379. The Latest Cutting-Edge Treatments for Lyme, Mold & Auto-Immune W/ Dr. Matt Cook of BioReset Medical

Dr. Matthew Cook

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Dr. Matthew Cook gives us a behind-the-scenes overview of the innovative treatments he uses to fight auto-immune conditions, Lyme, and mold at BioReset Medical. 

Dr. Cook is President and Founder of BioReset™️ Medical and Medical Advisor of BioReset Network. He is a board-certified anesthesiologist with over 20 years of experience in practicing medicine, focusing the last 14 years on functional and regenerative medicine. He graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his residency in anesthesiology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and has completed a fellowship in functional medicine.

Dr. Cook’s early career as an anesthesiologist and medical director of an outpatient surgery center that specialized in sports medicine and orthopedic procedures provided invaluable training in the skills that are needed to become a leader in the emerging field of Regenerative Medicine. 

His practice, BioReset Medical, provides treatments for conditions ranging from pain and complex illness to anti-aging and wellness. He treats some of the most challenging to diagnose and difficult to live with ailments that people suffer from today, including Lyme disease, chronic pain, PTSD, and mycotoxin illness.  Dr. Cook’s approach is to use the most non-invasive, natural, and integrative ways possible.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Dr. Matthew Cook joins the show with a stellar medical bio as President and Founder of BioReset™️ Medical and Medical Advisor of BioReset Network. He is also a board-certified anesthesiologist with over 20 years of experience practicing medicine, focusing the last 14 years on functional and regenerative medicine. 

After a week of intense treatment with Matt for persistent back and pain issues, I got an insider snapshot into Dr. Matt’s practice – professionally, with the incredible team of minds at BioReset Medical – and at his daily life practice in the home. He’s a fellow biohacking fiend like myself, so we got on like a house on fire.

He also happens to be one of the leading practitioners in the world for Lyme and mold exposure and recovery. We go into a deep dive analysis into the cutting-edge technology and modalities he is using to yield incredible results. As a constant learner with big plans to pass the baton of his research to the world, I feel honored to have shared this conversation with such a trailblazer.

04:20 — Understanding Mold 

  • Medical background and areas of expertise 
  • Mold diagnosis, testing, and recovery process
  • How you can test for mold
  • How mold recycles in your body and why using binders can shortcut the effects
  • Dealing with furniture contamination
  • Why plasmapheresis is so effective
  • Using ozone in his procedures 

41:54 — Helping People Get Over Lyme

  • The complex diagnosis process 
  • Can Lyme be transmitted sexually and in utero?
  • What to do when you get bitten by a tick 
  • Co-infections from insect bites
  • Why peptides are so crucial for treatment 
  • Connections between Long COVID and Lyme 

1:25:23 — Dr. Matthew Cook’s Mission

  • The mindset that has served him to help
  • The incredible team behind him at BioReset Medical
  • BioReset University 

1:32:00 — The Benefits of Ozone 

  • Finding suitable ozone oils 
  • Explaining ozone dialysis 

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

[00:00:00] Luke Storey: I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. So, Matt, man, what incredible few days we've had here.

[00:00:29] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, it was like a great pleasure for me, totally unexpected. And I was telling you right before we got on, you're one of the most thoughtful people I've ever talked to, so I really enjoyed having you here.

[00:00:40] Luke Storey: Oh, thank you so much, and thanks for your hospitality here in the home. It's not common that I go visit someone to interview them and get treated by them in such an incredible way. And then, like, hey, come over to the house and stay, so it's been really fun to get to know you.

[00:00:53] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, it's cool.

[00:00:54] Luke Storey: Yeah, thanks for that. I feel like we've had so many conversations that have been so deep and profound that it's like, God, what else is there to talk about? But we haven't talked about some of your areas of expertise when it comes to helping people get over chronic conditions that so many people are just stuck with. So, as we get into a couple of specific topics, perhaps, you could just give an overview on BioReset Medical, and what your philosophy is there, and some of the types of treatments that you're doing there.

[00:01:27] Dr. Matthew Cook: Oh, thanks. So, BioReset Medical is, I would say, functional medicine practice. And so, we do functional and integrative medicine. I trained at the University of Washington at UCSF. And so, I come from a fairly straightforward Western medical background, and I'm always sort of like trying to reconnect to that, and reconnect to sort of a traditional scientific perspective on medicine, and then integrating that with, we studied Chinese medicine, we studied yoga, and sort of everything that has emerged in functional medicine, particularly with respect to taking care of complex illnesses.

[00:01:48] We do a lot of pain management. And so, because of that, I do hydrodissection and ultrasound-guided injections essentially into every nerve and every joint in the body, which I find super interesting. Because we do that, I end up dealing with a lot of people with PTSD and trauma, so we take care of those issues. And then, the areas that I think are high reward in terms of functional medicine, in terms of optimizing health, is in complex illness and some of the big problems of our day.

[00:01:48] And a lot of them have, at their core, some form of immune dysregulation that has a variety of manifestations. And we can kind of dig into it. A lot of those problems are fairly similar, and there are many similar triggers, often infectious, that lead to that. And so, that's kind of a little bit of an introduction to who we are and what we do. And we take those approaches, the same approaches that we take, for taking care of real complex problems, we apply for wellness and optimization.

[00:03:28] Luke Storey: Right. And for those listening, I have a sense this interview will probably come out before the one we did the other day with Dr. John Lieurance her, but I want to let people know that we do delve deeply into physiological issues and all of the injections, which is what we did on my back and hip. And we've been doing a lot of stuff here at the house, too, to kind of continue facilitating that healing.

[00:03:51] So, for those that are going to hear this interview, there will be one coming that goes really more specifically focused into that, because, yeah, that's what we did together, and I think something that you're doing in an incredibly innovative way. I'm going to call you the wizard of hydrodissection and injections now, because just watching you and the steadiness of hand as you use those needles, and I'm sitting there looking at the ultrasound, and you're going in between these fascial planes with like incredible precision. 

[00:04:23] It was really fascinating. So, I want to make sure people also hear that side of your expertise. Let's go ahead and jump right in with the first topic being mold recovery. I did a show recently with Michael Rubino, where we talked about how to identify mold in your house, the common sources, what to do about it, remediation, and all of that, but because he's not a doctor, we didn't really get into how to heal from it. So, perhaps that would be a good starting point, that would be really useful for a lot of people as public awareness continues to grow around this issue.

[00:04:56] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, mold and mycotoxin illness is, I remember first hearing about it like 10, 15 years ago, and it has just become a bigger and bigger problem. And we hear more and more about it and see more people with it. And what happens is, typically, somebody has a water-damaged building that they're exposed to, could be at work, could be some place that they temporarily stayed, or commonly. it's in someone's house. 

[00:05:33] And if mold gets into the sheetrock, often, there's bacteria in there. And so, there's sort of a constellation of different microbes that secrete sort of a plume of toxins that get into the air, and then people breathe that in. And so then, when that happens, then sometimes, people will have a biofilm in the nose or they'll have a biofilm in the gut, and they'll start to breathe in some of these toxins, and those toxins will start to live.

[00:06:03] And then, basically, start renting space in your biofilm and living inside you. And so, if there's mold living in you, then what happens is mold will start to secrete these mycotoxins into your bloodstream. And so then, what we do is we see people and try to get a sense of the story. We find out what they've done in terms of testing, try to build a model of what's happening with that. 

[00:06:30] And then, we do some testing. So, I actually will test, there's a test called MARCoNS to see if you have a biofilm in your sinus. And so, it's a nasal swab, it's kind of similar to a COVID test. We'll do a urine test and we'll see if there are urinary mycotoxins. And there's a couple of different companies that we use. One of them is called Real Time and one of them is called Great Plains.

[00:06:55] And Vibrant America is another one that is coming out with testing, and we're using all three. We also will do an antibody test to see if your body is making antibodies to mycotoxins. And just like we do a test to see if you are making antibodies to COVID to see if, A, maybe the vaccine worked, or B, maybe you get exposed to COVID, and we want to find out, was that actually COVID or not?

[00:07:27] We could do an antibody test, and if your body's making antibodies to it, then we know you must have been exposed to COVID. In the same way, we can do an antibody test, and then we can determine if you're making antibodies to mold, and then at what level those are. And so, there's a few different companies out there, but I like one called MyMycolab. And Andrew Campbell is a very thoughtful mold expert who's a friend of mine. And so, I like him quite a bit. So then, with mold, then we're trying to build that model.

[00:08:04] And then, sort of in parallel to that, I try to get a sense of, is this really an isolated sort of mild situation or is there a bunch more going on? Mold is one of those things that's a trigger that can start to irritate your immune system and cause immune dysregulation. And so, the things that mold tends to travel with is chronic GI problems, chronic Lyme, and then chronic viral problems.

[00:08:39] And so then, we try to talk to people and get a sense of, do we think any of those things are going on? If somebody's had a tick-borne illness or if they've really had a profound problem for a long time, then we start to do some of our Lyme workup. We almost always do a gastrointestinal workup with some stool testing and try to build a total model of what's going on. And then, based upon that, then start to engage in strategies and treatments around remediating both in the house, and then also, within the body.

[00:09:16] Luke Storey: Yeah, it's really interesting with mold when I did that interview with Michael Rubino, he's the author of a book called The Mold Medic, and he has a remediation company. I think they outsource the test. But one thing that was really interesting that I learned was that I think it was within 24 hours, if you see water damage in your house, whether or not you see mold that's a color, like you would typically see black mold, or green, or whatever it is, that you already have mold there. So, it's like how important it is to catch water damage and thinking about those of us that travel a lot, right?

[00:09:54] And you stay in just random hotels. I always think that the mold is much more probable in an older building, say, like an older hotel. And he was also explaining that, oftentimes, the mold is present from new construction, because they leave the plywood outside, and it gets rained on, and then it's growing mold within 24, 48 hours, and then they just build a hole in a seven-storey hotel out of moldy stuff. So, it's not even like you had to have a water leak. It's really complex and widespread issues. What would be some of the most common symptoms? If someone has acute exposure, what are they going to experience subjectively that might lead them to seek out someone like you to deal with it?

[00:10:39] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, I don't think that I'm really getting calls from people right now, that like, let's say, got exposed to it. In this conversation, we're getting people who've had fairly profound fatigue, headache, neurological problems, long COVID, we're getting people that have had a fairly substantial immune dysregulation that's been going on for some time. And I think that a lot of times, there may be something underlying, could be Lyme or it could be chronic viral, for example, but it was kind of under wraps.

[00:11:28] And so, people may have had some symptoms, but they didn't think of themselves as really being sick or having that significant amount of problem. And then, they'll get exposed, and that exposure will start to trigger immune stress. And then, all of a sudden, they'll get a constellation of symptoms that may be part from mold, and then part from these other things. COVID is almost exactly the same thing. 

[00:11:53] And often, somebody was feeling like they were okay, and they had a handful of things, but it was kind of under wraps, and people were sort of managing their lifestyle a little bit to the extent to keep things, so they didn't have too many symptoms. And then, they get that trigger, that trigger could be COVID. And then, all of a sudden, the mold, they can't quite handle it or it triggers Lyme. And so, fairly profound fatigue, sometimes, headaches. People, if they have a biofilm on the nose, people will have a lot of sinus congestion and symptoms. So, I always try to ask about that and those would be common ones.

[00:12:36] Luke Storey: What is biofilm for, for those that aren't familiar with that?

[00:12:39] Dr. Matthew Cook: A biofilm is, have you ever seen like at a pond, that kind of sludge that you see at the edge of like the cattails, where there's kind of a mucusy layer. That is secreted by bacteria, and fungi, and yeast, and other just microbes. And it's a collagenous gel. And within that gel, one time I was on a podcast, I described it as a house party. So, for microbes. And so, all amoebas, and parasites, and all kinds of different things can go in and live there. And it's kind of a protection, because it's a gelatinous place. And then, sometimes, people can have a biofilm on the nose, sometimes, they can have a biofilm in their gut. 

[00:13:21] And so, interestingly, sometimes, when we treat people, they will pass that. So, you'll start to treat people with herbals and other strategies to start to heal the gut, and then they'll pass a gigantic amount of mucus. And a lot of times, after that, people will start to get better. And so then, also in the same way, that's why part of why we're testing and asking about sinus stuff, because microbes tend to come out and can go anywhere in the body, but then they retreat to safe spots, where they can kind of hide out and persist over time. And the sinuses and the gut are two of the classic places where they do that.

[00:14:00] Luke Storey: Got it.

[00:14:01] Dr. Matthew Cook: Also, the teeth.

[00:14:02] Luke Storey: Let's say someone knows that they've been exposed to mold, because it was present in our house, and they saw it, and they're feeling sick, and seeing relevant symptoms, and they are, for whatever reason, not in the position to come see someone like you, is there any benefit to trying to kind of go at it alone? Is there a home protocol, per se, without going through all of the testing, and seeing a specialist, and getting treated in a clinical setting? Are there herbal formuli, or liposomal nutrients, and binders, and things like that that someone could have success with, or if it's acute exposure, is it kind of too big for someone to really successfully deal with?

[00:14:48] Dr. Matthew Cook: Okay. So then, I've never thought about this before, but this is a kind of a good idea, if somebody is listening to this and they want to do some of that testing, for example, if they wanted to do, we could mail them a kit, and then they could do the urinary mycotoxin testing. And then, even if they didn't want to use us to help them work through that, at least, they would have that data and that information.

[00:15:15] And so then, they could follow that. So, if somebody wanted to do that, you can just call us and we'll mail you the kit. And when your results come in, we'll do that. We'll send them to you. Because often, if somebody has an issue and their resources are tight, we'll do some testing up front to try to get a handle on where things are going on before we really engage in doing much. And so then, that's a reasonable idea. 

[00:15:43] And so then, sort of one of the cornerstones of treating mold, which is sort of interesting, is that imagine you have a little bit of a biofilm on your nose, and possibly, let's say, even in the gut. And let's say, you're secreting mycotoxins into your intestines, and then they're working their way down through your stomach, into your small intestine, these are so tiny and so well-absorbed, and particularly, if you've got a little leaky gut, what happens is we tend to reabsorb them into the bloodstream.

[00:16:20] And then, once they get into our bloodstream, we run our blood through our big filter, which is either the kidney or the liver. Some of it will come out in the kidney, which is why we can find it when we do a urine test, and then some of it'll go through the liver. And when that happens, the liver is going to push it back into the gut, but sometimes, it gets reabsorbed.

[00:16:41] Luke Storey: Oh, my God.

[00:16:43] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, they called that enterohepatic recirculation. And so then, you go, oh, my God, what are we going to do about that? And so then, this has been the idea of binders. And so, there's just about as many binders as there are functional medicine doctors. And not everyone is perfect for every person and people will have a little bit of different preferences. There's one called cholestyramine.

[00:17:10] There's a classic one. There are some binders like zeolite and different types of clays. There are a whole bunch of different forms of charcoal that are binders. And what happens is if you take that binder, that binder is a relatively large molecule compared to a small toxin, and that large molecule is so large that it's too big to be absorbed across your gut.

[00:17:36] And so then, if that large molecule binds on to that mold toxin, now, that mold toxin is stuck to that large binding molecule. And then, now, because it's stuck there, that large molecule is just going to work its way through your intestine, and then come out the other end. And so then, because of that, we're catching toxins, pulling them all the way out, and then over time, by doing binding strategies, we have the opportunity to decrease the total body burden of the mycotoxins.

[00:18:11] Luke Storey: Right, and prevent that recycling system, because you're stopping it at one choke point essentially.

[00:18:17] Dr. Matthew Cook: Exactly.

[00:18:17] Luke Storey: Okay. And then, is there any efficacy to doing like a Chris Shade Quicksilver push-catch kind of thing, where you're instigating your organs to dump toxins, and then you're catching them with these binders in the gut? Is that even relevant for mold?

[00:18:39] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. So, that's sort of traditionally a mold strategy. And the idea with that one is if the mold gets pushed through your liver, if you take a bitter, then that bitter will cause your liver and gallbladder to squeeze a little bit, and it'll push some digestive juices that may be concentrated in mycotoxins into the intestine. And then, if you have a binder in there, then you're going to catch those toxins and pull them through. And it's been interesting for me, because it's an evolution.

[00:19:18] Some people will respond great to that and love that some people respond better to cholestyramine means some people really like the charcoals. Some people really like zeolites. There are some products that have a mixture of a variety of different ones. And I use all of them, and I see what people can tolerate, and it's been an evolving process for us to put people on strategies, and a lot of times, we'll put them on cholestyramine for a while, and then we'll rotate out. And then, what we'll do is we'll retest. And so then, you can imagine if there was somebody who was at home, hypothetically, we could do a test, where you look to find out what your levels are, and then start to do some binding, and then retest.

[00:20:15] And so then, we're doing stuff, a checking to see how things go over time. And a lot of times, it'll get a lot better. Modified citrus pectin is another pretty good binder that also helps pull out a lot of organic toxins. And so then, that can be an interesting one. And there's also an aspect of what people can tolerate, but then as we start to work on healing the gut and things like that, then over time, people seem to be able to tolerate more. 

[00:20:48] Luke Storey: When you talk about someone tolerating a binder, what would be an adverse reaction?

[00:20:53] Dr. Matthew Cook: Sometimes, it can be cramping. Sometimes, some people can get a little bit of nausea. Sometimes, cholestyramine can make people feel uncomfortable, and they won't tolerate it that well.

[00:21:06] But then, we'll go to low doses and they can do better.

[00:21:09] Luke Storey: Oh, okay. Yeah, I'm just curious, because any time I feel—I always travel with little charcoal packs and stuff, and any time I feel a little funky with anything, I always just take a binder, and my body seems to love it. That's why I was like, wait, how could this not feel good? I mean, I'll wake up with a clearer head. It's just, I don't know, it's a great thing to do-

[00:21:30] Dr. Matthew Cook: That's how I feel overall. I think they're pretty darn well-tolerated.

[00:21:34] Luke Storey: Mm-hmm. Okay.

[00:21:35] Dr. Matthew Cook: But then, that's something that consistency is going to pay off, because it's the consistency of regular over time working on something that help you really detox the body.

[00:21:48] Luke Storey: Right. And then, what about someone tests, they go through one of these protocol, and then they've moved out of their house, but brought their sofa, and all their clothes, and blankets with them from the moldy house, do you find that it's common that someone inadvertently kind of infects themselves from not going just completely ham, and nuking their entire life, and starting over?

[00:22:12] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. So, this one is a tricky one. And I'm not sure that I have exactly the right answer on what to do, because I think the right answer is individual to each person and sort of depends on the severity, but it does feel a little bit like nuking your entire life. It was hilarious to get my practice started, which, as you can see, is quite a bit. I sold my house and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment, and like just went all in, turned out the two-bedroom apartment had a front loading laundry that had mold in it, so you can't make it up. And so, I actually let go of everything before I came here.

[00:23:04] Luke Storey: Wow. Even your old collector's item, dead shirts?

[00:23:08] Dr. Matthew Cook: I think they came.

[00:23:09] Luke Storey: I'm just assuming you had those.

[00:23:10] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, you know what we did is I found a dry cleaner that like did an antique mold thing, so I brought my clothes. 

[00:23:17] Luke Storey: Oh, cool.

[00:23:24] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, like look at the couch is a leather couch, and so then I think, generally, that's going to be okay. Sometimes, blankets, beds are super sort of toxic. And so, I think that there's probably a way to pick and choose what you bring, and potentially nuke part of your life, but not necessarily nuke your whole life. And then, also, if you're going through some good treatment, a lot of times, you start to get better right away. And so, you don't have to necessarily throw everything away. 

[00:24:00] And often, I find it kind of overwhelming for people, because they come in and they just found out that there's a contractor that said, you have to do a 500,000-dollar remodel on a house that, probably, that's not going to add $500,000 of value to the house. So, with the flooding, and the amount of climate change and problems that are happening in the world, this is just going to be an escalating problem that we're going to face. There are a bunch of other sort of ideas and strategies in terms of taking care of mold. We do plasmapheresis, which is another way of pulling out toxins. This time, instead of pulling toxins out of the gut, we're actually pulling toxins out of the plasma and the blood that's floating around, so we pull part of the plasma off, which is a way to detox the body.

[00:24:57] Luke Storey: This is what you were doing when we showed up at the office the other day. We walked in, and Matt Scott, I think like a needle in each arm, and then there's these narrow, thin vials of blood that are then being ozonated, coming out of one arm, back in the other, and then on the ground. There's a clear little bucket with this yellow pussy stuff that is gradually filling up, which was the plasma that had been removed, right?

[00:25:23] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, everything that we do for other people, we do for ourselves.

[00:25:27] Luke Storey: Yeah. I noticed that. You guys have like self-administering all kinds of stuff ongoing, yeah.

[00:25:32] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. And so then, it's been an amazing journey of kind of like constantly learning on ourselves. And it was awesome, because we normally are fairly busy. And then, that day, I kind of booked the day out, and then you guys were late, and I thought, this is the greatest thing of all time, because I was going to do plasmapheresis. And so then, I said, oh, I'll do a treatment and it totally worked out perfect.

[00:25:59] Luke Storey: Is the plasmapheresis something you would do in the case of mold if you had exhausted all other options, or if someone's able to do that, is that just part of a standard protocol for someone who has a pretty acute case of mold exposure? 

[00:26:16] Dr. Matthew Cook: I would say, that's something that we will do, and for somebody who has a fairly severe case, it's something we also do for wellness. And it's a strategy that detoxes the body and we think that it has the potential to, when the body looks at itself afterwards, and realizes, oh, look, we've detoxed a lot, it kind of gives the sense to the body, economic indicators are good, everything's okay, and we can reboot and get going.

[00:26:48] And so, there was an animal model that studied plasmapheresis called neutral blood exchange. And in that animal model, they took animals, did a plasmapheresis, and then they did a study of their brains afterwards. And the plasmapheresis induced hippocampal neurogenesis, which is that it started to turn the neurons in the part of the brain that controls memory back on. And so then, this is part of-

[00:27:22] Luke Storey: Damn. I need to do that.

[00:27:24] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, I know. You will.

[00:27:26] Luke Storey: Wow, that's interesting.

[00:27:28] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah.

[00:27:28] Luke Storey: With the plasmapheresis, I'm glad you brought that up, because I forgot the name of it and I wanted to touch on that, have you seen any really impressive before and after results with things like heavy metals and other general toxins? Is it on par with chelation or some of the other ways people are typically dealing with getting toxins out of the body? 

[00:27:53] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, there are two traditional ways the plasmapheresis has been done. The traditional way to do plasmapheresis has been for really severe autoimmune cases. And the reason for that is that if you imagine your blood is about 50% cells, red blood cells and white blood cells, and 50% plasma, if your body met an infection, your cells would go, man, there's an infection, we better make some antibodies to it.

[00:28:27] And so, the antibodies would be made and those antibodies are floating around in the plasma. So, there are cytokines, and inflammatory mediators, and antibodies, and all kinds of stuff that are part of the immune response that are floating around in that plasma. So, the traditional way of doing plasmapheresis involves putting a really gigantic needle, really, in both sides, but for sure, on one side, and then pulling off almost all the plasma. 

[00:29:00] And so then, the model that was done with that is that was done six times. And so then, the idea with that is that they're pulling out all the plasma. Each time you do it, you have to replace some of the proteins that are in the plasma, we called the albumin. So, that happens and this was a full-on super intense detox strategy, where we were doing that for major cases of autoimmune disease.

[00:29:32] We actually did that for Barb when she went into kidney rejection several years ago. Then, we figured out a way to do plasmapheresis, where we would do lower amounts, but I can do it with smaller IVs, which is much easier, because I can just put a 20-gauge IV in, which is a very straightforward and easy thing for me to do and for patients to go through, and I do that on both sides. And what I've evolved into is pulling off about a liter.

[00:30:05] And so, I'm not pulling off that really profound, huge amount, but I'm pulling off enough that I can get a fairly substantial detox and it's not that overwhelming. Almost everybody feels totally great, or like we treated somebody the other day, and he felt a little off the next day, and he called today, and he was like, oh, I feel great. And so, it has taken me the last three years of almost constant work of trying and getting the strategy and we do the super big one, and then we also do the smaller one.

[00:30:44] And I basically totally wired it so that it's super smooth and easy. And so, now, we're starting, and my protocol is really set on that. And so, now, what we're doing is we're just starting to do our tests on that. People are telling me they feel a lot better. And so then, over the next six months, I'm going to have a lot of data on this, but mold patients seem to do really well and feel much better when we go through it. And my early indication is that numbers are coming down faster than I would expect just with binding.

[00:31:15] Luke Storey: Wow. Cool. If that method of detox works, because it's getting out all of that plasma that contains these toxins, if that was the point of doing it solely, would you also do another protocol that's mobilizing the toxins and the fat to get that out?

[00:31:38] Dr. Matthew Cook: So then, that's a good one. The idea is that if you mobilize something from the fat, then it's going to go into the bloodstream. From the bloodstream, you got to do something with it or it could go back into fat. And so then, sort of philosophically, at one point, you've got things like binding that's just taking it in the gut and pulling it out. And to the extent that you're doing that, you're slowly lowering the tank, the total burden in the whole body. Doing things that are detoxing plasma is another thing that's detoxing the total level in the body. And as we do that, that's going to accelerate the gradient between fat and plasma. So, I think that what's going to happen with that is that's going to drive a flow of toxins from the fat into the plasma.

[00:32:35] Luke Storey: Oh, because you sort of created room for it?

[00:32:38] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, we're working kind of a down in osmosis gradient.

[00:32:41] Luke Storey: And then, how does the ozone play into the way that you're doing it?

[00:32:47] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, ozone is super interesting. I'm doing an extremely small, almost homeopathic amount of ozone when I do the plasma freezes. So, what I think happens is you get some immune regulation with the ozone. It's also anti infection, but I'm giving a very small amount. And interestingly, what's happening with mold, what's happening with Lyme, what's happening with all of these conditions is that there's immune dysregulation, and often, there's something that has an infectious aspect to it that is stressing the immune system. 

[00:33:30] And so, if you can detox somebody, but you can give them a little bit of ozone with that, that's helpful in terms of the body's overall ability to deal with things. And ozone has probably some mitochondrial benefits as well. But interestingly, as I've kind of evolved into it, I found that people do well with really, really low amounts. So, if you're an ozone person, I'm talking about five gamma. So, super, super low amounts.

[00:34:03] Luke Storey: Oh, that is low. And it's interesting, though, because when you were hooked up, you could still see a very clear contrast in the color of your blood from one arm to the other.

[00:34:14] Dr. Matthew Cook: Because when I'm doing that, I'm running ozone through the blood, but I'm running a very, very small amount, but I'm also running oxygen. And interestingly, I'm probably going to start to do some cases, because from a regulatory perspective, ozone is super off-label, and my sort of next step is to start doing this just with oxygen. And you'll probably get as much oxygen, you'll get probably more oxygen than you would in a hyperbaric oxygen treatment with no pressure, because-

[00:34:57] Luke Storey: Is it getting the oxygen into the plasma like a chamber would?

[00:35:01] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, because basically, I'm running the blood through plasma separator. And while that's happening, I'm running oxygen through the system. Oh, okay. So then, I'm continuously oxygenating the system.

[00:35:22] Luke Storey: Wow. That's badass. You do so much cool stuff. It's so fascinating.

[00:35:26] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, it's kind of crazy.

[00:35:28] Luke Storey: Well, let's then talk about Lyme, which is just, I mean, I get so many people asking for podcast episodes about that, and so many questions, and so much confusion. And having known about Lyme for a long time, because as we were talking about earlier, we're pretty sure my mom's had it for ages. So, I found out about it 25 years ago or something like that, but at that time, I mean, it was very obscure, and most traditional Western docs didn't even really acknowledge it or know what to do about it. It was just super random, often thought to be psychosomatic and just super difficult for the people that had it. And now, thanks to innovators like you and many others, now, it's a real thing. We're realizing this is a real issue. So, what's your, I guess, approach to helping people overcome Lyme?

[00:36:21] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, that's a good one. I mean, it's such a needed and important topic in general. And then, particularly now just with everything going on with COVID and the COVID long haul community. So, there is a constellation of problems, could be defined as a tick-borne illness. And so then, there is this one bacteria called Borrelia, and it's a spiral-shaped bacteria, it's a spirochete. It tends to live inside cells, so it can be a little bit hard to find.

[00:37:02] Luke Storey: Wow.

[00:37:03] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. But it can also live in clusters and colonies outside cells, and it tends to be somewhat good at evading the immune system, and partly because if something's living inside a cell, your white blood cells go look, and they can't see the Borrelia, because it's living inside your cell.

[00:37:29] Luke Storey: Can that be true of antibiotics as well?

[00:37:31] Dr. Matthew Cook: That's why the antibiotics that people are trying to use are trying to get antibody, so they can get inside the cell.

[00:37:38] Oh, okay. But then, there's a whole bunch of other bacteria, and parasites, and other problems that tend to be associated with Lyme that are—and in terms of tick-borne illnesses, there's a blood parasite that's kind of similar to malaria called Babesia. And so, just like malaria, people get night sweats, Babesia is kind of famous for giving people night sweats. And then, there's a bacteria called Bartonella.

[00:38:16] And Bartonella is famous for causing headaches, causing depression, causing anxiety, causing a lot of psychiatric and neuropsych problems. Borrelia also. And those are sort of the three most common. But then, there's a whole host of other lesser known bacteria, and they can be associated with these tick-borne illnesses. And so then, what we do is we do a blood test where we do antibody, and Eliza, and western blot, and fish studies.

[00:38:55] There are a whole bunch of different laboratories, scientific analysis, and what we try to do is we try to see, oh, okay, so just like I could say, hey, I heard you were sick, I wonder if you've got COVID antibodies. In the same way, I can go, oh hey, I heard you get bit by a tick last year, I wonder if you're making antibodies to Borrelia or any of these other bacteria. And so then, part of our screening workup is we do that test.

[00:39:30] Now, what I'll tell you is there's a lot of people that may get bit by a tick and they may have positive antibodies just like somebody that got exposed to some other infection, and they got positive antibodies, but they don't have any problems. And there are other people that have kind of a catastrophic chronic fatigue, inflammatory immune illness, and they also have those antibodies.

[00:39:57] And so, part of what we're doing is we're trying to take an inventory of the symptoms that they're having, and how they're doing, and what's happening with that, look at their blood test to see what we find. Also, people can do some urine testing to see if any of the byproducts of those bacteria are coming out in the urine. And then, in terms of Lyme disease, then we take sort of a deep dive into trying to say, is anything else going on that's dysregulating the immune system that's contributing to the picture of what we're seeing. 

[00:40:44] The obvious one is mold and mold is, like I was saying before, water-damaged buildings and mold, but it's also bacteria, and it's also other fungal organisms. So, mold's a little bit of a bigger and more diverse problem than just the mold that we think about. And mold can be a big driver of activating Lyme disease. And so then, sometimes, I'll meet a couple, and first, because they want to do it, we'll do blood testing on both of them.

[00:41:21] And one person's kind of running the world and basically has no problems, and the other person has overwhelming illness. And they may have similar Lyme tests, but often, the one with a lot of problems has a handful of other things going on. And the biggest thing other than mold that we try to pay attention to and think about is that what is the health of the gastrointestinal system? So, people that have leaky gut, chronic dysbiosis, any autoimmune illness of the intestines, and parasitic infections, all of those things can cause inflammation in the gut, and the immune system's embedded in the gut. 

[00:42:09] And so then, as a result of that workup, we sort of say, oh, okay, we've done a bunch of blood testing, we've looked from kind of a systems biology perspective at trying to say, okay, what are we facing? And then, based upon that, we kind of get a overall sense of what's going on, and then try to develop a logical sort of thoughtful strategies about how to go about fixing all of those things. And it's almost kind of like you've got to be a good project manager, and work all of that.

[00:42:49] Luke Storey: Yeah, it's really a systems approach. Do you think Lyme is able to be transmitted sexually? Is there any evidence of that?

[00:43:01] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, it's interesting, if you ask people in the Lyme community, and if you ask a lot of Lyme doctors, they'll almost unequivocally say yes. I have had quite a few patients who had a history of being fairly sexually active and never had a tick bite. I've had mothers come in with kids that were in the city, and never had any exposure to the wilderness at all, and were sick from day one, and ended up when they were very young, getting blood tests, and finding out that they had Lyme disease.

[00:43:44] And so, I think it probably can be transferred in utero from mother to baby. I think it probably can be transmitted sexually. And probably, the ILADS community, this Lyme community for doctors and patients, will say that there are small nymphs, nymph ticks that can scratch people and infect people to the extent that they can get inoculated with the bacteria, but they don't get such an intense bite that they get that typical target lesion that some people will see.

[00:44:29] Luke Storey: Go ahead.

[00:44:30] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah.

[00:44:30] Luke Storey: Sorry. What would you recommend for someone who finds a tick on themselves and digs it out? I mean, is there an automatic cause for alarm and testing, and making sure that you didn't contract Lyme, or does it depend on where you live or what kind of tick? I know I've had a couple, and I've immediately googled, taken a picture, and googled it, and tried to figure out if it was one that could potentially carry Lyme, is there kind of a in the field protocol that you might recommend for people?

[00:45:02] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, that is a really, really good question. The one is take a picture or try to figure out what it is. Number two, you can send it in. And so, we'll have a lot of people that will get that tick and they'll send it in. In the community of Lyme doctors, a lot of people will say, even if that test is negative, it doesn't really mean anything, because there may be some questions with that testing in terms of accuracy. And so then, typically, what we used to do is we used to say, oh, we'll give you doxycycline, which is an antibiotic. And so then, they would give you doxycycline for a month. 

[00:45:47] And now, there are evolving protocols for that, where sometimes, people will do a doxycycline and erythromycin, a patient just called me today, and he got bit by a tick, and he had long-term Lyme disease. And he called another Lyme doctor who's great, and she put him on a protocol for antibiotics. When I have somebody who had Lyme disease or who get bit by a tick, I've come up with a couple interesting things. One is that I have him come in right away and I do subcutaneous ozone in the area of the tick, the tick bite. And it turns out that will calm down swelling, calm down pain.

[00:46:38] Luke Storey: Would that just be like ozone gas in a syringe?

[00:46:40] Dr. Matthew Cook: Actually, you have ozone gas in a syringe. And the concentration I use is like 10 gamma, so it doesn't burn that much. If somebody was real sensitive, I might use a little bit less. If it was you and you're tougher than the average bear, I might even use 15 or 20 gamma. It'd burn a little bit, but it would be helpful. Then, I will, for anybody that got bit by a tick, I'll have them come and do an ozone IV once a week for the month.

[00:47:08] And so, I'm doing something anti-infectious. And then, when I do that, I'll often give them some other immune IVs, and so I'll give them vitamin C and glutathione. If they don't want to do ozone, sometimes, I'll just have them come do vitamin C IV once a week for the month. And then, depending on where they are and if it's available to them, then we will often put them on a peptide protocol for the month.

[00:47:38] And so, traditionally, we had used thymosin alpha one, and thymosin beta four, which are great immune peptides. From a regulatory perspective, those may be going away in the United States, but there's probably going to be some new peptides coming out of the market that may replace them, at least temporarily, but those can be quite helpful. And then, interestingly, I found that for people with insect bites, if you inject peptides close to the insect bite, from a first aid perspective, it's unbelievably helpful.

[00:48:15] And so then, like barbs, like getting bit by like spiders and stuff, and it'll be like total chaos, and she's immunocompromised, and so then I would—and interestingly, BPC 157, which is a peptide, is very helpful for insect bites, and some of the swelling and pain. And so, I would inject maybe a milligram of BPC 157 kind of not into where the bite is, but maybe an inch or two inches away, depending on the amount of swelling. And then, as an aside, if somebody burns themselves cooking, like maybe a friend of mine, then I'll do that. And then, she always calls that another BPC miracle. And so then, BPC is quite helpful for little skin inflammation, infections, and burns, and stuff like that, but definitely for bug bites.

[00:49:12] Luke Storey: Oh, that's good to know, because there are a lot of damn bugs in Austin. Oh, my God. But Budd that was here hanging with us, he told me about garlic extract, this stuff called allicin, because he lives in Florida and he is from Hawaii. So, I figured if anyone knows about mosquitoes, he said, yeah, you take two of those a day, they won't bite you anymore. Sounds like a wives tale, but I did it, and it worked.

[00:49:36] I don't get bitten anymore, but when I do, it's hellacious, so I'm going to keep that in mind and keep my BPC 157 on hand. When it comes to tick-borne illnesses, what's the probability of one getting another one of those co-infections that's bacterial from a tick that's not Lyme, but still wreck you, like, say, this tick isn't carrying Lyme specifically, but it has some other bad things, would you kind of just do a tick protocol regardless of whether or not it had Lyme, or some of them innocent and harmless and just look weird?

[00:50:14] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, within a patient community, I would say that regardless of whether someone has Borrelia, or Bartonella, or Babesia, or Ehrlichia, or Anaplasma, if you have any of those infections and you have immune symptoms, then you could call that either Lyme disease or somewhere in the Lyme spectrum. And from a treatment perspective, then sort of, A, there's the systems biology approach of saying, oh, okay, so these are the infectious things we're dealing with, this is what the gut looks like, this is what sort of immune stuff seems to be going on. 

[00:51:04] And then, neurologically, we like to pay attention, one thing that's super fascinating is that you will have some people who get bit by a tick 10 years ago, and they may have had some immune problems, and they may have had some mold, but things were kind of copacetic, and then they get a traumatic brain injury. And then, all of a sudden, they start to have chronic headaches, and that traumatic brain injury never recovers. And it might have only been a mild concussion compared to what normally they would have been able to recover from that in a few weeks. And then, we'll see some of those people a year later, and they're no better from a mild insult.

[00:51:49] And we think that in a situation like that, the tick-borne illness was able to get into the brain and start to have neurological consequences there, and then people are struggling to heal. We do a lot to try to focus on gut healing in terms of improving the microbiome, detoxing what's going on, fighting any parasites or any infections and anything that we can really find there.

[00:52:22] And that's almost like a full court press, full time job of just kind of working and managing that. My friend, Mark Hyman, has a shake called the Akkermansia Shake, which, basically ,it has a lot of polyphenols, and it has cranberry and pomegranate. And those helped develop this one bacteria called Akkermansia, which really supports mucus in a really healthy biodiversity in the intestines.

[00:53:00] And so, a lot of times, we'll do that and we have a kind of a host of strategies for that. We'll do a lot of IV therapy and we'll do ozone. We'll do plasmapheresis. We'll do ozone dialysis. And that constellation of modalities can be quite helpful in from an anti-infection perspective, decreasing the sort of a total body burden of infection, and then also being a fairly substantial detox to the body. There's a host of strategies that involve supplements, and then immune supplements, and then herbal antimicrobials that are designed.

[00:53:46] If somebody has Babesia, there are going to be different herbs that you take than if somebody has Bartonella, and different symptoms, too. The one caveat I'll just tell you is that sometimes, someone may test, and when they first test, they may have to bacteria show up. And then, after they start to treat, and the body's starting to work better and starting to get into where those infections are, sometimes, another bacteria will show up in that testing. So, it's an evolving process in terms of figuring out what's going on, and it's not always just one and done.

[00:54:27] Luke Storey: Right. God, it's so complex this one. I see why there's so much confusion around it. Just the diagnosis and the evolution of testing to become more accurate. And then, you find Lyme isn't just one thing, like do I have Lyme or not? It's just so multifaceted. Super challenging,

[00:54:46] Dr. Matthew Cook: And then, for me, we were talking, we think that from a regulatory perspective, peptides are somewhat at risk in America. But I was telling you, I said, if I could just have one thing and keep it, I would keep peptides. I mean, if you said of everything you have, I'm going to take plasmapheresis away, I'm going to take hydrodissection away, of all of the things, like peptides are almost that helpful if I only have one tool.

[00:55:21] Luke Storey: God, that's a strong statement. If that were to happen, if the powers that be say, we don't like this anymore, because it works too well or whatever, then it becomes ultimately like a medical tourism thing, like many people now that want expanded stem cells will go to Mexico and Panama, or wherever it is. It'll become a thing like that where you have to fly to the Virgin Islands or something to undergo treatment with peptides.

[00:55:46] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. And so, interestingly, I have this kind of abundance positive attitude at this point. And so, there's going to be amazing therapies, there's going to be amazing modalities, and there are going to be places in the world where people can do those things. And so then, that's going to be kind of this neat evolution. I think that the peptides can be profoundly helpful for the Lyme population, and for sort of two or three interesting sort of reasons.

[00:56:21] One is that you've got these immune peptides that regulate the immune system and they really seem to reboot how the body's able to deal with infections. And we've really seen this in patients with Lyme disease. And when we combine peptides with all of the IVs and the detox strategies, that's been the most effective thing that I've ever found. Number two, there are peptides that seem to increase and improve the way that your mitochondria function.

[00:56:58] And your mitochondria are the cells that give us energy. Now, what is one of the grab bag kind of diagnostic terms that we use to describe almost all complex illness with? Chronic fatigue syndrome. And so, interestingly, when you start to use the mitochondrial peptides, a lot of times, people would be like, oh, I feel okay, like I have energy again. And a lot of times, mental clarity will come back.

[00:57:33] And I said, interestingly, for a friend of yours, we were talking about, and I said, oh, well, I could do $10,000 hours of workup and testing, and coming to see me, and all of this stuff, and I consult and talk for a long time, but I also could just start with something that will probably make her feel quite a bit better, and give a little bit of energy, and see if I could get her to maybe just feel a little bit better, and often, that can incite people to start to have enough energy to start to participate in a plan.

[00:58:12] Luke Storey: Right. I mean, that's a huge problem with people that have chronic and complicated illnesses, is that even if they find a potentially viable solution or practitioner, they often are too sick to even get there, and take the appointments, and get involved in their side of the work in a healing protocol, right? To even just mentally have the capacity to keep track of what you're supposed to be taking on what day and how much. And it's like a management to a detox or supplementation protocol or something. 

[00:58:42] Which injection? How do you measure the CCs? I mean, if you have crushing brain fog, because you're ill with mold, or Lyme, or something like that, then you would have to have like an in-home nurse to help you do it all, right? It's like, I think that's actually a really great point, is to get someone up to at least a base level of energy and mental clarity so that they have the motivation to keep going. And they're going to see, wow, something's changing, and then perhaps overcome that sense of frustration and hopelessness that so many people have that have been ill for so long.

[00:59:17] Dr. Matthew Cook: I literally loved having you here, like it was super chill, but interestingly, like you see how we live is kind of like, literally, 24-hour a day biohacking. It's like we're doing yoga and doing stuff that's good for you, and it's literally our lifestyle that we're doing it almost constantly, but it's a lifestyle that has become super chill and like super low stress. And so, I loved when just I was like—and it was kind of funny because I didn't know who you were, and so I was like, oh, The Life Stylist, I go, oh, I like that. That's because that's what we do. It's so interesting.

[01:00:11] Luke Storey: Yeah, it was no accident that I called this thing that, because it really is kind of an incremental adoption of modalities, practices, attitude, mindset, the whole thing that you kind of start piecing together, and then that just becomes the way you live. It's just normal to someone who's on the outside of that and just living life, like the majority of people are.

[01:00:33] Not that there's anything wrong with that, but let's say they haven't been challenged by something that has necessitated them to go full-on, it seems like a lot of work. But when you're the person living that way, it's like, is it work—I always use this example. If someone says, God, how do you do all this stuff every day? Like my jetlag protocol to an outsider looks totally insane, and just like the most work and a huge pain in the ass, I say, well, how difficult is it for you to get up, and take a shower, and brush your teeth every morning?

[01:01:00] Like do you even think about it? No. Well, it's the same for me. I get up, take a shower, brush my teeth, walk to the fridge, grab a needle, stick it in my belly, move on, make a cup of coffee. It's like these little things that seem like a lot of work just become integrated into the way you live if you're someone who's interested in feeling well to a really high level and hopefully avoiding any of these chronic illnesses down the road that we're talking about now.

[01:01:28] Dr. Matthew Cook: And we had a good conversation about sort of addiction and-

[01:01:35] Luke Storey: We could have recorded 20 podcasts over the course of this week. And every time we're chatting, I'm like, should I just get my mics, because I feel like this is another whole hourlong, beautiful deep dive, but yeah, we were chatting a lot about addiction.

[01:01:46] Dr. Matthew Cook: Addiction, but you said, you were like, oh, okay, well, this is just all the stuff you got to do, like you got to do sauna. And so, we went through all of kind of the relatively low-hanging fruit of lifestyle things that you can incorporate into your life that help you detox and give energy, and kind of get you oriented towards a healthy strategy. Food is like another one.

[01:02:16] And if I could take sort of the entire complex illness conversation, I almost would like to get together with like two or three other smart, thoughtful people, and just do a roundtable for an hour, and do that three or four times of like, this is all the stuff to incorporate into your lifestyle, because once your lifestyle becomes a therapeutic lifestyle, that's like as important as like everything else we're talking about, in terms of just kind of getting things going. 

[01:02:52] And a lot of times, I almost feel like I'm like a detective, and I'm like walking around, and I like walk into a room, and I just see whatever people are eating, and it's kind of like crazy. And so then, I'll start teasing them and stuff, and joking around, but then often, we get rid of that sugar, and then we get rid of a few things, and I start talking about eating only meat that's organic.

[01:03:21] And so, there's a lot of simple choices that you can make that, I think, create more balance within the body. And if you think about Lyme disease, what happens is I think that it's the spectrum. And so, the person who's maybe the healthiest person in the world, they got bit by a tick, they mounted an immune response, they've got antibodies to, let's say, Borrelia and Bartonella, because that tick had those bacteria, and it was injected into them, and they created an immune response, and now, it's gone.

[01:04:01] And then, they got COVID, and they got an immune response to COVID, and it is gone, and they've never felt better and everything is going perfect for them. So then, that's one end of the spectrum. And there's another person who's way over here on the spectrum, and they can't get out of bed, and they've got brain fog, and they've got every—and then the big sort of topics in the room lately that people are becoming more and more aware about is something called postural orthostatic hypotension. 

[01:04:37] And sort of the common term for that is POTS, P-O-T-0. And what happens with that is that people can be like just sitting here, and all of a sudden, their heart rate will go high and their blood pressure will go low. Or sometimes, they'll just be sitting here, their blood pressure will be low, or sometimes, and the most common presentation is they'll stand up, and then all of a sudden, their autonomic nervous system is a little dysregulated. And so, they can't raise their blood pressure when that happens, and so they'll pass out.

[01:05:11] And I used to say that I had maybe 100 cases of POTS that I had seen and I had never seen one that was not Lyme disease. Okay. Now, turns out right, left, and center, all kinds of people that have long COVID also have this thing, POTS. And so then, that is a super interesting and complex manifestation of Lyme disease that's sort of worth paying attention to. There are many people for whom if they do NAD, the NAD will start to heal the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels and their POTS symptoms will get better. 

[01:06:07] Luke Storey: Would you think that would be true of like Dr. John's NAD suppositories or is that only going to have that effect when you're doing it intravenously?

[01:06:17] Dr. Matthew Cook: Well, I think the suppository is going to be slowly being absorbed, and then that's going to have this nice low level effect that's going to be going on for hours. That's probably a good idea, because it's low level and it's starting to have a physiological effect that is not too intense, and then nice and steady over time. Mitochondrial peptides seem to be quite helpful for POTS.

[01:06:52] And then, also, as you look at the constellation of symptoms that people have, a lot of times, as they start to get better, their autoimmune dysregulation will start to get better as well. So, that's a really important one. And when it happens to you, when you stand up, and all of a sudden, you get lightheaded and feel like you're going to pass out, it's pretty crazy. And I've had people who had really profound manifestations of it. It was the initial thing that they presented with. And we ended up having to go through the whole workup and we figured out.

[01:07:34] Another thing that a lot of people with Lyme have to deal with is something called mass cell activation syndrome or MCAS. And what happens is there are these immune cells that are floating around in your body called mass cells, and if there is a triggering event, they can release histamine and they can facilitate kind of an immune response that's a little reminiscent of like an allergy type of symptom. And so then, when that happens, sometimes, it can happen to the brain and people can have headaches. It can happen in the lungs and they can have breathing problems. It can happen in the gut and they can have a wide variety of different gut manifestations.

[01:08:26] Luke Storey: Would that histamine response ever manifest as skin problems, like rashes and things like that?

[01:08:32] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. And now, guess who also gets MCAS?

[01:08:41] Luke Storey: Who?

[01:08:42] Dr. Matthew Cook: Long COVID.

[01:08:43] Luke Storey: Oh, interesting.

[01:08:43] Dr. Matthew Cook: And so, now, you've got—and interestingly, almost every time you find somebody that had COVID, they're in the long haul category, and sure enough, you're starting to talk to him, and interestingly, you find out, oh, yeah, they've got some POTS symptoms. And if I talk to them, I often will find not what I would call classic, definitive by the books POTS, but some POTS symptoms. And then, often, they'll have some mass cell symptoms. 

[01:09:23] And so then, you begin to see that this whole conversation we're having is like the same conversation. All of these things are leading to the same road of immune dysregulation. And interestingly, we found peptides to be fairly helpful for the diversity of these problems. We've found being a good lifestylist is good for a diversity these problems. And all of these problems, to me, are fundamentally sort of on a spectrum. And so then, as we start to get people healthier, they shift back towards that optimal status.

[01:10:06] And it's been interesting, it's been fascinating, of the long COVID, some of the people who respond the quickest, and I think it's because—and it's sad, Lyme disease, I had no idea what was going on with Lyme disease in any way, shape, or form 10 years ago. Like I was an anesthesiologist, and people would come and say they had Lyme disease, and it was like, as an anesthesiologist, we just didn't understand that. And so, it took me 10 years to kind of figure it out. Interesting. It was kind of crazy.

[01:10:47] Luke Storey: I mean, I can see why. It's not cut and dried, right? It's not just something that's easy to diagnose, and it's one thing that's fundamentally so complex, potentially, right? Especially on a spectrum, it's not even like you have it or don't have it. It's like if you do have it, where on that spectrum do you fall, and how many co-infections and other issues like you're describing are involved in that? It's crazy.

[01:11:09] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. And so, we had no model of thinking about it. And so, we've been sort of cobbling together our thoughts about it. And in addition to everything that I said, there's a lot of antibiotic protocols that exist as well, but we typically do all of this stuff first. The interesting thing with COVID is we kind of already had a model for immune problems. And so, we're already sort of used to this.

[01:11:39] And then, when somebody has long COVID, a lot of the long COVID stuff that we're seeing is four or five months old. And so, it's a lot easier to take care of a problem as substantial as that problem is if it's only a few months old. And so, I've had a lot of people who will come and do two or three plasmapheresis cases, maybe an ozone dialysis, some simple IVs, and they'll come for a day or two, and then go home, come for a day or two.

[01:12:09] And we'll start them on peptides, and then all of a sudden, they'll get a lot better. And what I feel like is happening is I'm shifting them on the curve back towards health. And fundamentally, I think that's the case whether we're talking about Lyme, or whether we're talking about that mold, or whether we're talking about COVID or some constellation of all of those things. And so then, our overall strategy is to kind of build a systems model, start to work, and project-manage that, and then wrap kind of a healthy lifestyle around that, and empower people.

[01:12:48] And it's actually kind of inspiring, because I spend probably 45 minutes a day talking to Barb about what she reads in the COVID. She's like, well, I just read this in my COVID Facebook Group, in the long haul communities. And so then, it's an endlessly sort of interesting conversation to hear what's happening, and it's new. I almost learn more about COVID from the social media than I do from academic journals in terms of, she's like, okay, people are having these symptoms. This is what they're saying, so it's real. It's an amazing evolution in sort of not only the practice of medicine, but the education of doctors.

[01:13:49] Luke Storey: I think that's what's really interesting about what you're doing, and I think just fundamentally, your personality and your approach to things is very open minded. I think that's something that many people are turned off by when they see a medical practitioner that are kind of in the old guard model that's dismissive of any ideas that the patient might have, dismissive of anything kind of in the periphery that they don't need to know, because it's like you learn things a certain way, this is your practice, this is the way you do it, and it's much more kind of rigid and dogmatic.

[01:14:29] And I think from a patient perspective, it's so refreshing to come in and see someone like you. I mean, we were podcasting and doing other things, so I don't know what your normal intake would look like, but I mean, we sat there for an hour and talked about every minute detail of the origination of my symptoms in my back, and hip, and things like that. I mean, it's a very detailed and also two-way conversation, right?

[01:14:54] It's not like this hierarchical system of, I'm the medical professional, I know all, you are the patient, don't dare ask questions or make suggestions, recommendations, bring in other ways of thinking about it, because these are the confines that we're working in and you either agree to that or not. So, I think it's just fundamentally very cool, the way you're doing things. And it just may be part of your personality, too. You're just someone who's humble and open minded.

[01:15:19] And I love that about you, and I think that's a great inspiration to people practicing medicine, that as the patient-practitioner relationship evolves, it's a partnership, not a dictatorship, and you're both having some trust and reliance on one another in what's working, and there's that element of trust that's there, I think, is where I'm assuming a lot of the patient compliance and willingness comes from, because they're a participant in their own healing. It's not like you're doing it for them. You're kind of analyzing some data and symptoms, and your history and knowledge, and then going, let's try this, let's try that, let's try this. let's try that. I mean, it's much more fun way to try to solve a problem, together, right? It's super cool.

[01:16:06] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. Actually, it's way more fun. And then, interestingly, I'm like pitching. I'm pitching kind of as hard as I possibly can, like a healthy lifestyle. But it's interesting, if you're pitching a lifestyle, I'm not going to live that lifestyle. I actually am living the lifestyle. And so, I'm pitching the lifestyle, I'm living in the hopes that I can get somebody to buy into it, but then that's them.

[01:16:36] And it's kind of endlessly interesting to go through managing how to think about this. I had this family that I've just fallen head over heels kind of in love with, this Orthodox Jewish family, and we had to manage whether I could give them heparin, because the heparin came from a pig. So then, we called the rabbi, and we found out that it didn't go in the mouth, and it was only going in the IV, and it was only one part and five 5000, so we got the okay. So, it's like, that's awesome.

[01:17:14] Luke Storey: Well, I like that. I like that. Do you think what drives your work and innovation, would the primary driver be like the sense of satisfaction when you help someone to overcome something that they've just been stuck on and everyone else has been stuck on, and you cracked the code and put the puzzle, you find the missing puzzle pieces, and then you see, wow, this person is now whole? Is that the main driver or is it curiosity and the innovation? Like what do you think it is about you that gives you that dedication to the craft? Well, you don't just kind of settle into what you know, ah, this is the way I do it, I mean, you're constantly learning and innovating. Where does that drive come from?

[01:17:55] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, Harry McElroy, I work super close, and you got to spend a bunch of time with him.

[01:18:00] Luke Storey: Yeah, super cool guy.

[01:18:01] Dr. Matthew Cook: He's like the greatest. And so, like I think it might be lucky—we were talking. As an anesthesiologist, it's almost psychically impossible for us to deal with something that's broken. Like if there's a problem, we feel like we fix that like instantaneously. If the heart rate is low, we fix it in like two or three seconds. And so then, I think that was a little bit of my mentality. 

[01:18:37] And so then, I started doing this stuff, and it's sort of staggering in retrospect for me to think about how complex it was to basically try to go learn the clinical practice of medicine over the last 10 years. And I was going to maybe just quit and go do like an internal medicine residency, I was like, I was on the fence of trying to feel like I had enough knowledge to do something. And interestingly, I think I had, deep down inside, probably some insecurity that I wasn't going to be good enough. 

[01:19:24] And so then, as a result of that, just ended up with this obsessive effort of trying to solve the problems that I was faced with. And my friend, he said, well, my impression of you is that you will do almost anything to get someone better, which kind of has been my mindset. And I think it served me well and I think it was so staggeringly complex to kind of face this stuff, because they're problems that affect every system.

[01:20:03] I remember somebody told me, hey, going to anesthesia is going to be amazing, because then once you learn it, you don't have to learn anything else. It's going to be easy. You'll know everything. And now, literally and exactly the opposite, I feel like I don't know anything, but I'm trying to learn as much as I can to kind of build this kind of model. And so then, being kind of continually humbled, and then in the search. And so, we've been on a tear of going—it took me four years to totally understand and get graded plasmapheresis.

[01:20:39] And so, what happens is we go out, and we get something, and then generally, when we're out on the road kind of figuring that out, we find a handful of other things that are helpful, and then that becomes the next thing. And then, my feeling from my direction for the next 10 or 15 years is to begin to, in a better way, curate that, and then push this information out. And I guess kind of a Grateful Dead model of just trying to share the information as much as possible.

[01:21:16] Luke Storey: Trading tapes.

[01:21:17] Dr. Matthew Cook: We're trading tapes. I've got 1977.

[01:21:21] Luke Storey: 1977 Fillmore East Christmas Eve show, yeah. It's like the new way to do plasmapheresis, that you discovered yesterday, because you hit a lever, and someone went, oh, wow, that feels good.

[01:21:36] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, I know. It's been amazing, because it was like, we were working, and working, and working, and then all of a sudden, it's like, oh, yeah, that really works, that I feel amazing when I do that. And each incarnation is like that with peptides, with the advanced IV approaches, with movement. And so, I'm more excited than I've ever been because I see now kind of the possibility of having kind of an awesome experience.

[01:22:15] Luke Storey: So, in your practice at BioReset, I mean, you have an incredible team. I think I mentioned in the other podcast we did with John, it's just an incredible orchestration of organization, and people being there where they're supposed to be, and just so many moving parts. And even the day that we first came in, you were just kind of hanging out with us. It wasn't even a real day and there was still just like this beehive of just such accurate organization and precision. It was incredible. And I remember thinking, and you told us, yeah, normally, in a day, what we just did with you, I would have done seven times or something.

[01:22:49] I'm like, it's just staggering to imagine that. But since your team is learning this from being around you, and assisting you, and things like that, but there's still only one Dr. Matt Cook, right? So, what do you see in terms of logging the innovations that you're making and discovering what's working, and being able to then teach that or create a model around that that can be scaled, so people that can't get to see you and do some of these really unique treatments can still have access to that healing? Where do you see kind of the future of your practice going in the way of scaling and being able to reach more people?

[01:23:29] Dr. Matthew Cook: Oh, so we have started something called BioReset University. And so, you can go right on over there. And then, I'm literally just going to give this all away. And so then, we're going to teach how to do the IV techniques, and talk about it, and take cases, and take people through cases. What's happening before? What's happening after? Here's our labs, and then talk you through that. We're doing that with peptides. 

[01:23:57] We're doing that with ultrasound-guided injections. And so then, I'm super excited about that, because I'm going to take probably a-day-and-a-half and maybe even two days a week of just doing that. And I think that's going to start to scale and get people more used to the idea of doing ultrasound-guided procedures. And interestingly, what took me four years to learn in plasmapheresis, I'm fairly certain I can teach to somebody in a couple of months. 

[01:24:31] What took me, basically, 16 years, maybe 19 years, what took me 19 years in terms of ultrasound-guided injection, I think I could do it in three or four. And I think if somebody was really dedicated and wanted to do it, that they could do it. And it's just going to take time and effort, but by pushing things online, and it's kind of a COVID blessing, because before, nobody really wanted to be online, but now, I think we're going to take this content and push that out.

[01:25:08] And I'm actually super hopeful that we're going to have a profound impact of getting people to kind of adopt new ways of thinking. And I think, interestingly, if you said, if you talked about older Lyme a year-and-a-half ago, most of the people that we talked to were like, oh, I don't have that, and that doesn't relate to me, and that seems kind of fringe. And so then, people sort of almost discounted that whole thing. And interestingly, now, we're evolving into this aspect that there's going to be millions and millions of people worldwide that have long COVID, that tends to be associated with a lot of these immune problems.

[01:25:59] And so then, what's going to happen is people are going to stand up, and pay attention, and patients are standing up, and we're going to have, I think just like after World War II, there was this incredible surge of technology that came out of almost like a resurgence of the industrial revolution worldwide. And I think that that's going to happen after COVID from a health and biotech perspective. And then, that's going to forever change how medicine's practiced, hopefully in a lot of good ways. And if there's people out there struggling, I want you to know that there's a lot more than it's possible for you to dive into in terms of things that you can do at home than maybe you realized.

[01:26:51] Luke Storey: Cool. Thank you for that. There's two little micro questions I want to throw in before we wrap it up. When you were talking about getting bit by a tick and you could see perhaps a professional that could just inject ozone gas around that site, do you think there would be any benefit to applying like a quality ozonated oil on that side?

[01:27:13] Dr. Matthew Cook: Oh, I think that would be a great idea, yeah.

[01:27:14] Luke Storey: Okay.

[01:27:15] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah. And that's something you can buy online.

[01:27:17] Luke Storey: Yeah. I think I have maybe even one or two brands in my web store of that, and I use it on bug bites, but as I was telling you, Alyson hates the smell of it.

[01:27:27] Dr. Matthew Cook: Oh, the ozone olive oil?

[01:27:28] Luke Storey: Yeah. I mean, she's super cool with everything, about me and all of my brilliant weirdness, but that is the one thing, she's like, not in our house, it just drives her crazy, but it really works for bug bites and stuff. I use it on mosquito bites, and it's just like, they're done. So, I've had to find alternative ways without driving her crazy with that.

[01:27:50] Dr. Matthew Cook: So then, there are a whole bunch of different ozone oil products. So, for example, there's some with linseed, there are some with olive oil, and I think there's some with coconut, and they don't all smell the same, and some don't smell as intensely.

[01:28:11] Luke Storey: I think the one I have is hemp. I think that's the one that she found to be—hemp oil. I think she found that one to be really—I mean, I admit it does smell disgusting, but it's not just the smell, it's so pervasive. I mean, you put a little on your arm, and then you get in bed, the whole bed smells like it. And even if you wash the sheets, it's just like, I don't know, it really sticks. But anyway, I was curious about that.

[01:28:31] And then, I think some people listening to the show, because I've talked about my love of ozone, I have a generator at home, and I use it, and I've done a few episodes about ozone specifically, and some people would be familiar with a 10-pass ozone treatment. And then, you mentioned doing ozone dialysis. And earlier, when we were hanging out this weekend, you said that over time, you found that to be more effective for many of the things that you're doing. So, what's the difference between like a 10-pass ozone treatment versus ozone dialysis?

[01:29:02] Dr. Matthew Cook: So, the 10-pass is a machine that one IV is put into the body, and there's a vacuum that pulls blood up into a a chamber, and then the machine puts oxygen and ozone, and injects it into that chamber, and it's mixed with the blood, and then the blood goes back in. So, no gas goes into the body. And if that happens, one time, it's the one pass. And that if that happens 10 times, it's the 10-pass. 

[01:29:39] I think it was a little bit of a marketing idea, the idea of doing 10-pass, but it's also a dose. So, if you do it 10 times, that's a relatively high dose of ozone. And it's a great modality and has been profoundly helpful for a lot of people with complex illness and other problems. The ozone dialysis is an approach where an IV is put in one arm, and then blood is pulled out of that arm. 

[01:30:14] It goes through a pump, and then it goes through a dialysis filter, and while it's going through the dialysis filter, ozone is infused through the dialysis filter as the blood is coming up. And then, that blood goes back into the body on the other side. It's a substantially bigger procedure to go through compared to the 10-pass for-as people think about problems and in terms of dealing with using ozone, I always like to say, it's a really good idea to start low and go slow. 

[01:30:54] And so, often, what I'll do is have people do an IV, well, we'll do one pass of ozone. And then, I might give them a little bit of some antioxidants, or some vitamin C, or some other IVs, and then call it good. So, I don't do too much. The oxidation of the blood creates an antioxidant response within the body, and it also has the opportunity to oxidize viruses, or bacteria, or yeast that may be present in the blood or in other parts of the body.

[01:31:26] And what happens is that ozone can form lipid peroxides with lipids that are in the blood, and those can dissolve inside cells, where they can have an effect. For example, on an intracellular bacteria like Lyme, but also have a variety of other positive effects in terms of getting some oxidation within the cell that can, for example, help restore the NAD to NADH ratio and have some mitochondrial benefits.

[01:31:55] After people can do that, often, I'll have them do two or three passes, maybe six passes, and then 10 passes. And so, in my best case scenario, I would evolve to going more slowly. If I saw you and you had quite a bit of experience, I might let you do a 10-pass, but I almost never would start with that. I almost always start with two, or three, or four passes of ozone just to kind of get going and see how somebody does before I do ozone dialysis.

[01:32:31] When I do the ozone dialysis, usually, I start with really low gamma. So, often, I'll start with five or 10 gamma, and then evolve up, but it's very sort of person-dependent in terms of how we do that. The ozone dialysis, because you're running it through a filter, it's a better detox. You pull out some toxins, the filter is going to catch some toxins. And son I find people have less side effects, and they get a more profound and more sustained experience.

[01:33:03] Often, people who came to see me and they were getting a 10-pass once a week, I started doing those on dialysis, and then they need to do ozone dialysis every couple of months. So then, I'll have a fairly sustained experience with that. And then, usually, what I'll do is I'll do ozone dialysis only maybe once or twice, and then I'll move them to plasmapheresis.

[01:33:26] And I generally find quite a bit better experiences with plasmapheresis than I do with ozone dialysis. And interestingly, I'm sort of evolving into this, but I'm evolving to less and less ozone, at lower levels. And I think that what I'm doing is I'm getting an oxidative response, but not too much, and it's in a balanced way and people are feeling super great. And in the back of my mind, I know if, for some regulatory reason, I lost it, then I can do plasmapheresis with oxygen, right?

[01:34:02] Luke Storey: I think that's the interesting thing about regenerative medicine, is you always have to be kind of three steps ahead of regulation and have a backup plan if you find something that really works and we know that it's safe and effective, yet for whatever reason, the powers that be deem it not to be at some point, then you're left without your toolbox, right? It's like you have a hammer and a screwdriver, you're always using the hammer because it kicks ass, and someone says, you can't use a hammer anymore. Well, you better have a little stick or something that's going to suffice to do the same job, right?

[01:34:31] Dr. Matthew Cook: Yeah, it's actually, emotionally, I got into this headspace with that, which is now I feel super calm, because, okay, well, you can take anything you want away from me, and I kind of just going to have to evolve into finding a new way to do things. But as we evolve, I feel like regenerative medicine is doubling almost every year or every couple of years, and our ability to do it seems to be doubling.

[01:35:01] I almost feel like we're twice as good at everything as we were a year ago. And part of that is our lifestyles, we just do all of the stuff to ourselves and we're personally way better than I've ever been. And then, sort of watching and learning, I'm on the journey with you, because we're doing it together, and so I'm kind of endlessly excited to see what happens.

[01:35:29] Luke Storey: Cool. Me too, man. Well, thank you so much for the work you're doing. Thank you so much for having me here for the past few days, and the incredible treatment that we experienced together, and just your dedication to doing what you're doing. It's so awesome. And I'm so forever grateful to meet you, and just have the opportunity that I do continually to sit down and have conversations like this, and share this information with people.

[01:35:51] I know that so many people are going to listen to this conversation and have aha moments that there is hope and there's a way to deal with some of this stuff despite the frustration and hopelessness that's often inherent to these types of issues. So, thank you so much for that. I'm going to let you off of our final question, because you answered it in the episode with John. So, you're good on that. But let's get any websites, you mentioned your schools, or anything else you want to share with people we can put in the show notes?

[01:36:18] Dr. Matthew Cook: Well, come listen to our podcast, The BioReset podcast. Check us out at BioReset University. And everything is at bioreset.com, and we'd love to see you, and participate with you, and help you out.

[01:36:32] Luke Storey: Awesome. Thanks so much, Matt.

[01:36:35] Dr. Matthew Cook: Thanks.


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