Series Code: HL
Program Code: HL000058A
00:15 Welcome to Healthy Living, I'm your host Marot Marshall.
00:19 Kidney failure used to be a death sentence until the advent
00:24 of dialysis and kidney transplants,
00:26 but is there another option? Can failing kidneys become
00:31 healthy again? Even at the age of 89? Stay tuned.
01:06 The gentleman who in now a healthy 92 year old
01:10 didn't travel didn't travel into state to be with us today,
01:12 but here to tell us about his remarkable recovery is
01:17 his daughter, Chi-Won and his General Practioner
01:20 Dr. Coralia Jigau, who practices Lifestyle Medicine.
01:24 Welcome to both of you, it's lovely to have you here
01:27 Dr. Coralia and Chi-Won. Thank you.
01:30 Tell us just in a nutshell what is Lifestyle Medicine.
01:35 Lifestyle Medicine is an evidence based medicine
01:40 which we started to realize recently how important it is
01:44 for our health. There's a lot of research showing your lifestyle
01:50 counts the most in your health or in your disease.
01:54 It accounts more than what a doctor can prescribe
01:57 in medicines. Yes. That's, that's, that's. Thank you for that.
02:01 Now Chi-Won, you had some health concerns, tell us about those.
02:06 For myself? Yes, just for yourself...Well we're really
02:10 talking about your dad. Maybe we'll start with your dad
02:13 I think. Because he was the one who had that amazing
02:16 turnaround. Yes. So my father had had a history of diabetes
02:22 and hypertension, (high blood Pressure) and he's had it for
02:28 quite some time. So he was on normal medication, if you like.
02:34 The usual medication but there came a point in time when
02:38 he was 89 that the tests showed that his kidneys were
02:45 functioning at 14, so his EGFR was 14. Now I don't know what
02:52 that is. Right. So tell us about EGFR at 14.
02:56 Her father was end stage kidney failure.
03:01 Kidney failure has four stages. After the age of 65 in USA
03:08 one in three adult they have chronic kidney failure.
03:12 Acute kidney failure is a different matter.
03:15 So we study...It was at the point where you have to have
03:19 dialysis to survive. Yes. That's when he came to me.
03:22 Yes. So what was interesting was that exactly 12 months
03:28 before that his kidneys were functioning at 31 and at 31
03:35 at that age is considered not a bad number at all.
03:40 But six months after that when he had his regular blood tests
03:44 again, it had dropped to 20, and then six months after that
03:49 it had dropped to 14. So within a space of 12 months,
03:53 it had gone from 31 to 14 and he was considering traveling
04:01 in a couple of months overseas. His specialist suggest that he
04:06 go and see a renal...a kidney specialist before that
04:11 and ordering my father up... and my father himself is
04:15 a medical doctor and that he knew exactly what those results
04:20 meant. And what did they mean? What do results like that mean?
04:24 It means that the kidneys are very important for the organ,
04:28 they have to do a lot of detoxification in the?,
04:31 It has to do with the acidity in the body. I has to do with
04:35 diabetes in the body. Kidneys have an important organ diabetes
04:39 two and as your father had diabetes for 30 years,
04:43 it was a long impact and multiple problems which his
04:47 kidneys have. The problem is he did not expect to get a little
04:53 bit better and he did not believe in it and actually
04:55 Chi-Won was dragging him into my clinic. I believe it took you
04:59 three years to get him to come and see Dr. Coralia,
05:03 was the right? That's correct... Three years he resisted...Yeah.
05:07 Because that's how long it took, You know I had been well
05:11 through lifestyle change myself and through a diet and so
05:16 during that period of three years I was singing the praises
05:20 of this kind of living and medicine...
05:22 But because daddy's a doctor himself, he said I've never
05:26 heard of things like that, we we're not taught that sort of
05:28 thing at medical school so that cannot be true.
05:32 He also said that it's well know in the medical world
05:36 that with kidneys it's a one way direction.
05:40 There is no such thing as reversal of kidneys and it
05:44 cannot get better and we couldn't get him an appointment
05:49 for him to see a renal specialist straight away
05:52 so I said come and see Dr. Jigau my doctor and
05:58 I think he didn't want to go on dialysis, he knew that.
06:02 He knew what that meant every two or three times a week
06:07 he had to spend about 4 or 5 hours attached to this machine
06:13 that's cleaning out your blood. He said that's no way to live.
06:16 So for the first time he agreed to go and meet Coralia
06:21 but with a great deal of skepticism and he didn't think
06:27 that anything could be done... I just remember his face...
06:34 You do? I know how it was, he was so...and I insist on him,
06:39 could you please try to do this change in your lifestyle
06:44 just for 10 days? Please walk a beat, go for 10 days on a
06:49 plant based diet. I said look, we have your results now
06:52 and in another 10 days we'll have your blood test
06:54 and we'll see what is going on from there.
06:57 I remember what he said right after that, he had me to that...
07:02 You know the reason why he agreed to do it, was to prove
07:06 Coralia wrong. Oh! [Laughter] Right he said, I don't think
07:12 she knows what she's talking about because the whole world
07:15 knows that it cannot be done and in 10 days...
07:18 So he agreed to do this, but he was actually extremely
07:22 disciplined, so the minute we walked out of there,
07:25 went and did the blood test and in 10 days' time,
07:29 his EGFR jumped up from 14 to 19. I couldn't believe myself
07:34 because I've never had a patient like that,
07:36 especially at this age. I was impressed, I said Wow!
07:41 this is working. So from 14 to 19 in 10 days is something
07:45 that even shocked you. Cause that might not have a lot of
07:48 meaning to people like me because I don't know about it.
07:49 Yes, let's have another month. But during that time,
07:54 it was immediately after we got that new result, right?
07:58 Of EGFR being 18- 19 which is such good news, his appointment
08:04 with the renal specialist had come up and this specialist
08:09 wanted a blood test done too and it showed 18.
08:14 So my father said oh, so it wasn't an error then.
08:20 Right. So he didn't even believe the lab results.
08:24 He felt that he was feeling much better because he was
08:27 feeling so tired and lethargic and all of this. So in ten days
08:31 he was feeling better and he asked the specialist,
08:33 he said look, it's improved. You can see it was 14,
08:37 ten days ago and it's 18 now and his specialist said,
08:42 maybe you were very dehydrated when you had your first
08:46 blood test done and that probably explains it.
08:51 My father said I'm starting a new diet now, I'm going to
08:58 have my diet changed to whole food plant based vegan
09:03 and the specialist said, well, that might not hurt
09:08 but you know...Pretty much he wasn't very convinced.
09:14 So he did another blood test two months after the first one
09:19 and it had gone up. His GFR was twenty four.
09:23 Twenty four, so from 14...19... Twenty four. To Twenty four
09:28 and that, tell us...Meanwhile, this means that you can live
09:36 normally without needing to have dialysis. Yes.
09:39 Which at this age, it is extraordinary.
09:41 But in the meantime he was taking a blood pressure tablet
09:45 and he said Coralia, you didn't tell me my blood pressure
09:48 would get better when I'm going on this.
09:51 Because he used to have Avapro 300 mg which is a
09:54 blood pressure tablet and we cut it down to 155, 150 mg.
10:00 and we cut it to half. So we took half for a while and now
10:04 we are on 75 only. Yes, and the reason why, what surprised him
10:10 was, you know our focus was so much on trying to get him...
10:12 his kidneys in order...But of course this whole change in his
10:18 lifestyle and his diet resulted in having a huge impact on
10:22 his diabetes and his hypertension.
10:25 So what happened was, my father was on these huge doses of
10:29 high blood pressure tablets... He was starting to feel very
10:35 giddy and dizzy and he said, oh my gosh, what's going on?
10:39 So when I rang Coralia, Coralia said, he has to cut down
10:43 on his blood pressure tablets... the level and my father had
10:47 refused you see because he was so nervous...He said do you know
10:51 what my blood pressure is like? If I cut it down, I may not
10:56 make it. So he then cut that down and the following effect...
11:02 and his diabetes was great wasn't it?
11:04 Yeah and after that he have to give up his insulin,
11:06 we cut down gradually his insulin, so we have taken
11:09 his insulin. All of that, so ultimately he took 31, he's
11:12 EGFR went up to 31...So that's what it is now? Yes.
11:18 At the age of 92. At the age of 92...That seems like this is
11:22 three years later? Yeah. Now three years later? Yes.
11:26 That's correct. And he's really well. He is so well...
11:31 He's walking now. And he goes around...Yes. So he's...
11:35 It wasn't just his diet, now he's doing all the walking
11:40 and his exercises and his... so he's focusing on both
11:44 and he's being very very very good. So it's the nuts...
11:49 You sound like a mother. The whole grain...Very good.
11:51 I'm so proud of him because it's been such a huge, I think
11:57 emotionally, mentally and professionally it's a shock
12:02 that he dedicated his whole life as a doctor and he
12:07 went into medicine in order to be a very good doctor...
12:11 Yes, I'm sure he would...And he said Cho-Wan,
12:15 we were not given one hour of education on lifestyle on
12:20 diet and the connection between that and health and diseases.
12:25 Therefore he kept saying. I am so upset about this,
12:30 I am so angry about this... Yes, I could believe that.
12:33 He said I feel so embarrassed about this.
12:36 You can mention about your mom, what happened to your mom?
12:39 Oh yes. Yes. My mother is five years younger than my father
12:47 and about that time wasn't it that mommy...I thought that
12:55 she had a stroke because she was throwing up and
12:58 I looked at her face and one part of her mouth seemed
13:03 like it was drooping. She went to see her GP and it was not
13:09 Coralia at that time, and they said no, no she seems fine.
13:14 Made her do a few tests and said no, no she hasn't had
13:18 a stroke or anything like that. But they were intending to
13:23 fly over seas in the next seven days and I said to mommy,
13:29 you must come and have a second opinion.
13:31 So she came to see Coralia with daddy and I and Coralia
13:39 took her blood pressure, asked a few questions and said,
13:45 you must go in and do an MRI straight away because I think
13:50 you have had a stroke, but a very mini one.
13:54 We took her to do the test and sure enough, she had had
14:00 a mini stroke. So there was no international travel.
14:02 From that MRI she went the hospital into Emergency
14:09 and was admitted straight-away and the proceeded to spend
14:12 the next three months in a rehab hospital recovering
14:18 from it and she's totally fine now. So she too has
14:23 changed her diet...No more white carbs for anybody
14:27 are both eating grains...Lots of whole grains. Legumes and nuts
14:35 and fruits and vegetables. This is from a family where our
14:40 main diet used to be meat... What about your niece with IBS?
14:45 Oh yes. Nina, my sister's daughter. She was about ten
14:52 and she had been in and out of the Children's Hospital,
14:56 in and out all the time complaining of pains,
15:00 missing school and the last time this happened,
15:06 they said, we think we found the cause.
15:10 We think it might be an inflammation of her appendix.
15:15 But they did more tests and they said, well the inflammation
15:20 and the size growth is not big enough for us to justify
15:23 removing the appendix so we don't quite know...
15:26 We suggest you take her home and that's when I said to my
15:31 sister, what have you got to lose? Take her to see Coralia.
15:36 So she did, and in one appointment, Coralia asked her,
15:42 what are you eating, what are your favorite foods and
15:48 what do you do? I tell her, you have Mesenteric Adenitis
15:51 after I consulted her... Mesenteric Adenitis is an
15:55 inflamed gland in the abdomen and she had an ultrasound
16:00 confirmed it and I told her have you been in the hospital
16:05 many times? Just get off your dairy products completely. Yes.
16:09 You know, that is what happened to lifestyle medicine,
16:12 ever since I have never seen her as a patient.
16:15 (Laughter) That certainly wasn't in your interest. Ah yes.
16:21 So it seems like it is your main objective is to put your-
16:24 self out of business. But that hasn't happened because my
16:28 whole family is singing Coralia's praises obviously
16:32 and telling everyone...My father who is a doctor
16:35 is telling his specialist right about this and...What about you?
16:41 Yes, yes, with me I first went to see Coralia...
16:46 So you were the first person who went to see Dr. Coralia...
16:49 Yes. What were your concerns? I was just, I was living a
16:56 very very sort of hectic life, um, and working very long hours
17:04 and working very high pressure work. But I was fine,
17:08 I was doing well, so I thought you know, yes Type A type of
17:12 person and I will fine. And I thought that my diet very healthy
17:17 because I was trimming away all the fat from my meat,
17:19 but every single meal consisted of meat, white carbs and maybe
17:25 some vegetables. But I really thought I was doing very well
17:28 because I was eating a fruit a day, a piece of fruit a day
17:32 and I had some greens...But I thought in order to have protein
17:37 and everything, that was what I needed to do.
17:39 And I suddenly started to feel so unreal, I knew in myself,
17:45 I had no energy, I could hardly get out of bed but I will
17:49 drag myself out of bed and be very worried that I'd be
17:53 falling down...But no energy, very difficult to focus...
17:57 I went to see some doctors, they did a lot of blood tests
18:02 and they said, we really don't know what's wrong with you,
18:05 We don't think there is anything wrong...They didn't say that
18:09 quite like that but it seemed as though we can't find
18:13 anything wrong with you. But someone from church said
18:21 go and see Dr. Jigau, so I went to see her, and she said,
18:27 I want you to do a blood test. And I say, you know what?
18:30 I've already given so much blood, I can tell you exactly
18:33 what my blood test results are and she said,
18:36 what did they look for? I said what do you want to look for?
18:42 She said, I want to see what you vitamin and mineral levels
18:46 are. I thought she was joking because I was quite convinced
18:49 I had a major issue and that I was about to die and I thought,
18:53 she's looking for my vitamin levels.
18:55 Did you really think you were going to die?
18:56 I knew so because you see, I had a I thought amazing
19:01 health all my life. So you felt that bad?
19:03 Yeah, I felt that bad and really fearful because nobody could
19:08 pinpoint anything. So I was pumping on adrenalin
19:12 and that was how I was continuing to just continue.
19:17 The blood tests came out, and I went to see her and she
19:22 looked at the blood test results and she had this
19:23 huge smile on her face and she said Cho-wan, you are the
19:27 walking dead. And I thought, why are you smiling?
19:31 (Laughter) That's a good question. She said but I
19:35 have very good news for you, I know exactly why you are
19:39 feeling the way you are and this is very easily reversed.
19:43 I said, what is the problem? She said your vitamin D level
19:48 is 11, and I looked at her very blankly and I said,
19:52 what, I don't know what that means and I said,
19:55 well what else is wrong and she said, that will do it.
19:59 Vitamin D, vitamin B12, it was...this was one of the
20:05 problems...This was the worst... For anyone else viewing
20:08 who doesn't know how bad 11 is for vitamin D,
20:11 tell us how bad that is. Vitamin D, it's very bad,
20:15 it's supposed to be above 75 with good figures up to 250.
20:21 Alright. So vitamin D is absolutely essential for our
20:24 body. People know about it only regarding with the bone and
20:28 with calcium absorption from our bowels but vitamin B
20:31 is essential for your cardio- vascular system, it's essential
20:34 for your mental health because it's essential for protecting
20:39 body for a lot more than just simple bone and calcium
20:46 And could she have died if the levels weren't regulated? No.
20:50 But she would be lingering around. Lingering around...
20:53 We correct vitamin D, vitamin B12 like that, we check your
21:00 Omega 3 index, which also was extremely low
21:05 so we corrected everything that we could and um...
21:08 So within two months...and your Homocysteine was very high...
21:12 Homocysteine was very high... but not as high as your father
21:15 which was 49. My father's Homocysteine level was 49.9
21:20 when he first went to see her... The normal level is up to 10.
21:24 Within the ten days, two months later it had gone down to 34.
21:29 Mine I thought was very high too but nothing like daddy's.
21:34 But within...She put me on a very high dosage of vitamin D
21:40 and within, I think two months it had gone from 11 to 75
21:50 and my father's vitamin D level was also shocking.
21:53 His was 26, so a little bit better than the walking dead
21:57 here, but not much right? And his went up in 10 days
22:02 from 26 to 64, but you know you were right.
22:06 You were right in saying that because had she not told me that,
22:09 I would not have believed the condition of my body
22:13 because I thought I was eating so healthily, I thought I was
22:17 exercising you know, I'm being very active and so...
22:21 It was only hearing how shocking my health was that I changed.
22:26 Your body told you, you felt... and how do you feel now
22:30 comparing with how you have been before. Oh. Much...
22:34 Just take a look at her, she... That's wonderful.
22:37 Yes but it's taken me four years to change and it took me
22:42 four years because at the beginning I just started eating
22:47 a lot of fruits and vegetables because that was what I could
22:52 focus on and that is what I understood.
22:54 Then I had to add on things like nuts and legumes
22:59 and seeds and things like this. I found that it took me
23:06 four years to really comprehensively understand
23:09 what lifestyle living and change really is.
23:13 So I incorporated all of that and giving up, I think,
23:19 changing my taste buds you know...Living on meat and
23:23 living on strong tastes is you like, going to more bland food
23:30 more natural food and incorporating things at a
23:36 different level. All of that and also learning about the
23:40 importance of vitamin B12, so I became such a Zealot
23:44 that my vitamin B12 level dropped because I wasn't
23:49 listening to my doctor. She had said to me once you give up
23:55 animal protein, you must be aware of vitamin B12 and
24:01 must take supplements. But I very ignorantly thought well
24:05 now that my diet is so healthy, surely I'm getting everything
24:07 I need from my diet. Even though she kept warning me,
24:12 I disregarded it you see, until one day I wasn't well at all.
24:17 And this was last year, so I went to see her and she said,
24:18 what did I tell you about this, your vitamin B12 level is so low
24:28 and this means all of your other organs are going to be
24:30 affected. Because I thought I was have heart issues
24:36 and I didn't understand why but when I was so healthy
24:39 and so well, right? Had been so well for such a long time
24:43 so then I went on...she said you have to have vitamin B
24:49 injections straight away now, did that for six weeks,
24:54 one vial, on injection per week, brought that up...
24:58 So you know it's actually quite not that simple, it's not just
25:03 eat vegetables and fruit... No, you are right, it's one of
25:07 the things that isn't well supplied in a totally
25:10 plant based diet and it's very important.
25:12 I'm glad that you finally got to understand that.
25:17 Yes, it's very very important. That's right, yes.
25:24 So my father is well, he's very well but he's overseas so
25:29 he couldn't be here today. Oh, that's a shame, I would of
25:32 loved him to be here. Absolutely right. Do you think he would
25:35 come? Your dad. Do you think he would have come if he'd been
25:40 not overseas? I think he might, he's just a little bit shy
25:44 but I think he is so grateful for this journey...Yes.
25:51 Yes he is. That's lovely. I just think it's remarkable,
25:56 I think it's remarkable that this disease reversal can take
25:59 place at all, but in someone who is 89. I just think that's
26:05 a beautiful thing and I'd just like to say to people
26:08 our bodies are very forgiving, just like the One who made them.
26:12 Even at 89 you get a good result, so don't ever think
26:17 oh well, I've left it too late or I'm too sick because
26:20 we just found out that it's not too late and even really
26:25 even significant diseases can be helped because of that
26:29 the cells are being replaced all the time being remade.
26:34 I didn't believe myself, I didn't believe, I have never
26:38 experienced this...Isn't that amazing...W patient at this age.
26:41 I didn't because now you are going by the book and you see
26:46 what you see and you didn't expect at this age, that people
26:49 will improve, but...So are you a little bit nervous about...
26:52 No, I was not nervous, I was shocked with the results.
26:56 Okay, not nervous, shocked... You remember with daddy,
26:59 my father has three stents in his heart, right. So his heart
27:03 was never terribly good and now his specialist says,
27:07 I would like my heart to be like your heart when I'm 92.
27:11 And he says, I don't really need to see you you know.
27:15 I don't need to see you. Yeah. Isn't that the best thing you
27:19 could see? You're not just putting yourself out of
27:21 business, you're putting his heart specialist out of business.
27:25 I don't need to see you any- more. Oh my goodness.
27:28 Now there is a lot of business there if the patient will listen
27:32 and do a little change but we are in this culture,
27:37 it is a sort of culture...we want a quick fix, well a quick
27:41 take a pill and that's it, don't do anything. Don't go out of
27:44 your way, do what you want, eat whatever you want,
27:47 take a pill and be happy. It's not working like that.
27:50 Well I think that time he was very quick to be honest,
27:52 it might not be in the next couple of hours but
27:54 a couple of weeks is amazing.
27:55 Well today we focused on kidney failure but the healthy
28:00 lifestyle changes that reversed it have been found to reverse
28:03 many other diseases. So be sure to keep watching
28:07 Healthy Living and remember you can watch our programs on
28:10 Demand, just watch 3abnaustralia.org.au
28:14 and click on the watch button.
28:16 God bless you!