Staying Fit with Adrenal Dysfunction and Chronic Fatigue – Is it Possible? | Podcast #308
If you have adrenal dysfunction and chronic fatigue, exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing. Your adrenal glands are responsible for keeping the well-being of your body in balance through hormones. These glands also produce the hormone cortisol, which is released during your fight-or-flight response. As you can imagine, cortisol is beneficial when you need to be alert and escape danger. For more on exercise with adrenal dysfunction and chronic fatigue, listen to the entire podcast!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:38 Exercise Movements, Use of Bands, Etc
15:37 Hacks to Increase Exercise Performance
18:53 Post Recovery Stuff
29:39 Why Exercise is Important
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand, Evan, how are we doing my friend?
Evan Brand: Doing really good, excited to dive into this topic, I’ve suffered tremendously with exercise intolerance for a while, and luckily have pulled myself out of it. And I can empathize with people that want to exercise, but they literally physically can’t. Or if they do, they crash out, which is what was happening to me. So let me just share a story just for a minute, and then we’ll dive in some to the details of it. But there are different things that can make people exercise intolerant. For me, I think it was a combination of factors like everything, but I was to the point where, if I did try to push myself, it would take an extremely long time to recover, you know, two, three, sometimes four days, I would still be recovering from the the workout and I thought, Okay, well, as you and I talked about, we got to adjust the levers, I got to lower the intensity, I got to lower the duration and the frequency. So I did, but it wasn’t enough, I still felt like no matter if it’s a 10 minute or 30 minute, I was still drained. So for me, I think it was detox, I think it was getting my mitochondria working better, definitely getting adrenals working better. I think neurotransmitters played a role too, because, you know, you could have low motivation and low drive if dopamine is effective. So we’ll go into that. But that’s, that was my story.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very important. I think anyone that’s health conscious, right, like you’re moving a couple of levers when you’re health conscious, right, you’re really working on drinking clean water, you’re working on improving your food quality, maybe adjusting your macros, maybe you’re taking some supplements. And of course, the The other thing you will be putting a lot of focus on will be movement, right. And I just call exercise movement. So like the first met, the three levers that we can move we already kind of highlighted is frequency, how many times per week we’re exercising intensity, could be how intense the movement is a compound movement that uses multiple joints, like a front squat, or a single leg deadlift with a row kind of component, or something like a bicep curl, that’s like, you know, just your elbow joint, that kind of a single joint movement, that’s more bodybuilding based, and, and less kind of metabolism based, right full body bass. So we have frequency intensity, the type of movements and that also can include the rest time between sets, too, right. So you can also increase, you can do more intense stuff, and then just have more rest time to kind of be back to baseline in between. And the last is duration, how long your workout is, that’s helpful, too. So some data by Charles poliquin, who talked about cortisol really starts to increase, you know, 45 to 50 minutes in. And again, that’s gonna be for someone that’s more on the healthy side. So I always tell people, like keep your workout, if you’re more stressed, keep it under 20 minutes, that’s a pretty good rule of thumb, you know, and just try to do more circuit movements, where you do movements back to back to back, that can be helpful. But then we kind of have to gauge and how your body is adapting to the exercise. It’s all about adaptation. And so exercise is a stress, and we want our body to be able to adapt to that stress, so we grow stronger. Now, if that stress is too much, where our body is not able to adapt to it, meaning we’re getting weaker, we’re getting more tired, that defeats the purpose of exercise, we want our body to positively adapt to that stress. If it can’t, then we have to move those three levers frequency, intensity, duration, and we may even have to switch out of certain movements, we may have to switch into more yoga or more walking or more, you know, Tai Chi types of movements in the beginning and just kind of go from there. So there’s a couple different levers. And so there’s three questions I always ask my patients, my patients that are listening, they know this, do you feel better after the workout than when you started, you want to always feel like your exercise is energizing you. That’s a good place to know that you’re adapting to your exercise you’re able to adapt to it. Number two is you can emotionally repeat the exercise afterwards. Once your heart rates kind of brought back down to the baseline after you stopped your movement. Can you emotionally do it again? Are you like, wow, I’m done. Right? And then number three is going to be last question is how do you feel later on that day, if it’s a morning workout, or that next morning, if it’s an afternoon or nighttime workout? Do you feel overly tired hit by a bus overly sore? Now if you’re adding in a front squat or a deadlift for the first time, you may feel a little sore. But in general, how do you feel? Do you feel overly tired overly sore hit by a bus? If so we want to adjust some of those movements for sure.
Evan Brand: Yep, good, good points. For me. I don’t have to count or measure or anything like that or time to workouts. I just get to a certain point with lifting weights. I primarily lift weights. I mean, I do like to go on bike rides, I’ll take the kids that’s pretty hard work with the legs. I do like my roll machine. So I’ll do that. But I don’t really measure count or anything I get to the point in the workout where my pump goes into more of like you can just feel that you’re becoming catabolic, you feel like your muscle tissue is now being used as an energy supply. Now, people that are new to it or if they haven’t been exercising for a long time. They may not be that in tune with their body. But for me, it starts out with the heavy lifts, I’m getting the pump, I feel good, I feel the blood flow. And then it gets to the point where I feel like I don’t want to say I’m hurting myself. But the dumbbell that used to feel pretty good and challenging now just feels like a frickin rock. And I’m like, oh, okay, I think that means I’m done now, and then I end the workout. If I go past that point, then it’s too much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. So that that’s a really good place, you can also incorporate bands, what’s nice about bands is the loading is the highest at your concentric phase, right? Imagine I’m doing a dumbbell curl, right? At the highest point, the The band has the most force in it, right the most intensity or force. And then as I lower right, this is the East centric face. I’m Ilan gating my muscle, so in a bicep curl, I’m moving the bar down to the dumbbell downward, the load is actually decreasing as I’m lowering it. So you have a decrease in force on that essentra curve, where like, if a dumbbell or barbell was there, it’s the same the whole way, like, so the benefit of the decrease in load is most of your muscle, shredding, or depletion happens in the E centric. So what does that mean? That means you can focus on really light, really nice, slow lowering phases that those two things, it burns more muscle, right. And then number two, most injuries happen, because people are bouncing the weight, or in that lowering phase, they kind of have a jerky move where they kind of relaxed the weight, and they catch it at the bottom of that movement. And like what sofa benchpress, that’s on your chest or military press that’s on your shoulder. Or if it’s a bicep curl, it’s at the bottom right, and you’re kind of bouncing that way, or a deadlift that’s at the bottom right where you bounce. So when you do a nice lowering phase, you prevent that bounce from happening. And that’s where almost always all the injuries happen. So if you do a nice lowering a nice slow lowering phase, maybe a three to four second, he centric think he centric he long gait. So have a nice, slowly centric, you’re not going to hurt yourself as much. And then number two, you’re still burning a bit of a bit of muscle. And number three, if you’re still really sore excessively, one, you can switch to more bands, and the bands will give you that decreased load. As you as you kind of move, which is nice, it really helps the muscles give it a little more recovery, but still gives you that increased load at the top, so you have more concentric load, right? So when your muscles the shortest, right that benchpress at the top position, the loads the highest, and it’s going to be even more than a weight would be right. And then it drops off on the lowering. So it’s a little bit safer. And you’re not going to overly kill your muscles in that lowering II centric phase.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s safer, too, if you don’t have a spotter, right? If you’re trying to do all this stuff at home, I mean, I’ve been guilty before of wearing myself out getting past a point of fatigue, where I’m like, Oh, I could really use a spotter right now. But I don’t have one. So the bands would be safer in that aspect too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, bands are safer and are of course, just using like a dumbbell is going to be helpful too. Because dumbbell obviously there’s no bar across there. So you’re not gonna expect to fixate yourself, your lower too much. And then you’re going to get a lot of fatigue on the lowering. And that’s what helps. But the bands do help for sure. And it gives you that really good ability to generate a lot of force. And also it’s safer. So I do like that as a good option.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and someone’s listening and they’re gonna say, well, bands where the heck do I get them? What strength? Do I get them? They usually come in variety packs, don’t they? Like there’s going to be like a black one, a green one. And they’re going to be different like intensities, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I like the X3 bar for some of the some of the the bigger bodybuilding movements because the band’s really thick and it can generate hundreds and hundreds of pounds of force. So I like the x3 bar for that. So like for deadlift, that bar that that strap or that a cable is going to create a band. I’m sorry, that band will generate hundreds of pounds of force. Same thing on the bench, same thing on a tricep extension. And so it’s very helpful. So I do like that.
Evan Brand: Cool. Any updates on your rower?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, it’s coming. I got the concept D rower. So I try to do a little bit more of the rolling for my aerobic stuff just because I like things that bring me into extension so much cardio is like your inflection, whether you’re on elliptical or riding a bike or whatever. I like kind of bringing more extension into my body so… easy! Sorry. That’s my dog. That’s my dog. We’re live here.
Evan Brand: I love it. I love the rower. I mean, to me, it’s, it’s, I feel so good on it. And I never really thought about what you’re saying. But yeah, most exercises are you’re kind of like going into monkey mode, you’re not really pulling back and stretching. That is like one of the only things that and the seated row, like on an actual machine with weights. Those are probably two of the only things that really kind of pull you pull you out and stretch you out like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. Oh, by the way, I have my my natural pesticide guy here, which is kind of cool. So he’s actually spraying essential oils around my perimeter. So he’s spraying cedar, some citronella, some orange peel some olive leaf, just to keep some of the bugs down. So and then we found a bee’s nest in the back on the ground. So we’re putting a little bit of boric acid in diatomaceous earth in there to kind of to knock that out. So we try to, you know, just a little education here, we’re trying to do some natural kind of insecticide solutions, because a lot of those toxins can be very harmful to kids and, and women and children, especially guys, too, because they’re very estrogenic. So we try to use natural solutions here. So you guys see that live in the flesh here.
Evan Brand: Yep. And if you are exposed to all that crap, whether it’s from you spraying it or hiring somebody else to spray and you’re getting exposed to it, that’s going to affect mitochondria. And that’s going to affect energy. So when you get into this whole thing of chronic fatigue, adrenals exercise and tolerance, a lot of it has to do with toxicity, I will tell you 100% with confidence, when I’m doing binders, I’m stronger when I’m on detox support chlorella, whether it’s charcoal, Clay zeolites. I’m always stronger with some binders in my system. So for me, the toxins and for everyone really, the toxins are kryptonite. And that’s just a fact of the modern world. So wherever you can reduce those, reduce them, I mean, think about your kids, right? You go to a playground, my wife took my kids to a couple playgrounds over the summer, and the guy shows up with a huge tank of glyphosate on his back and just bombs the whole playground, because there were weeds growing up in the mulch and it goes up, well can’t go to that playground anymore. So it’s annoying that we have to be this observant, but it’s kind of what it takes in the modern world. I mean, unfortunately, in the 21st century, everywhere you look in turn, whether it’s the the air, or the water supply, or the ground, or the dirt or the soil you’re eating food out of there are chemicals that are disrupting your mitochondria, they’re disrupting cell membranes that are affecting your gut bacteria. And so I get annoyed with just the diet and exercise conversations that you see in the mainstream because they make it just like it’s that like, you’re not motivated enough. You just need to be strong pain is weakness, leaving the body push through, push through, it’s you literally from a biochemical, mechanical, mitochondrial perspective, neurotransmitter perspective, you can’t push through, you can’t so you know, you got poor Jane Doe, at the at the fitness class. And you know, she’s 50, or 100 pounds overweight, and she just thinks that she’s just fat and lazy. And that’s why that’s her problem. But it’s like, no, you’re toxic. Let me show you on paper. And I’m going to explain why your personal trainer doesn’t have a clue why you can’t tolerate the exercise and why you’re sore for a week. He just thinks you need to just quit being a sissy and drink another protein shake. No, that’s not the answer. So I love that we can intertwine the functional medicine piece into the exercise piece. Because the mainstream fitness community, it’s sad, it’s all this boot camp, you know, military CrossFit mentality. But when someone doesn’t perform like everyone else, those people get ostracized, and they don’t have a clue what’s underneath the hood.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, everyone, you got to treat everyone like an individual. And everyone’s coming at this a little bit differently. So you want to meet people where they’re at exercise, you know, and a lot of these things is going to be a stressor, so you want to apply the appropriate amount of stress. So you give your body the chance to adapt, it’s never the the exercise, it’s the ability for your body to adapt, and you have to kind of meet your body where it is. So if you’re someone that’s obese, it may just be walking a couple thousand, maybe 1000 steps or just squeezing your muscles doing an eccentric movement, you know, that may be enough based on where you’re at. So you got to figure out where you’re at and try to go maybe 10%, above where you’re at, on a day in day out basis.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I’m not trying to poopoo personal trainers, I used to do some personal training, I had some certifications in different movements, kettlebells and things and I helped a lot of people but so so you can tweak the exercises, meaning you can tone things down for those people. But there’s at a certain point, you at a certain point, a personal trainer has a limit to what they can do for you. Meaning if you literally have so much toxicity that’s affecting mitochondria, you literally can’t build up your your weight, you can’t go 10 minutes longer. You can’t, you know, do three more planes, you just can’t. So then that’s where you got to come in. And we look at the labs to try to figure out what’s under the hood with these people. Why can’t they Why are they such a poor recovery. So like, well measure lactic acid on organic acids testing. And we know that when you have bacterial overgrowth, for example, that it produces lactic acid certain species do. And so if this person is sore without even working out, they’re going to be really sore when they work out. So we’ll focus on the gut, we’ll get that the production of lactic acid down from the gut bugs, and then boom, now they can handle that lactic acid bucket is drained now they can handle the exercise and the production there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, exactly. You know, I’ve taken personal training sessions as a personal trainer for a long time and I’ve been trained by people where I feel too sore for a couple days afterwards. And usually if you feel too sore, it’s you put too much intensity in it. The dose wasn’t dialed in for you because you’re Giving your body the chance to heal and recover because you get stronger on the rest time. And if you created so much damage for 234 days later, you’re really excessively so you did too much you’re creating scar tissue in the muscle. And that’s not good. So you really want to individualize this. And I, you know, I see patients from all different walks of life from chronic fatigue autoimmune patients that are bedridden to people that are professional athletes trying to perform at the highest level, and you want to meet the demand where that person is at because it’s all about getting their body to function just a little bit better every day, and everyone is at a different place on their journey. So I think the individualization is so important.
Evan Brand: Do you want to get into some of the hacks at all like some of the things we do to kind of increase exercise performance? Because I’ve got several ideas at the top of my tongue here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, sure. I did a video on this last week where I talked about some of the ideas in regards to movement stuff like exercise stuffs, I think the easiest first thing for is really good lowering or good eccentric movements, I think are a great way to burn a whole bunch of muscle and, and allow you to use more weight and not get hurt. Because I mentioned earlier, it’s the lowering phase, the centric phase where people get hurt. And when you do a nice low, slow movement on the centric, you’re less likely to get hurt. And number two, you’re going to create more burning of that muscle, more depletion of that muscle. And as long as you don’t overdo it, it’s a good first step.
Evan Brand: I was into bodybuilding in high school. So I was doing a lot of those pre workout drinks. And they were just so bad for you. I mean, it was all just hundreds and hundreds of milligrams of caffeine, artificial colors. I’m sure there were sucralose and aspartame and potentially other garbage in there. And it just wasn’t good. I tried to pick clean choices. But you know, at the time, there weren’t that many good clean products on the market. So now there are there are some professional companies that you and I use that have some pre trained type nutrients, things that have some creatine, some tyrosine, some acetyl, l carnitine, can be very helpful. A little bit of like green coffee bean extract for caffeine can be good. There’s actually a nutrient called peak ATP, it’s a company and they’ve make so much like literally just straight ATP, and you can actually take it in powder form so that for me really, really helps. And then I like all the nitric oxide stuff. So I’ll do like a teaspoon of beet powder. I’ll do before the sauna, but also do before exercise, the beet powder is awesome. And then I like a lot of the adaptogen. So rhodiola makes me feel really good. As a as an endurance support. We use it for athletes, as you mentioned. And Holy basil’s is good. B vitamins a course that’s always low hanging fruit, there’s some good really good forms of creatine that we use, those can be helpful. And I think that’s about it. Are there any other like pre train nutrients that you like or that you use?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you kind of hit a bunch of them. So off the bat, you know, creatine and branched chain amino acids are wonderful, and it gets great, a little bit of caffeine can be very helpful to kind of mobilize free fatty acids. So whether you’re doing like a cold brew, coffee in your smoothie with the amino acids can be great. I do my Mito synergy support because it’s got some extra carnitine, extra ribose, a little extra creatine in there, some HLA some B vitamins, just those low hanging fruits are wonderful before workout. But I’d say creatine, branched chain amino acids, maybe a little bit of caffeine, especially if it’s a morning or afternoon workout, don’t do that, if it’s a nighttime workout. That’s a good first step, I think, to really hit it out of the park. And then we talked about movement patterns, I like really focusing on the centric, I also like focusing on circuit. So doing two to three movements back to back to back can be very helpful, because you can get a lot of volume done meaning a lot of reps and sets in, you know, smaller amount of time. So that’s great, because you can have a 15 to 20 minute workout that may have may have taken you 30 or 45 minutes if you did it one exercise at a time. So it gives you the ability to to make it more practical, which is great.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think the next thing we should hit on is kind of the post recovery stuff. So what about the person who is getting into the exercise? Maybe they’re not tolerating it? Well, maybe their recovery time is a bit too long the wanting to shorten that I think the bcaas could be great before and or after. And then I’m a huge fan of like a Grass Fed Whey Protein Shake, but make a smoothie out of it. So there’s a couple grass fed ways that you and I use it are super good quality, and we’ll throw in like a scoop of coconut butter. If you can tolerate nuts, maybe a scoop of almond butter may be good. And then I’m a big fan of some of the Oregon meats too. Whether it’s actual Oregon meat or like some organ meat capsules, those can be really helpful for recovery and just making sure your body has the role nutrition it needs. And then good sleep. I mean, you can’t forget about good sleep. I mean, I see so many people who are moms that are trying to hit the gym or do whatever, five times a week, but they’re up too late. And they’re up too early. You know, they’re up at 430 in the morning to go hit the treadmill. It’s like ah, I’d prefer you sleep in until 630 or seven. Do that workout later and not miss your cortisol peak because the problem is if you’re up too early to exercise, you’re really missing that cortisol peak. It’s kind of like you took your iPhone off the charger when it was only at 50%. We’ve seen based on thousands of reviewing labs that the cortisol doesn’t really peak until around sunrise or so. And if you’re up at 430, the battery is not fully charged. So now that cortisol is going to just halfway peak, and then it’s going to crash much sooner, so you’re just not going to get the best bang for your buck, if you’re doing those super, super early workouts now isn’t better than nothing, probably. But I’m just giving you a couple details that we’ve, we’ve seen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, when your nervous system is a little bit more fragile. When you have more adrenal issues, doing a later workout in the day is probably not the best, because that’s going to get more of that sympathetic nervous system kind of stimulated. And it made the the more unhealthy or the more out of balance your adrenals are the harder it, it takes your adrenals to wind down and kind of downshift from that sympathetic adrenal stimulating workout. So there’s going to be some adrenal stimulation, of course, right, which isn’t bad thing. But the question is, Do you have enough time to adapt and come down from that workout before bed, and that’s where it may affect your ability to repair before bed. So that’s why doing a workout, let’s say before two o’clock is ideal, you know, and again, the healthier you are on, the more you can downshift, the better, right, I typically recommend try to give yourself at least two to three hours to come down. So if you want to be in bed by 11, you want that workout to be done by eight for sure. That way you have at least three hours to come down from it, and try to do it more in the morning because you have that natural cortisol peak. And if that cortisol peak is going while you’re stimulating cortisol, you’re just more in harmony with your natural rhythm of cortisol going up. And adrenal stimulation going up, it’s kind of like, hey, more light at night. And when when melatonin goes up, are they’re not going to work because cortisol is going down at night. And light goes up at night, which can stimulate cortisol. So you kind of have the inverse thing happening with lights. And with cortisol at night, it’s the same thing with exercise and cortisol. So you rather do it when you have more harmony going on. But I understand some people that may not be an option. And if that is just try to give yourself more time. And really try to make sure that it’s not throwing off your sleep rhythm. And if it is adjust the frequency, the intensity and the duration, so you can recover from it and not mess up your sleep.
Evan Brand: And this is tough to do a podcast on because there’s so many different people with different work schedules. And well, my, my kids are with me on these days. So I can’t work out in the morning on these days. And I take my kids to school on this day, you know, so obviously, what we’re saying these are generalities, I know you have to work it into your schedule. But yeah, if you could do like a morning workout, I think that’s smart. But not an early morning workout. I don’t think people should be setting an alarm to get up at 4am to go jump on the treadmill at 4:30am. I just don’t think that’s smart. But if you were up with the sun at seven, and you could do it, that would be good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, ideally, for sure. Now, if someone visits us their work schedule, and they can get to bed by between eight and nine o’clock, so they they’re still getting at least seven hours of sleep. Sure, that’s at least better than nothing. So you just got to make sure the sleep is is compensating for the time getting up early for sure. But I agree, you know, the more you’re in harmony with the sun, the more your body likes that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, ashwagandha can be used in the evening, I remember I would do that if I had some late workouts that would kind of stimulate me. If I did like some ashwagandha at night, it would help help kind of calm it down you and I’ve talked about many times how it helps to regulate cortisol. So that’s what adaptogens do. If you’re too low, it kind of brings you back to balance if you’re too high and can bring you back to balance. So let’s say you did a eight o’clock workout tried to go to bed at 930 You’re still kind of ramped up maybe capsule or two, I like to use some liquid gel caps of ashwagandha tincture, and that really settles you down pretty quick.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% agree. Yeah. 100%. Great. That makes a lot of sense. So I think we hit some of the exercise kind of options, right? We talked about amino acids and nutrients pre post during we talked about different styles of exercises. I would say one thing in there, if you don’t have a lot of time to BOD or some kind of an interval on the cardio cardio side, whether it’s like an elliptical or treadmill or or bike, we’re a bigger fan of the rowers because you’re getting more extension in your body and there’s tends to be less extension with cardios and we tend to be more inflection throughout the day right at a keyboard right typing, all that stuff brings our body more into flexion. So using more extensions stuff can be really helpful. So I like more extension movements like we already chatted about. And I like a rower for that and you can do a 32nd 20-20 or 32nd high intensity movement followed by a Tabata which may be a 10 second rest period all the way up to a peak eight which may be a 92nd rest period. And you can just adjust the rest period and the exercise period to kind of suit your body so anywhere between a 10 to 32nd. High Intensity full out, you know as fast as you can go followed by a 10 second to 92nd rest period. That’s very helpful for increasing your metabolism and putting on muscle too.
Evan Brand: I tell you on that rower, what I’ll typically do is I’ll do 500 meter sets, you know so typically with like weightlifting in regards to building muscle people, you’re going to want to be looking for around three, maybe four sets of 10 to 15 Just depending on how you know what how you’re feeling what your goal is, but with the rower, I’ll do 500 meters as a set. And it’s give or take around two minutes to do that, man, I’ll tell you, you want a full body blood flow, that rower does it because you know your legs, you’re pushing to kind of slide yourself back, and then you’re pulling, and then hopefully, you’re, you’re fully pulling back, I think a lot of people stopped too soon. But if you’re pulling that bar all the way back to the chest, and then you go back in, and man, I feel great on it. So it’s-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s using your hamstrings to kind of bring yourself back closer to the machine to so you’re getting a little bit of extension on the quads, a little bit of flexion on the hamstrings, and then you’re getting some bicep and some and some rhomboids and some upper back, which is really nice. So I agree, I think it’s really good movement pattern.
Evan Brand: I put it on Max, I mean, you know, it’s, it’s kind of hard. Like if I was on a desert island, would it be the only piece of equipment No, I’d probably bring like a kettlebell maybe, or a dumbbell on the desert island. But it, rowers pretty dang close to the all in one solution, if you’re somebody who’s just looking to get your heart rate up, but also you could build some muscle, I put it on the max setting. So it is it’s the most resistance. And then if you pull on that thing really hard or really quick, you increase the resistance more. So yeah, I mean, you can get a pump, you can build some, some good back muscles and arms and deltoids using that and some traps. I mean, you’re gonna hit your traps a little bit on the road. So I’m a huge fan.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I like kettlebell swings as well. I mean, the only issue with the kettlebell swing is when you go into the East centric on the kettlebell swing, there is no low, slowly centric, it’s gonna be fast. So you’ve got to make sure you’re in a little bit better condition on the kettlebell. So you can go you know, have a really good explosive, ie sedgewick. And concentric because that eccentric when that kettlebell is coming down, you’re not you can’t lower that speed, it’s coming down at full speed, which is great, because you have to absorb it and use those hips to kind of soak in and grab that momentum, which is great. People that are beginners, they tend to use their back more and they can get hurt. So kettlebells I think there’s a really simple movement where you can kind of walk by it a couple times a day, and do you know some sets to failure on it, just make sure you know how to do it right. You have some good forum, find a trainer that can kind of walk you through the movement pattern, so you feel comfortable and confidence you don’t get hurt.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I was gonna say I probably in a kettlebell situation, I’d probably pay for a couple hours of training on it, because I definitely hurt my back. When I first started. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just looked at some videos, I thought, Oh, yeah, this seems about right. Now, there’s some minor tweaks that can really affect how that load bearing hits your back. So for people, you know, that are not, you’re not an athlete, I would not go straight to a kettlebell.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yeah. 100%. And then I’d like a lot of body weight stuff. So I have like the push up bars I like just because I can get a really good deep push up most people, man, they do have push ups, right? They do have push ups. I like the bar. So I can just get really in deep, get a good full range of motion. And I keep my wrist kind of in a neutral format holding the bar versus like this, which I don’t I don’t think it’s the best thing. You know, it hurts the wrist. Yeah, it hurts. So you can kind of keep it nice and neutral. You can go nice and deep. And that can have a nice, good eccentric on there, which is wonderful.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so you’re using the like, the handles, yeah, like here, we have each handle for the, for the push ups. Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, like that. And it goes really good. They have some that do a rotation thing, which is okay, too. I mean, you can hit the packs pretty good there too. But just to be able to go deep in there and be able to keep your wrist neutral, I think is wonderful.
Evan Brand: I love pull ups. I mean, I tell you, I got extremely strong doing pull ups. But for people that are beginners pull ups, you might not even be able to do one and that’s okay, what you could even do is use like a little step stool, and just jump up there and just hold yourself up and the pull up position. That’s how I started out was just holding at the peak of the pull up. And then eventually I just let myself down slowly, and then pull up again. And then I was to the point where I could do three sets of 10 on pull up, I swear to you, man, that’s exhausting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you go search online, like pull up assist, you can get bands, they kind of hook around and there’s like three or four bands. And then you can add a band for the for the intensity on the assist. And so what I’ll do is I’ll go in, I’ll do as many pull ups, which is you know, palms facing you or chin ups, palms facing away, right chin ups, more lat pull up more biceps, and I’ll do as many as I can the failure. And then I’ll go in and then put the bands on right after my knee and then I’ll go do it again to failure. So that’s a pretty good kind of a nice drop set where you go as much as you can bodyweight. And then you jump in with a little bit of help. And that can be super, super helpful. Just just people don’t people aren’t used to controlling their body weight like that. And it’s really functional to be able to move your body in a way where you are, you know, in control of your body from a weight standpoint, like you’re able to, to move and functionally manage your body in space and time without any extra stuff on there think it’s really functional.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing that people listening if you’re like, I just don’t like exercise. I hate exercise. I’m not into it. I’d rather go hiking Look, I hear you. But the benefits are not just in and out of the workout. The benefits apply to picking up your kids the benefits apply to playing with your grandchildren, the benefits apply to doing yard work. Bringing in heavy bags of groceries and you don’t want to make multiple trips, you can grab all the groceries in one trip. And so it’s just awesome to be able to to build muscle. If you’re climbing ladders, if you’re in construction, I mean just that, as you’re mentioning, it’s functional, this stuff applies. This is not just for vanity, this stuff really applies to everything if I weren’t in decent shape. my four year old, she’s heavy. When I go to pick up that kid, it’s awesome to be able to have the muscles to just make her a dumbbell. I just pick her up like a dumbbell. You know, it’s it’s fun. If I were in bad shape, you know, I maybe hurt my back, just bending over to pick her up. So this stuff is the stuff is great. And especially as you get into 60s and 70s. I mean, we know that with bone density being a big issue, we have so many clients with osteopenia, osteoporosis issues, yeah, we can give you supplements for that. But the best free thing you can do is to do weight bearing exercises to really preserve your bone health as you age.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always look for movements that translate to me living my life better. So anytime you can move your body, you know, in a way where you’re managing the weight of your body, that translates to you managing the weight of your body when you’re, for instance, roughhousing with your kids in the pool or something like or like I’m throwing my kids up in the air, like one handed like, you know, one handed, like, Where did that get shot, put kind of thing. It’s like, I need really good shoulder stabilization and really good lat strength, and core stabilization to be able to make that happen. So it’s nice to do movements that can translate to you being able to play with your family or friends or do your sport or do your hobby. So that’s really important to think of like, what movements do I want to do in my workout that will translate to me living my life better. So always kind of think a little bit deeper. Most people just think like, hey, what movements to make myself look better naked. That’s cool. I have to run with that. But now we got to think a little bit deeper now.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think if someone’s listening, and they’re like, well, I’m pretty much disabled. In terms of my physical performance. I’m just super weak. I would try a plank. I mean, a plank is a game changer, where you’re just getting on, you’re kind of resting on your elbows and forearms. And you’re just holding yourself even if you can only do a plank for 10 seconds. My Lord, I can’t tell you core strength, you hear about this term core strength, it really does apply, I just got back into doing some planks pretty regularly. And even just sitting in a chair, I sit better in a chair now having more core strength. Yeah, I think it’s great. You just don’t fold in, you know, if you have no core strength, you just like you said you fold in, you get into the turtle the turtle position on the computer, and it’s just not good. The next forward and get the core strength, you’re more just confident with the way you sit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also just just get a stand desk that allows you to stand throughout the day, like I’m standing right now, I’m using core strength just being able to stand right, that’s super helpful. Or let’s say you sit a lot and you don’t have the money to invest in a state that’s well, let’s just try to invest maybe in a Swiss ball, a physio ball or Swiss ball that will allow you to sit but now you have to engage your core a little bit so you don’t fall right. That’s a good first step. And then you can move to a stand desk where you’re upright, and you can kind of move and like look at my body posture throughout the day, I’m pretty upright, I have to pull my backpack, pull my arms back. So I’m in a much better position to be more athletic. And to get my my cold body activated versus in this like sitting down position, which is totally unhealthy.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I kind of bend my legs a little too, I’m standing down too. And so you know, I mean, my hamstrings are pretty flexed right now just standing here talking. So that’s pretty cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you can buy an anti fatigue mat, which is fine, you can do that too. I’m kind of moving a lot. When I’m standing I’m on a treadmill, so it’s not necessary. For me I like to move a little bit. So that’s helpful. And then it kind of have a slight bend my knees, take the stress off my my lower back so that I think those are really good first steps. And I also have some QB pedals when I sit down, I can also pedal a little bit. So it’s good to have a lot of unstructured exercise that you’re doing throughout the day where you’re getting some movement and it’s not yourself being in the gym doing this workout, you’re kind of adding some movement here adding some movement there. And it’s it’s nice to be able to get that 10,000 steps or so a day, just to make sure your body’s moving. You’re not overly sedentary. Because if you’re getting 2000 steps a day, but you’re in the gym for 30 minutes. Is that really healthy. I mean, you definitely want some steps, you definitely want some movements as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Now, if you just want to opt out of the whole thing and just become a farmer, then that’s an option too. But if you’re like a farmer that’s just sitting on a tractor, you’re not getting much exercise, but think of our ancestors, right? I mean, they didn’t have to think about exercise the way we do. It just happened. It was a byproduct of surviving. And now it’s optional. So it’s funny, we have to have this conversation versus even just a couple hundred years ago, my grandparents, grandparents, you know, they’re out in the field. They didn’t even have mechanical equipment. They had horses and plows. Oh, my God, I bet you those people were getting 10,000 steps at least per day and sunshine and fresh air. They didn’t have to think about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I 100% agree, you know, but we got to adapt and we got to create artificial stress through our workouts to keep our muscles and our body strong. So I think that’s great. Is there anything else you want to add today and I think we hit all the really good stuff. Maybe people that are really having a hard time adapting and figuring out the next step they can they can reach out to us here below EvanBrand.com to reach out to for you worldwide. JustinHealth.com for Dr. J myself. And also we may have to dive in deeper and test your adrenals test your hormones, get your gut, maybe give you more nutritional support, hormone support adaptogenic stress support to get you all to the next level. And that’s going to be a thing for most people, depending on how good or bad they you know where they’re at, and how much they want to improve. That could be something that we consider to be an accelerator to get you to the next level. So that’s always an option for y’all as well. Anything else you want to add, Evan?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You mentioned the links JustinHealth.com EvanBrand.com we’re happy to help people. We love this stuff. I mean, it’s, it’s such a great thing to be able to take a woman who’s exhausted trying to keep up with the kids, we get her mitochondria working better, we get her gut working better, she’s able to exercise and perform and then boom, it in turn makes her a better parent. She’s able to keep up with the kids now or the grandparents are able to run around with the grandkids. So you know, remember what this is all for. At the end of the day, it’s for you to be able to function through you know, on planet earth through your body in a better way without being injured. So it’s awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it Evan, excellent point today. It was a great podcast. Hope you guys enjoyed. Thumbs up really appreciate it. Comment down below. We really appreciate it. There’ll be a link below if you guys enjoyed it. Shoot us over a review. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Evan, you have an awesome day, man. You take care.
Evan Brand: Take care now. Thanks bye bye.
Natural Hacks to Improve Sleep | Podcast #303
Everyone experiences occasional sleeping problems, so how can you tell whether your difficulty is just a minor, passing annoyance or a sign of a more serious sleep disorder or underlying medical condition?
As humans transition from the waking state to drowsiness and into sleep, parasympathetic vagal tone (responsible for downshifting) increases, and sympathetic tone (the go, go, go!) decreases. Many of us experience trouble sleeping at one time or another. Usually, it’s due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Here are Dr. J and Evan taking us to another perspective of ways to help better our sleeping patterns.
Since electronics and the bulbs that we have to use artificial lights, some suggestions are the use of blue lights and dimmer lights. It helps lessen or prevent too much cortisol (steroid hormones formed in the adrenal glands) and assist our melatonin is kicking in and put as to sleep. Intake of magnesium, holy basil, and ashwagandha are also useful for bringing the body to a lower gear as well as regular exercise to keep our body in good shape. Watch the full podcast to know more ways to manage your sleep!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
2:31 Blue lights, Dimmer lights
09:15 Sleep Mechanism
18:04 Gut Inflammation
25:05 Sleeping Drugs
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand, Evan, how are we doing today man?
Evan Brand: I’m doing well. I’ve got an article here. We’re gonna start the show off. This is all about sleep today, issues that affect sleep. How do we mitigate the effect of stress on sleep and gut and all of it. But first, Pepsi, good old Pepsi Co. They’re launching its newest beverage, the de stressing and relaxation promoting drift. Well, this is just all about, what’s my point of this, that becoming healthier is becoming mainstream. So anyway, they’ve created a sugar free non carbonated water flavored with a hint of blackberry and lavender with 200 milligrams of L theanine, which you and I’ve talked about for years and years and years and years and years, DNA being an amino acid that helps to increase GABA comes from green tea. But you can also take it in supplement form. Here’s the thing I don’t like about this thing, though. Number one, it’s seven and a half ounces, I don’t really want to drink seven and a half ounces right before I go to sleep, if I’m going to take theming, I would much rather just take a capsule of 200 to 400 milligrams at the end and go to sleep. And then the second thing is there’s they’re wanting to sell this thing for $18 for a 10 pack that’s $1 at a dose basically, versus you and I if we’re gonna get a professional grade theanine, we’re probably getting what maybe 100 or 200 capsules for 20 bucks.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s definitely a little bit more on the expensive side, kind of per dose, but you’re definitely paying confer convenience. So like I’m all about if a company can create a product like this without the artificial sweeteners, dyes and colors, and it’s using a clean water, you know, reverse osmosis kind of water source, and it has some of these nutrients in there. And it makes it convenient, because it really comes down to can people do it right? If you don’t do it, if you don’t apply it, you don’t get the benefit. So that’s a really good first step in the right direction. I mean, I’ll still take the supplements, you know, from a raw material standpoint, like you mentioned, but if we can get some non healthy minded people to jump on board that train, that’s great.
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah, I mean, imagine if we could get people to switch over from, I don’t know, doing a nightly beer. You know, let’s say they do beer at night. But instead, they could just do this, you know, themed drink, that’d be a hell of a lot better for their gut and their brain. And you know, theanine has benefits for the brain to it’s not just the sleep, they’re kind of promoting it as a relaxation drink. But I take theanine daily, and it definitely helps to buffer stress. It’s just something that it’s not like a sedative. I mean, it’s not a chill pill. It’s not like a passionflower would do for your sleep. But it, it definitely just kind of settles the mind a little bit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree. I mean, my nightly routine is typically some magnesium and some vitamin C. And then if I if I’m going to do any alcohol or any like cheating, kind of things, food wise, I’m going to be doing some load of iron ore and acetylcysteine and maybe some charcoal as well. And then if you have any issues ping before bed, just try to drink that an hour or two before bed. And that kind of sets in. And then you know, one of the nice thing people are doing today, a lot of the glasses have a blue light filter. So I have I upgraded my glasses that I typically use when I watch TV to a blue light filter. So nice blue light, really nice. And then, of course, one easy investment we all can make is just get dimmer switches on all your main lights that you’re going to have on at nighttime. Just kind of get those dimmers down 80% or so that’s going to help a ton. If you were reading glass or a glass for reading or TV, get a blue light filter in there, or just get like one of those nice blue light glasses that you can put over on anyway without a prescription on there. And that’s very helpful to kind of get your body in that parasympathetic state that we talked about so much.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I use Iris you can check it out, get Iris if you just search that you’ll find it. Iris tech is a company who their competitor to flux it’s better because it does have some supposedly has some anti flicker built in so it can help reduce the flicker rate of your screen. So smartphones, Windows computers, Macs, you can use Iris, I’ll leave it running 24 seven I have it on right now. So what I’m looking at Justin on the screen here, he’s a nice tan golden color to me, which looks good and it definitely reduces eye strain my eyes at the end of the day. You know, we’re looking at labs all day. So you know what we do is hard on the eyes and my eyes would just be exhausted. But once I run it at a more warm color, I definitely have less fatigue at the end of the day mentally.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’ll put the link to some of the things that I do. I use the viewsonic monitors that have a low flicker and low blue light naturally in there. And you can still run an iris in the background as well but I highly recommend I noticed my prescription. The last year two is actually gotten better. It’s actually improved my stigmatism which is the shape of the eyes also shifted as well. And I talked about it with my optometrist and he said you know it’s possible that just you doing the blue light at night and you shifting over the monitors last year or two could have helped with that so I mean outside of nutrition being stable lutein all of the vitamin A precursors, I think shifting over the monitors if you’re someone that’s on a computer all day, invest in really good blue light protecting technology and or good blue light monitor. Yeah, well blue light, low flicker very important.
Evan Brand: That’s good advice. Yeah. So nighttime we talked about that a little bit. You mentioned dimmer switches, blue light glasses, I’m using just salt lamps at night we have probably six or seven salt lamps. We have some that are just salt lamp night lights that are plugged into the bathrooms. That’s pretty convenient. Brush your teeth with just a salt lamp, it’s just a nice, pretty warm glow. I haven’t actually used a color, you know, like a color device to check if there’s blue light coming off of it, but it’s a pretty darn warm color. And it’s a little like couple watt incandescent bulb incandescence are going to have less blue in them naturally. So we like to use a lot of the Edison bulbs, a lot of the Edison bulbs now I’ve turned into LEDs though, they’ll look like Edison shape with the filament inside, but it’s led, which is so annoying. So make sure you’re actually getting the true Edison bulb, I use a company called Hudson, Hudson lighting, they make great Edison bulbs, and they’re going to be around 2700 Kelvin, which is a really nice amber color. When you get up to the 456 thousand Kelvin. Those are like your fancy car, ah ID headlights that are going to be really really blue kind of whitish, bluish color. That’s not what you want at nighttime. It’s amazing. You know, I’m rarely out at night. But if we’re out on the road, we’ll drive past someone’s home. And we’ll just see, like science lab lights on at nine o’clock at night. It’s like, No, those people aren’t sleeping good tonight. Some people will argue with me like even my grandparents, I tried to get them off of the TV in the evening or to wear blue blockers. And they’ll say, Oh, I sleep fine. And it’s like, Yeah, but what’s the quality of sleep? You’re saying you’re waking up three to four times a night to go pee. You’re not well rested in the morning when you wake up. So yeah, you may say, quote, you sleep fine. But what’s the quality? What’s your energy level? Like? What’s, you know, are you crashing out by 11am? Because that would tell me your sleep is not so good after all.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Yeah, I 100% agree. So I think it’s a good investment where if you wear glasses or contacts, look at getting a night per night glasses to have the blue light filter in there. And some brands don’t have a good blue light filter. So you know, you can get a blue light where it tests the actual wavelength going through. I’ve seen some of these glasses really only filter out the violet, which is interesting. So they’re kind of having a marketing ploy on it. So you’d want to go look at some of the reviews online, make sure you find a review where someone actually test those glasses, and sees if the blue light is blocked. But if you can get a significant amount of blue light blocked, you know, even if it’s 50% or so. And you get the dimmers on Well, that’s a good first step for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And people listening may say, you know, any kind of skeptics listening, which most of those weed themselves out, so most people that listen to us love listening to us. But any skeptics may say, Well, why our ancestors, they didn’t have blue light blocking glasses. Yeah, but they didn’t have LED lights, they didn’t have electricity. In general, there was no artificial light at night. So when the sun goes down, and up, and the moon Yeah, when the sun goes down, and the sky is turning red and orange, the sun, the blue light can’t get through, when the sun’s at a low angle, the blue light doesn’t come through as much. And you naturally have a blue light filter, it’s the atmosphere. And so at nighttime, when you have a fire, which is the only source of light you would have had at night, look at a fire. I mean, you may have a tiny bit of blue if you’ve got a really, really hot fire, but it’s nothing. It’s it’s not going to impair melatonin production at all. And that’s the issue here is the artificial light at night is elevating cortisol, which is down regulating melatonin. And of course Melatonin is not just your sleep hormone. It’s very important as an antioxidant too, Melatonin is something that’s been shown in several studies to have some cancer protective benefits.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and I’ll put up I’ll put a couple of links in here for people that are listening. Regarding my favorite monitors, I use the eye care monitors, and I think those have really been super helpful for me. So I’ll put a link down below people can access that. Okay, that’s good. We talked about some of the blue light glasses, there’s the the Swanwick glasses, there’s the true dark glasses. Those are some good ones off the bat, you can jump on Amazon and look for some ones that have good reviews on there. I think those are great. There’s some blue light glasses that that go over glasses. So if you wear glasses, you can look for a pair of blue lights that go over that that’s on top of that. But if you want extra protection, you’ll have that there. That’s a good kind of first step in the right direction. Why don’t we talk about mechanism? I think this is important. So we talked about like the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. This is important. So the sympathetic nervous system is kind of controlled by the adrenal gland. So the sympathetic is the gas. It’s the Go, go, go go go Stress, Stress, Stress, Stress, Stress, and the adrenals kind of are the gateway between the nervous system and the sympathetic response because of the cortisol response and the adrenaline response. So typically, when there’s some kind of a stress, adrenaline is the first thing that comes to the table. And then cortisol comes a little bit later. So think of think of adrenaline as the primary it Prime’s the pump and then once the engine is going, now cortisol is flooding the zone afterwards. And so when you have a lot of these stress hormones going, you’re number one going to be shunting blood flow to the arms and the legs to fight and flee, you’re going to be making less enzymes and acids and digestive juices so your digestion won’t be as good. So if you’re eating healthy, you’re more likely to get bloated and gassy and have indigestion. And you’re less likely to absorb a lot of those nutrients. So if you’re eating lots of good amino acids and minerals, you won’t be able to ionize them and absorb them properly. And so we want to do natural strategies that decrease that sympathetic nervous system response which is going to help modulate adrenaline and modulate cortisol. And part of how we do that is we have to stimulate the parasympathetic side. So for instance, this new Pepsi product you mentioned, we don’t I’m not supporting Pepsi, but I’m supporting the mechanism. l theanine is a good precursor that Evan mentioned to Gabba, gamma amino butyric acid, and that’s a inhibitory neurotransmitter, think of it as the brake, it’s the stop the slow down. So think of the sympathetic nervous system response is it’s the shifting gear going from first, a second, third to fourth, fourth to fifth, it’s going faster, faster, faster, the parasympathetics. And the inhibitory response is down shifting, it’s going from 5 to 442-332-2221. And then park in that car. And so things like GABA can be helpful. passionflower, magnesium are excellent things. There’s different adaptogens that we use, like holy basil and ashwagandha that really helped decrease and help down shift that stressed out engine and bring it to a lower gear where you can slow down and relax.
Evan Brand: Oh, speaking of ashwagandha This is funny to man, a lot of the things we’ve been talking about for a very long time are becoming more mainstream. I never have the radio on because I’ve got streaming radio in the car, so we never have the real radio on. And so the this advertisement comes on, and it’s you know, the typical radio announcer voice, it’s this lady. And it’s this. It’s just talking about sleep and stress and all that and the lady’s like introducing ashwagandha gummies, an Ayurvedic herb that’s been used for thousands of years, it can really help you relax, and I thought, wow, a radio commercial for ashwagandha. This is hilarious times are changing. So it’s funny. This is something that you and I use all the time clinically And personally, and it really does help you can take ashwagandha during the day to help blunt stress but you can also use it in the evening, take a dose before bed, Stephen buehner, the herbalist I really love because of his books online, he talks about ashwagandha being very, very helpful in terms of calming down like brain inflammation, which can impair sleep associated with Lyme, so people that have that sleep, or if you’re waking up at two or 3am and you’re kind of bolting awake or having nightmares. You know, ashwagandha may be something to help. I’m a big fan of Magnolia Magnolia is a bark that can be very helpful. You and I’ve talked about relora. In the past relora is actually a blend of two different plants. I believe it’s two barks that are combined to create the patented relora. That’s something clinically shown to help modulate cortisol at night. You mentioned the passion flower, I like to mix passion flower with motherwort, especially if it’s a monkey brain situation. motherwort can really help calm the the racing thoughts, the racing mind motherwort, something that Rosemary gladstar and many other famous herbalist, they recommend keeping it in your first aid kit or in the car. So if you get in a car wreck, or if you have a traumatic experience, you could take a dose and mother would never really settle you down, you know, with all the shutdowns and a lot of our clients that are running small businesses and other things that I’ve had massive amount of reports of stress issues happening over the last six months. And so I really think the time that you and I are putting this out is important. It’s always important, but it’s more important now. Because once your sleep quality goes out the window, what happens then well, you have a shorter fuse, you are going to be more irritable, you could be more anxious, you could be more depressed, you may have cognitive issues. So you may not be making good decisions as a parent or as a boss or as a CEO. So I mean, this affects every aspect of your life, you really cannot ignore this and just go pound the coffee. First thing in the morning, you can do the coffee, but you’ve got to be making sure you’re doing all the nighttime strategies as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I love it really, really good points off the bat. Also a couple other strategies I want to highlight is exercising too close to bed. So exercise, it’s a stress it does activate the sympathetic nervous system because that’s how you get blood flow to the arms and legs into the extremities. And then of course cortisol and immobilize glucose in the muscles and such. And so that is part of the stress response. So you got to make sure the more your parasympathetics are stressed right your rest digest part of the nervous system. The less strenuous the less sympathetic stimulating exercise you should be doing. And of course, you need to allow more buffer time to transition back into the parasympathetics at bedtime. So if you’re working out like at six or seven o’clock and then you’re trying to wind down At nine or 10, asleep by 11, that may not be enough time. So the more stressed you are you want to look at doing exercise first thing in the morning, and you always want to answer my three questions appropriately. Alright, you want to answer positively to these three things? Number one is do I feel better after the workout than when I started? Number two is, can I emotionally repeat the workout? Do you feel so depleted afterwards? Where you just you couldn’t emotionally do it, like, you may like have that high where you’re like, Oh, I feel good. And then like, you catch your breath, like 10 minutes, and you’re like, Oh, thank God, that’s done. You want to feel that sense of like, no, I could do that. Again, like I could do it again, you want to feel that kind of a sense of accomplishment. And then number three is you want to feel not excessively sore or beaten up afterwards. So that next morning, you wake up, you know, barring the fact that you slept good and all that’s okay, you didn’t drink alcohol, you want to feel not excessively sore with the exception. If you throw in maybe a new exercise you haven’t done in a while maybe some lunges or a deadlift, outside of something that’s a full body movement, you shouldn’t feel overly beaten up.
Evan Brand: Yep, good points, good points. And it’s possible, you could use some of those herbs to try to calm down that response. Right? If your work schedule just doesn’t allow it and you have to do a six 7pm workout. Like you said, maybe it’s not too intense. So you still could settle down, but maybe you, you do take a dose of some type of an adrenal cocktail, after the after the workout, I think that could be really smart. And then let’s go into a couple other mechanisms.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just to highlight one thing before we move on topic. So if that’s the case, that’s the only window there’s three major levers with exercise frequency, intensity, duration. So frequency is how often you work out. Is it every day, you taking a day off in between Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday kind of thing. And then of course, that’s frequency intensity is how hard Are you working out as well as the rest in between? So like, a compound lift like a a deadlift or a front squat, right? Isn’t it be a lot harder than like a bicep curl or military press right, the more you activate, the more joints you activate, the harder it is. So you could shift away from multi joint stuff. Or you do multi joint stuff with less weight, okay, and provide more rest time between sets. And then duration, of course, is going to be how long the workout is right? Instead of a 45 minute workout, you go to a 30 or a 20. So you just keep on frequency, adjust the frequency, how many days intensity kind of workout lifts, you’re doing the weight as well as the rest time. And then the duration is the overall length of the workout cutting that down so you can move the lever on those. And I always recommend the easiest first thing is allowing a day off in between to recover. And then keeping the workout shorter, right, Charles poliquin did research on this finding that the cortisol response starts to significantly elevate once you go longer than 45 minutes. So keeping the workout under 45 minutes. And if you’re really stressed probably 20 to 30. And just rely on more circuit type of workouts to get the exercise done. So do three movements in a row, upper lower upper or front back front, however you want to pair it. That way you can get a lot more volume and and exercise accomplished in a shorter amount of time.
Evan Brand: Yep, that’s good advice. I wanted to talk about the gut. And we could probably mention blood sugar, too. I know that when I had gut infections, my sleep was terrible. Now the mechanism of it. I mean, that’s debatable, you and I could try to tease this apart together. I think ultimately the answer is getting rid of gut infections is going to improve sleep in many ways. But I think one of the mechanisms is probably some of the gut bugs possibly affecting blood sugar because the gut bugs are eating and they’re feeding on your nutrition. So I definitely had more hypoglycemia issues. And hypoglycemia, if that blood sugar’s crashing, blood sugar gets too low, you and I’ve talked about this, the adrenals have to pinch hit, basically, and try to help out to get that glucose regulated. So if blood sugar is crashing, maybe you’re not eating enough with meals, maybe you didn’t have enough fat or protein with dinner, or maybe you ate too early. If you ate at five and you’re going to bed at 10 that’s already five hours and the blood sugar may be dropping to a level that’s too low. And then if you compound that with having gut infections, then you really could get into trouble.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and like you mentioned earlier, the stress and the inflammation from a gut infection. We see it when we do adrenal cortisol rhythm testing, is we’ll start to see a premature elevation of cortisol in the morning. Now what does that mean for you? Well, we have this natural cortisol rather than people watching on video, I’m going to do some demonstrations. But cortisol comes up in the morning, and then it comes up in the morning but it really increases that first hour of waking isn’t a double from when you woke up to one hour later. So it starts to here’s waking, here’s one hour later and then it gently curves, here’s bedtime and then as you sleep it’s kind of flat and then gently starts to go up like this. So when you have gut infections and inflammation in the gut, and a lot of most infections are on an opposite sleep and wake cycle then we are so the more active they are means more inflammation. More inflammation means Is what more of a cortisol response so that cortisol prematurely starts to rise in the middle of the night. And then that can start to take you out of deeper sleep and cause you to wake up earlier. So, by addressing gut infections, you’re naturally supporting that healthy circadian rhythm. And of course, if we can support natural and influence, natural anti inflammatory support, that also takes stress off the adrenals because the adrenals are one of your number one, anti inflammatory mechanisms, right? cortisol, aka cortisone, and then pharmaceutical, prednisone, are all anti inflammatory mediums that conventional medicine uses for topical skin or asthma inhaled are injections in the joints, right for inflammation. So we have our natural anti inflammatories that we want to work on supporting and utilizing.
Evan Brand: Yep, and we’ve mentioned this, but just to repeat, so the cortisol is downregulating melatonin, that’s the mechanism. So people that just go take melatonin, that may help but I would argue that it’s not necessarily root cause. And so that’s why we’re going to be running these panels to look at the hormones, we’re going to be running testing to look at the stool, we’re going to be running panels to look at the urine and try to confirm what’s going on. Just to be clear for people listening or that are not aware, we’re clinicians, we deal with this stuff every day all day clinically. And so we have thousands and thousands of, you know, case studies that we can report back from and tell you what’s worked and what hasn’t worked. If you go to your conventional doctor in you talk about sleep issues, just to quickly compare and contrast. It’s going to be something like possibly a Lorazepam if it’s an anxiety based sleep issue,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -like a benzodiazepine that works on gaba.
Evan Brand: Yeah, exactly. So you’re going to get a benzo which are highly, highly addictive and habit forming, or possibly, you’re going to get something like an Ambien, which in terms of pharmaceuticals, I will tell you some of the hardest drugs for people to get off of are the benzos and the Ambien, which I don’t even know what category Ambien is in, but man, people really, really struggle to get off of that one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% so you’re going to have Ambien, right, you’re going to have Lunesta, you’re going to have your benzos They may even be using some SSRIs to increase serotonin, which then increases melatonin. There’s, I think it’s rozerem rwhich is a gaba kind of in that gaba benzo family. So rozerem. You mentioned I mentioned Lunesta, and Ambien, what else is there, I think there’s trazadone is another one that I think is used sometimes for sleep as well. So those are a lot of the common sleep medications. And they don’t really address a root cause. And that’s the problem. And a lot of the sleep medications, like we mentioned, the Ambien or Lunesta, they don’t allow deeper restoration of sleep. So you kind of have like your four phases of sleep, right phase one, phase two, phase three, phase four. And then you go from phase four to three, two ones. This is like once, one cycle is 1234, phase 24321. And you don’t really get to go into these deeper three and four levels, where REM sleep and deep restoration happen. So we want to avoid medications that prevent us from getting into deep sleep. So that being said, we want to make sure we sleep. So we want to utilize every natural mechanism possible. So with sleep 10pm to 2am is that deep physical restoration, where you have good physiological repair, and that’s where growth hormone increases. That’s where we repair structural tissue, and such and bones and joints and ligaments, Hair, Skin nails. And then we have the psychological emotional repair, typically between two and 6am, where a lot of our neurotransmitters and hormones kind of turnover that help us with mood and energy and emotional stuff. And supposedly, a lot of our dreams are us processing a lot of our emotional stress throughout the day, right? So we want to make sure we get to sleep on time, that’s really important, right, the hours before midnight are really important. And we want to make sure that we’re getting the good time of sleep, we want to make sure that we’re decreasing light exposure, which it takes away from our melatonin. And then we want to make sure that we are just having good nutrients on board. So when we’re sleeping, we have the raw materials, amino acids and fatty acids to provide the building blocks to assist in the repair process. Yeah, vegetarians, vegans, they have a lot of sleep issues historically. And I would argue it’s due to the lack of these amino acids that you need to really help fuel some of these neurotransmitters. So back to the I want to just hit that because you hit something really important. And then when vegetarians and vegans get a lot of the amino acids, they’re not really bioavailable. So if you go look at the bioavailability of amino acids in vegetarian vegan foods, they’re not very bioavailable. Now, vegans and vegetarians can get by with free form amino acid supplementation, a high quality pea protein, maybe a rice protein, so they can get by with amino acid supplements, but it’s very hard from a raw standpoint, meaning you’re just relying on Whole Foods to get those amino acids and when you typically do combine them appropriately. You get a ton of carbohydrates. So if you’re more insulin sent or resistant or more Carbohydrates sensitive if you don’t do well with carbs that could cause more blood sugar issues and more sleep issues with that.
Evan Brand: Yep, yep. So back to the drug. The drug name is zolpidem sold under the brand name Ambien anyway, we talked about alcohol A while ago, we talked about like, some of the date rape drugs and some of the bad stuff that people do. Apparently this GOP. Yeah, apparently this drug actually was used or has been used as a date rape drug as well. And so it is a non benzodiazepine. But guess what, it’s a GABA receptor agonist. So it works by increasing GABA binds to the same location as benzos. So tricky little varmints. It’s a non bidco but it binds to the same GABA receptor as a benzo. So to me, it’s a frickin benzo, you know, not not technically but in terms of the addiction potential and the withdrawal and the adverse effects and the dependency it’s it’s no good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So yeah, same thing with Lunesta here, I’m looking at some of the the mechanism of action on the nessa same kind of thing. It has a coupling interaction with the GABA receptor sites. So kind of it’s coupled with like a benzo. So it’s kind of very similar to a benzo and then the rozerem. It works on some of the m two receptor sites, I think some of the same receptor sites that work on melatonin, so I’m pretty sure it’s like a melatonin kind of agonist, if you will. And yeah, right here. rosarium is a highly selective melatonin receptor site type one type two agonist. So what does that mean? agonist means it helps the melatonin in those synapses to be it increases it stimulates it with a little bit and kind of gets a little bit more into gear, if you will. Now, my whole I’d much rather be using melatonin as a whole as I rather just provide more of that building block or more of that raw material to help right and gets more natural than just being an agonist and upregulating the receptor sites to it. And of course, even before that, I’d much rather use a lot more of the amino acids like five HTP, and B six, and providing more of the building blocks. So we don’t disrupt too many feedback loops, or the herbs just to help regulate the adrenals. And then you stay away from this crap completely. But why is how bad it is. So we kind of always start low and then work our way up. So there’s always kind of like a, an algorithm and how we are applying things and even natural we want to do the least invasive to the most invasive if we need it. But of course sleeps is such a huge tenant in our body’s ability to heal.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And why is this not on the nightly news? Well, I mean, Big Pharma is highly involved in the media companies, right? So they’re, they’re not interested in melatonin, which is what maybe a quarter or maybe 50 cents per dose, they want pharmaceuticals, because there’s a lot more money involved. And you can’t patent it, you and I’ve discussed this patent issue many, many times. So they can’t patent anything.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When you just look at the mechanisms, right, like, look what they’re doing, like with rozerem, it’s just it’s an agonist on the receptor site. So what they do is they kind of skate the surf, they kind of tiptoe around it and try to figure out, Okay, this is this mechanism is important, how can we monkey around with the receptor site and adjust that and make it better or over, you know, stimulate the receptor site to be more sensitive. So they’re kind of looking at what the the actual mechanism is, and then they try to just skirt the the periphery on it to make it work better, right, which a lot of times have side effects, because that’s what typical drugs, do they have side effects? That’s right. That’s right. So I mentioned the I got into the nutrition piece a little bit talked about kind of the the fat and then just one thing, sorry. And they have to do that. So people thinking, well, I don’t understand like, what’s the point of that? Well, you can’t patent a natural compounds. So when you have things like melatonin or natural amino acid compounds, you can’t patent it. So they know these mechanisms are already helpful. So you hire a whole bunch of chemists to go in there and biochem people to go in there and figure out okay, this is the mechanism, what can we do to create a synthetic compound, maybe we just create like an isomer, or something that looks very similar, that buffers or adjusts receptor sites, but is synthetic enough where they can patent it. So that’s why they they can’t patent natural things. That’s why they they look at already known mechanisms, and they try to adjust it and author it just a little bit. So they can patent it. And it never works as good as the natural stuff. And never will because of the fact that you can’t. You can’t improve upon Mother Nature. You just can’t.
Evan Brand: Yep, I know. I love the herbs. I love them. So I hit on the whole, like, not enough fat and protein piece. And I see that a lot. Like I mentioned the vegetarian vegans. I mean, typically these people are depressed, they’re anxious and their sleep is crap. Now, the one happy vegan listening, good for you, but talk to me in five years, and I’ll be curious to see what happens. But back to the blood sugar piece. So there are some things that you may need to do to help with the blood sugar. That could just be something as simple as eating like a little fat bomb before you go to bed. I mean, it could be like a little piece of some coconut oil or some coconut butter or maybe grass fed butter or maybe I don’t know a couple macadamias are pecans are something that can help just kind of throw a little bit of fat on the fire before you go to bed. Now it can do a huge, huge thing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Some also do better do really good with a little bit of fat and maybe a tiny bit of carbohydrate, whether it’s a handful of berries, or a little bit of like, honey. And sometimes that can be helpful because the little bit of glucose can help those with the amino acids cross the blood brain barrier. So if you go so low carb at night, sometimes those amino acids can’t cross. And so I kind of go both ways. Try with less sugar. And if you need a little bit of sugar with a little bit of fat and protein, and you can always add a little bit of sugar just to help the amino acids cross that blood brain barrier.
Evan Brand: That’s smart. You know, I’ve tried that like doing a chamomile tea, which is another easy good strategy. I’ve tried chamomile just by itself, and then chamomile with honey. And I will report with a little bit of honey, delicious, but it does help a little bit with the sleep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and just kind of just try it on both sides. Because too much sugar can also create blood sugar swings and cortisol spikes when your blood sugar drops. And that can cause problems. So it’s all about finding that right balance. So I always recommend start with none. And then add just a little bit in incrementally.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and we through a lot of people. So where do you start with all this? Well, I think the blue light, the lifestyle stuff, not exercising too close or too intensely before bed. I think all those things are great, getting your bowels regulated, making sure that you’re testing yourself for gut infections and getting those things addressed. And then reaching out to a practitioner like Dr. Justin or myself, because we deal with this stuff. Personally, we deal with this stuff clinically. We’ve done it countless times. And it’s incredibly rewarding what we do, because we’re showing you on paper, where is this issue coming from? You know, some people blame it on their genetics, like oh, my mother, she never slept good. Or my dad Oh, he had terrible insomnia. He’s on antidepressants that are okay, genetics are not your destiny. So I don’t care how your parents sleep or not sleep. That is not your destiny. There are root causes that we can identify. And we can address these we can get them on paper, and we can retest and show you look, your basics is back up great because you needed that because you were also low in serotonin, which you needed more of because both of those ingredients, boom, make melatonin, you didn’t have that recipe. And now on paper, you’re reporting improve sleep, hooray. But look at the labs, we can confirm you fix the mechanism of these neurotransmitter issues and these nutrient deficiencies. And that is just why we do what we do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. The other thing I would say is going to be female hormones. female hormones play a big role, especially progesterone, because progesterone is a natural gaba chloride channel opener opens those gaba chloride helps flood gaba into the zone, which helps you relax. So female hormone issues, especially for menopausal women can be a big ones, we got to look at estrogen, estradiol and progesterone that’s really important. I would also they’re also kind of like their modulating supplements that can be helpful that may not plug into the root cause. So when I’m with the patient, I’m working them up. I’m trying to figure out what’s the underlying mechanism? Or is it multiple systems meaning is there poor digestion, indigestion, poor gut issues, and then autoimmune stuff with adrenals and thyroid, and maybe some detoxification issues, we try to focus on each of those systems, work on the diet like nutrient dense anti inflammatory, low toxin, get digestion, good, stabilize blood sugar, flood nutrients into the zone. And then we’re going to run organic acids and we’re going to see neurotransmitters, we’re going to see be six amino acid status, we’re going to look at serotonin and dopamine, adrenaline, that can help on the amino acid side. We mentioned things like melatonin, that’s always a later stage always want to do the amino acids first. But then there are things like California Poppy, or like you mentioned lemon balm, or Valerian or CBD as other like natural compounds that are out there that can be helpful, that may help either kind of attenuate that sympathetic response, and may help just kind of upregulate GABA a little bit. It may just have a very kind of sedative kind of relaxing effect, usually working as a natural kind of benzo right and flooding with gaba. So if you plug one of these natural things in, don’t just think that that’s it. Always try to trace it back to the mechanism that drove the issue. To begin with. You really always want to think root cause and then expand out. And if you find a supplement that helps try to always trace it back to what the original mechanism was. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yeah, does man you just like opened up a whole new can of words here. So I’m going to take a few minutes on packet. You mentioned thyroid you mentioned autoimmunity. So hashimotos it’s really common to have sleep issues, because if that immune system is attacking the thyroid, all of a sudden you’ve got some of this hormone leaking out into the bloodstream. So some of the things that you and I will do, yes, we can use the herbs. But one could argue that even the herbs are not root cause because if the antibodies are attacking the thyroid, yeah, it’s great to go and use mother work to calm the heart down. But the tachycardia that’s causing the insomnia is coming from the thyroid and this person is eating gluten. They’re doing sandwiches for lunch, so We got to work backwards on getting those thyroid antibodies down. So that- not so. So that’s my comment there. But then you opened up a whole nother can of worms, make sure I circle back to mold and Lyme and co infections real quick, but go ahead.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So just to highlight one thing, when we’re working with patients, we’re always thinking that way, we’re always thinking, Okay, we’re going to try this, try this, we’re going to connect it back to the mechanism of action. But I know a lot of people are going to be listening, they’ll be like, Oh, I’m going to try this supplement or that and they’re writing their list down and what things are going to try, that’s cool. But just you know, if you don’t have that clinicians mindset, you may ignore the root cause. So if you have an issue where you’re trying a couple of things, and you’re not quite getting the results, or it’s a steady issue that’s continuing to happen over the years, make sure you reach out to a good functional medicine doctor, like myself, or Evan, the we can kind of work you through that. But at least try a couple things on your own. But don’t ignore that root issue and get a good functional medicine person to help you. If that issue is more chronic.
Evan Brand: Yeah, because it’s not a deficiency of passionflower. Right, right. So it’s not just like we joke on drugs, it’s not a deficiency of those either. Now, let’s just briefly open up a whole nother can of worms here Lyme mold, co infections, mast cell issues, these things very, very, very much affected my sleep. And so Lyme really affects sleep. So make sure if you have a history of tick bites, or if your partner has it, because it can be sexually transmitted, that you address it, you either test for it, or you just try to go after it using herbs and see if you have a positive or negative reaction. I can tell you with confidence just using Japanese knotweed, for me improves my sleep quality. What’s the mechanism? Well, Japanese knotweed is anti inflammatory because of the resveratrol, but it does help to kill the spire Riki borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme. So so that’s that, and then mold. Mold really, really affects the nervous system. And it will down regulate melatonin, Dr. Shoemaker. He’s kind of like the main medical doc that’s talked about mold for many years, he discusses all the hormones that get affected, your testosterone can go low, you can have issues with Msh. So then you start to burn easily and you can’t get a good tan, and you can get your antidiuretic hormone is messed up. So now you’re up in the middle of the night to go pee three, four or five times a night and people report Well, I sleep fine. But if I didn’t have to pee, I’d sleep better. It’s like, well, what’s the mechanism of the peeing? Is it a prostate? Is it a mold thing? Is it a toxin thing? metals? Yeah, adrenals heavy metal dosterone.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You can’t hold on to your fluids. So you’re dumping your minerals all the time.
Evan Brand: So if you’re supporting adrenals, and aldosterone can come back up, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s Yeah, it’s very possible. So supporting the minerals will help because you’re just not going to have the loss of the minerals. So the minerals are really important for your cells to work well, sodium, potassium, and for your electrolytes and for your heart. So those are really important things to kind of keep in, keep in mind, for sure.
Evan Brand: Babesia bartonella, co infections, any can any kind of CO infection, those can affect it. Chronic pain, of course can affect sleep. So if you’ve got some type of an issue like mycoplasma that’s affecting the joints, or maybe you’ve got prepatellar, some kind of bacterial infection attacking the joints that causes pain that causes sleep issues, this is why you need help. You can’t just go by passionflower and assume all your problems are going to go away.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, a couple other questions are coming in here live on the chat as we go. Yes, low thyroid hormone can cause sleep issues I’ve seen reports of and some patients who have low thyroid will even add one of their thyroid doses a little bit before bed. And that can help as well. So it just depends if you actually have low tea, you want to take it during the day, but then also sometimes at night, it can be helpful, sometimes just supporting it during the day is enough to spill into night and help asleep. And yeah, things like pregnenolone right before bed can be a little bit stimulating. So anyone that has sleep issues will try to do their last dose of pregnenolone like around 3pm da ga less stimulating, but if you’re on the fence, you know, always do it really early, just to rule that variable out and see if that’s a problem or not.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, progesterone, I experimented with a little bit of that before bed. Wow. You can tell it hits the GABA receptors. I mean, well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Progesterone is great, like a lot of my female patients that need it will do that, you know, an hour or two before bed, and it really opens up the gaba. And if we need we can throw in some extra l theanine along with it, or some gaba itself. And that can be very helpful and really promote a lot of relaxation.
Evan Brand: Yep. So the toxic thing is just the toxin piece. You know, I think it’s something that we didn’t get into much till the end here. But it is something that would be in our standard workup where we’d be looking for these these kind of hidden, more nuanced root causes. And, you know, just to restate, you could go from referral to referral in the conventional medical world, and you’re never even going to get close to the conversations or information that we just provided you today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I mean, it’s hard. The conventional medical model is a three to five minute visit. They’re just trying to collect just enough symptoms to figure out what drug they’re going to prescribe whether it’s a rosarium or a benzo or an SSRI or what whatever other kind of mini me new drugs that are out there many meaning it’s very similar to an old drug, just the new name, new Patent so they can re up that seven year patents. And that’s kind of how a lot of conventional medicine works. They’re not really diving in deep, they’re not even really thinking about deep root cause mechanisms. They’re just trying to get you to sleep. And it’s sad, but it’s system that we’re in. And I’m glad that we have information like this. It’s out there at your fingertips so you guys can be more informed and take some action to get to the root cause.
Evan Brand: Yeah absolutely. If you need any help please reach out to Justin or myself, his website is JustinHealth.com, my website, EvanBrand.com. And we love that you guys are here with us so more to come.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And put your comments down below. We really appreciate you guys listening, and I want to get some interaction about what you think works for you. I read the comments. So when I get feedback, like oh, this worked or that work, it really helps me because, you know, when you see thousands of patients like myself and Evan have, that’s really how you get good. Like when you start off in this field, you get a really good base of physiology and biochem and nutrition, you apply it with yourself and your family and then patients around you. And then you grow as you get more patients and you get more data points. So it’s very helpful. And then if you enjoyed today’s podcast, please leave us a review, we’ll put a link down below where you can click and you can leave us a review on iTunes, we really, really appreciate it.
Evan Brand: Yeah, share this with all your friends and family on sleep drugs, we can’t legally tell them to get off of it, but we’ll show them a different path.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you’re on benzos really important, that’s a very, very, very slow taper. So if your doctor decides to take them off fast, be very careful. Sometimes these things have to be tapered over the course of a year. So just be very careful. If you’re on drugs and very dependent. You want to do it responsibly and very slowly with the prescriber as you kind of taper down and as you fix the root underlying issues.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said I mean you’ll listen to this podcast you’d be like well screw those drugs I’m stopping! Bad idea don’t do that same thing with like hypertension medications. I mean, we’ve done podcasts on naturally regulating you know blood pressure and some people, Oh my god, these drugs are terrible. I’m getting off of them. You can you could get rebound hypertension Same thing with the sleep drugs, you know, you can have a lot of issues with the GABA receptor I mean being so saturated with the drug and then you just going cold turkey, these are not cold turkey drugs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, my general recommendation is get a good foundation, diet, lifestyle, sleep, movement hydration, get that there. Before you go in and ask that prescribed or start dropping the dose slow. So get the foundation right before you make any changes.
Evan Brand: Yeah I mean look, we want people to be healthy, we want them to be drug-free, if possible. And if that’s our goal ang long term plan, we love it but there’s a time and a place. So just hang in there, i know it sucks, people get so mad. I dont wanna be on this drug! They say that so often but they have to. That’s okay, i’m not judging you, it’s okay if you need it know. Let’s get you healthy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Every now and then I find 1% of people having a hard time getting off of it or just can’t get their sleep right, but I would say 99% people are gonna be able to address significantly and improve their sleep. So stick at it, you have a really high percent, so keep it up and goodluck for everyone listening.
Evan Brand: Yep, absolutely. Well let’s wrap this up. JustinHealth.com for consults around the world, and EvanBrand.com. We look forward to helping you. Take care we’ll talk to you later.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one ya’ll. Bye.
Adrenal Fatigue and Leaky Gut – Heal the Adrenals and Help Heal the Gut
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress. Discover how these type of conditions are healed.
Today’s video is going to be on leaky gut and adrenal fatigue, and this is a topic really near and dear my heart.
I see dozens of patients every week with chronic gut issues, whether it’s ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, autoimmune diseases, or the thyroid or other tissues of the body, bloating, gas, constipation. And there is one unifying principle with all those different conditions — that is inflammation.
Inflammation is this chronic breakdown of the body. So we have homeostasis where we have this constant building up and breaking down. That’s normal. It is life. That’s homeostasis. And with extra stress in our lives, conventional medicine calls it allostatic load. I just call it stress from physical, chemical, and emotional sources that will start causing our body to break down faster than you build up. So now we’re in this breaking down accelerated aging type of pattern. Again, anyone that has gone to their physician and they have been told, “Well, it’s all in your head,” or “You’re just getting older.” That’s what I’m talking about. It’s this inflammatory breakdown.
Dangers of Medications
In conventional medicine, the only option really is dangerous medications. Ibuprofen, Vioxx, Celebrex. Ibuprofen kills 20,000 people taken properly a year. Vioxx killed 60,000 in the early 2000’s according to all the released documents. We have Vicodin, Percocets. We have all of these Morphine-like compounds that are highly addictive, and then we have things like ibuprofen, Aleve, like I already mentioned. They actually drop down glutathione levels, too. So they’re going to decrease your liver’s ability to deal with stress and environmental toxins. Lots of options in the conventional community that don’t sound too pleasant and none of them really address the underlying cause.
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When we talk about adrenal fatigue, it’s really important. We’re talking about functional imbalances. So I always tell patients, “Imagine health on a spectrum of 1 through 10.” 10 being optimal health, 1 being disease pathology. This is where you go into your doctor’s office and they’re like, “Whoa! You got this disease or that disease, or that-it is whatever.”
Imagine the functional imbalance is somewhere between 5 and 2. You’re not sick enough to be picked up by conventional lab work or conventional doctor’s visit. But again, you’re not feeling great enough where you’re motivated to be doing or you’re feeling worse enough so you’re motivated to be doing this lab work. People that are 7, 8, 9, they’re feeling pretty good. They’re probably not going to be motivated enough to dig in. So somewhere on that spectrum of 6 through 2 where my functional imbalances kind of live.
Most patients that think we talk about adrenal fatigue, we’re not talking about Addison’s disease which is a extreme low version of cortisol, but we’re talking about functional imbalances and one of the key functional imbalances here is HPA. Hypothalamus, pituitary–your brain–hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis and this is what happens when we have chronic stress.
We have cortisol which is a stress hormone. Cortisol’s really, really important. It is glucocorticosteroid. Let’s break it down. Anytime you don’t understand a word. You just draw it out and you break it up because it makes so much more sense. Gluco–gluco meaning pertaining to blood glucose and energy.
Cortisol for Energy Production
So we have the energy side of the cortisol spectrum. We need energy for healthy energy. We’ll run cortisol rhythms on all my patients and typically cortisol is higher in the morning and it slopes down like a rollercoaster throughout the day. So cortisol’s there, it responds to sunlight. Right around 6 to 7 AM–6 to 7 AM in the morning, cortisol is really high and what we’ll see is if cortisol is low on that cortisol rhythm. Imagine here is the natural slope. If someone’s coming in here and they’re flatter, typically what we’re going to see are energy problems. We’re going to see massive energy issues in the morning if our cortisol’s lower. So we need cortisol for energy.
Mobilizing Blood Glucose
Cortisol mobilizes blood glucose.
Glucose then goes into the Kreb cycle and it spits out ATP. ATP is the currency for our body. Our mitochondrias need it.
Healthy Hormone Production
We need cortisol for healthy hormone production as well. If we’re too stressed and our body is burning up cortisol, one the biggest imbalances we see is lower progesterone in relationship to estrogen.
Typically we have about 23 to 25 times more progesterone than estrogen. But one of the starting points of PMS or any mood disorder is progesterone starts to drop and why does it drop? Because it’s actually going downhill to cortisol. So we need healthy cortisol balance. So it’s like Goldilocks. You don’t want the porridge too hot, you don’t want it too cold; holding that bar of soap, you grip it too, it squirts out; too loose, it falls out.
So if we’re too stressed, our progesterone goes downstream. Any woman that has PMS, this is one of the underlying driving factors. That’s why the cortisol being a glucocorticosteroid. And that’s why watching your blood sugar and eating healthy glycemic foods are important. Also, not eating extra refined sugar, maybe even avoiding fruits and starches that are too sweet as well, can be really important to helping to balance PMS. This is because progesterone will go downhill to cortisol. So you can see cortisol is really helpful for hormones. Not too much stress or we go estrogen-dominant.
Cortisol for Inflammation
So corticosteroid– a lot of people hear corticosteroids may be in their inhaler or corticosteroids for a cream to rub on an achy joint. Maybe even heard of a cortisone injection. These are really important. They are anti-inflammatory components. The problem when we expose joints or tissues to extra cortisol in medication form too long, it’s going to start breaking down ligaments, tendons, cartilage, soft tissue. That’s why if you go to an internist or an orthopedic person, they’re going to tell you, “I can only give you a couple of injections of this cortisone before it starts breaking down their tissue.” So they only can give you one or two shots.
Again, seeing lots of athletes–I see many of them say, “Well, I’m just going to get this injection,” and I tell them and I say, “You’re going to make the problem worse in the long run.” They come back in 3 to 6 months almost always and they’re feeling worse than they did in the first place. And that’s not the best situation to be in if we’re ignoring the underlying cause of a problem. So this is really important.
We always have to ask, Where does inflammation come from? The underlying cause. Well, what’s driving that? That is chronic pain. Do you have chronic back pain, neck pain, old surgeries, old injuries. This pain is going to drive extra cortisol. So it’s kind of like having a leak in the boat. Water is going to come in slowly. In other words, cortisol’s going to be leaking out slowly because of all this extra pain.
A lot of people ignore food allergens. Now this is really important when we’re dealing with leaky gut. This is because anytime you have extra intestinal symptoms (bloating, gas, fatigue, migraines), and you’re just not feeling good, almost always there’s going to be leaky gut in there. And if you’re eating gluten, you can almost always make the assumption there’s leaky gut.
Just for any new listeners here, leaky gut is nothing more than the gastrointestinal tight junctions. So really simple, take your fingers. Put them right together like this, hold them tight. This is your tight junctions here. This is the inside of your tummy where the food is. The outside here is where the blood is. Open your fingers up just a little bit and you can pop your fingers through, that’s like the undigested food particles going through into the bloodstream. And our immune system is not used to seeing all these undigested food particles and even bacteria like LPS, etc. So when these are in there, it’s stressing out our immune system. Anything that you eat frequently enough, you’re going to develop food allergens, too.
There’s the old expression, if you love it, rotate it. And part of healing from a healing gut is obviously cutting out all of the junky food and going on an autoimmune type of diet. No nuts, no seeds, no nightshades, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers. Potentially even low FODMAPs and eggs. Say that 10 times fast, that’s quite a-leave your head spin in there.
But again, foods are so important and again it’s different for every person. Sometimes we have to cut off FODMAPs. Or maybe we have to be really strict on eggs. Sometimes we need more of a bone broth type of GAPs approach. At times we need to cut out salicylates or phenols. Again, it’s different for every person. So having a kind of a baseline template wherein you can customize is the best way to go.
Infections, a lot of people that have these chronic leaky gut, chronic stress in their tummies, well, their hydrochloric acid levels tend to drop. And that’s partly because they’re autonomic nervous system is favoring the sympathetic side.
So the sympathetic is the fight-or-flight mechanism and if you open up your Guyton’s physiology textbook, what you’re going to see there is the fight-or-flight mechanism. This is actually antagonistic for enzyme and hydrochloric acid production. Big fancy words, all it means is that you’re stressed, digestion goes down. That’s why the parasympathetic, that’s the opposite side of the sympathetic nervous system branch, is nicknamed the rest and digest.
Parasympathetic stimulates hydrochloric acid secretion. Hydrochloric acid’s the first domino that then activates the enzymes, the protein-digesting enzymes in our stomach such as pepsin and these help break down protein. The acidic chyme in our stomach then hits–it flows out into the small intestine and it hits the duodenum. This is where the bicarbonate is now secreted. The gallbladder then produces bile salts. The pancreas produces more protease and lipase, more digestion occurs, and then reabsorption in the colon.
What we need is a healthy domino reaction that has to form. We are in a sympathetic state because of inflammation, pain, allergens, chronic infections, emotions of feeling sick and tired. I almost always see that. That in and of itself is a major stress.
Again, pain, food, infections, managing emotions. There are good things you can do with meditation, just communicating about emotions. Also, there are different tapping techniques that you can do in such, very helpful to reducing that sympathetic amygdala type of brainstem sympathetic stress response.
A lot of people are exercising too much. I can’t tell you how many CrossFit patients I have. They’re just doing too much CrossFit. CrossFit’s a great modality especially when it’s ramped up for people in the right way at the right dosage in time. It’s going to be a modality. But some people are going at it too hard and they’re doing it too frequent. It’s causing their body to break down. And we’re making too much of this cortisol, too much of the corticosteroid side. Thus, we are becoming significantly inflamed.
So all of these things, if we have inflammation on one side, if we have energy issues on the other side. These are creating major, major problems and it’s setting us up for leaky gut. It’s setting us up. Now, the longer our gut’s leaky, the more we start losing tolerance to self, meaning our immune system’s getting exposed to all kinds of food, even bugs.
Lipopolysaccharide from the bacteria in our tummy is going into our bloodstream. It’s creating lots and lots of stress. And the longer we have our gut leaky, the greater chance we have of creating an autoimmune condition. There’s even a lot of research out there by Fasano, et al saying that it’s almost impossible to have an autoimmune condition without having a leaky gut. It’s like a prerequisite.
Treatment for Leaky Gut with the 5R Approach
So really simple, 5R approach is essential to healing the guts.
- Removing all of the bad foods is essential.
- Replacing enzymes and hydrochloric acid.
- When we repair, it’s adding extra nutrients to help soothe and heal the gut but we also need to be on an adrenal support. This is because the healthy cortisol from our adrenal glands helps put out the fire in our gut.
- Remove the infections. This tends to get mixed up. It tends to go first in a lot of doctor’s programs and people tend to have a healing crisis or a Herxheimer’s or die-off reaction.
- We put all of the good bacteria at the end. We don’t drop down seeds until we pull out the weeds. We remove the infections. It’s pulling out the weeds then reinoculating or dropping down the seeds. So, it’s weeds before seeds.
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Again, this is Dr. Justin here, lots of great information. You may have to watch this video twice. If you have a chronic tummy issue, chronic fatigue, even a thyroid issue, 90% of thyroids are autoimmune in nature, this information has to be applied to your health plan for you to get better.
If you have any questions or you want to reach out and start taking the right step to heal, click onscreen or click below. I look forward to helping you out.