[00:00:00] Detective Ev: What is going on everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, aka Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show on severe acne.
We have the privilege of getting to talk to a younger FDN out there, someone who is out there already doing the work, starting her own business, taking on clients. I think this is really cool in a few ways. One, I admit selfishly, it’s awesome to be able to connect with another young person who is engaging in the world of functional healthcare. That’s always sweet. But on the other end, I talk to a lot of people at FDN, and some people just go right into business for themselves. They have no problem with it, don’t think twice. Others have a lot of, unfortunately, limiting beliefs around, can I actually do this? Is this something that people will actually pay for?
Yet we have our 22-year-old guest today who just graduated in December of 2022, and she’s already taking clients. She’s out here doing the business stuff, just not even thinking about it. She knows it works because it worked for her. She wants to go share that with other people. I think this can be inspiring for those that are 40, 50, 60 years old listening to this, and they might have a ton of limiting beliefs or hesitancy.
Severe Acne: Helping Others
Here is a 22-year-old going out and doing the work. Her name is Johanna Updyke, and she actually was in college prior to starting FDN, studying human anatomy and biology. It was actually really cool. She spent time as a research assistant studying genetic components to autism. This is something that her younger brother has dealt with.
She wants to get into neurodiversity in the future and how things like FDN can actually support that stuff, which is such a great niche because it actually does work for things like that. It can be really life changing for people. I don’t know that it could fully fix every case, I think that would be a bit ignorant for me to say that. But I do know people have made tremendous strides using stuff like this. Even if it’s not the FDN system, just applying functional medicine principles and nutrition really, really can help those people.
For now, she is helping women with their cycles and hormones and also cystic acne. This was another place Johanna and I completely related. She had pretty bad acne like myself, and that was the main motivating factor. Despite all these other symptoms that she had and that I had, acne is the thing that’ll really kick you in the butt and get you into high gear.
She found FDN by just seeing a few practitioners online who happened to have this certification, posting about acne and the other things that they did. So, when you think someone’s not listening out there and you’re wondering, oh, what’s the point of this social media stuff? This is the proof. Someone’s always watching, someone’s always listening. Maybe they don’t become a client, maybe they end up doing the dang FDN course, that’s still pretty cool.
Severe Acne: Didn’t Know FDN Exists
I think we are in a community where we all have to make money, we have to make a living. But there’s no shortage of sick people. So, even to see someone be inspired by your posts and content and then go pursue this themselves, I would consider that a win in my book.
I love this conversation. Very high energy. I think you guys will enjoy this as well. It can be a good episode to share with maybe a young person in your life that is trying to get into this stuff. We don’t necessarily go over anyone’s head by any means. We do talk about labs to a degree, but it’s very story based. We also talk about some of the struggles our generation is dealing with. Without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode.
Alright. Hello there, Johanna. Welcome to the Health Detective Podcast. How are you?
Johanna Obydke: I’m good, Evan. How are you?
Detective Ev: I’m doing great.
Guys, this is a really cool episode for us. I didn’t realize this until Johanna actually got on, I’m like, you look pretty young. Are you in your twenties as well?
So, Johanna’s 22.The reason that’s special is because I was making a joke with her. It’s not a joke, it’s just funny. When I went through the course six years ago at the age of 21, that was the youngest practitioner at the time to have ever gone through. That’s not a bragging right, unfortunately. It’s not that it’s that cool. Anyone could really do this if they have the dedication.
I just couldn’t believe that my friends were going out, super interested in health, sometimes paying tens of thousands of dollars to college, and they didn’t even know something like this existed.
Severe Acne: Everything Started as a Preteen
Of course, we need people that go to college and have credentials for specific things. But in my opinion, they would’ve loved something like this and they never knew about it. My two friends that are going through right now, they’re both chemists. One has already quit his job to move into FDN and the other one wants to leave the job.
It’s just kind of crazy that they spent all this money and this is kind of what they wanted to do anyway. But it’s also exciting for me because I’m so used to working with people who are in their forties and fifties, which is awesome. I’ve seen over these last several years that we’re attracting people now on both ends of the spectrum, which is interesting.
It’s not just people in their twenties, but we have practitioners in their sixties and seventies now. They’re retired and they’re like, Hey, I want to go through FDN. So, really just cool to get to talk to you today, Johanna. We’ll dive into your story first. You’ve listened before, you know how we start this show.
When did the health symptoms start for you and what did they look like?
[00:04:56] Johanna Obydke: Although I’m young, I feel like it’s saying it goes way back, you know, so young. It’s just silly to say that but it really does. Ever since I’ve was a preteen, when I started getting my first menstrual cycles, that’s really when everything started.
I always thought it was normal to have severe menstrual cramps. I never thought that it was something that was bad or anything. I just thought every woman experiences it because all the women that I was close to were experiencing it. So, it was just something I always dealt with.
Severe Acne: Getting Older and Getting Worse
I always had a few breakouts here and there. But what really was the driving factor is when I became a young adult, I started to turn 18, getting into college, those cramps were getting worse, and then my acne was getting worse.
I’ve been always told, you’re a young girl, you’re a teenager, your acne will go right away. But over time, my acne has only gotten worse as I get older. It kind of felt opposite. It was really that period of time when I was becoming a young adult and my acne was getting far worse, that was really the wake up call for me.
[00:05:54] Detective Ev: Johanna already knows, and probably many of the listeners do, if you’re listening regularly, that was a huge thing for me. We had all these other things going on, sure. But acne, especially cystic acne, is a heck of a motivating factor.
For those that are just listening on audio, what’s really cool is both of us are looking good today. I would never know that you struggled with this if you didn’t tell me that. Obviously, something’s worked here. Few people, sadly, get the results that they want with the cystic acne. Many of them do find exactly what you and I found. Were told, you’ll outgrow this. For us it was the exact opposite. The older I was getting, the worse it was getting.
At a certain point I remembered my dermatologist. I think she made a prediction like, once you’re over 18, similar to yours, it’s going to be fine. Well, I was 19, and my skin was the worst it’s ever been, not even comparable to any other time. I knew, even though she meant well, she was definitely wrong about this.
Severe Acne: Going on Meds
What were the first things that you started doing? I know that when we’re trying to get help for acne, especially, many people might not realize this unless they’ve dealt with it like us, you’re in the online forum. You’re on the Google search, you end up in some weird places. All of a sudden, someone’s telling you that like you need to use your own urine on your face in a concoction. I’m being funny, but I’m not kidding. That’s actually the stuff that you’ll see online. It’s nuts.
So, did you just start searching around or did you try Western Medicine first?
[00:07:08] Johanna Obydke: Yeah, so it’s funny you say that cause I read all those things. I’ve even read the thing with the urine. Of course, never tried that. That’s a little way too crazy for me. But in my college I was a biology major. So, I was very into western medicine and like medicine is the only answer. That was kind of my mindset at the time.
I went to my dermatologist, and I also went to another doctor, I got antibiotics, and I got birth control because I figured might as well tackle the cramps and tackle the acne. I was like, there’s no harm. I’ll figure it out.
I went on both of those medications, and nothing worked for the cramps, absolutely not, no difference at all. But my skin actually cleared up completely. Like I had no breakouts, and I was doing great. This is the part of my story that makes me so upset because I had the clear skin, like I was there at that point. It was time to come off of the antibiotics.
Severe Acne: Stopping the Meds & Getting Worse
I was on it for about eight months, which is very long. I was taking about like 150 milligrams of doxycycline every day. So, I was taking a lot. That’s definitely why my skin cleared up so quickly.
But when it was time to come off of it, my acne ended up coming back within the next month. Then it started to double and double and double and got so worse. I had severe cystic acne. Not a part of my face was not covered in acne. It was really the worst experience for me. So, I had stopped both medications, both the antibiotics and the birth control around the same time. On top of that, my cramps ended up getting far worse, way beyond that I ever experienced in my life.
I also started to develop new symptoms, a lot of GI related symptoms, severe constipation, pain, gas pain, bloating, and I never had stomach issues. I had like a stomach of steel. I could eat anything growing up, no problem. All of a sudden, everything was bothering me. I would have my morning coffee, bloated; my lunch, bloated; dinner, bloated. It was just absolutely terrible.
So, I was like, do I go back on medication to mask this, or do I find something else? That is when I switched from the western medicine mindset to the more holistic route of things, except I found like the vegan holistic side first. I feel like that’s pretty common in FDN too.
Severe Acne: Angrily Trying to Accept the Fate
I see a lot of people talking about how they went dairy free, you know, vegan, whatnot. I wasn’t full vegan, but I decided to go dairy free for about six or seven months. During that time my acne got even worse. It was severe, painful. I’ll send over pictures and things like that, but it was just so terrible, and I was really feeling at my worst.
Those other constipation and bloating pains, they continued to persist as I went dairy free. I was basically vegan. I didn’t really eat a lot of meat, but I did still have some in my diet. As I was experiencing this, like I did the western medicine, I did the holistic side; I’m like, now I feel lost. I feel like there’s no other route and I was just like, doomed. I’m going to have cramps; I’m going to have acne for the rest of my life. I’m just going to have to deal with it. And I just hated my body for giving me these experiences. Like, why do I have to have acne? Why do I have to have cramps?
I was just mad at myself and my body. I honestly had a terrible relationship with a lot of the foods I was eating because I felt, okay, well I’m doing this to myself, or these foods are doing this to me. I just had this really angry relationship with food and wellness and health. This was going on for probably about close to a year, that post medication phase of like anger and upsetness, just accepting my fate.
Severe Acne: Finding an FDN & A Gateway to Healing
When I was scrolling on Instagram, I had found an FDN who literally just stood right out to me. She had posted something where she said, do you have severe acne?
I’m like, yeah.
Did you go on a dairy free or close to vegan diet?
I’m like, yes.
She’s like, did it not work?
And I’m like, yes.
Of course, I ran right to her page, and was reading all about what she does. I had noticed she really talks a lot about polyunsaturated fatty acids. That was my gateway into the world of FDN, the world of pro metabolic healing.
[00:11:03] Detective Ev: This is just complete luck that you found this scrolling on Instagram.
[00:11:05] Johanna Obydke: It’s so crazy. I mean, people don’t like to talk religions, but I’m a pretty religious person. Actually, I had found this page on Easter. I had spent all Lent praying and being upset and trying to accept this as my fate. I have to appreciate the way I look because, you know, God makes us perfect, right? That was always my mindset.
So, once I was scrolling, it was on Easter. I’m like, oh my gosh, I feel like this is straight from God, like a sign. I just thought that was so wonderful to find her. I actually never ended up working with any FDNs, cause I figured I’m going to do this on my own, do my own research.
Also, I couldn’t really afford it as a college kid. I can’t afford a lot of these labs and whatnot. So, I decided to just do all my own research online. I switched my whole diet over and I found raw milk, like unpasteurized dairy. That was a huge gateway into my healing process.
Severe Acne: The Importance of Sharing Your Story
[00:11:54] Detective Ev: This is awesome and a huge testament to people. There’s a lot of FDNs in the beginning, especially if they’re new to business, they’re very scared to share their truth and share their stories. This was someone who is now an FDN, simply because someone was posting something.
I also think it’s our duty. I really believe this because it’s one of the reasons I like doing the podcast. We have to share this message with as many people as possible. Cause you’re out there suffering, praying literally for something to come your way. Sure enough, here it comes. But if that person had never engaged in that action, you would’ve never found this either.
It’s interesting that you took this approach of going through FDN. Many people don’t realize this, one of the reasons I went through FDN is because, you’re right, I actually found FDN practitioners first. I was like, okay, I’m 21. This is crazy. I can’t do that at the time. I’m like, I can get monthly payment plans that are cheaper though, I want to learn it anyway. I bet I can do the course super-fast and figure this out. Make some money somehow. That’s the exact same strategy I took. I’m like, I can afford the monthly payments, but I can’t afford the FDN right now.
That’s not to discourage anyone out there from doing their own business. There are many people that don’t want to go through the course and all it offers, cause it’s a heck of a lot. But there’s people out there that if you’re desperate enough, especially with cystic acne, you’re desperate doing anything that you can to find this and then you get lucky enough.
Severe Acne: Holistic Influence
I want to just rewind a little bit. You talked about how you stopped using the medication and all this stuff came back and that’s when this idea of holistic came into your mind. I’m still curious though, because I know that our generation might just generally be more accepting of these ideas.
But for me, I can remember this transitional period where I went from, whoa, wait, nutrition and all these things affects this stuff and I never really thought about it. Was there some kind of particular moment that led you to that? Or did you always know intuitively that, maybe you can do this holistic thing. Was there any influence in your life that led to this?
[00:13:48] Johanna Obydke: Yeah, I always had an interest in nutrition when I was growing up. I actually wanted to be a nutritionist and then, I was kind of guided in a different direction. But it wasn’t just my own intuition. My boyfriend’s brother was actually going through a very similar experience, not acne, some other symptoms. He was trying to find a more natural solution.
We would actually spend a lot of time talking about the things we’re going through, things we read online. At one point, he also thought dairy free, and vegan was the way to go. It’s pretty funny. We always would sit and talk about these things. We’ve actually crossed paths so many times in our healing journeys.
When I found FDN, found out about raw milk, and things like that, he was actually finding the raw primal diet. We had both messaged each other around the same time about changing our diet towards eating meat again and things like that. It was definitely influence from the people around me as well.
Severe Acne: The Start of a Career Path Change
[00:14:41] Detective Ev: Cool. So, then you decide, hey, I’m actually going to go through this FDN thing. And you graduated in December of 2022, which is really recent. What was cool, her and I were talking today trying to get this figured out.
One of the things that you actually said is, oh, I have a discovery call. So, this is a 22-year-old person that graduated in December of 2022, coming out of college, and yet is already getting discovery calls. Now, I don’t care about the success of your business or lack thereof. I don’t know that; it doesn’t matter to me.
It’s the fact that you’re already out there doing this. Yet, I hear, I don’t want to say excuses, I want to be kind, but I hear a lot of reasons from people double our age that, oh, they can’t do this, or they can’t get on calls or do whatever. Yet here you are just like, okay, I’m going to go do this. I’m really curious about this whole career thing too, because from what I saw on your Instagram, it seems like you’re pretty dedicated to this.
How did you decide, I just went to college for, I’m assuming, the four years and now I’m transitioning into this? It’s a heck of a change.
[00:15:33] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. When I was going through my whole acne story and change, whatnot, I was still going to college to become an occupational therapist, actually. I was studying biology and I had this change of heart, like, I don’t know what I want to do anymore.
Severe Acne: Switching to FDN as a Career
I never thought about FDN as a career at first. I always thought about it as this is just going to be for me to get me healthier, whatever. As I was having that crisis for what I want to do with this degree that I just got, I realized like, wait, I can make this into a career and help people just like me.
I also noticed so many people asking me questions as my skin started to clear up, like, what did you do? What are you doing? I realized I enjoy sharing this with other people, why not make it my career. So, I decided I’m going to do FDN.
I waited till I graduated, started in May of 2022. Spent the whole summer in full doing the program. That was really just my way in realizing that I love helping other people like that.
[00:16:30] Detective Ev: That’s awesome. We’re glad to have you obviously. I will say, I mean, even though I don’t necessarily think someone should have to pursue it for just this reason, we can’t deny that having those extra credentials, especially as a young person, that’s going to help so much when you’re interacting with people. I get this, I’ve experienced this.
I’m not just some random 20-something that’s trying to sell health coaching. I have legitimate certifications; I have legitimate knowledge in this, and I can help you. Then we have the story on top of it. No one can take away the story, especially since you have pictures. And this is tough because not every condition can be something that someone takes pictures of. Not to mention, a lot of us don’t want to take pictures when we are in the worst of our things if we can see it.
Severe Acne: Family and Friends Adjusting
I thank God that I have the pictures I do because they are horrendous, but they’re my best marketing. They’re the best way to tell people, this actually works, and it can work for you as well.
Just based on your boyfriend’s brother, based on the people that you’re talking to, it sounds like people are open to this. But how have you found your circle of friends or family, are they accepting of this because you already have such a powerful story, or how did this go initially? Like, by the way, I know I went through college, but now I’m going to go do this.
[00:17:31] Johanna Obydke: My parents had a hard time adjusting to the idea of me opening my own business, they still are. Like my mom will mention to me, there’s an opening at a hospital, you should get a job.
I’m like, well, I don’t want to work for someone else right now. I’ve found that this is really what I want to do. I think it’s just their mindset. I’m from New York, so they’re both city workers. It’s like here, you get your city job, you get your pension, you have to have that security. They’re super supportive, but they’re like maybe get a city job as well. Either way, everyone around me is super supportive.
All my friends are always asking me for advice. You know, it was really great. I got a lot of practice on my friends. I got to run labs on all of them. They were lining up, fighting over who’s going to get the next service. I think it’s also just our generation as a whole just really cares about their health and wellness overall. Everyone’s so curious to see what’s going on inside.
Severe Acne: Many Hindrances to Healthy Choices
[00:18:22] Detective Ev: Yes, and I agree with this. Again, our generation also statistically speaking, has way more health issues, both mental and physical than previous generations. It’s kind of like the whole thing, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I don’t think that’s true, cause again, we have 70-year-old people going through FDN sometimes. But I will say, a 19-year-old that has health issues and doesn’t really know any better is quite receptive to any idea that they believe could actually help them through this.
It’s really encouraging. I mean, it’s one thing for your friends to be supportive, to know that they were actually interested in saying, hey, I want to do some labs and stuff that, that’s amazing. I know that you just graduated, but are you finding that these people are actually okay with doing the work and making the lifestyle changes? Because I think this is one of the hardest things as people in our twenties, especially the early twenties or college days.
I didn’t go to college in a normal sense. I went for like a semester and a half of community college, so I never had a traditional college experience. But I’m very aware from friends, girlfriend, and family members, what that traditional experience is like. You have every influence in the world, basically discouraging the healthy lifestyle that would be necessary to get these conditions better. You’re staying up late, you’re binge drinking, you’re hooking up with people, like there’s a lot going on, man. It’s very tempting and many people want to engage with it.
So, even though they might be interested in how you did this, are they willing to put in the work? I mean, is that something that you’re finding?
Severe Acne: Motivated Clients
[00:19:43] Johanna Obydke: It definitely varies from person to person. Believe it or not, I actually see more of the people who are willing to make a change than not. Especially my age, there’s quite a few.
I primarily work with young women just like myself, and most of them have made incredible changes. Sometimes they do better. I look to them, I’m like, wow, you’re doing better than me, I feel like sometimes. Like you’re so motivated, you’re so on top of things. I tell them to do something, and they do it.
For example, I tell them to, for example, go gluten free maybe, or try something. Yeah, I’ll do it. No problem. You know, send me what things I should order. I’m like, that’s huge. If someone told me like, you know, not knowing anything about this, just like, go gluten free without all the research I have, I’d be like, oh no. I can’t do that. Are you crazy? I say it and they do it, which I think is just so incredible. They’re really willing to make these changes to feel better.
[00:20:30] Detective Ev: Nice. That leads me to my next question. Again, I mean, you graduated basically less than three months ago, so we’re not expecting something crazy here, but I mean, you literally went right into it, dove in headfirst, and you’re going for the business side of things. This is awesome.
I think, again, it’s very encouraging for people that have been in a traditional career for maybe 30 years, and now they’re coming out and they’re scared of the business side. To hear from a young person that’s just like, no, screw it. I’m just going to go do that and take the risk.
Severe Acne: Using Social Media & Word of Mouth
It sounds like you’re already having some success. What’s been your approach? Have you been using just the social media side? Are you doing anything else? Like, have you gotten any real clients that are outside of friends and family? No worries if not. I’m just curious to see where you’re at.
[00:21:05] Johanna Obydke: You know, I’ve gotten a few clients that, these people, I have no idea who they are, which I was like screaming. I have like my Calendly, whatever, when I got that first thing, I was like jumping around. I’m like, I can’t do this every time cause like my cortisol is through the room. I’m like freaking out every single time I get a client. But it’s quite exciting.
I have gone only through social media and word of mouth. I didn’t believe anyone. A lot of FDNs told me, word of mouth is the way to go. I didn’t believe anyone. I’m like, there’s no way. But that’s really been the biggest thing for me, just going and speaking in my neighborhood, making myself known.
Even just like speaking to people like in a non-lecturer setting. Just when I go to the store, if I meet someone, or you know, just organically meeting people has been huge for me. Then for social media, every time I post my personal story or pictures, I get a message. So, I feel like that’s really the way to go. It’s not just about sharing information; it’s about sharing your own personal experiences.
[00:21:59] Detective Ev: Very cool.
Severe Acne: Learning Along the Way
I’ve had the same experience where I almost like never worry in the back of my head. I do a lot of other things outside of FDN stuff and it’s pretty actually rare that I take a one-on-one client, now.
We’re doing some stuff at our local business where we’re actually like funneling clients basically to my girlfriend, best friend, and stuff as they get through the FDN course. But I will never worry about money because I always know that if I just post my personal story in that acne transformation, just like you said, I almost always get messages from this. People are like, wow, this is awesome. How can I do something here?
I also have experience with this, so maybe that’s helping. But it’s like I can post that, get a message, we have a conversation. I now know I can help this person, almost always, I can help them. And you can make money doing a really ethical thing, like actually serving someone. That’s a great way to do business.
I don’t need you to tell us the specific numbers here, I’m just curious. With these first few clients that you’ve brought on, are you going like, full out FDN pricing? Did you discount it a little bit? What are we working with there?
[00:22:54] Johanna Obydke: Yeah, I definitely think Reed would tell me that I’m undercharging for what I do, he always says.
Whenever I hear the packages, I feel like it’s so expensive. I definitely am on the lower side right now just as I get to be adjusted to being an FDN and working out things cause it’s not perfect. There are still things that I’m learning along the way.
Severe Acne: New FDN’s First Clients
Then also I’ve noticed a lot of people tend to gravitate towards not working for 90 days and just wanting to run labs and meet once. I found that’s really where people like to go. Then after one session, then they end up booking later on and adding more labs.
So far, it’s really the less expensive side.
[00:23:32] Detective Ev: Sure. Listen, it’s always tough because, especially being a part of FDN, I gotta be careful about the advice I’m giving out. There might be advice that’s really great for me or one person and it’s not great for all the people listening. It could be misleading, especially if maybe they’re new to FDN. They’re listening to me and thinking that I know it all and I don’t. I know maybe more than someone who’s not an FDN, but I don’t know everything about this. There are different ways to handle business.
I think what you said is realistic. In the beginning, there might be some different ways that you need to handle the clients. I think what you did with your friends is genius. That’s pretty much the only time I recommend working with someone for free.
If you can get some friends that are willing to pay for the labs that say, tell me my results. Then you’re very realistic with them saying, just so you know, you’re supposed to work with me for three months minimum, but if you know that and just want to get some results, fine. You show them some stuff, you get them a little better.
They probably weren’t the sickest people in the world anyway, and they write you a nice testimonial. Cool. That can be a great time to work with someone for free.
Severe Acne: With More Experience Comes More Confidence
It can also be okay to work with someone at a discount rate right now to build that confidence. But the way that you’re going, you’re going to end up like all these other FDNs. I would love to see what a year from now brings for you. I genuinely believe if you’re already out here with the confidence to do this, you’re going to be someone that is one of our FDNs that just has that referral-based practice and is probably either hiring other people or has some type of wait list.
Then when you get to that point, guys, it’s nice because one, you have a genuine confidence with this, but two, it’s like, why would I not just do the packages I’m supposed to do and charge the price that I’m supposed to charge. It’s like, you know, in the back of your head you have a wait list, you know that you got like 10 other calls that week. So, you walk around feeling a little bit different about it.
You know, you’re like, all right, well if you don’t buy this $5,000 package that I know can serve you at the highest level, totally cool. I got nine other calls this week and I’ll work through that. So that’s cool, mixing the community with the social media type of stuff.
I’d love to ask too, especially as someone who went to college for science-based things, how did you find the FDN course? I know it’s tough as you’re on a public podcast, but I always invite people to be objective. There’s a nice way to give constructive feedback. You’re more than welcome to say things that you wanted improved as well, if you found that there were any.
Johanna’s Opinion of the FDN Course
Did the course meet your expectations? Did you think it was worth the money? I just want your opinion of it overall.
[00:25:41] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. Once again, the course, I found on Instagram, not from the same FDN that I had found about my healing journey. It was actually another person I realized, wait, they have the same certification. So, I was like, this is definitely something great that I’ll want to go through.
Honestly, I really did love the course. I enjoyed every second of it. I found it to be very challenging, well, not super challenging, but pretty challenging. I learned things that I didn’t learn in my biology courses in college. I always thought that was great to learn something new. Because I kind of went into it thinking, well, I’m going to know most of this stuff, just like the nutritional aspect will kind of be the new part. But there was a lot of anatomy and physiology that I learned in the FDN course, and I was pleasantly surprised.
I really did love, like really enjoyed the course, but I think some of the things that I would’ve loved to see more of, maybe more of the lab trainings too. Like for some of the more advanced labs that aren’t included in the FDN, for like the DUTCH.
I got out into the world, and I was like, what is this? Everyone’s running it, this is stressing me out. I need to know it. It was actually pretty easy to find resources from FDN later on, but I just felt like I was kind of shocked with a few of the labs that I haven’t heard of.
Detective Ev’s Opinion of FDN
[00:26:50] Detective Ev: Fair enough. And that’s a great point. It’s something worth addressing.
I think this is tough for us cause we always want to offer more. But then yeah, once you graduate, it’s like, holy cow. For those that don’t know, you get access to over 60 labs and counting once you graduate. I mean, it’s stuff that we don’t talk about at all in the course and there’s a bunch of advanced courses, so people always kind of wonder why is that there?
My opinion of this is the FDN course is made in such a way that if that’s all you ever did as of right now, you could get the vast majority of people that you work with better. Don’t work with stage 4 cancer patients, that’s probably inappropriate for a freshly graduated FDN. They need oncologists, they need a lot of other technical things, and even much more advanced functional people.
But where we really kill it is these very common but not normal hormonal issues that you’re talking about. Autoimmunity, we are so great with that, I feel like because autoimmunity, not all of them, but most of them, you can kind of live a normal life expectancy, but you’re suffering the entire time. So, we don’t have the same urgency that a cancer person does, and it’s usually the lifestyle factors that are triggering the autoimmunity to begin with. We work really well on those populations.
And so, if that’s all you ever did and then you just went out and pursued the FDN side, you would be fine.
Adding all the Tools to Your FDN Belt
However, we attract a fair bit of nerds, such as myself, seems like yourself, many other people in the AFDNP group, our professionals’ group. Even if we don’t necessarily always need it to serve a client, we want to learn and just want to say, all right, how can I add every tool possible into my tool belt over time?
So, you could still go out and do FDN on day one of graduating, you should do that actually. But then you can increase your knowledge over time, and you end up like Ryan Monahan, I’m sure you’ve seen him at this point. He’s been on the podcast. Ryan’s brilliant. Ryan has gone through almost every advanced course that we have. I think he might have gone through every single advanced one that we have.
This guy’s operating at a whole different level in terms of education here. But you know what, his clients are somewhat similar to yours and mine. It’s not that much different always.
The Dutch, I will say, can be useful. I’m glad we don’t include it in the course because we’d have to charge a lot more and then we’d add like another 20, 30 hours of technical stuff. But if you are a practitioner who is working with women in any way specializing in hormone stuff, I mean, you’re doing that, I can see how that’s beneficial and I think it’s worth taking that advanced course.
Then we even offer the addendum stuff that’s free once you graduate. So, yeah, that’s why we have those types of things. I hope that makes sense to people.
Severe Acne: Johanna’s Test Results
One other thing I’m curious about then is because you, of course, went through the course at a time where we now include four physical lab tests that you actually got to run on yourself. Were you surprised at some of the results or just maybe not even surprised, were you just finding some of that interesting? What showed up for you that was notable?
[00:29:27] Johanna Obydke: I was so surprised. Also, those labs really were what got me through the rest of, like, of course, I’m not perfectly healed, right. I’m not in like a great, wonderful, a hundred percent state of health. But it was really the pushing, like it got me to where I am today, like finding those lab results.
I was so surprised. I had been on antibiotics, so I was pretty sure that my GI MAP would be like starved of bacteria. It was like the complete opposite. Also, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. So, I did not expect to see anything on that liver panel or the oxidative stress. I was like, I’m not worried about that.
That was actually like one of the biggest issues for me. I’m embarrassed to share my oxidative stress level. It was over 25. I was like so shocked to see that on myself. I was like, for someone who doesn’t drink, who doesn’t smoke, and for someone who’s young, like, why is this the case?
But I’ve learned that over time, all those medications I was taking, throughout my whole life with the severe cramps, I was taking like half a bottle of Advil every single month.
[00:30:23] Detective Ev: Oh my gosh. How many pills is that a day, roughly?
Severe Acne: Gluten Sensitivity
[00:30:24] Johanna Obydke: It was probably about like three to four a day for like three to four days a month.
[00:30:30] Detective Ev: That’s not how you’re supposed to use Advil and people don’t read the back of the bottle. They don’t realize people are going to the hospital every day for the gastric bleeding because of those.
[00:30:38] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. When you’re in pain, it’s like, I only care about the pain relief right now. That was a major thing for me. Just realizing that all those medications really screwed up my detox pathways and like I’m not detoxing, I’m full of oxidative stress. Like, I’m just not in a good state of health. So that was kind of a wild awakening for me. I was like, wow, I need to kind of start shifting more things and working on my health to be even better.
[00:31:04] Detective Ev: I gotta just ask, this is such an oversimplified thing. We do so much more than this, but I’m just curious, did you have some sensitivity to gluten or wheat?
[00:31:11] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. My Secretory IgA was so low that the anti-gliadin came up low too. I never did the food sensitivity, the MRT. But since my Secretory IgA was so low and the anti-gliadin was so low, you know, if you put it to scale, the anti-gliadin would be high. You know what I mean?
[00:31:27] Detective Ev: I believe in that wholeheartedly. I think that’s a reasonable connection. I apply that with clients when I’ve worked with them in the past. So, yeah. We’ll scale that. We’ll say like, yeah, you’re probably sensitive to this.
Severe Acne: Supplement Mindset
[00:31:35] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. So, that was like one thing. But for me, like I also was kind of not anti-supplement, but I just didn’t think supplements were the answer. I was like, oh, I don’t need supplements. Until I saw how bad my labs were and I was like, okay, I could bring in some antiox support or you know, detox support.
I haven’t retested, I’m going to do it very soon. I have the kit waiting in my room. I’ve just been putting it off.
[00:31:57] Detective Ev: Yeah, and you know what? I don’t even discredit what you just said about the supplements, because some supplements are marketing businesses, they’re not supplement businesses. They don’t care about the products; they don’t care about the quality. They are good at selling these things and they’re crap.
But with a lot of the stuff that we’re recommending at FDN, like when you’re talking about companies like Bio Botanicals or Microbiome Labs, I mean, these are pharmaceutical grade stuff. These are fantastic companies. So yeah, both are true. There are really lame supplements out there that don’t do much. And then there’s stuff, especially Microbiome Labs, shout out to them.
I’m shocked consistently by how much something like MegaSpore can do. You’re like, these two little capsules make me feel this different and help the bowels this much. Yeah, that’s actually what they do.
What phase were you in for the HPA axis dysfunction? Did you get yourself to the exhaustion?
[00:32:43] Johanna Obydke: Yeah, like super exhaustive. It’s too much to pull it up now, but it was very, very low, like nothing. And my DHEA was through the roof, like I think it was like 14 point something. But that’s also very common, we see in PCOS patients. I do have PCOS, so it was kind of like just a confirming factor for me right there, just seeing that.
I do see it quite often in cases where the female has severe period cramps. I often see that really low cortisol, really, really high DHEA.
[00:33:14] Detective Ev: Okay. This is just interesting in general cause I’ve noticed this correlation with younger people, believe it or not. In the course, for those that might be out of the loop here, Reed talks about that most people will see a low cortisol and DHEA. Then he estimates that about 10% of people, and he wasn’t even a hundred percent sure why when he did these, but he’s like 10% of people, it seems that their cortisol goes low, but their DHEA spikes.
The only time I’ve actually ever seen that is myself, my 27-year-old friend, and now you. So, I don’t know if that’s also correlated with maybe if we are younger, we’re holding on a little better hormonally and the DHEA is trying to compensate. Cause mine was like two or three times the reference range when I ran this.
And then my buddy Brian just got this done. Sure enough, exhaustive phase of HPA axis dysfunction at 27 years old. Cortisol was tanked, but DHEA was high. Johanna, it makes me wonder. Think about all your friends and the people that you know.
Are you in New York City or just New York?
Exhaustive Phase of HPA Axis Dysfunction
[00:34:05] Johanna Obydke: No, New York City. I’m in Brooklyn, actually.
[00:34:07] Detective Ev: I feel like people are just getting hit in the city so much harder. I mean, you can’t even walk down the streets of Philly or New York City. I don’t go to New York City as much, but for work I end up in Philly or some of these cities a lot. When I’m walking, I’m like, just what I’m inhaling. I’m like, I don’t want to do this.
Can you imagine how many of our friends are walking around in the exhaustive phase already, and you just hope to God that they’re going to wake up to these concepts. Maybe we can at least be there for them when they finally do. Because if they’re already in this phase now, what are they going to be at 30, 40 years old? I mean, this is a one-way ticket to chronic disease, in my opinion.
[00:34:40] Johanna Obydke: I completely agree. I was shocked about the exhaustive phase for myself as well. I was just kind of like, I thought I would have super high cortisol cause I tend to be a high anxiety, stressed out person. It was kind of like, oh my goodness, I’ve been in this state. I’m just like, I need to get out of this exhaustive phase like soon because, obviously, my stress and anxiety is causing this exhaustive phase rather than that really high cortisol, which is what I expected to see.
Severe Acne: Period Cramps That Are Common, Not Normal
[00:35:04] Detective Ev: I wanted to focus on like this generational thing and like how we actually deal with this. Are you finding that a lot of your female friends, do they have what we were talking about off air where like they almost like think it’s normal to not have a period or have irregular ones? Do you have to almost like educate them on this idea that this is not ideal?
[00:35:20] Johanna Obydke: Yeah, I mean at one point I thought that that was normal. I thought that period cramps were just a part of being a woman. I just thought that that’s what everyone had to experience and endure.
I find that with a lot of my friends too, thinking that severe cramps where they’re just like absolutely nauseous. They have to stay out of work for like a week. They can’t even get out of bed. They’re so weak, they can’t do anything. They think that that is normal and just a part of womanhood and no problem. I see that all the time just thinking that it’s normal and that you need birth control to regulate it. That’s super common in my generation thinking, oh, birth control will just solve all your problems. But it won’t
[00:35:58] Detective Ev: It’s scary because by the time that a lot of women call me, it’s always been like mid to late twenties. They’ll call and say usually something along these lines, all right, I got off birth control. So, they did this themselves.
Severe Acne: No Period at 27 is Not Normal
They’re in that phase where we started out in, where we’re interested in this, but we’re not working with anyone yet. So, we’re cycle of trial and erroring for natural health. We’re just going through different diets or whatever. And they’ll come to me like, hey, I got off my birth control a year ago or six months ago because I was having symptoms.
When I got off, I haven’t had a period since. I’m like, Dude, you’re like 27 and you have not had a period for six months without the birth control? She’s like, yeah. Like, I know it went away on birth control. But again, the OB/GYN told her that that was normal. Yeah, it can go away sometimes on this.
In my opinion, I’m not radical, like one way or the other, I don’t try to be, at least. I think anyone that has listened regularly would say that I am fair to western medicine. But doing this to young women, I feel like this is one of the more criminal things that we’re doing. I mean, we are like altering their hormones for years during their developmental phases. And we’re doing this under the guise of, oh, well you’ll have a few less pimples, which might be true, but it’s never actually solving this. Like this is crazy, right?
[00:37:07] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. It’s like these symptoms might be masked for a while, but as soon as you come off of it, it’s going to come right back out and it’s going to be worse because the birth control does so much to the body. It’s going to harm our gut, our gut microbiome, it’s going to hurt our mineral balance. There are so many things that birth control does that’s harmful.
Severe Acne: Ignorance Around Birth Control
But, like you said, these young women in these developmental phases, I was, I think 17 or 18 when I went on it. That’s really young to be going on a pill like that. And there’s girls I know who go on it at 15 or 16, there’s no need for that. There are so many other options out there. Like you said, we shouldn’t be too harsh towards western medicine cause there’s a need for western medicine.
Birth control is something that should be very, very heavily debated going on. I was never told any of the symptoms or anything that it does. I was just told that it’s going to regulate my period, that was it. I didn’t even know really what hormones I was putting into my body. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what it was that I was taking.
[00:38:04] Detective Ev: Exactly. Ask any 16-year-old girl that’s on this, you know, what is it that you’re taking and what does it do fundamentally? We probably already stopped the conversation. It’s not because they’re dumb, it’s just genuine ignorance that is kind of promoted by western medicine because you’re not really told the full story.
Did you ever get offered Accutane? I’m going somewhere with this.
[00:38:21] Johanna Obydke: Oh yeah, so many times. I could go down the list of the medications. I’m going to go on a tangent now, but after I got off my birth control, I went to a different doctor. I said, I want to still fix my cramps, but I don’t want to be on birth control. But she actually gave me a different type of birth control.
Severe Acne: Spironolactone & Accutane
And I was like, no, I don’t think you understand.
She’s like, oh no, this one’s so much better than the other one.
I was like, forget it. Then I went to another doctor. For the acne, she said spironolactone, which like mimics testosterone, I believe. I could be wrong.
[00:38:46] Detective Ev: I don’t know that, but I’ve heard. And it’s not often, but I’ve heard this being recommended for acne.
[00:38:49] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. I actually was like, well, can we test my hormones and stuff like that? No, no, that’ll work. Then I went on an online forum, and I read about spironolactone and like women having terrible experiences growing facial hair, like losing their period, things like that on this medication. I was just like, oh my goodness, I’m so done.
And I’ve been offered Accutane plenty of times. But there was just something always instilled in me the fact that you have to get the blood tests every month, like to check your liver health. I was like, that just doesn’t sound like it’s a safe drug.
[00:39:15] Detective Ev: Well, and that was kind of my point because as much as I absolutely detest the idea that we are taking advantage of pimple face teenagers and young adults and convincing them that a former chemotherapeutic drug is somehow necessary for their acne, I detest that.
But what I do appreciate is even the dermatologist that recommended that to me did not for one second, I believe, underplay the side effects potentially that could come with that. I mean, there was the whole packet that you have to sign. She did tell me this is a last resort. She did try many other things before we got there.
Severe Acne: Meds’ Side Effects
In her world, she did do everything that she knew how to do and was trained to do before she recommended Accutane. So, no condemnation towards her at all. At least you kind of, even as a young person, you kind of get what you’re going into. It’s like, okay, I’ve never had to sign for any other medication before. But yet, we’ll hand out the eight months of antibiotics like it’s nothing. We’ll hand out birth control, like it’s nothing.
I’m not necessarily comparing those things to Accutane, but they’re not particularly side effect free things either. There are studies showing that one or two basic courses, one-week courses of penicillin increases the risk of anxiety and depression in the person over 20% for the next year. I mean, these are things that greatly can affect us, and yet we’re throwing you on doxycycline for eight months.
Isn’t that the one that they use for lime? I believe.
[00:40:34] Johanna Obydke: I’m not sure.
Detective Ev: I think that’s important.
Johanna Obydke: Yeah. I’m not super familiar with a lot of antibiotics. But yeah, it’s crazy too. I was on it for a while, and I had started developing these crazy like constipation pains and just like bloating.
So, I went to two different doctors, one for the antibiotics, one for the birth control. I went to both of them, asking them like, is this causing this pain? The dermatologist told me, no, that’s probably the birth control. There’s no way that antibiotics could be causing you stomach pain like that. That’s exactly his words. And I was like, oh, okay, no problem. Never was recommended a probiotic, anything.
Severe Acne: All-Natural Skin Care
Went to the gynecologist, my dermatologist told me it’s probably the birth control. Do you know why this is causing stomach pain? No, no, no. That’s the antibiotics. There’s no way the birth control could be causing you stomach pain.
I’m like, well, obviously something’s wrong, so I have to figure it out.
[00:41:19] Detective Ev: Well again, your skin looks awesome now. It’s so cool that you’ve made this progress. This isn’t bad either way, no one cares. Just I want to be realistic for the audience. May I ask, are you currently on any medications or like prescription creams for the acne, or did you just nail this by doing the lifestyle stuff?
[00:41:35] Johanna Obydke: No, a long time ago I was on it, but the creams did nothing for me. I do no medication, no medicated creams. I have a skincare routine and go get facials every now and then. I get red light therapy on my face, things like that. I know you have a red-light therapy place. I do some other outside, external things. You have to make sure you take care of your skin on the outside as well, it’s not just your diet, but a huge aspect is that diet.
Also for me, exercising was a huge thing, adding it, and I never used to. That was where I really felt a huge difference.
[00:42:07] Detective Ev: This is inspiring for people. This is a severe case of cystic acne done naturally. I’m in the same boat. And I think the problem is, Johanna, most people, and I understand this, they never actually are able to fully test what natural can do because they get so desperate that they do go on Accutane or something.
Severe Acne: People Making False Claims
I won’t mention the name, but I saw this with a vegan person before. They were online on YouTube claiming to cure their acne naturally, but they had been on three courses of Accutane as well as well. Now I’m not giving this person crap. I’m not even saying that they were being malicious. I don’t believe that for a second. But with all due respect, how can you possibly promote your diet, whether it was paleo, whether it was keto, even if it’s something that I’m in more favor of, how can you promote your diet when you took three courses of Accutane?
I mean, for many people because of the side effects, that’s actually why Accutane works. Most people don’t realize it’s the side effects of the original intention of the drug that leads to it being quote/unquote “beneficial” for acne. You are permanently changing things in your body, in your sebaceous glands, especially.
So, when you do that, how could you argue that any supplement or any dietary changed was the thing that helped you, if you’ve permanently changed your body? Versus, you know, someone taking the antibiotics, yes, that sucks, but it’s a temporary thing and clearly it did not work permanently because you got worse after stopping them. It’s just tough.
We need people out there like you and I, who it’s like, no, we haven’t taken these drugs that permanently changed our body. We did have the severe cystic acne and we got it better by doing the lifestyle stuff.
[00:43:35] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. And like for me, my skin did clear up after I went on medications, but as soon as I stopped them, that’s when my problem really started.
Johanna’s Business Goals
I look back at pictures before I went on medication and I’m like, what was wrong with me? Like my skin looked so clear compared to what it did later on. I thought like a few breakouts was like the biggest deal in the world. I was very obsessed with the way I looked, and I didn’t want to have to wear makeup and things like that.
But for me it was really the medications caused the severe cystic acne. And I was like, there’s no way I’m going to do this to myself again. So that’s really how I found that natural path.
[00:44:06] Detective Ev: Awesome. I won’t ask, because again, you only graduated like two and a half months ago, so it’s not really fair to be like, hey, what’s your craziest client testimonial. We’ll hopefully have you back one day and then we can ask that then.
One thing I will ask, just like, what’s your goal? Are you just shooting for that full-time FDN thing? Is that what you see for in the future?
[00:44:21] Johanna Obydke: Yeah. That’s what I want to do. I hit the ground running. Like I opened the business right before they did like the final oral exam cause I was like, I want to start right away. And I had my Instagram since I was a student. I was just like posting and things just as I learned throughout the course.
So, my goal is to just be full-time FDN, hopefully build up my business to be successful enough to hire other FDNs maybe in the future. But within the foreseeable future, I just want to build up that wait list right now. That’s my main goal.
[00:44:48] Detective Ev: Yeah, day by day.
Where to Find Johanna Obydke
Where can people find you and follow you?
[00:44:51] Johanna Obydke: You can find me on Instagram at nutritionbyJohanna. That’s really it. You can just find me there, or you can always email me [email protected] with any questions or if you want to chat.
[00:45:01] Detective Ev: Oh, I apologize. I’ll make sure I do that in the beginning of the episode. So, it’s Johanna, it’s not Joanna.
Johanna Obydke: Yeah.
Detective Ev: Okay, got it. Well, I like getting people’s names right. Unfortunately, I just looked at that, I’m like, oh yeah, it’s probably Joanna, but it’s always the ones that seem more obvious that get me.
So Cool. That’s where they can find you. We’ll have those links in the show notes, of course. And I hope this works out well for you because it’s a unique thing. We have a wide variety of people that listen. They’re mostly women, but the age ranges do vary quite a bit. Hopefully there’s going to be someone on here listening today that’s like in their twenties. Maybe they didn’t fully resonate with some of the other people that came on and they’re like, oh, okay, this is my person. Like, this is who I needed to come on today.
Conclusion/Signature Podcast Question
I believe you know this, if you’ve listened to full episodes, I have my signature question for you to finish up today since we effortlessly got to our 50 minutes. My signature question for you is if I could give you a magic wand and you could wave it and get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that’s actually do one thing or stop doing one thing, what is the one thing that you would get them to do?
[00:45:56] Johanna Obydke: Oh, wow. That’s a tough question. There are so many things going through my mind right now. Okay. If there’s a magic wand, I would make everyone stop eating seed oils. That’s like my thing. That’s one of the things I post about the most. I’m always talking about it.
If I had a magic wand, I could get rid of something in the world, it would be seed oils. It’s terrible. Look at the packaging. Things that seem healthy, have sunflower oil, have canola oil, so always look for that.
[00:46:20] Detective Ev: Cool. Johanna, thank you so much for coming on today. Welcome to FDN and just congrats on what you’re already doing. I’m sure you’re going to have much success in this.
[00:46:27] Johanna Obydke: Thank you so much.
You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com.
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