The Rise of Chronic illness, and Functional Medicine Solutions with Dr. Diane Mueller

We’ve all heard the saying, desperate times call for desperate measures, right? But when was the last time you found yourself in an emergency situation–ready to make major changes in order to get out of pain, or emotional stress, or maybe even a poor relationship?

Dr. Diane Mueller used to live in perpetual pain, discomfort, constipation, and bloating…All symptoms of IBS, and each one like an unidentifiable intruder who attacked her body in the least convenient moments of Diane’s childhood years.

It literally took decades for Dr. Mueller to decipher her personal health code, but the work paid off.

The Gut Health Mystery

In a fast-moving Western civilization, most people eat what they can, when they can. Only recently have healthier fast-food choices become available with the advent of establishments like Whole Foods, Aubergine, Good Earth Markets, Sprouts, and other privately owned restaurants. Even the traditional ethnic-style spots are seeing the light: Most people want to give their hard-earned money up for non-processed food and drinks that make them feel good, not just taste good.

*There are several root causes of fatigue and brain fog, which are directly connected to gut health. (8:30)

*We often have a “silver bullet” mentality when it comes to diagnosing and treating gut health issues, but there are usually several causes.

*Fitness, nutrition, and medical treatments have all evolved dramatically since the 1980’s, yet chronic illness continues to rise. Why?

*Diagnosis is often seen as an end point rather than an opportunity to remedy the issues with current medical advancements. With a doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine as well as a Doctorate degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mueller decided to find the truth in her own way.

*Too many drugs mask symptoms rather than cure the underlying problem. This thinking enables the continuation of tissue breakdown and other destructive mechanisms.

“We’re not actually doing that work to figure out the reason,” says Dr. Mueller, but she’s one doctor in the mix who’s dedicated to getting to the bottom of gut issues (pardon the pun).

Watch the interview here:


Mindset and Chronic Illness

Dave points out that many people are reluctant to take personal responsibility for their health…It’s easy to blame poor genetics, lack of time, and lack of money for being sick and overweight.

Dr. Mueller was quick to add, “There’s a lot we can do to help change the world, but ultimately we need to be practicing what we’re preaching.” (21:00)

*Monitoring our internal thoughts in reaction to stress can decrease tendencies towards disease.

*Meditation is not “absence of thoughts,” but rather consciously directing our thoughts to a positive space. The goal of meditation is to live a happier, more productive, in-the-moment type life.

*Getting lost in our individual struggles is part of being human. We can use the strength we find to become more empathetic towards those around us.

*Whether meditation lasts for 2 minutes, or an hour, the practice can mentally, emotionally and physically benefit all of us.

Getting Mentally Away for a Moment

“A lower brain-wave state, or a deeper meditation practice puts us into what’s called a Theta Brain Wave State. This allows us to imprint (make adjustments to) our subconscious thinking,” says Dr. Mueller. (31:11)

*Benefits of doing this include changing the way we think by getting rid of negative or destructive thoughts, and accessing the autonomic nervous system, which inspires healing.

*Breath work also helps to access the autonomic nervous system. Both can be effective.

*Dr. Mueller and Dave both recommend reading “Atomic Habits,” by James Clear. This book explains the psychology behind habit changing behavior, both nominal and transformational.

*Dopamine (the happy hormone) is released in the brain when we stick to our habits, which motivates us to “keep it up!”

*Over time, the reward of sticking to good habits becomes natural and a non-negotiable part of each day.

Lifestyle is a Choice

*Consider how food feels inside of you when you eat…this is a great way to tell if that food is a gut-healthy one for you.

*Always steer clear of seed oils, corn syrup, and modified foods.

*Micronutrient tests can help determine any deficiencies.

*Walking 4-5 miles a day fulfills a 10,000 step per day goal. It’s easier than you might think!

*Whether you rely on a smart watch or some other device, tracking your progress can be motivating.

*Dave and Dr. Mueller both had positive things to say about the Aura Ring, which is an alternative device to smart watches. Both devices track not only our physical activity, but can warn us of poor sleeping habits.

“The number one thing that affects my sleep is bright lights at night,” says Dr. Mueller, who goes out of her way to use candles and red-emitting light in the evenings.

The Top 3 Bad Habits

Dr. Mueller didn’t hesitate to mention her 3 red flags of poor lifestyle habits:

1. Too much sitting. Western populations tend to have desk jobs and sedentary entertainment habits.

2. Not enough sleep. “Without at least 6 hours, we are insulin resistant for 24 hours,” notes Dr. Mueller. Dave points out that studies have shown that people who think they do well when they are sleep deprived are actually lying to themselves. “Getting enough sleep helps everyone perform better across the board.”

3. Poor diet. In addition to lower quality oils and corn syrup, most people do better off of gluten, even if you don’t think you do. (44:00). Intermittent fasting has tremendous health benefits. Studies have shown that IF paired with a low carb diet (under 50 grams per day) is the most effective way to lose fat. Try sticking to an 8 hour eating window each day, and over time the effort pays off!

“It took me about 60 days to adjust to an 8 hour eating window, and then it just flipped and I’ve been doing it ever since,” says Dave.

In the end, if you’re struggling with gut health issues and are looking for answers, it’s logical to find information from those who have experienced the problems themselves, and have already paved the way for you. Check out Dr. Mueller’s new interactive website, for access to the latest in scientific findings and treatment.

While Dr. Mueller’s main office is located in Denver, patients have access to all information remotely as well. There’s no need to let things deteriorate into “desperate times” when you can choose to heal.

Download this episode here