1098. Energy Drain: Unmasking Adrenal Exhaustion


Back in 1999, Dr. Martin wrote a book called, Steps to Fight Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the Modern Woman. In the book he also discusses fibromyalgia, which he says is an aspect of chronic fatigue. These combined conditions have been renamed at the Martin Clinic. Dr. Martin now refers to them as adrenal exhaustion.

In today’s episode, Dr. Martin talks about the different factors that can lead to a category 5 storm of adrenal exhaustion. Chronic stress is the major contributor, but environmental factors like mold exposure, antibiotics, Lyme disease, family dynamics, and a poor diet are all contributing factors.

Dr. Martin also discusses various symptoms associated with adrenal exhaustion and how to address them. Don’t miss this informative episode!


Announcer:  You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning everyone, and once again, welcome to another live this morning. Hope you're having a great day in Canada. Holiday weekend for my American friends. That'll be next weekend. Okay, let's get going. Okay, what year was this that I wrote this book? Okay, this was rewritten by the way. Okay. After my thesis that I wrote on chronic fatigue syndrome. You see this book? 1999. Okay. Steps to Fight Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the Modern Woman. In the same year, I wrote a book actually in French [inaudible] Okay, I wrote that book. Both languages. How do you like that? Anywho? Why do I want to bring that up? We've renamed chronic fatigue syndrome, okay, at the Martin Clinic or fibromyalgia. By the way, fibromyalgia, I've said this many, many a time, is part of chronic fatigue syndrome. It's part of the same issue. Adrenal exhaustion. Okay? And we're going to tell you why that happens. We're going to talk about the ramifications, okay?

But if you go to our website, martinclinic.com, you can watch a video there on the metabolic storm. You can take a questionnaire if you want to find out if this is you. Okay? And we talk about what is the number one hormonal issue, okay? Is it your insulin? It's always involved. That's food. Is it your ovaries, ladies? Is it estrogen dominance? We talk about adrenal and cortisol and the thyroid or what we call a category five storm. So today I want to talk about category five. And actually was it last week, we actually touched on it when we talked about histamine intolerance, okay? Where you're allergic to yourself, it makes you unique. So difficult to diagnose because look, unless blood tests come and slap you in the face for a physician, generally they miss the boat. They can't see it because they've been hijacked.

Medicine today comparatively, okay? Is hijacked by the pharmaceutical industry and they deal with symptoms. They want to manage symptoms. And secondly, by labs, they're hijacked by the labs. All your blood tests came back normal and maybe your cholesterol is high. Let's do something about that. I mean, millions of times a year that happens in North America cause they've been hijacked by the laboratory. Normal, oh, you're in normal range. You've got every symptom of thyroid, every symptom of thyroid. Hair's falling out, you feel terrible, slow metabolism, you're gaining weight, yada, yada, yada. All the symptoms, but oh no, but your T S H is within normal limits. So that's hijacking. It's unfortunate because people fall through the cracks every day because they don't get diagnosed. And I always saw myself as a functional doctor. Look at the whole caboodle. Look at all of the body. Don't separate it.

Look, you know me, I love blood tests. I do because with all the years of experience, I'm not looking for the flags from the laboratories. I'm looking at specific things, eight critical blood tests that tell me a lot. But guys, you can never separate a history from the lab. You can't separate it because if you don't have a history of patients, this is why I don't like per se, physicians that don't ask questions or physicians that don't allow questions. My daughter worked at a walk-in clinic, she's a nurse, and one of the physicians there said, you get to ask only one question today if you want a ask two come back, I'll answer the second one on another day. That gives me a migraine. So today I want to talk about category five or adrenal exhaustion, and I actually will post in the private Facebook group. You're not a member of that. What's a matter with you? Okay, I will post it on our private Facebook page because I've written about this.

When chronic fatigue syndrome, it used to be called the yuppy flu. They didn't know what to call it. Myo encephalitis. They gave it ME, and that sort of stuck too. But at the end of the day, it's the body, especially the horrormones mess up. Okay, so what causes a metabolic storm? What causes a category five storm? So let's go over that. I want to give you what I saw in my practice for years. I used to break it down into about three things generally. Three causes, chronic stress was at the top, but stress can come in different forms. So at the top, chronic stress, what stressed the body? Chronically. Okay, the environment. Let's start with that. The environment. I used to call this environmental factors. The biggest one in my experience was mold. Exposure to mold wasn't always, but it was very common exposure to mold, environmental, it invaded the body. The body's immune system went crazy trying to deal with mold. Most people don't even realize that, but it doesn't have to be mold. I used to say antibiotics. The overuse of them, especially when you're younger, take antibiotics. It wipes out your bacteria. You get an invasion of a third army fungal and it invades the body.

The other one, and you know, could put this in the environment, you could get an infection like Lyme's. But here's what I found with Lyme's, okay? Ordinarily, not always, most people, if they get a tick and their immune system is really good, it doesn't manifest itself. If it's a perfect storm where your immune system has been really depleted, well then Lyme's can be a factor in adrenal exhaustion. So it can be Lyme's, but I see it more as a fungus, more like leaky gut, okay? Leaky gut, leaky everything. The gut. So categorize that sort of as environmental factors. Okay? Antibiotics destroy your friendly bacteria, you don't know it. There's no little flashing, light says replace your bacteria, you're in trouble. It should be, but that's a big issue.

The second category that I put was I put it as family dynamics. Okay? Now what did I mean by that? Chronic stress, family dynamics. A sick loved one. One thing that I used to see a lot, caregivers, difficult, right? Your parents, maybe a child that's autistic or a real problem in the family dynamic. I used to find that caregivers, they were taking care of their dying mother or their father or whatever. And man, oh man, especially women. Especially women. By the way, adrenal exhaustion, not always women, but it's 90% women, okay? It's not like men can't get it, but it's rare with a man. Stress affects a woman differently because of their hormonal, their makeup. It's a big, big difference. So I used to see it with caregivers, I call it family dynamics. It could be finances, could be a divorce, family, home, disrupted.

And then thirdly, the third category, and this was rarely ever an exception to this. They had insulin resistance. And the reason is is because they had a poor diet. Lots of sugars or crappy carbohydrates or they never ate a lot of meat, eggs, meat and cheese. They didn't eat a lot of that. Their diet was mostly carbohydrate. So those three things, the environmental and early childhood with the antibiotics and possible infection of Lyme's. But again, that was rare, but doesn't matter. Antibiotics wasn't rare. That was consistent. When I wrote this book here, we had over 500 questionnaires and there was in the 85, 90% were on antibiotics quite a bit. Ear infections, throat infections, sinus infections, bladder infections. A lot of times I talked to you about that antibiotic last week that has got a black box warning on is called Cipro.

I tell you, I just don't understand how medicine can still be dishing that out. I don't understand it when there's a lot of alternatives to it and they go to Cipro, which to me is malpractice. There's no reason for that drug to still be on the market in my opinion. But I used to see it in terms of the adrenal exhaustion. Okay, so you have the start. What starts it? Obviously leaky gut is in there, but we're going to talk about that separately in a sense, because I'm going to show you all the systems that get affected by this. Okay? So at the top, put category five, adrenal exhaustion. Okay? You don't have to necessarily take notes. I'm going to send it to you after. Muscle pain. Muscle pain. This is the fibro part.

And I know every physician that ever wrote about fibromyalgia, and they usually were rheumatologists or whatever, they separated, they said fibromyalgia is a separate condition. I didn't agree with that. There was an underlying condition, which was adrenal exhaustion. But anyway, they would say, well, muscle pain, you would have those hotspots, they would diagnose. And always with that fibro was a sleep disorder. But that's adrenal exhaustion. You're exhausted, but your body doesn't get into that sleep. You never get into those five stages of sleep. You never get into the REM sleep. You're exhausted, but you're not sleeping properly. And far too many, in my opinion, again, far too many of these people were put on medications to sleep, put on sleeping pills.

And I used to tell 'em, I said, you're not sleeping. "Doc, I can't sleep without these things." I said, well, you're not sleeping, you're sedated. That's different. You're glial. You know how we talk about the glial cells in your brain? Your brain's got a self-cleaning oven, okay? Your brain has its own detoxification. When does that happen? It happens when you're sleeping and at no other time your glial cells work the night shift while you're sleeping, your self-cleaning oven. But when you don't sleep, and if you're taking a sleeping pill, I had patients that came into my office, they were on sleeping pills for 30 years and they had no idea. I said, well, you were sedated. You weren't sleeping. Now you are at a major risk for dementia. Major risk that your brain will not function as you get older. And the reason is because your self-cleaning ovens not working. It doesn't work with those meds. I'm sorry. Okay?

I used to tell all my patients that were on sleeping pills, it's time to get off of them. And it wasn't easy. I said, well, we're going to change everything and sleep will come. We're going to fix the cause and sleep will come. I said, you got to trust me because you are taking a bandaid and a bandaid that is very destructive to your brain in the long run. And I felt sorry for people. Don't get me wrong. I felt sorry for people that couldn't sleep and they had muscle pain, they had fibromyalgia symptoms, but it's all part of the parcel, okay?

So sleep, sleep disorders, anxiety, anxiety and, "Doc, I feel like there's a vibration." I used to hear that. I must have heard it 10,000 times in my office over the years. I have a vibration. Nah, I said, that's your cortisol. Cortisol's made... If someone comes behind you and scares the living life out of you. Well your cortisol's going to go into action, your blood sugar's going up, your blood pressure's going up, you're going to turn around and kick, or you're going to run for your life, the fight or flight that's not meant to be turned on for a long time. And when you get that, it's almost like a vibration inside the body. Man, oh man, your system is wired. It's not meant to be. Anxiety comes. Anxiety can cause that and the adrenals can cause anxiety out of nowhere. People that were as cool, calm, and collected as you'll ever meet, and now they suffer from anxiety. Everything gets them going. Everything.

Or depression, take a coin. One is anxiety and flip it on the other side, the other's depression, they go together often and they're depressed. Well, they don't feel good. Their system's not working, their brain is not working properly. And then they get inflammatory. Let me just say this, okay, very important. Brain fog, brain fog. Their brain is cotton in the brain. They have very, very difficult time focusing. They don't feel well, okay? They don't feel well. Inflammation, of course in the muscles, but also autoimmune. Their body turns on itself. It overreacts to everything. This is where histamine intolerance comes, where the mast cells are constantly producing histamine. You're like allergic to yourself, autoimmune. And you get food intolerances. A lot of these people that maybe they never had before, things bother them. And that's part of leaky gut. It's part of inflammation, it's part of autoimmune. They all go together. Man, it was complicated.

Weight gain. The thyroid would slow to a crawl. Some of them got hyperthyroid, but most got hypothyroid. The thyroid would slow to a crawl. There was sometimes hair loss, their skin, hives, uticaria, skin dry, never like everything slowed to a crawl, including their metabolism with weight gain and including their gut, bloating, constipation, and they didn't feel good and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Okay?

Estrogen dominance. Estrogen too high, a lot of ovarian symptoms, PMs, no fun under the sun for these women. Okay? Lots of different issues. And by the way, let me just say this because when I did the study, it was in those days you were 50 or 60% more likely to get cancer, breast cancer especially. That was the cancer that seemed to be associated with the adrenal exhaustion. Breast cancer, perfect storm. Perfect storm. I felt sorry for women. Nobody told them that. Nobody told them how to protect themselves. Nobody told them anything other than it's all in between your ears. Doctors that look at 'em in those days, especially like they were cuckoo. Seriously. I remember.

I may have told you this story because I wrote these books. I was on, probably, I'm not exaggerating, probably two to 300 radio shows, TV interviews, you name it. And I traveled. I went all around North America with these publishers and they would get me on all these programs in Canada, the United States. And I remember one time I was on National Public Radio, okay? Because it was a woman's disorder. This is in, I don't even remember early nineties or whatever the first copy of that would've been. So I was on in a debate setting. So there was two of us. There was a physician from Wisconsin, I can't remember his name now.

And, you know, the host, let me talk to you about what I'm talking to you about now with some detail. And I was first, and this doctor who didn't have a nice thing to say about me, but especially about women. He said, you know what it is? It's mass hysteria, this whole chronic fatigue and this fibromyalgia, it's hysteria. Guess who won the debate? It was a phone in show. So I didn't have to say another word, I mean it. The rest of the time, I think we were on an hour, the rest of the time was just phone callers blasting this doctor. They were blasting him. Like, are you kidding? You know?

You guys remember Dr. Kevorkian? Okay? I don't even remember what year it was. He actually went to jail because you know what he did? He used to be involved in assisted suicide. He'd probably be a hero today. But in those days, I'm going to say it's around the year 2000, but somebody refresh my memory. He's on national TV and on national tv. The last patient that he assisted in their suicide got him sent to prison. And Dr. Kevorkian is dead now. It was with chronic fatigue syndrome. This young lady was so unwell, she wanted to die and Dr. Kevorkian helped her die. That's a true story, guys. That's how unwell people are.

This guy on National Public Radio was saying, it's mass hysteria, all between their ears. It's a form of depression. And he said they need antidepressants. Okay, didn't talk for one second about anything physiologically unwell with these people. I, because I had done so much work with this and saw so many patients, I laughed. It was sad, but I laughed. I said, you know what? That's why these women are falling through the cracks. I said, because of quote "dinosaurs like you," that's what I said on National Public Radio. You're a dinosaur doc. You need to go back to school and get educated. Anyways, I never talked to the guy ever again. I can't even remember his name.

So you get all sorts of thyroid, ovarian, and extreme fatigue. And when I talk to you about antibiotics, and I got to say this because it's the chicken or the egg, which comes first. And leaky gut is always, always, always present. I've never seen an exception to it. They had leaky gut. And so did that come first with the antibiotic use? Probably. Probably was the huge start of that. Okay. Leaky gut. Go back into the eighties and nineties, hardly anyone even know what leaky gut was. You couldn't talk to a physician about leaky gut if your life depended on it. They didn't know anything. Well, even today, here we are in 2023 and what's happened in medicine in a lot of ways is they've specialized your family doctors, they send everything off. You got a digestive problem. I'm sending you to a GI doctor, you got a joint problem. I'm sending you to a rheumatologist or an orthopedic surgeon, you've got kidney problems, we're going to a urologist. Right? Like medicines like that.

And the problem with that is, okay, look, I'm not against specialists. All I'm saying is medicine is specialized. And unless you have an emergency physician who is good at everything, they usually miss it. And they're not trained to look for something as complex as adrenal exhaustion. Yep. Okay. So here we are, guys. Okay, here we are. I'll post this. Okay, I'll post it. Do some of you identify with what I'm talking about? And so at the end of the day, there's a lot of things that need to happen to fix this. Okay?

And by the way, just a couple of other things. Always, because they used to test this. Always, invariably, this was true. Low b12, low vitamin D, low omega-3, often low magnesium. It was almost invariably with these. So I used to treat, I used to go after that. Fix the leaky gut. Okay? Anti-inflammatory diet. Get rid of the sugars, get rid of those crappy carbohydrates, vegetable oils that really mess up your gut and create an inflammatory cytokine storm. Amazing. You have to start, if you didn't start with the diet, you didn't start with leaky gut, you didn't get anywhere in this condition.

Okay, guys, going to have a good week. Okay? I'm traveling this week, so Wednesday probably not have a program unless I do one on the road. I might fool you. Okay? Okay, guys. But Friday will be question and answer, so send in your questions, okay? Okay. We love you guys and I mean this sincerely and dearly. Talk to you soon.

Announcer:  You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!

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