Transcript: Thanks, Alan. This is David Brower with part two of our interview with our special guest, Judy Gaman.
Judy Gaman: The number one indicator of whether people were going to be alive at the end of this study, it was a longitudinal study, was their social interactions. Were they social, and did they have friends, and were they doing things with other people? This I think is the first time that this has really come out in the forefront as much. Part of it is because we’ve become addicted to our phones and our computers. We think that a friend is someone who hits the like button on a social media-
David Brower: No, that’s right.
Judy Gaman: … or shares a post of what have you. We’ve got to get back to real human interaction. There’s a reason that we have all of these cell receptors, all these nerve receptors, touch receptors on our bodies, because we’re supposed to be giving people hugs and patting them on the back and talking to them. There’s things that go on in the brain when you actually look at another human being’s face and have a conversation in live time. They’ve used functional MRI to realize that doing that on the computer doesn’t change the brain. This has to happen in real time. We’ve got to make sure that we’re having these relationships with our kids, with our spouse, with our friends, with our family. We have to. It’s critical to our survival.
David Brower: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I remember when I retired from a marketing job a few years ago. My profession, I’m a voice actor so I sit in the studio all day and record stuff and send it out, whatever. As I moved into this full-time, my wife says, “Now, be careful because you don’t want to give up that social aspect of your life. You don’t want to have a Vitamin D deficiency.” As much of an introvert as I’ve always been, I realized the importance of social interaction and having my friends. When I retired, I even got a dog because I knew the dog would help me get out more, be more social, and I could look at her in the face. You know?
Judy Gaman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
David Brower: Getting back into really having a few close friends, not a ton, but a few close friends, and being able to interact with them at least on a twice a week basis. Makes all the difference in the world to me.
Judy Gaman: Guys used to sit around the barber or they used to go down to the coffee shop.
David Brower: Right.
Judy Gaman: We’ve got to get back into that. I love when I see a group of friends gathered together and whether they’re sharing a meal or just a cup of coffee or something. I’m thinking, gosh, you’re doing so much good for yourself, and you don’t even know it. Just having this conversation. Then, of course it’s the unloading. It’s that being able to have a conversation even if you’re not telling your woes but somebody else is just there, and you’re able to help them. That’s a whole another thing that goes into longevity. Just that camaraderie, just that I’m not in this alone. Everybody has their struggles, and yeah, we’re all in this together. That is critical. Which of course leads me right into doing things for other people. There’s been lot and lots and lots of research on this that when you are out and when you are helping others, you’re serving others truly with nothing to get back. Right?
David Brower: Right.
Judy Gaman: A lot of times people that are in the health industry say, “I help people all day long.” They’ve actually shown that when you’re doing it but you’re doing it as a job, you’re doing it for some other particular reason, it actually doesn’t affect the brain and the body the same way it does when you’re doing it just because. When there’s absolutely nothing to get back, you’re only out there helping and doing just from the goodness of your heart, it actually is completely different biologically, physiologically on the body. We have to remember to do those things. Besides that, it makes you feel good. Right?
David Brower: Well, it does. One of the things we did … We’ve been in a Bible study group for 14 years. 14 years. We meet once a week. There’s I think 12 of us at the most. I think we’re down to about seven or eight now, but four or five of us have been in the same group. That’s wonderful not only for the Bible study part, but most of the time it’s social interaction. We’re talking to each other. We’re caring about each other. Somebody has an issue. It’s a safe environment so they can share their vulnerability and know that it’s going to be safe. Then, people can share their encouragement. Having a safe environment to be able to … whether it’s Bible study or sitting at the barber shop, having a safe environment to where you can share your vulnerabilities I think has got to be a big deal as well.
Judy Gaman: Right up there, right up there. Going back to that BYU study. I would say that’s right up there with that social interaction. Really important, really important. Now, we have the ability to measure telomeres. I don’t know if you might have seen … they’ve had been commercials on this. I’m not sure how they do it. We do a telomere test at Executive Medicine of Texas. It’s sent out and we get it back in about two weeks. They actually can measure the telomeres, which are the tips on the chromosomes. As these actually shorten, that means you’re aging. Right? We can look on a cellular level and be able to tell you, “Hey, you know what? You are 62 chronologically, but 58 inside.”
David Brower: Got you.
Judy Gaman: Or, 75 inside.
David Brower: Or, the other way around, yeah.
Judy Gaman: Right. The reason that we do it is not to frighten people. People sign up and say they want to do this because it sometimes can be a very educational tool, especially if you have someone who’s done some poor or is in the middle of doing some poor lifestyle habits. Maybe they’re a drinker or maybe they’re a smoker. Maybe they have diabetes, and they just aren’t taking it quite as serious as they should be, or pre-diabetes. When you show them this, “Here’s what’s going on black and white. You got some changes to make.” Or, “Hey, you’re doing a great job. You need to keep on the pace you’re already going because everything you’re doing is great.” That’s a huge tool-
David Brower: Oh my gosh.
Judy Gaman: … because it goes back to, yeah, that one size does not fit all. It is really about personalized medicine.
David Brower: How do you … To me, that sounds like, well how do I do that? It’s not something that’s at least in my experience not overly publicized or talked about or whatever. This is the first time I’ve heard that term to be honest with you, but yet it intrigues me. I’m curious. How available is that or is it? Is it isolated cases?
Judy Gaman: You know, I think because it’s not something covered by insurance, you have to get into practices that are basic cash based preventative medicine type practices.
David Brower: Oh, yeah. Okay.
Judy Gaman: Yeah, they have those tests available. [inaudible 00:07:25] lab that does it, and they are internationally recognized. They’re terrific. They’ve really been on the cutting edge of a lot of this. Ironically, we signed up with them as one of our labs for Executive Medicine Texas because we saw what they were doing, and they were doing this with a lot of university hospitals and some of these hiring practices. When we all signed up ourselves and went through that ourselves, we did that and then we did the micronutrient testing, which means we actually looked inside of ourselves to see all the … there’s 27 different nutrients and vitamins and minerals and such, and our bodies actually absorbing it. You mentioned Vitamin D earlier. That’s just one of them. There’s trace mineral. It’s really amazing to see, oh my gosh, I though I had enough Vitamin C. I don’t. You can change your diet. You can go on supplements. Maybe it’s a combination of both, depending on what level it was.
What we see a lot of times in this country is you go to the doctor and you say, “Yeah, I don’t know. I’m feeling down.” “Oh, have you been sad lately?” “Yeah, I’ve been sad.” “Are you sleeping well?” “No, not really.” They write you a prescription for antidepressants.
David Brower: Exactly.
Judy Gaman: Never ever checking your Vitamin D level, your B12 level. Some of these things that are so easy to fix, you know. Gosh. Instead, we go on antidepressants and we go on antidepressants. You’re depleting other nutrients and it’s a vicious cycle. You can’t get off of them.
David Brower: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Fortunately, I have a great doc who’s … It’s interesting because when we sit down to discuss whatever’s going on in my life, he systematically jots everything down on a piece of paper, and all of his ideas and all of his thoughts and all the different directions and options that would could talk about. We go through them one by one. Well, if we do this, that could lead to that. If we do this, that could lead to that. why don’t we do that because that won’t lead to anything. It’s just a brilliant way for me to communicate with my doc, have confidence in my doc, and know that he’s not jerking me around. You know?
Judy Gaman: Man, it’s so true. Your doctor sounds like a chess player.
David Brower: There you go.
Judy Gaman: My husband’s physician is a chess player as well. He always is thinking if this, then what? We need more of that. We need more of thinking about the longterm consequences. I’ll give you one, real easy, everyone’s going to recognize. Right? It’s these PPIs. All the Prilosec and all these things that we take for heartburn. A of them over-the-counter. They’ve got celebrities say, “You should take it. I’ve been taking it forever.” Well, I don’t if you noticed, but all the, “I’ve been taking it forever,” stuff kind of went away because there’s been some new research coming out that longterm use of these PPIs, Proton-Pump inhibitors, is actually causing kidney damage, irreversible kidney damage. What we’ve done, instead of saying, “Okay, let’s find a way to control your indigestion, your acid reflux. Let’s start by changing your diet, and let’s go the natural route.” There’s certain things you can put into your diet that will change the acidity of your stomach acid. Why aren’t we doing that instead of just throwing a pharmaceutical out there? Because once you throw a pharmaceutical, it’s that whole chain effect. What next? If this, than that.
Man, I’m so glad hear that your physician takes that approach. I really, really we had more physicians doing that. Unfortunately, in the HMO world as I like to call it, the treadmill.
David Brower: Oh my gosh.
Judy Gaman: The treadmill of medicine. A lot of times the doctor has one hand on the door and like if you have another question, you better get it out quick because they’re heading on to the next person.
David Brower: Yeah, they only have a three and a half minute window.
Judy Gaman: That’s right. Your appointment is 1:57, sir, until 2:03.
David Brower: Right, right. That’s right. Well, that’s the other thing I like about my doc, is however long it takes is long it takes.
Judy Gaman: Right.
David Brower: I think we all as patients appreciate that personal touch that’s really, really, really important for you attitude and your health. I know had acid … what’s it call? Reflux, there we go.
Judy Gaman: Reflux.
David Brower: I had reflux for a while. In fact, my mom had it so bad that she was drinking a bottle of Maalox twice a day. It was disgusting. I had it for a while, and they put me on whatever it was they put me on. It was just counterproductive. I would be sitting in my chair. I would feel an acid reflux thing coming on. If didn’t run into the bedroom and lay down, I was going to pass out, I was going to faint. It just scared the crap out of me, and so I told the doc, “I’m not doing this. Here’s what’s happening.” He said, “Okay, that’s cool. That makes sense. What do you want to do?” I said, “I’m getting rid of tomatoes.”
Judy Gaman: Good for you. That should have been the first thing.
David Brower: I know. I’m getting rid of tomatoes.
Judy Gaman: Yeah, coffee, tomatoes. I mean there’s a whole-
David Brower: And I was fine.
Judy Gaman: Dark chocolate. There’s a whole list of things that if you suffer from this, you should back out of your diet.
David Brower: Right? Take them one at … What I learned is you take that one at a time and okay, that’s okay. Take out another one, oh crap, that’s the one. You know?
Judy Gaman: Yeah, exactly. Then, after you do this elimination, you can … If you eliminate them too quickly and you’re not quite sure which one, if you’re going to introduce them, only introduce them one at a time.
David Brower: There you go.
Judy Gaman: Because that’s the way to do it.
David Brower: Yeah. Good call, good call. Well, you are living a dream. Aren’t you? You’re touching a lot of people. You’re paying it forward. You’re taking care of your own self and your family. Do you sleep like three a night, or what do you do?
Judy Gaman: I’ll tell you, I got to get my sleep and that’s one thing. Especially knowing my genetics, I make it a priority, at least seven and a half hours of uninterrupted sleep. It’s critical. It’s on my calendar as if it was the most important appointment of the day.
David Brower: Nice. I didn’t realize I had sleep apnea until we were going through all these tests for different things and my doc says, “Maybe we ought to test you for this.” We did and I went in, and it turns out that I was waking up I want to say 47 times an hour.
Judy Gaman: Wow.
David Brower: They put me on a C-PAP machine and went down to six times an hour. I sleep solid for seven, seven and a half hours every night. It’s like the greatest gift ever and I’m going, why didn’t I do this 10 years ago? Because I just really didn’t know I had it. You know?
Judy Gaman: Yeah. I bet your mental acuity is so much better. I can’t even imagine-
David Brower: Through the roof.
Judy Gaman: … yeah, how hard it was to concentrate when your brain wasn’t shutting off.
David Brower: Right.
Judy Gaman: I got to tell you this, because this really applies to you. They a functional MRI study and they found that when we sleep, our brain is like a washing machine. It actually goes in and it scrubs and washes and gets rid of all the plaques and the things that cause dementia and all these other issues. If we don’t get into that deep REM sleep, because that’s when the whole washing machine thing takes place, if we don’t get into that deep REM sleep and stay in it, then that doesn’t happen. The fact that you’re on a C-PAP and you’re getting that deep REM sleep and you’re scrubbing your brain, is just so incredibly wonderful that you found what it was and you’ve corrected the problem.
David Brower: It’s a life changer.
Judy Gaman: I urge of your listeners, if you’re not sleeping well or you’re tried, you wake up. You think you’ve slept all night, and you wake up and you’re still tired, get to your doctor. Ask about sleep apnea. People die from it.
David Brower: I’m a proactive C-PAP talker. I talk to my friends and kids and whatever about it because it’s just a life changer for me.
Judy Gaman: You know, Justice Scalia, that’s what happened to him. He didn’t take his C-PAP with him.
David Brower: Oh my gosh.
Judy Gaman: A lot of people, that kind of just got … Yeah, that’s what got swept under the rug, but that was the end result. Yeah, he died in his sleep. He died in his sleep because he forgot his C-PAP.
David Brower: When I got mine, they gave me a case, a carrying case for it. It has a tag so that it doesn’t count as luggage.
Judy Gaman: Yup, that’s good. They don’t want any reason for you not to take it.
David Brower: No. Exactly right. Exactly right. I got to tell you. I’ve really enjoyed this. We’ve covered a lot of arenas and we’ve gone about 15 minutes over, and I could care because I’ll just turn this into a two-part podcast. It’s just been such a kick to talk to you about all these things, and I hope people are paying attention, or learning things from you. Your award-winning books include “Age to Perfection How to Thrive to 100 Happy, Healthy and Wise” and “Stay Young, 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health” and coming out your memoir about Lucille who was 104. That’s coming out pretty soon. “Love, Life and Lucille.”
Judy Gaman: Yeah, “Love, Live and Lucille” should be out by the end of the year.
David Brower: People need to go to your website, which judygaman.com. Is that it?
Judy Gaman: Absolutely.
David Brower: Okay, Judy Gaman, G-A-M-A-N, dot com. You can learn all kinds of things about what Judy does, and how you can interact with her and hopefully change your life along the way. Do you counsel people? How do you interact with people to help them follow your advise?
Judy Gaman: Yeah, someone can reach out to me through my website. There is a Contact Us page there, and then of course Executive Medicine of Texas where I am most of the days. They can also to emtexas.com. We see people from all over the globe for half-day exams and real true plans on how to live longer and stay healthier for as many years as they possibly can.
David Brower: You have your own radio show nationwide. How can people listen to that if they’re traveling around or what have you. Are you on Sirius or …
Judy Gaman: Yeah. It’s called The Staying Young Show. We’re on 57 stations across the nation.
David Brower: Nice.
Judy Gaman: You can go to stayyoungamerica.com to see the stations in your area. Or, if you’re a podcast person, once the show has aired on all our stations, it actually goes under Staying Young Show 2.0, and you can all kinds of shows and daily medical minutes, so little quick tips.
David Brower: That is awesome. Wow. You are using the social media to everybody’s advantage. That’s pretty sweet. Not everybody gets that.
Judy Gaman: Well, you can’t change the whole world, but if you can influence somebody to make a good healthy decision, the day’s been a good day.
David Brower: You take your life one step at a time. You help somebody else one step at a time, and raise your attitude and pay it forward. You got some pretty good stuff there.
Judy Gaman: Well, thank you so much for having me on. I’ve really enjoyed it.
David Brower: My pleasure, Judy. Judy Gaman, judygaman.com, G-A-M-A-N. Thanks a lot.
Judy Gaman: Thank you.
Allan Blackwell: Your 20-minute podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcasts anywhere podcasts can be found, including I Heart Radio, the Spotify mobile app, and the davidbrowervo.com/your20minutepodcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.