Episode 145 – Dr. Amy Killen
Alright, what’s up everyone? It’s me, Drew Manning, your host of the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. Thank you guys for tuning in today to another Podcast episode. I hope you guys enjoy this one. Hopefully you have enjoyed the last 140 or so episodes of this Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. For those of you who don’t know me, I am the creator of Fit2Fat2Fit, which was the crazy idea of gaining 75 pounds on purpose. Which was a truly humbling experience where I gained that weight during a six month process of eating standard American food. Things like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Mountain Dew and Zingers and all kinds of delicious processed food. Which I will admit, the food tasted really good. But, I did not feel good and I learned so many valuable lessons and that’s what I bring into this Podcast, to make these lessons applicable to you on your journey to a lifestyle change. Not just a diet, but a lifestyle change. That’s my hope and that’s my goal with this Podcast. With that being said, today’s Podcast episode is with a good friend of mine. She is a doctor. Dr. Amy Killen and I have known her for awhile now. I’ve done some speaking engagements with her and luckily was connected with her through a friend and she has actually even done some procedures on me. So, we are going to talk about what she does. Dr. Amy Killen currently lives here in Utah. She embraces bioidentical hormone therapy and she does personalized medicine and offers aesthetic services, including things like Botox, fillers, MicroNeedeling, which I have not done any of those. But I just want to make that clear. She is also very enthusiastic about cutting edge regenerative medicine techniques using things like platelet rich plasma or PRP, which you have heard me talk about, where I have had injections in my knee before. I’ve had stem cells in my knee before and these are kind of new age, cutting edge treatments for injuries or to help with cell regeneration in certain areas. She also does this for hair restoration, urinary incontinence, as well and even sexual dysfunction. She was recently working with Dr. Harry Adelson, who was on my Podcast, who is in Park City. He is the one who did my stem cells in my knee. He recently did a full body procedure with Ben Greenfield, who is a good friend of mine. Dr. Amy Killen also did her procedures on him as well. I am sure Ben Greenfield will talk all about it. But, in today’s episode, we get into PRP and sexual dysfunction and we talk about hormone replacement therapy. We also talk about stem cells and all these cutting edge techniques that are happening out there, that are becoming more and more popular among athletes and CEO’s. Now it’s becoming more and more accessible for your average person as a replacement to traditional surgery, but also without having to take prescription pills all the time. She’s a wealth of knowledge and I think you will really love her and her personality. She is very down to earth, yes she knows her stuff. She has all the degrees, but she definitely makes it very relatable to all of us, which is very important in my opinion. And we have a good time, because before this episode, she was actually doing not a procedure on me, but I had some stitches in my back where Dr. Harry Adelson took the bone marrow from for the stem cells. I forgot to take them out. *laughing* The skin started to grow over the stitches and so she had to go in and take the stitches out for me. There are some funny photos on my Instagram if you guys want to go check those out, of her doing that procedure on me before recording the Podcast. This Podcast is also up on YouTube as well, if you guys want to check that out. I am now doing video Podcasts, which I think hopefully you guys don’t mind. I definitely am not afraid of the camera, but at the same time, let me know if you guys like video or audio better. I’m kind of moving towards video and audio. Let me know your feedback and your opinion. Now, let’s go talk with Amy.
Drew: Amy, how are you doing today? Welcome to the show.
Amy: Thanks, I’m glad to be here.
Drew: It’s good to have you in my house.
Amy: Yes, it’s very nice.
Drew: *laughing* Thank you. I don’t do a lot of Podcasts here in my house.
Amy: I feel very lucky. *laughing*
Drew: You are the second person.
Amy: Hey! Nice!
Drew: I know. I am kind of exploring with this whole video thing, so we will see how it goes. But, I like …. I miss my shirtless Podcast. That’s where I can take my shirt off.
Amy: *laughing* You can still be shirtless, as far as I am concerned.
Drew: Oh, that’s true.
Amy: It’s fine.
Drew: We will have to do a poll.
Drew: Anyways, I love what you do and I want to start off by introducing you to my audience. For those that don’t know, because we have done a Facebook live before.
Drew: Yes, but some people might not have seen that. So, kind of tell us a little bit about your background and before you get into the ER stuff, because we are going to talk about that in a second, tell us as a kid, what were your passions growing up? And at what point did you know you wanted to be a doctor?
Amy: Oh, goodness! Trick questions! Yeah, they really are! I did not want to be a doctor growing up actually. I did not have any desire. It wasn’t until I went to college and I was a biomedical science major. I loved science, but I didn’t necessarily want to be a doctor. I was getting through the years and then all of a sudden towards the end, I realized I didn’t really know what I was going to do with my life. I was a science major, I had good grades. I was working at Yellowstone for a couple of summers and I was at Yellowstone and I was working.
Drew: Oh cool. As a park ranger, or what?
Amy: No, I was like a …. I worked for the main concessioner in the park. I was an accountant or something? I don’t know, talk about a random job! But it was awesome. Anyways I decided I should probably take the MCAT, just in case I wanted to go to medical school later, then I could do that. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was a weird way to do it. But anyway, long story short, I took it and eventually decided I did want to try to be a doctor. I kind of fell into it that way. But then I became more excited about it as I went on.
Drew: What field did you know you wanted to go into? Like in the medical field, because you went into the ER, right?
Drew: How did you pick which field you wanted to go in to?
Amy: You know, I didn’t know what I wanted to go into. I liked the ER, because I liked the idea of being a handy person to have around.
Drew: Oh, ok.
Amy: Like if you are out …. I had gotten really into hiking and backpacking and that kind of stuff. I liked the idea that if I am out on a backpacking trip and someone gets hurt, I could totally rescue them and thought that was super cool. Which never happens by the way ….. but ….. *laughing*
Amy: But I liked the idea of being able to do that! So, that’s kind of why I went into the ER in the first place. I thought, if I do this, I will know enough that I can just be really handy. I liked the excitement, I liked having patients that I didn’t know anything about that would be coming in and I had to do some quick thinking and stuff.
Drew: Gotcha. Did you …. were there any surprises? When you went into that field, into the ER or did you kind of know mentally, ok …. is it like what you see on TV? *laughing* Is that how you prepare for it?
Amy: It’s not like on TV, no. Not like TV! Yeah, definitely, lots of surprises. The really sick patients, the really bad trauma, the heart attacks and the strokes, that kind of stuff is kind of like what it is like on TV. It’s really fast paced, you have a team working together. It’s really fun and cool. But there is so much other stuff. People who come in for like dental pain, belly aches and I have a rash on my foot, what is it? Things like that, there is a lot of sort of mundane, redundancy that happens as well. I loved the environment, it was a fun place to work. It’s just after a number of years, it’s a tough thing to do, as you get older and have a family and stuff, things like that.
Drew: That’s what I was going to ask you about, is the sleep deprivation part real in that field? And if so, how did you deal with it?
Amy: Yes. It definitely is. When I was younger, it wasn’t a problem. I had no problem working like six nights in a row and just sleeping during the day and then alternating back to days or evenings. You are never working the same shift more than a few days in a row. I had no problems sleeping any time. But as I got a little older, I wasn’t able to sleep during the day and all of a sudden, I am sleeping 3 or 4 hours a day and I’m not sleeping as much. Then when I had kids, I had 3 kids in 2 years.
Amy: At the same time, my husband got a job out of state, so I was home with my three kids by myself and I was working full time in the ER. My shift started at 4 in the morning, so I had to get up at 3. So, I was getting like 3 hours of sleep a day. This went on for years and as you might imagine, I became not super healthy. I was consuming a lot of diet coke and monsters and slim jims and fish sticks. Those are things that come to mind. *laughing*
Amy: Super stressful. Finally, I realized that it just wasn’t healthy for me or for my family. I also liked the idea of being able to help my patients in different ways than just seeing them for a few minutes and then sending them out the door. So, that’s when I started becoming interested in what I am doing now, which is sort of preventative medicine and regenerative medicine combined.
Drew: Did you have like a wake up call at some point, where you were like, ok, I need to take care of my health. Like, this ‘x’ happened and I need to change.
Amy: I did. *laughing* It’s kind of a funny story! I do a lot of sexual health now, right?
Amy: So, I will tell you this story even though it’s sort of embarrassing. So, there were multiple times that I was just tired and stressed out and that was happening. But, I remember at one point, my daughters, who had this long curly blond hair, they came down with lice, which if you have had that happen yet, it’s super not fun.
Drew: I think I did as a kid maybe.
Amy: We tried to get rid of it, we could never get rid of it. We called this lice fairy lady in, like it’s her job. She is like a lice whisperer or something! She comes in, she gets rid of the lice and she was teaching the rest of us how to …. like I had to go through and check my hair, check my husbands hair and make sure they didn’t come back into the household. So, it was like every couple of days we had to do these hair checks on everyone else, right? So, I remember this one particular day where my husband and I were sitting on the playroom steps and I was kind of down below him sitting between his legs and he was looking for lice eggs in my hair, looking for lice. All of a sudden it struck me that this was the most intimate we had been with each other in like months.
Drew: Really? Wow.
Amy: And it was looking for lice eggs in my hair. Because he was traveling and I was always working and I was always tired. It was just all these things together. That was actually kind of the moment where I was like, dude, I’ve got to do something about this! *laughing* That’s kind of when the wheels really started turning that I was going to change my life, my health and my families health.
Drew: Gotcha. So, the lice changed your life? *laughing*
Amy: Yeah, exactly! The lice actually turned out to be a good thing in the end.
Drew: That is so interesting. So, this is kind of a funny story. On my last Podcast, I had this guy whose family came over from Armenia. They were super poor and what they did, because they had no money to go buy lice medicine or whatever, gasoline. They took gasoline out of their car and were like, alright kids, bend over and put some gasoline on their heads. I guess it worked?
Amy: *laughing* Oh wow, those little suckers are hard to get out. I will tell you, it is not easy.
Drew: So, gasoline, or a lice fairy, are other options.
Amy: *laughing* These are the tips we are giving your viewers, right?
Drew: Exactly! *laughing* Well, have you tried gasoline in your hair yet? It’s so funny!
Drew: But, ok so the lice did go away?
Amy: Yes. *laughing* We have been lice free for several years now.
Drew: Ok, then from that point, what did you decide to do as far as transitioning to a different field? Did you research it or what did you do?
Amy: Yeah, I started researching different options. I became really interested in sort of the preventative, anti-aging kind of thing. I started going through a fellowship program through American Academy of Anti-Aging medicine. I also did some other training programs and just started going to all these conferences. That is really in this field how you learn what’s out there and what’s new. There is no residency in the things I am doing now. You wouldn’t go to like college and do like a three year track or something. It’s really more about you go out there, you meet people who are doing it. You talk to the people at the forefront and that’s how you learn. So, I did a lot of that for a few years. I got some mentors that would help to teach me things that they were doing. Then after a few years, I quit the ER, after I had been studying for several years and felt like I knew something, at least to get started. Quit the ER and then at the same time, we moved. We were in Austin, we moved to Portland and I opened my own clinic. It was kind of this whole, just basically we are going to start over and try something different.
Drew: Ok, so you kept your full time job in the ER, and you are a mom and you started studying …. so you had plenty of time on your hands! *laughing*
Amy: Yeah! I mean, yeah, it was fantastic. *laughing* I was just eating bon-bon’s by the pool everyday!
Drew: Can I ask, did you gain weight during this experience or do you have a good metabolism where you don’t really gain weight? You can eat whatever you want?
Amy: I did gain some weight. I do have a …. my metabolism is pretty good. But I didn’t gain that much, because I was always so stressed out. I was never actually sitting down to eat. Like, whenever I was working in the ER, you know you would work up to 10-12 hour shifts. On many days, I would consume 100 ounces of diet coke, two monsters, but never actually eat because there was never time. So, I would just be running and getting more diet cokes and then just basically spending 10 hours drinking all the time. But very little food was coming in. *laughing*
Drew: *laughing* Because you never ate! Yeah, the diet coke, that’s not the healthiest way to do it, right?
Drew: It’s so interesting. You used to work in the medical field, so a lot of people don’t know this, but I used to work in the medical field in the OR. Doctors and nurses are some of the most unhealthy people I have ever seen, because they are out there saving people’s lives and they are stressed out. They have like five minutes between surgeries or they are just go, go, go. Grabbing chips, soda, boom and then they have to hold their pee for hours in surgeries.
Amy: Hours! I would go for the entire shift and never go to the bathroom! I mean how do you put a 120 ounces of liquid in to your body and never release it?!
Amy: I have no idea! I have no idea!
Drew: It’s crazy! It’s a trend in the industry. It’s kind of sad to see the people that know the most, for the most part about health, sometimes they are the most unhealthy people.
Amy: They actually don’t even know that much, some of them.
Drew: That is true.
Amy: That is the other part of it, I mean in medical school, you learn about all of this sort of physiology and the pathways and the this and the that. But, you don’t necessarily spend very much time on nutrition or on fitness or getting into the nitty gritty part of it. So, that was sort of part of my journey, is having to go back and learn a lot of things. Of course, what is being taught is changing all the time. Whatever I learned ‘x’ number of years ago, is probably not thought to be true anymore in the world of nutrition.
Amy: It’s definitely something that not everyone knows, even though we should.
Drew: Yeah, and I think it’s really interesting that there is such a small part of nutrition, which is super important. I think most doctors, or people, are starting to realize how important nutrition is in playing a role in our overall health. But sometimes, it’s just like, you don’t need to know that. I think it’s really interesting. Do you ever see that changing at some point? Do you ever see western medicine kind of learning their lesson and kind of maybe at some point, changing the shift of things?
Amy: I think the doctors definitely want that, they want to change and be better. The problem ….. part of the problem we have is that as doctors …. it takes a long time to teach someone good nutrition. It’s not just a two minute thing. I can tell you all day long, eat well and don’t eat sugar. But that’s not enough, you have to actually sit down with them for a long visit, for 30 minutes or an hour, whatever. Because of the way the insurance model works and the way that all of that reimbursements work, doctors don’t actually have the time to do that. Like traditional allopathic doctors, even though I think a lot of them would love to spend more time with lifestyle medicine, they are not getting reimbursed for it.
Amy: So, that is not something they have time to do.
Drew: Yeah, no one is sponsored by spinach or kale out there, that I know of! *laughing*
Amy: Yeah! I wish we had spinach sponsors out there! That’s a good point! *laughing*
Drew: That’s the problem! *laughing* Anyways, I didn’t mean to go down the rabbit hole. We could talk about that forever. You move to Oregon? Were you nervous? Like, I’m going to open up my own practice, in a new field for me?
Amy: I was so nervous. I was so nervous and I didn’t have any …. for the first time, I didn’t have anyone …. I never ventured out on my own before. This was the first time. I had always gone to medical school, then the next step is residency and if you go to residency then the next step is you get a job. I had always known what the next step was. So, this was the first time that I had no idea what my next step was. I didn’t know how to set up an office or buy office furniture. Where do I buy Lidocaine? I didn’t know where to buy Lidocaine! All of these things! I had just kind of gotten into the field, so I didn’t have a lot of personal experience with the kind of …. I was doing a lot of hormone optimization at the time. I felt like I could figure this out, so I just got started and did my best and would read a lot in between patients and kind of just went from there.
Drew: I think that’s so cool though. I remember I was talking to Dr. Harry Adelson about this, how he got into stem cells. A very similar story of how he just had to go learn it himself from experts, where he would travel around the world and see other people doing the same procedures, learn from them, go to these conferences, just to be in the know and up to date with the latest information. This is how to do it, but with specifically with stem cells for him, but for you …. so in Oregon you focused on hormone optimization mostly? What else?
Amy: Yes, and I started doing platelet rich plasma injections out there.
Drew: Oh, you did? Ok.
Amy: Yeah. So, I did hormones for a while, that’s what I started doing. Then eventually I added PRP for the hair, the skin and the “P” shot and the “O” shot, the sexual optimization. I did start doing it out there and eventually I sold that practice and moved to Salt Lake. That’s when I hooked up with Harry, because I harassed him for like a year.
Drew: Ok, gotcha. You say you harassed him, like what do you mean? Like, ‘Hey, I need to train under you, or what?’
Amy: Yeah. I looked him up and I am realizing he was sort of one of the top people in the field, doing what he was doing. I was moving here anyway and he was in Park City, so I sent him an email first and introduced myself. I said, ‘Hey, I am a doctor. I am interested in what you are doing. I would love to take you to lunch sometime, if you are ever available and hear your story and what you are doing.’ He was awesome and he invited me to come to his clinic. He said, why don’t you just come to the clinic and hang out with me for the day and I will just show you what I am doing. So, I did and after that first visit, we got along really well. He was so sweet. I just kind of kept showing up in his clinic. *laughing* Over the next few months, I would just show up and be like, ‘Hey! Can I watch you do some procedures?’ Eventually, after six or so months of this, he was like, ‘Why don’t you just join me?’ Because I was already doing something different than what he was doing with PRP. He said, ‘Why don’t you join me and I will teach you all the things I know about stem cells and you can combine that with what you are already doing and we will be able to offer our patients even more services.
Drew: Ok. So, let’s explain to the audience, on a very basic level, what the difference is with PRP, what that is versus stem cells and the difference between those two procedures.
Amy: The stem cells are the cells in your body that you already have that are responsible for regenerating different organs. They are kind of like the seeds of your garden. They are there all the time. They do their job. If you cut your skin, the stem cells are the ones that send out a signal that says, ‘Hey, let’s make more blood vessels and collagen and let’s repair the skin.’ They are in charge of all that and you have them everywhere. As you get older, your stem cells start to become a little bit lazy and you also have fewer stem cells in certain parts of your body. You don’t have that regenerative ability as you get older, as much as you do when you are a kid. So, that is stem cells. You already have the cells in your body and we can either sort of activate them with something that we give you, or we can give you more stem cells into a specific part of your body that we really want you to have even more.
Drew: Ok. I have never heard of the activating before. How do you do that?
Amy: The activating is what PRP does.
Drew: Oh, ok. Gotcha.
Amy: Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is basically taking your own blood, we spin it. We get your growth factors out of the blood. Those growth factors that are in the platelets, we can then inject back wherever we want them. What they really do is they provide like a fertilizer, for these seeds, for these stem cells. They tell the stem cells, ‘Hey, you guys have been lazy. You’ve been sitting here resting. What are you doing? We need new skin. Let’s start working.’ So, they communicate to the stem cells that it’s time to get back to work and make new tissue.
Amy: Whether you are doing that for hair, or skin or joints, that’s the idea. The PRP is just telling the stem cells to get to work.
Drew: Ok. Gotcha. When would be the appropriate time to do PRP versus stem cells? Or are you supposed to do both of them together? When does someone do PRP versus stem cell?
Amy: PRP is a great first step treatment. It’s not as ….. you are not going to get as much benefit generally than if you are giving someone actual stem cells. Whether it’s stem cells from themselves or someone else. PRP is a good first step and it’s more affordable. I think that for mild injuries or if you just want some more milder results, then PRP would be a good starting point. Then you can kind of go from there, depending on what the issue is.
Drew: So, in a nutshell, PRP is a little bit more affordable, good first step, it activates the stem cells, kind of wakes them up. Saying, ‘Hey guys, do your job.’ Stem cells are the actual …. you can add more into a specific area, right? That’s kind of …. it’s more expensive.
Amy: Right. It’s more expensive, but you can add them. We can get stem cells from your bone marrow, or your fat, you being the patient. Or we can also give you someone else’s stem cells, like we have umbilical stem cells or exosomes, there are all different ways to do stem cells. When you take stem cells and you put them somewhere else, part of what they are doing is communicating with the stem cells that are already there and continuing to tell them to work. Then part of what they are doing, depending on where you put them, is they are actually sort of being integrated into that tissue and working themselves. So, you kind of get several different mechanisms of action.
Drew: Ok, gotcha. Let’s shift gears and talk a little bit about sexual health.
Amy: Oh, it’s my favorite! *laughing*
Drew: What specific things actually …. everybody is like anytime now, Drew! *laughing* I need sexual health, we are waiting for that part! Everyone is perking up. Alright, here we go! So, what services do you guys provide for sexual health and how do they work?
Amy: I kind of have this sort of integrative, multimodal approach to sexual health, because I feel like it’s not ever just one thing that is the problem. For both men and women, we do a lot of hormones, which are very important for both men and women. Having the interest in sex, as well as sort of maintaining the structural integrity of the sexual organs. You need hormones for that. Testosterone for men, testosterone and estrogen for women. So, we do hormones.
Drew: Bioidentical? Or what?
Amy: Yeah, bioidentical hormones. The same hormones your body makes, we are just giving you back those same hormones. So, it’s a good starting point, if that doesn’t improve your symptoms, then we go to the next level. Other things, like for instance, for men with erectile dysfunction, I always want to make sure that they have nitric oxide, because that is something that you need to have erections. You’ve got to have the blood flow, which is nitric oxide, that’s sort of a chemical messenger.
Drew: How do you test for that?
Amy: There are tests for that. You can do saliva tests. You can do the little saliva strips for it. A lot of times what I will do is, almost everyone over the age of 40 is going to be lower than they want to be in nitric oxide. Your ability to make it goes down as you get older, because a lot of it is made by your blood vessels. As you get older, you get plaque building up and all of a sudden those vessels can’t make the nitric oxide, which is too bad because now you really need it, because you are getting older. It is a whole blood flow situation. I work on nitric oxide, I work on decreasing inflammation, which is a whole lifestyle diet and exercise and supplements and that kind of thing. Then depending on what the problem is, for men I will do a combination usually of GainsWave, the low intensity shock wave therapy. I will do PRP. I will do PRP with stem cells. I will do penis pumps.
Amy: I have a whole thing! But it kind of depends on what they are wanting.
Drew: Gotcha. So, for everyone listening, GainsWave I first heard about from Ben Greenfield, who talked about it. Dr. Gains, so basically let me describe this from a very basic level. *laughing*
Drew: This is really crazy, it sounds weird, but it’s legit. It works. Basically they numb up your penis and they take this gun looking thing. It’s like a jackhammer and like jackhammer the penis area all over the place to help break up the plaque to help increase blood flow.
Drew: Is that a very basic …. did I describe that right?
Amy: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, like the little jackhammer that breaks up plaque. And then also increases blood vessel formation. So, new blood vessels could form. We do a series of treatments, usually like six or so treatments at a time.
Drew: Gotcha. So, that’s what GainsWave is in a nutshell. Then the PRP for men and for women, that’s your …. so basically can you describe the procedure for that? So, you draw blood and I will let you take it from here ….
Amy: Oh! Well you were doing such a good job!
Drew: *laughing* I will stop there.
Amy: We draw blood and spin it in a centrifuge, we separate out the platelets and then the platelets are the serum. We inject that back into the organ. So for the male we are going to be injecting a couple of different times on the sides of the penis, into the tubes that fill with blood. We are going to put the PRP right in those two tubes. Then for the women, we have the ‘O’ shot. So for men it is the ‘P’ shot, women is the ‘O’ shot or orgasium shot. For women, we put one injection into the clitoris, we numb all these things first. Then we put one injection into the anterior vaginal wall, which is kind of around the urethra, which is where the urine comes out. We are basically creating different areas.
Drew: So, I think most people are competent, they know why a man would get this, right? To help with erectile dysfunction. But why would a woman need an ‘O’ shot?
Amy: The ‘O’ shot is helpful for the same kinds of things really that a ‘P’ shot is. It helps and creates blood flow, which women also need blood flow in that area.
Drew: I don’t think a lot of women know that.
Amy: Yes, women need blood flow! The clitoris is like the penis, just smaller. It does engorge with women and it gets blood flow and actually vaginal lubrication is due to blood flow. So, blood flow is really important for women as well as for men. The ‘O’ shot can help to improve the blood flow, and you get things like improved sensitivity, improved lubrication, improved sensation, improved orgasm. They can also help, to some degree, with stress incontinence, which is when you cough and you pee a little bit or you jump on a trampoline and you pee a lot. Things like that, especially in women who have had babies and you need that.
Drew: Yes, moms.
Amy: It can help with those kind of things.
Drew: Ok, that’s actually really important because I think a lot of women out there struggle with that in silence, you know? Peeing in their pants, and they don’t know what to do. So, that’s good to know that there is an option for them outside of surgery or other procedures.
Amy: Also, I will usually combine the ‘O’ shot with something like a vaginal laser, where you are getting a laser treatment as well. An intravaginal treatment, because that will also help with those same symptoms and can really be beneficial for the same types of things. For stress incontinence, sensation and lubrication, all of that.
Drew: How does that work? I don’t think I know how that works? Because I need to know! *laughing*
Amy: You should know! *laughing*
Amy: It’s a laser, like a C02 laser for your face. You’ve probably not had one of those. So, basically it’s taking off a layer of the skin. In this one, it’s intravaginal, so it’s like a little wand that goes inside the vagina and it takes or irritates some of the cells that line the vagina. Then over the course of the next few weeks to months, your body will make new tissue. So in that, it’s basically causing harm so your body goes, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got to fix that.’ Tricks your body into fixing it to be even better than it was. There are a lot of different types of vaginal devices, but these are like 10 minute procedures. It’s not painful, they are really easy and they work well in combination with the ‘O’ shot. You do it all at once and you just kind of fix things right up.
Drew: Gotcha. *laughing* Fix things right up, I like that! Is there a downside to any of these procedures that people need to be worried about or they should know about before going into these?
Amy: Obviously you are going to do a consult with the doctor beforehand. PRP is really safe, as are stem cells. It’s your own blood, it’s your own. You are just basically getting it back, only in a different area. So, there is a side effect from the injections themselves, you can always have a little bit of bleeding or a little bit of bruising. There is going to be a little bit of pain from the injection, but it’s pretty mild because we numb it first. There is always a risk of infection when you inject someone, but I have never seen it with any of these procedures. Infection risk is super low. Then with the lasers and the other energy devices, again pretty safe really. There is always some contraindications, some things that you have to know about. You can’t be pregnant and coming in to get these done. You can’t be breastfeeding, you don’t want to have an active infection in the area we are treating. Most of it is kind of common sense stuff.
Drew: Ok, gotcha. What about bioidentical hormones? Is there a downside to bioidentical hormones?
Amy: Oh, we could talk all day about this. *laughing*
Amy: There can be downsides. It depends on …. I would say, the short answer is yes. The longer answer is that in general, I think that the benefits of the hormones outweigh the downside. But there are always potential side effects that you have to look out for. We always check labs on patients after a few months. We check back with them and ask them, like for instance with testosterone, you can get acne if your levels are too high or you are just sensitive to it, whether you are a man or a woman. If you are taking testosterone, it can cause acne, if you have got really high levels, it can cause aggression in men. That’s something with men who are on steroids, it can cause. It’s actually less common with the actual testosterone I give. That’s possible with testosterone. It can cause the man’s own production to shut down, because you are giving him testosterone, so he doesn’t have to make it himself anymore. So, you can get shrinking of the testes and it can be or require a process to get the production going back again. The same thing with estrogen and progesterone, there are side effects, potentially. For the most part, the benefits …. not just now, but for the long term for patients of these kind of therapies, I think really are better than the side effects.
Drew: So, with Dr. Harry Adelson, you guys work together in a certain capacity. Tell us a little bit about what you do during those procedures, because I am assuming it’s something similar, but it’s just with stem cells. Like for example, scalp, the ‘P’ shot, ‘O’ shot, sexual health, but with stem cells, right?
Amy: Right. Exactly. Yeah, with not just PRP, but with stem cells or kind of adding in stem cells and exosomes, those kind of things. So, I do hair injections, for hair restoration. I do the facial injections, which is for improving skin health. And then I do the ‘P’ shot and the ‘O’ shot, but not just PRP, but with stem cells.
Drew: Gotcha. So, when this patient wakes up …. for those who don’t know, I did a procedure with Dr. Harry Adelson in my knee, where he took the stem cells from my bone marrow in my hip. Took it out, added in exosomes and then injected it into my kneecap.
Amy: Were you awake the whole time or did you go to sleep?
Drew: Yes, no I was awake the whole time. But I can only imagine if people are getting face, scalp, shoulders, hips, knees, you know, down there! *laughing* Everywhere! Do they just wake up like beat up? How do they feel when they wake up? *laughing*
Amy: *laughing* The things that I do don’t tend to be problematic afterwards. They don’t have a lot of pain from my procedures. But yeah, a lot of patients we have will come in, a lot of them will travel from out of state or out of the country and will do sort of the full body makeovers, where basically we are injecting most of their joints or many of their joints. Neck and back and discs and all these things. And then the hair and the face and the penis, it’s a lot. So, we do put them to sleep for it, it makes it much easier on everyone. So, they wake up and they are sore, it’s usually just a couple of days of soreness and that just kind of goes away.
Drew: Ok, gotcha. Yeah, mine went away pretty much a day or two afterwards in my knee. Now it feels awesome. I haven’t tested it out yet, because it hasn’t been quite four weeks. I think four to six weeks he said before you go heavy. But, I am excited. I am excited to test it out. I’m just imagining people waking up and their face and like their hair, you know everything! *laughing*
Amy: Yeah, it is definitely a little startling for some of them.
Drew: Exactly. But they know what they are getting into, right?
Amy: Right. We always talk to them before. *laughing*
Drew: Ok, gotcha. Have you noticed a difference between stem cells versus PRP with those patients? Obviously, price difference.
Amy: There is a price difference, for sure.
Drew: But were there results difference, do you know?
Amy: I do notice a difference. I think people have better results with stem cells and/or exosomes, than just PRP. Having said that, there is a big price difference. There is not a lot of studies that compare the two. We have studies that show us that PRP is helpful for this, this and this. And we have studies that stem cells are helpful for this, this and this. But nothing is comparing what if we do PRP versus PRP plus stem cells, like how much more benefit is there. There is still an investigation component to this. We know that what we are doing is safe and I see in my patients that I have done all these procedures with over the last 3 or 4 years, that people have good results and they are happy with the stem cells, especially. But yeah, we need to know more about how do we compare these two.
Drew: Yeah, yeah. Well, it sounds like that is the direction it is headed and there hopefully will be more studies. Maybe in 10 or 20 years, there will be more structure, you know? I don’t see it as the wild, wild west, by any means. Like, ‘Alright, let’s see if this works. Add this to that and see if that works.’ Right? There is so much science behind it.
Amy: There is a lot of good science behind it. I do think we need to fine tune, figuring out like, ‘Well, do I need …. how many stem cells? What’s great? Is more better?’ We don’t know the exact sort of numbers on some of that, so we just figure out and do our best and kind of go from there.
Drew: Do you ever consult your patients on preventative methods outside of the services you provide, as far as health, fitness, nutrition specifically? And if so, what is some of the advice that you give people?
Amy: Yeah, definitely. Especially the patients I am seeing at the other office, where I have more time to spend with them. We do a lot of talking, a lot of time talking about diet. My biggest thing with diet is that they eat a low glycemic index diet, whatever variation of that you want to do ….
Drew: Ok. Is that because it reduces inflammation or why?
Amy: Yeah, inflammation. I mean sugar is bad for everything. All those things get related to sugar. The sort of refined carbohydrates and such. We do a lot of inflammatory testing on our patients and check their inflammatory markers. Even things like cholesterol, we know now that the high cholesterol levels are not coming from eating cholesterol, it’s coming from eating sugar. I tell patients, I love like sort of Mediterranean diets, Paleo diets, Keto diets, like anything that is going to keep their sugar and simple carbohydrate levels low. I think that is the way to go. Everyone kind of has different abilities to tolerate those diets. We have a nutritionist that will kind of work with different patients if they need it. That’s really important, and obviously exercise, in terms of like stem cells, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your stem cells. You have stem cells in your body and instead of having to put new ones in, what if we just make the ones that are already there work better? So things like getting your nitric oxide levels up, exercising and eating the right foods that have good antioxidant properties and things like this. Reducing inflammation, so making sure you’re getting enough Omega 3 Fatty Acids. All of these things can make the stem cells you already have, work better. So, maybe you don’t need to have stem cells. I mean I am happy to do it. *laughing* But, maybe you don’t need to have stem cells moved and put somewhere else in your body, because you already have them there, you just have to turn them on.
Drew: What about as far as supplementation goes? What supplements have you found that help out in these situations? For example, collagen. I am a huge fan of collagen, actually I notice a difference when I take collagen as far as my skin, my nails, my joints actually feel better with grass fed collagen. What supplements have you seen?
Amy: I have …. I like …..
Drew: You said Omega 3?
Amy: I like Omega 3 Fatty Acids. I like the nitric oxide, like the Neo 40 is one of the best, I think, Nitric Oxide boosters.
Drew: Are those the little pills? Those little tablets?
Amy: They are like lozenges that dissolve in your mouth. It actually has a number of legitimate studies behind them, that showed improvement for everything from blood pressure to inflammatory markers to triglycerides, to even improving the amount of plaque in your blood vessels in your neck, which is pretty amazing. I like those for general health. There are a lot of things I tell people, magnesium, I tell almost everyone you probably need to be on magnesium. Vitamin D, obviously, unless you are getting enough sun. Those are some of my favorite things, but there are hundreds of cool things out there that we will kind of adjust. We will kind of adjust supplements based on what the issue is. Do they have high blood sugar? Maybe we should add some barberry, whatever it is, we will kind of add in supplements. But, I also think that …. and research has shown us this, that really if you can get most of your nutrients from food, it’s better for you than having to take a bunch of pills. You will actually use it more, you are not going to …. it’s less expensive. I encourage patients, yes, I think a couple of supplements are good. But I don’t necessarily think you need to be on 20 different things, as long as you are eating a lot of different foods that are good for you.
Drew: Yeah, exactly. I think people like the idea of the quick fix, like the miracle pill. Just similar to these procedures or even just stuff like …. what’s it called when they extract fat from the body?
Amy: Liposuction. Yep.
Drew: Yeah, liposuction! Instead of just eating donuts and not exercising, just get liposuction instead! *laughing*
Amy: Right! Right! *laughing*
Drew: They want a quick fix, I don’t want to do that hard work, I just want these procedures or pills that do it for me.
Drew: So, yeah. I think that’s really smart. I want to talk a little bit before we end here, about you and your husbands experience with Keto. You guys both have a Keto experience. Your husband did really well on it.
Amy: Yes! I did well on it too!
Drew: I know! I know! You did well on it too! Let’s talk about it. *laughing* Sorry! Go ahead.
Amy: My husband is the one who started doing it. I think it was after you and I had that seminar kind of thing together ….Drew: We had a conference. *laughing*
Amy: I was like, I should try this. My husband did it first. He lost like fifteen pounds in two weeks. It was ridiculous.
Drew: I know. Yeah.
Amy: It just fell off of him. So then I started doing it, I did it and it did take me a little more time, but after a few months I had lost 5 or 6 pounds.
Drew: You didn’t have a lot of weight to lose, first of all. So, start off with that.
Amy: What’s interesting about it …. and I don’t know if there would be a reason for this. So, I did Keto for maybe three months. I was pretty good about it. I lost, I think 7 or 8 pounds. Then I stopped doing it because I was like, ok, I am good. I don’t need to keep going for now. I stopped doing it, but I continued to lose weight for …. I think I lost like another 4 or 5 pounds over the next 3 months. Eventually I was like, what is going on? Eventually I gained it back but …. not all of it, but part of it. It was very interesting. I think it changed ….’A’ – I think it changed the way I thought about food and so even though I wasn’t actually doing Keto, I was still thinking, oh this is probably more carbohydrates than I need. But and then, ‘B’ – I wonder if it changed something about how I was metabolizing the food.
Drew: Plus, it could have been your metabolism could have been increased during that phase of the 3 months of Keto. But then also you could have changed the way you think about carbs, like I’m not Keto but I am still going to reduce my carbohydrates a little bit. So, you have got to remember, carbs are less calorie dense than fat. So, you were probably not eating as many fats, but still not eating too many carbs, so you could have been in more of a calorie deficit in those months after, depending on what you were eating.
Amy: Yeah. It was good and I am back on it again. I am 3 days in, so far. *laughing*
Drew: Are you? Awesome! *laughing* That’s so cool.
Amy: I’m a fan for sure and I think for someone like me, I can’t do it all the time. I think it’s too much. I do notice when I am doing it, it’s actually pretty easy to maintain it, as long as I just don’t slip up too much. I feel like once I start indulging, then I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is impossible!’ But if I am pretty vigilant, I’m actually not that hungry.
Drew: Last question before I let you go. As a mom and as a doctor, how do you get your kids to develop healthy habits? What are some tricks you have learned over the years? Because your kids are 8 and 10 and you are a doctor and you know how their health could be affected by eating Poptarts all day.
Amy: I wish I had the answers, because my kids know, they know what is not healthy. But they will still be like, ‘Oh mom, this has a lot of sugar in it.’ They will say things like that, but they still want to eat a big box of goldfish after school. You know, part of it is just not buying them as much stuff, things like that. It’s tough, the education piece is there and I educate them, but it doesn’t necessarily change how they act. They still want the ice cream and the crackers and the goldfish and all those things. I try to be a good example, so I don’t have Saturday donuts with them, which they have every Saturday. But, I don’t have them. So, I am hoping that eventually they will pick up some good habits.
Drew: It’s a struggle. It’s really hard to get your kids to …. like how do you get your kids to look at donuts and be like, I don’t want that, I want broccoli. Because from a kids perspective, of course they are going to reach for the donut over the broccoli. I think you just, you do the best you can. Teach them the why behind it and then when they are older and they go out and about and they explore, maybe they will be like, yeah, I felt horrible. Or I gained a lot of weight and I remember my mom telling me about health and nutrition. I know how to do this!
Amy: Sugar is bad! Sugar is bad!
Drew: Exactly. So, all you can do is hope for the best sometimes. Do your best at teaching them, but you can’t control everything they put in their mouth.
Amy: That’s true.
Drew: Before I let you go, let’s talk about your husband a little bit, because he is not in the same field as you. What does he do? What is he currently working on? You said …. because you are in California?
Amy: Oh yeah, he is a screenwriter. He has a TV show, it’s not in production yet, but he is on the writing phase. So, we are actually living in California, but I am working in Utah. So, I go back and forth every couple of weeks. I see patients in Utah and then I go back to California, it’s just for six months. It’s been great. I get to kind of live the leisure lifestyle of the one who doesn’t have a job in California and then I come to Utah and I work. I don’t have my kids when I am here, it’s been ok actually.
Drew: You guys must have some interesting conversations at dinner, the TV world, plus the medical field. Those are probably some great stories.
Amy: They are very different fields for sure. *laughing*
Drew: Alright, well Dr. Amy, I really appreciate you coming on, before I let you go, where can people get ahold of you? Where can people find biorestoration?
Amy: Yeah, biorestoration is where I do all the hormone stuff. That is biorestoration.com and then Docere Medical, which is where I do the stem cell stuff and then I have my own website. DrAmyKillen is coming up pretty soon.
Drew: Ok, so stay tuned for that. We will put all of that in the show notes.
Amy: Oh and also, I am on social media @DrAmyBKillen. *laughing*
Drew: Yes, you are! *laughing*
Amy: With random posts that don’t make a bit of sense sometimes.
Drew: They are definitely entertaining, especially her throwback photos from when she was a kid.
Amy: I had one of those!
Drew: I am saying do more! They were so good. You haven’t aged in 20 years. Same hairdo and everything.
Amy: I am sure! Actually that is true. So, DrAmyBKillen on all social media.
Drew: Yep, and that will all be in the show notes. Dr. Amy, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it.
Amy: Thank you, it was so fun.
Drew: Have a good one.
Amy: You too.
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