An Interview with Dr. Kylie Burton

If you’ve had some blood work run and been told by your doctor that it’s normal, and you’re fine, but you don’t feel fine. You are going to want to listen to this podcast. You might discover the missing piece to your health puzzle.

Today we’re talking to Dr. Kylie Burton, about three steps to stopping autoimmune disease. She’s also going to talk about how we can reinterpret our lab values and look for patterns in a different way. (Different than your conventional medicine doctors might be looking at them.) She has a lot of insight into pulling out more information from those basic labs than most people realize. 

You’re gonna get a lot of golden nuggets out of this.

We’re going to talk about…

  • The three steps to stopping autoimmune disease.

  • How we can reinterpret our lab values and look for patterns in a different way.

  • We’ll talk about your CBS and Cholesterol tests and how they could be holding clues to autoimmune disease and treatment plans.

Dr. Kylie Burton is an expert in functional medicine. She helps 1000s of individuals with seemingly impossible health struggles, find answers, healing, and help even if they’ve been told their labs are normal. Besides helping patients, she teaches practitioners of all backgrounds how they can level up their patient results using her techniques inside of her mastermind. She’s been a guest on over 50 podcasts. She hosts the podcast Beyond the Diagnosis with Dr. Kylie. She’s been featured on five different radio stations worldwide. She’s been a guest on Good Morning, Utah, and Fox 26 Houston. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge and wisdom with as many people as she can possibly reach. That’s what I love about her. We’re both on this mission to get everyone we know to reclaim their health and feel amazing.

Welcome, Dr. Kylie!

I’m excited about our conversation today because we’re going to talk about autoimmune disease. This is near and dear to my heart because I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease when I was 17 or 18. It was after the birth of my daughter. I was told I had Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I went on to develop nodules. My mom got diagnosed with Hashimotos when she was 67. That’s pretty crazy to me. 

Autoimmune Disease is More Common Than Most People Realize

I diagnose an autoimmune condition probably every day of the week. So I think it’s a lot more common than people realize and it’s impacting their health. Wouldn’t you agree Dr. Tabatha?

Dr. Tabatha

Yeah. A lot of times people have an autoimmune disease and they never get a diagnosis or they tell me “I have these flares. Sometimes I have good days, and sometimes I have bad days, I can barely function and there’s really no rhyme or reason to it.” I’ll think to myself, I bet you’ve got autoimmune disease. I recognize the patterns they are describing. That word freaks them out. The good news is we can treat you don’t have to just manage this stuff.

How Does This Happen When Their Labs are “Normal”?

We’re taught in medical school to go by the normal range. That normal range is like trying to find your favorite restaurant, somewhere between California and New York. If we can take that range, and we can narrow it down, then we can say, Okay, now, what about finding your favorite restaurant somewhere in Rhode Island, or Virginia, or Georgia. If we narrow that range that we’re looking at, we’re going to get a chance to get you feeling better, we’re gonna start to notice the energy coming back, the hair coming back thick and heavy, that brain fog going away. Gut problems, resolving. Things like that, but we have to use a different scope when we look at these labs.

Do you find that a lot of women are coming to you already diagnosed with an autoimmune issue, or were those labs not even run?

I’m getting a lot of people that are told that their labs are normal, I can barely function. Something is not right. I’m not myself, and I know that something’s wrong. I need somebody to help me try to figure this out

Dr. Tabatha: Patients are at their wit’s end. I get people calling me and telling me you’re my last hope. It’s sad when we’re just not checking the right stuff.

You mentioned autoimmune patterns. Tell me what a typical autoimmune patient presents like.

They usually have a bunch of symptoms that don’t fit underneath an umbrella. When they don’t fit underneath an umbrella, we can’t give a diagnosis. We can’t treat them because we don’t know what pill to stick next to that diagnosis. However, when we have a bunch of symptoms that are all over the place, sometimes they’re gone, sometimes they’re present it’s hard to label. 

We’re told, you’re fine. That’s because you’re a mom. Take a nap when the kids are napping. There’s a different story to it. We can get into some of these autoimmune patterns in blood work. We can identify whether it’s really a bad cholesterol panel or if the regular CBC will tell me you got all autoimmune. It makes so much more sense to these moms who are really struggling but have no idea why. The numbers never lie.

Dr. Tabatha

Within a couple of days after cultivating this new practice with Expectful and getting into hypnobirthing, I actually stabilized. I was at the point where I was going to the doctor daily for a nonstress test and dopplers. I noticed that things weren’t getting worse. Amazingly, I got to term! That was something that I thought was impossible at week 20. I made it to 38 weeks! I really credit that to my experience with using Expectful and getting into meditation and hypnobirthing.

There’s a ton of scientific evidence around the power of meditation in pregnancy, particularly in high-risk pregnancies. That’s actually how I came to Expectful. I was a user first. Later on, in my postpartum period, I became an advisor to Expectful, which then led me to become the CEO and a late-stage co-founder.

Where do you start with these patients?

I always pull their labs. I don’t even see them until I see their labs. I ask for all the labs they have. They’re like puzzle pieces. If you’re leaving out puzzle pieces might mean that you can’t complete the puzzle. One set of labs I got this week, had a hormone panel from ZRT, (I love ZRT). The one problem is, that’s one system. Our hormones are only one system. They are all interconnected. We need to look at all systems of the body. I can get into more of the systems with the other bloodwork. We take their regular CBC, metabolic panel, cholesterol panel, vitamin D, lipid, or iron panel, all those that they’ve already spent copays on, and sat in doctors’ offices for hours on end, trying to get answers. We look at it with a different microscope and you get the answers, healing, and hope you’ve been searching for in those normal labs.

Dr. Tabatha: I love that so much. So tell me a typical pattern that you’re seeing in those labs.

One of the easiest ones is the cholesterol panel. The cholesterol is supposed to be between 155 and 200ish. These are condensed, I like to call them ideal. Most people will call them functional lab ranges. If you are within that range, you feel good. Outside of that range, well, you don’t feel good, but it’s not bad enough to get a diagnosis for cholesterol medication.

Say your cholesterol is at 310 and you have triglycerides of around 150. The ideal range for HDL is between 55 and 100. But if it’s half of the triglycerides, so at 150, your HDL is now 75, then that would be typical and what we want to see. When that pattern is off, say your cholesterol is 310 and your triglycerides are 289 and your HDL is 14. That’s an autoimmune pattern.

What that cholesterol panel just told me has nothing to do with heart disease and arteriosclerosis? It’s telling us your body is under duress. Your immune system is trying to fight and fighting hard. At some point, it’s just gonna give up and start attacking whatever it wants to attack. Your genes tell it what to attack. 

I’m working with a patient who has MS. I hate using that phrase because she had MS. Her life has been completely transformed. She just spent the summer playing with her teenagers. Last summer, she couldn’t step out of the house. She’s gone on 50, 60, 70 mile bike rides with her husband. 

This is what happens when you can get to these underlying problems that cause autoimmune disease. I love vitamin D for autoimmune. It just calms the immune system down, but people don’t take enough of it. The third step is to rehab our gut and rebuild our immune system.

Dr. Tabatha: Let’s talk about that a little more because you have to have the genetic propensity, you have to have the leaky gut, and then the trigger to turn on the disease.

Explain to my readers what’s happening in the gut that’s triggering this autoimmune process.

A lot of people will say leaky gut causes autoimmune disease. Leaky gut is a piece of the puzzle, but it’s a minor piece. In my view, the number one trigger is a low-grade virus. This is the cause of 95% of Hashimotos and Type One Diabetes. It’s a virus that attacks the pancreas. It’s a virus your immune system is fighting. The first step in treating autoimmune diseases is to identify those triggers. Is it leaky gut? Is it an infection? Is it food sensitivity? Chances are, it’s a combination of all the above? 

I see this a lot. People Google “what causes Hashimotos? What causes migraines? What causes chronic fatigue.” They’re looking for one sole reason. It’s wrong. It’s going to lead us down a dead-end road. There’s not just one reason for autoimmune disease, because it is usually a systemic problem. The first step is to identify the trigger. If it’s a low-grade infection. It’s not something that you’re going to run to your doctor and say, hey, my lab test says that I have a bacterial infection. Can you test me for E. coli and H. pylori and Campylobacter and C. diff? You’re wasting your time, you’re wasting your money.

Things that Can Trigger Autoimmune Disease

I have a whole list of things that can be triggering, but a few are…

  • leaky gut

  • infections

  • food

  • chemicals

  • toxicity

  • stress

  • mold

  • metabolic issues

  • pregnancy

Someone comes to you and they’ve been diagnosed with autoimmune, where, what’s the first thing you are telling them to do?

The first thing I always do is vitamin D. If we can look into the labs, and I can find an infection in the labs I start there. 

I look at their white blood cell count. It’s the very top marker on your CBC lab. Every doctor takes it just to rule out anything and everything under the sun. The problem is 95% of the time it comes back normal. I’m looking for a range between five and eight. If it’s less than five or greater than eight we have some type of infection going on. This is a big key trigger for autoimmunity. Skip down to the neutrophil count. The next five markers are going to tell us what type of infection you’ve been fighting. 

Neutrophils, their job is to fight bacteria. That’s their job. So they’re a little bit elevated. You’re fighting a low-grade bacterial infection, that’s probably causing some gut problems like chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation. Basically not having a bowel movement every single day. Because we don’t ever talk about the normal patterns that should be happening. If the neutrophils are above 60%, we got some type of bacterial infection going on. Very common. It’s also a common combination with a low-grade viral infection. 

Lymphocytes. Their job is to fight viruses. Does it matter what virus? No. I treat it by having my patient take an antiviral herbal supplement, and boost the immune system with things like vitamin D. In this pattern, I’m looking for neutrophils that are 60% or less. Lymphocytes I’m looking for 30% or less. It’s pretty common to see a one-to-one ratio here.

That’s an autoimmune pattern. That tells me that when you took that blood test, you were probably having a crappy day. I love it when we get several years of labs because it gives me lots of patterns to follow. This is all with regular labs that insurance WILL pay for.

Conventional medicine is very much of the mindset that you need to have an outright infection or diagnosis to do anything. If you don’t have outright c diff, diarrhea, 10 times a day, infection with your neutrophils, like crazy elevated, they’re not touching you. They’re not dealing with it. It’s just a different way of practicing medicine because conventional medicine is trying to keep you alive and prevent really, really bad things from happening.

The herbal supplements I use, they’re from a company called Systemic Formulas. You have to have a license to utilize them. They’re not something that you can just go buy at Costco or from Amazon. There’s a reason for that. We need stuff that’s high quality, that is very carefully produced and formulated to be able to fight off these things that we’re helping patients fight off every single day. The supplement that I use is called DV3. It’s an antiviral supplement. I use that first and then I also put people on really high doses of vitamin D. The vitamin D that I recommend is 25,000 hours of vitamin D per day.

Dr. Tabatha: Wow, that’s a high dose.

When I Check Labs, I Rarely See a Vitamin D Count Over 50

When people go in and get vitamin D labs. I rarely see a vitamin D status over 50. If it’s over 50, I ask what are you doing? Well, I’ve been following your protocol for the last three months. That’s why your numbers are 72 and not 14, like it was three months ago.

So many of those over-the-counter products that patients buy aren’t even absorbed by their bodies. I have people tell me that they’ve been taking 5000mg every day for years. I check their Vitamin D level and its 25 or 30. They just aren’t absorbing it. It’s a garbage product plus they don’t have a healthy gut. It’s so important to get the right quality supplements from a provider. 

Dr. Tabtaha: I think that’s a huge point that you made. It’s super important to get your Vitamin D checked. So many people don’t even get their vitamin D checked.  In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re all deficient. Hence the reason we have so much multiple sclerosis and autoimmune disease. 

Dr. Tabatha: Have you personally ever seen autoimmune be reversed? 

I like to use the term kick it to the curb. Now with the MS patient, could I say that we reversed it? I don’t know. Is she having any more symptoms now? From a presentation standpoint, she’s back to living her life like it was before she got the diagnosis of MS. If we look at her MRI would we see that her lesions have cleared? I don’t know, and only time will tell. I never want to say I cure a disease because, at any point in time, you could have another event. You could have that low virus get active all of a sudden and throw you back in the loop again. So it’s really about prevention. Let’s do the work that we need to do now. So you can get your life back. You’ve got to maintain it to not have another flare-up.

I have one older lady who knows that things have gone awry if she gets a shingles outbreak. She’s on treatment and we’ve reduced her recurrences, but they still show up.

We’re not we’re not managing stuff here. We’re helping your body resolve and heal based on its innate power, we’re just giving them the tools it needs to and removing the triggers, removing the blocks in the way.

We introduce ourselves by our disease and we need to change that. It’s telling our bodies. I have this. I have that.

Dr. Tabatha: I love that. I think that’s so important to not be defined by your diagnosis.

Dr. Kylie:

Yeah, what matters is how you envision yourself and how you take care of yourself. If you want to be a healthy person who happens to be diagnosed with MS or hashimotos or Crohn’s disease, then that’s what you are, but that shouldn’t be who you are.

Yeah, I always tell people, whether you have a diagnosis or you don’t, I don’t care. A diagnosis just tells me what your body is presenting with. For example, chronic fatigue syndrome. Okay, you’re tired. Does it tell me anything else? No. Just tells you that you’re tired. You already knew that. If we can change our mindset to start uncovering solutions. Am I fighting an infection? What’s my vitamin D status? Am I feeding my immune system with what it needs? How many toxins Am I putting inside my body all the time?

You should be searching for health, not for disease.

— Dr. Kylie

Thank you so much, Dr. Kylie.

To Wrap it Up

I hope that you got some golden nuggets from this blog post. We need to support our immune system and remove triggers to figure out what is making our immune system overactive. You might have some answers in the blood work that your doctors have already done. Search out a functional medicine practitioner. (By the way, I am licensed in over half the country and I would love to work with you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Dr. Kiley Burton. You deserve to feel amazing, you deserve to have answers. My favorite point of this whole interview was… you are not your diagnosis, it really does not matter what your diagnosis is when it comes down to it. I want you to focus on figuring out how to get healthy not figuring out what disease you have. It is important to know so that we can take care of it and attack that issue, but when it comes to autoimmune disease, there is such a broad range of possible diagnoses. With an autoimmune diagnosis, what it comes down to is that your immune system is overreacting and attacking your own body. If you can figure out why that attack is happening, that is going to be so much more powerful to return you to health as opposed to knowing which connective tissue disorder you have.