the I did a three hour live summit on a weekend with some friends to help support the the our global community. And I said, I just had an idea. And I said to somebody, I should do this or like, I’ll help you. And then I just sent off a bunch of emails, and I was like, holy shit, what did I just do? How am I gonna do this? But in the end, that’s been seen by over 5000 people. And I was afraid to do it. And I get mail all the time saying thank you for doing that. Thank you for sharing. It’s been so helpful. I don’t like it. was afraid to do. And that’s one of the two largest events I’ve ever done. Personally, I have reached more people by doing that event and a subsequent event that I had reached probably in the past 10 years. And it was I got afraid and instead of pulling back from it with the cold feet, I leaned into it, and everybody listening can do that, too. You know, and the cool part is it whether it’s 5000 or 500,000 people or one person if that’s you, it doesn’t matter the number it’s the the vibration of that impact that really makes the biggest difference in my opinion.
Curt Carstensen 1:20:37
I think that’s a great answer to encapsulate personal growth being wrong and changing your mind and i i think it’s super important just to sometimes say yes, you probably can’t say yes to everything thrown away. Yes. Not not to the dark alley, but say yes, without thinking about it, and then deal with it and do what it takes to get there.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:20:58
Yeah, and I you know, I, you just reminded me of what I what I what I hope is a good, I’m wrong in this time. You know, my family is so close, we do so much together, we love each other so much. But man, even under all of this and all the personal development we do, we’re doing, you know, a whole bunch of we’re doing a couple programs together. You know, even with our 10 year old, we’re doing all this sort of like dream building and personal growth. But even though that’s the way we live our lifestyle with the COVID-19 thing going on, and the separate Italia doesn’t get to see all our friends like for real, it’s kind of all virtual, and we have tons of support, but we’re still kind of you know, you get on each other’s nerves a little bit. We’ve had a couple days where I was probably not as nice and I was a little more snippy than I even want to admit being you know, and there was a time where I lost my temper a little bit and I just was like, oh, My God, what is going on? Like, I know where it bubbled up from, why was I unable to say to my family, hey, I needed I, you know, I need space here I’m getting a little too stressed and like, and so really, when I went when that happened, I was like, you know, you take your time to chill out. But I went back to my family, I said, You know what? These things were happening, but but I’m really sorry. And I was wrong for that. And all three of us have had different things where we’ve come up and we’ve said to each other, you know, I’m sorry, I could have helped a little more in that position in that situation. And I think it’s a really important time for us all to remember that we are under a stress that we’ve not been under before. And I’m like you Curt I mean, sometimes it’s like man, those I love tortilla chips. Try not to eat them a lot. But man, give me some got homemade guacamole and some fancy corn chips. Maybe I’m gonna dig in.
Curt Carstensen 1:22:58
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:23:00
What’s that ?
Curt Carstensen 1:23:00
maybe. Yeah, sure, maybe,
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:23:02
maybe, you know, it’s not we’re not all perfect. And we do make mistakes. And sometimes when you make that mistake of saying, Hey, you know, being short with someone, I think it’s not so much about being wrong. It’s about what we do when we are wrong. And it’s really easy. If I make mistake, like when I worked in the hospital and stuff, I’d be like, you know, I don’t know the answer to that, or I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Let me fix it. This is what happens, what we’re going to do at home, it seems to be the hardest. And so I just want everyone to have a sense that right now, you know, we’re going to be acting sometimes in ways we may not want to be. But it’s what we do with that under that stress. And when we go back to our family and say, you know, Jill Talia, I was I was wrong, and I’m really sorry for doing that. And I was sorry that I lost my temper. You know, it’s not my usual you know, it’s it’s so important to just have that, you know, that ability to just say that, you know, I’m wrong. I was wrong and I’m Sorry, especially during these crazy ass times that a lot of us are going through. So
Curt Carstensen 1:24:06
I think that happens to all of us. And it’s course it happens all of us and I think the big key then is the instinct to not defend why you weren’t wrong just to be okay that sometimes I’m going to be wrong. That’s why I have the sign back here. You can’t see it fully. But oh, yeah, their previous happened with a previous guest of the podcast, Philip G. He does some art on his spare time, and he made this and although I think it’s kind of negative if you take it the wrong way, but I think it’s beautifully positive that, okay, there’s gonna be some mistakes sometimes. And that’s fine. Just be okay with it. acknowledge that. Yeah, I was wrong. I made a mistake and move forward. instead of always trying to act like I know everything or I can’t make a mistake, which I know some people get caught in and I get caught in sometimes. But that’s an ego thing we need to avoid.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:24:57
Yeah, and a half and I mean, I think the beauty of What mistakes will happen means is that it’s legit, this it’s around things happen. It’s just it happened. Right? It’s not we don’t have to make a judgement of it. It’s to me it’s not. It’s not always the act. It’s like what follows it up? Because I don’t want to, you know, and also, it’s also not always the person, right? I mean, so like, if you do something that I don’t like, I can either say Curt’s a jerk, or I could say, I didn’t like what Kurt did. But I know that most of the time Curt doesn’t do that. And I really liked him. So and it’s like, so I appreciate that in my family. They’re like, hey, dad’s a little stressed out here, Tom kinda. He’s doing a lot to help other people and he forgot about us for a few minutes. And so then, you know, we work together and we say, Hey, I don’t like his actions. His actions weren’t right. But I still love the person and I’m going to help them take that next step. And then as the person who made have, you know, lost their temper after or made that mistake, you can say, Hey, I made a mistake. I’m really sorry about that, you know, it’s it’s not what I really mean, feel free in my heart, what can we do to continue to move forward? And, and that’s really I think what’s beautiful about right now this time of COVID-19 is so many things that we are just not good, you know, they don’t feel good people are suffering. But I have never in my life seen the world become so positive and come together to help other people as right now. So I want to I want to I understand I got to do the medical thing, well, you need to keep on top of the research, we need to do what we can optimize our immune system. Let’s minimize the risk of further damage from COVID-19 later on, you know, second wave, you know, we need to figure that one out. But I also know that I could overlook the beauty in humanity at this moment, or I could choose to acknowledge it and bring that to the forefront and help that grow and blossom and that’s really a thing I think, you know, so we’re in this crazy ass time. But, but there’s good coming out of it and I mean the world is working you know we’re getting a little it’s funny it’s like I’m saying everybody came together now we’re getting a little antsy we all want to get back outside, but we’re all coming together to help other people which is brilliant you know so there is something that happens on the on the flip side of all of this that we can really choose what we want to focus on.
Curt Carstensen 1:27:25
I’ve enjoyed this conversation greatly Dr. Tom I pulled back the screen here in the video so we can we can see all the art you have some nice artwork behind you is that you or someone else said that made the one over your shoulder.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:27:37
No, that’s my daughter Talia. And I think this is one of my favorite ones. Because it’s nice and simple.
Curt Carstensen 1:27:45
Love that maybe maybe that’s better than mistakes will happen. We can I can replace it later. Yeah. Or add one of it.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:27:51
Well, I know the artist I can I can hook you up. Okay. But yeah, she does all kinds of cool stuff for us and I you know, I’ve got a bunch laying around and I just change them up. In the background once in a while, so, but that’s one of the things that she really loves to do is to express herself and I’m just so proud of her. And so thanks for give me a moment to share that with everybody. No, that’s
Curt Carstensen 1:28:11
great. And I hope everyone that has been watching this live or sees the replay or listening to the audio podcast. If anything of this is useful to you, it’s going to be also useful and valuable to others. So please share, share the podcast, share the video, and I really do. Thank you for joining me today Dr. Tom, and I wish you a lovely rest of your day. And I look forward to chatting with you again soon.
Dr. Tom Moorcroft 1:28:37
Awesome Same to you. Thanks for having me, Curt.