Goodbye Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune disease is rampant in the U.S. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million Americans (more than seven percent of the population) suffer from an autoimmune disease. Dr. Brooke Goldner MD specializes in Autoimmune Disease, genetic research in leukemia, and neurobiology. She is the founder of goodbyelupus.com and the creator of the hyper-nourishing nutrition protocol for lupus reversal. The author of three best-selling books, Goodbye Lupus, Goodbye Autoimmune Disease, and Green Smoothie Recipes to Kick-Start Your Health and Healing, she is featured in multiple documentaries such as Eating You Alive, Whitewashed, and The Conspiracy Against Your Health. Dr. Goldner has been featured on TV News and the Home and Family Show, as well as many radio shows and podcasts we're so blessed that she's given up her precious time to be with us today.
Welcome, Dr. Brooke
I am curious. How did you get interested in all of this?
Well, goodness. It's not like I suddenly developed an interest in all of this. It's kind of my life story. So before I was a bestselling author or on any TV or radio shows or doing anything like this, before I had a white coat, I was a patient. So my story starts back when I was a teenager and I got sick. I started developing problems like migraines, which then led to arthritis, which led to rashes. And finally, at 16 years old I was having a very bad day with just terrible arthritis, feeling awful, migraines, and vomiting. My parents took me to the emergency room the doctor finally figured out my diagnosis and they diagnosed me with an autoimmune disease called lupus.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system is supposed to hunt down and destroy invaders like COVID, bacteria, and viruses, or help you deal with injuries, But with lupus and other autoimmune diseases, your immune system can get confused and destroy parts of your own body. In my body, it was causing arthritis and rashes, but I was also in stage four kidney failure. So I went from thinking I had aches and pains, rashes and headaches to being told that I had six months to live. The doctors wanted to do very aggressive and even experimental treatments. I received super high doses of steroids, along with high doses of hormones to prevent puberty from continuing because the medications, like chemotherapy, could cause ovarian cancer, sterility, and all sorts of things.
Remission Doesn't Mean You're Not Sick
The medical world stepped in to save me because they said if they didn't, my kidneys would fail within 6-months and I wouldn't make it, maybe dialysis was my best choice. But as you can see, I made it. It took a lot of doctors and a lot of medicines, and a lot of pain to get through those years. I had two years of chemotherapy and that eventually helped my kidneys get into remission. With lupus and some other autoimmune diseases, remission doesn't mean that you're not sick. It doesn't mean that you're cured. It means you're not currently dying from the illness. So that's really where my entry into the health world began. I was always a nerd and always loved science, particularly biology, but it was being sick that put me on my path to what my purpose would end up being.
Why Am I So Sick?
I didn't know why I was so sick or why I was going through it all. I just had to stay focused and stay purposeful and stay happy despite all the things that I was going through in my health. My autoimmune disease would not define me. But that was my goal. I was told all this information about how sick I was and how poor the future looked, but I come from a very resilient family that doesn't listen to those negative stories. My family came here as refugees from World War II. They were Holocaust survivors, and they suffered and starved and lost heavily through the war. And when they came here, it was so that their children could have better. And so even though I was sick with an autoimmune disease and had to take a lot of medicines and had to deal with a lot of pain, I still felt very lucky because my life was better than my family's, that were suffering through prison camps in the Holocaust, and I was surrounded by people who loved me.
And so that was really how they kept me focused is that I'm lucky, I have to stay grateful, and I'm not going to die. I am going to have a purposeful life, and I have to pursue my joy and my passion and keep working towards my goals and not embrace this idea that it was over, that I wouldn't. And that's what I did. And so I just worked harder, studied harder. I might not go in the sun, or I might not go out and do the things other people could do because of my pain or the side effects from my medicines, but one thing I could do was read and study, and that's what I did. And so, despite having an autoimmune disease, I still graduated in the top 10 of my class in high school. I got a scholarship to Carnegie Mellon, which is a very prestigious science school. I did research there.
A Story of Love
But my goal was always just other people might live a longer life, but I'm going to pack as much life into the years that I have as I can, and I'll live bigger in the small number of years that I might have than most people live in a hundred years. I'm going to love, I'm going to learn, and I'm going to achieve. And that's really what I did. That's what I thought my contribution would be. Maybe I would do some genetic research that could help with autoimmune disease or eventually become a doctor. Maybe I can teach people with chronic disease or autoimmune diseases how they can live purposeful, beautiful, passionate lives despite disease. But I never really thought that I would find some alternative treatment or way of reversing these diseases. That was purely accidental and something that changed my life completely, and it came from a story of love.
I would love to hear that story of love. And for us, we feel that there are no accidents.
What happened was as I went through college, I could maintain my remission. And again, in remission, I wasn't dying, so my kidneys were stable, but I still needed medication, and I took extra medicine for my migraines and extra medicine for my arthritis, but I was functional, and that was really what mattered most to me. Then I went to medical school, and in medical school, they don't care about what illnesses you have. You must work the hours, and I couldn't manage my sleep and my stress the same way that I could in college. At one point, I was working 100-hour weeks during medical school. They have laws against that now, but not back then. I'm old enough now that I predate those laws that protected us from working over 80 hours a week. But I was working more than that.
There would be days that I'd be all night working in the hospital, come home, pass out, wake up in my scrubs and just get back up and go back in. I'm not proud of it, but I did it sometimes because I was just so exhausted. So I got sick again in medical school, and I started getting double vision. I ended up passing out one day, and it turned out that lupus was now creating blood clots, and I was having mini strokes while working at the hospital. And so I was back with the doctors again, and now they said I had to take injections every day for the rest of my life, or I could have a stroke or pulmonary embolism or something else awful.
The Comeback Kid
So that was where I was, and it was a harder time for me when I got this sick again in medical school because the first time I got sick at 16, I was a kid. There was no internet. I didn't understand what I had. I just did what my doctor said. Now, as a medical student, I knew clearly that I had an autoimmune disease, and I understood how grave it was that I was progressing. Again, I was in my mid-20s at that point, and I had discussions with my doctor that I'm never going to have children because between the kidney failure and the blood clots, one, the baby probably wouldn't survive, and, two, I probably wouldn't survive.
I was progressing towards disability and probably would be disabled by my 40s, and the clock was ticking. So it was a harder thing when that happened. After taking two weeks to grieve and cry and get support, I decided, "You know what? I'm still here." So I thought of myself as the Comeback Kid. That lupus would knock me down and then I'd be back. Do you remember those toys from back in the day where you'd punch it, and it would go down and come back up again? That was me. I was just like, boom, and I'd hit the ground, and then I'd come back, like, "You know what? I'm still here; I'm still alive." Having just gotten accepted to my first choice of residency at UCLA in California, I wanted to work with the homeless and was just very excited about what was next.
I Don't Say No to Love
"You know what? I'm still lucky. How many people live their dream? This has always been my dream. I'm going to be a doctor in another year-and-a-half, and I'm going to get to live my dream, and that's all that matters." And so I was back at gratitude and happiness for my life; it's where I live. The sadness doesn't stick for long because I just am obsessed with happiness. I don't want to waste time. Time is precious to me. It was at this point I met the man that I ended up marrying, Thomas Tadlock, and that is an amazing story. If you don't believe in accidents, it's pretty incredible how we even met. Maybe if we have time, I'll tell you. But the universe kept putting us in the same spot until we finally got the picture.
We fell in love quickly, and within a month of meeting each other, we knew we wanted to be married. I had to explain to this beautiful, amazing man that I can't have your children. I'm going to become disabled. You're going to have to take care of me, and I may die young. At 28 years old, It's not exactly a romantic response to a marriage proposal to tell someone that. And to his credit, my husband said, "I'd rather have a short life with you than a lifetime with anybody else, and I'll just make it the best darn life you could ever have." And I went, "Yes, okay, let's do that." Because I don't say no to love.
What Should Humans Eat?
I have a lot of patients and clients who feel like it's unfair to have a relationship with somebody if you're sick, that it's unfair to them, and I say, "Don't decide who gets to love who. If someone wants to love you, then let them love you. Take all the love." So that's what we did. And we said, "We'll just have the best life we can together." And my husband he's a fascinating guy himself, and his obsession is metabolism. He has a best-selling book, Miracle Metabolism. His obsession was that there must be an optimal human diet. That it seems like scientists know what giraffes should eat, and they know what lions should eat, and they know what cats, dogs, and rabbits should eat, but they don't know what humans should eat.
Everyone's got a different idea about diet, and it's not scientific. Thomas is a Carnegie Mellon guy, and we're very hardcore on the science. So he was obsessing about the best diet for human metabolism. That everyone should be able to have a fast metabolism, lose weight easily, or gain muscle easily. There should be one way to do it, and he was right. He discovered it. When I met him, he was discovering it. And so I said, "I would like to have a fast metabolism so I can look good at my wedding. I'm going to do this once, and we're going to Maui, and I want to look amazing."
I was eating the best diet to be overweight and sick. It's called hospital food. You want to be sick and overweight; you eat that stuff. It is good for the hospital business. You eat that; you're going to be at the hospital. So I wore that long, white coat that covered everything, but I wanted to look beautiful for our wedding, and I asked him to help me with my diet. And he had to make dish changes for me because I was the first vegetarian he ever met. I'd been a vegetarian since I was a kid, but very processed dairy, eggs, and a bag of Doritos, were just not healthy. So he combined his work with my convictions and limitations regarding diet. I stuck with that diet, and it worked. Within three months, I went from a size 11 to a size three.
I was ripped, and my abs looked amazing. But for the first time since I'd been diagnosed with lupus, remember I'd been sick for 12 years at this point with kidney failure, blood clots, arthritis, all of those things. Now for the first time, I had no headaches, no aches and pains, and tons of energy. I felt amazing. I was working 30-hour shifts overnight as an intern in the hospital, and I'd have so much energy I could go to the gym after the hospital. That's not normal if you don't have lupus, definitely not normal if you do.
Like it Never Happened
And then, right before our wedding, I went to get my blood tests drawn, and they were negative for lupus. So that first test, this month, I'm celebrating 17 years since that test, and I have never had a relapse of lupus. I have two beautiful, healthy children and have never had a relapse in my labs.
My kidneys went back to normal after 12 years. I have regular, perfect kidneys. My blood tests are normal for my kidneys. My urine tests are normal. It's like my autoimmune disease never happened, and it was going on for 12 years of my life. So after we had our first son, we realized when lupus didn't come back, and after giving birth, I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans within nine days. We proved his metabolism theory, and we also proved that metabolism must mean something more than just whether you can lose fat or gain muscle; perhaps, it is your cell's ability to respond to what it needs to do, repair damage, and immune function. So we spent years examining what happened to me, what I did, what I ate, to see if we could discover what caused it.
The Impact of Nutrition on Cellular Function
Because we don't believe it's ethical to just tell people, "Do what I did; I got better," which is what you find all over the internet. You don't know if you got better because of what you did despite what you did. Was it love? Does my husband need to meet each person and anoint them? What was it? And so we wanted to figure out scientifically, what is it? What is the impact of nutrition on cellular function, cellular repair, and the immune system? And what we found was that we had accidentally put me on the most anti-inflammatory nutritionally healing protocol possible, and then we tested it, and we could get the same results. Only when we proved we could get that same result with everybody else did we decide to share it, and we decide to release it to the public for free because we believed with so many autoimmune diseases out there, it should be a human right to have access to this information.
It's Been a Beautiful Gift
So since we've done that, thousands of people all over the world have reversed autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. I just posted a video yesterday that I found on YouTube. YouTube recommended a video from somebody who read my books and reversed her MS and got her vision back after ten years. Ten years without her vision, and it came back from drinking my smoothies.
It's been a beautiful gift, everything I've been through. I'm able to help people save their life, and my husband always says he gets to save their wife. It became our purpose together to one live all out and enjoy the gift that we have, but two, to make sure we give them to as many people with autoimmune diseases or issues as we can.
I want to stop the clock and say how amazing this is. You said yes, to love, yes, to happiness, and your life could have been so different. There are so many people right now who are in that same revolving door of having to decide. They can choose a whole different pathway that brings them the incredible gifts that you've just shared with us, having children having their sight return.
Your Heart is Your GPS to Your Purpose
Yes, and before we get too far time-wise, I want to talk about the smoothie and the next steps. What is the recommendation, and what did you discover?
Yeah, absolutely; I just want to comment on what you brought up. What I teach my patients and my wellness clients is your heart is your GPS to your purpose. So when things make you feel happy, joyful, fascinated, excited, that's your heart saying, continue straight. When you come up with resistance where things feel painful or unhealthy, or wrong, take the next left, or make a U-turn. Our hearts are connected to our purpose and our passion, and I've always said yes to that. I was raised that way. My parents said, "Find the job that makes you happy that you would do for free. You will always find your way." I was blessed to be raised that way, to believe that joy matters, and I found it's always been connected to purpose.
Opportunity in Every Moment
And I'll say it just because I teased about it before, even meeting my husband; I met him when I was on a date with somebody else. It was the first date, and the man was rude, and I don't waste time being unhappy. Many people would go on a bad date, wait till it's over, and then complain. I just said, "You know what? You're being very rude and condescending, so the date's over, and thank you. I will find my way back to my car." But the music was wonderful, so I said, "I'm going to stay and enjoy the music and dance, but this part's over," so I did.
I left the date, and I danced all night, and I had a wonderful time, and when I went to get a glass of water, my husband was sitting there. He normally wouldn't have been out that night, but he went out because a friend who was having a breakup begged him to. I sat down and talked to him, and our hearts connected. So because I wasn't willing to be miserable even for a moment, and I wasn't going to let myself suffer through somebody else's negativity, there was the opportunity. I might have missed my true purpose for being at that club on that day which was to meet my soulmate, so I'm very much connected to my heart.
You Can Choose Health
And folks, I'll just say it right now. If you're listening here, this is the message Kryon has been giving for years and years. You have a choice, and now you've just heard it from her too.
Yep. Absolutely. Science is connected through all of this. With cellular function... let me put it this way, you are a bag of cells all working together, and you have about a hundred trillion of them. It takes a lot of damage for you to even feel sick. You can carry thousands, millions, maybe even trillions of cells that are damaged and sick before you even notice it. Then you hit that critical threshold where you realize, "Ooh, I have a pain," but meanwhile, that pain was caused by a lot of illness building up. Sorry, I get choked up talking about my husband. So you've got this illness that's built up inside of you. Now, we repair that damage, and the good news is that it's never too late.
Your cells are programmed to repair themselves like a LEGO set has the directions. You need the directions, then you need the LEGO. If you're missing one piece, now you're stuck. The same thing is true with cellular repair, you need vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, Phyto enzymes, and omega-3 fatty acids. The protocol we created is called hyper nourishment because what we do is intentionally overdose you of the nutrients your body uses for cellular repair. So that creates this fast metabolism where you can lose fat easily or build muscle quickly, it's going to work. Or if you need to repair the damage, it's going to work for that. Once the damage is repaired, it's easier for the body to deal with threats as they come, like if you get a cold or the flu, you should be able to handle it and get better. If you have an autoimmune disease it can work the same way.
Can Aging Be Slowed?
Aging is a function of breaking down cells. If you have more nutrition, you're going to age more slowly, you're going to reverse the aging process and all the organs in your body, including your skin, but the ones on the inside that keep you moving. So the way we overdose, people, is with green smoothies. I always have one with me, this is not a prop. I was just drinking it. The easiest way to hyper-nourish is through a straw because many people aren't used to eating the foods that give them the density of nutrition you need to stimulate this repair process. The highest dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all that stuff that I want you to have comes from cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, all these things that people don't eat very much of, I want them to eat a lot of.
Water is Key
So what we found is if we can stuff the greens into a blender and you fill it up like 75%, and you just shove them in there, use your elbow, use your foot, whatever you can, and just shove those greens in like 75% full, omega-3s, you grab a handful of flax or chia seeds, put that in there, add some water. Water is a key ingredient for cellular repair. Dehydrated people don't heal quickly. They need that ingredient. You don't need more coffee; you need more water. Put the water in there, and then with the remaining space, add your favorite fruits, banana, frozen mango, pineapple, cherries, grapes, and apples and make it taste lovely. So you blend that up, put a straw in it and you just drink that throughout the day so that even if you add it to a diet, that's not optimal, you are now adding the nourishment your body needs to repair the damage, and it's incredible how decades of damage can be repaired rather quickly and people can go back to normal health.
It's an incredible thing that I see over and over again, but it can be that simple. Now, if you don't like smoothies, you can eat veggies. Back when I did it, I didn't know about smoothies and I ate two pounds of broccoli and cauliflower a day, just dipping it in guacamole which if you give me guacamole, I can eat anything, and I ate it and it worked, but most people, they prefer this. You can make it taste like mango, pineapple, and banana. You can drink it down and you can go about your business without having to put a lot of mental energy into it. How am I going to get all this food in?
I love what you said about our body can repair no matter what condition you are starting from, and I can see how this is just an energizer-bunny drink, right?
Well, for sure. Absolutely. I mean, most people have never felt that especially when you have a high-power blender like the Vitamix that just breaks open all the cell walls. You drink it, and you're just getting a super dose of vitamins and minerals. It's an amazing, incredible experience.
Heal the Moods, Heal the Foods
Many people walk around feeling tired all day, and the reason you're tired is one of three things, either you're not getting enough sleep, you're malnourished, or you're dehydrated. When you fix the hydration and the nourishment issue and you make sure you get your sleep, you'd be amazed at how much energy you can have and how good it feels. That's why I'm so addicted to it. I can't ever give this up because it feels so good. But a lot of things can cause damage. We have stress, emotional stress, very damaging.
The majority of people I work with have had significant emotional trauma in their life. I'm a trauma specialist, and so when you've had significant emotional trauma, depression, or anxiety, it causes damage to the cells; it affects the way your immune system functions. So many people with depression, anxiety, and emotional trauma have an autoimmune disease or other diseases like cancers and heart disease, and other things, so those things can cause damage. And the wrong diet not only causes damage but deprives you of the ingredients you need to heal the damage. So I have a very holistic approach where I work with people on let's heal the moods, let's heal the foods. We've got to do all of those things together, and when you do that, your body has just a remarkable ability to come back.
Resurrection of Health
Sometimes I joke that I'm in the resurrection business many people come to me, with like 10% of a kidney functioning, or glaucoma, or they've got diabetes, tough cases. A lot of them are barely moving, and then after just a matter of weeks, they are back.
There was a guy in his seventies who had glaucoma, in five weeks his vision was normal. People work with me every day for four to six weeks, it's called Rapid Recovery. Today someone posted about a woman who did Rapid Recovery with me three years ago for lupus. She's been in remission ever since. She just had a baby and had no relapse. Her twin sister did it while pregnant and she also healed herself. It's just incredible that it doesn't matter what the disease is because the nutrition's not specific for the disease, it's specific for cellular repair. So if you could take good care of your mental health, make sure you get enough sleep and you nourish yourself properly, your body can come back from a lot more than you think, maybe even autoimmune disease.
Nurture Yourself, Body and Soul
Brooke, I want to let people know about your website goodbyelupus.com, that's where you're going to find a lot more information. And then there is this incredible opportunity to get free recipes from another site, and it's called smoothieshred.com, so that's smoothieshred.com S-M-O-O-T-H-I-E-S-H-R-E-D.com.
That's a free website my husband made for the public. It has free recipes, instructional videos, and all of them. You don't have to log in; you don't have to put your email address in. It's completely a public service, so there's a lot of great information there for people.
We have access now not just to nurture our souls and our emotions, but our bodies because we're here, and Kryon has said we're meant to be on the planet for a very, very long time.
I was going to say you might be a spiritual being, but you're living in a physical body. So you do have to take care of this part.
Absolutely. And it couldn't be simpler. Suck through a straw. I mean, how hard can that be?
I like it already.
Taking Care of Yourself Also Benefits Others
We have a couple of minutes left, and we'd love to ask if you had just one short thing to share with everybody, what would you say?
I think that it's really important to consider the impact of what you do for yourself on the people who care about you. There are so many people with autoimmune diseases and often they feel it's selfish to look after their health, to do self-care, to take the effort and the expense it takes to eat well, or to get the help they need for themselves. But you must consider how many people need you and love you, and I think it's pretty big.
I mean, one, there might be people in your circle, kids or parents or siblings or friends, but also I believe each of us was born with a gift that we were meant to give this world that we can't give if we are sick. So really taking great care of yourself is the most important thing you can do for everybody else who needs you here, so just start. Just try, even if it's adding what you're missing, even if it's adding a smoothie to a McDonald's diet, start taking just whatever step you can towards that, and remember that taking care of yourself is better for everybody else as well.