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229. Insulin and Sleep Apnea

Transcript of Today's 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 Sr: Well, I want to talk to you today about sleep apnea. 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Incredible numbers. [00:00:30] I look back at my practice, and I go, "Sleep apnea?" In the 1970s, I mean, obviously, it was around, but whoever heard of it? Today, it's an epidemic. I just want to talk to you about what the cause is and what's happening, why do we see so much sleep apnea. Think of it. An estimated 25 million [00:01:00] Americans, and yet, when you think about it, a lot of people probably have it, and they don't even know it. They've never been treated for it, never been officially diagnosed, but it is a very common problem. I want to talk about it and what is the cause of it.

Dr. Martin Sr: Sleep apnea, apnea is when you literally stop breathing for over 10 seconds when you're sleeping. [00:01:30] It's got to be... Whenever they do the sleep test and they hook you up to all these machines, you're overnight at a sleep center, and they diagnose it by the amount of times that you literally stopped breathing over 10 seconds. I remember patients telling me that 60, 80 times in a nighttime, they literally would stop breathing.

Dr. Martin Sr: That's what apnea [00:02:00] means. It just means it's gone over 10 seconds, and you've literally have stopped breathing, but what causes that? If you Google it, you'll see... well, apnea, the cause of apnea is decrease in the airways to your brain. That's what causes it, but that's not what causes sleep apnea. That is an effect of sleep apnea. [00:02:30] It's certainly what causes the fatigue, the next-day moodiness, short-term memory loss, and you're very uncomfortable. There's actually a disorder that sleep apnea is where your energy levels, daytime sleepiness, they call it. You're exhausted, and people fall asleep at the wheel even because of [00:03:00] sleep apnea.

Dr. Martin Sr: But again, we know what it is. It's literally stop breathing at nighttime, but caused by the airways to your brain. You're not getting enough oxygen. You're not making enough oxygen going up into the brain, but you've got to take it... like we like to do at the Martin Clinic is we like to reverse-engineer. Let's go backwards. [00:03:30] What's really causing it?

Dr. Martin Sr: It's not... Why do we see so much of it today? I want you to think about that, like why so much today, why is it an epidemic today? I don't use that word lightly. It's an epidemic today. Why isn't that in sleep apnea that people that are diagnosed with sleep apnea are five times more likely to have a hard attack. They're several times more likely [00:04:00] to die of cancer. Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's are, when you look at the population of sleep apnea, their risk of these diseases go right through the roof, and when they do autopsies, they see that they have massive amounts of atherosclerosis and hardening of the arteries. Their calcium [00:04:30] score is through the roof. But again, let's go backwards. Let's bring this back to a modern-day phenomenon, and that is elevated insulin. Elevated insulin.

Dr. Martin Sr: Guys, it's food. It's food because insulin is a food hormone. Never have to worry about insulin if you didn't have to eat. Insulin [00:05:00] is a food hormone, and you need insulin. Insulin has a job to do. Insulin is... Your pancreas secretes insulin, and you can't live without insulin, and thank God for insulin, but at the end of the day, you have to understand that sleep apnea doesn't come from, "You know what? I got a decrease in my passages between my [00:05:30] trachea and my brain."

Dr. Martin Sr: There is a decrease in the air flow, but it's due to inflammation caused by insulin, and more particular, insulin resistance. It's the diet. It's food. If you're a carbolic, put your hand up. "My name is Tony, and I'm a carboholic." You [00:06:00] are much more at risk of sleep apnea. This is very, very significant because, again, the same resistance, when you're eating crappy carbohydrates and sugars... and the population lives on carbs and they live on... Look, I don't want to be negative, but when you talk about vegans and vegetarians... which is [00:06:30] a huge, huge phenomenon today. I mean, it's the new religion, in my opinion, but the problem with that is they live on carbs.

Dr. Martin Sr: I know they eat soy and stuff like that, but they mostly live on carbohydrates, and a lot of the carbs are good in the sense they're vegetables and they're fruit and... Look, I love those things, but, but, but the vast majority of people in the vegan/vegetarian, they live on carbohydrate, they're making their insulin go [00:07:00] crazy, but they're not getting enough protein in the diet. They're not getting enough complete amino acids in the diet.

Dr. Martin Sr: Anyway, but if you're a crappy eater... and you know what? It always astounds me that in my office people come in, and it's the first time I seen them. I see them, and then, "You eat like that?" I sort of forget because if a patient has come back the second time or the third time for [00:07:30] followup visits, generally, they got the memo the first time. I mean, nobody leaves without me giving them the memo, and the memo is always about food. I show them a food chart. I show them a food chart, and I show them one pathway.

Dr. Martin Sr: There's a verse in the Bible. I memorized this years ago in Matthew's gospel chapter 17. It says, "Enter through the [00:08:00] narrow gate." Why? "Because wide does the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and small as the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life." Jesus said that. But you can take that nutritionally too if you want to. Think about it, because the vast majority of people don't understand nutrition.

Dr. Martin Sr: I hate to be negative, but most doctors don't understand nutrition. They don't get the memo in [00:08:30] medical school. Again, I don't want to be negative. Doctors are important, and medical doctors are very important, I understand that, but they don't know nothing about nutrition. Because of that, the food industry has gotten away with making us carboholics. They give each other high fives, I'm sure, in the board room because they have made [00:09:00] us carboholics. The average consumer is consuming 200 pounds a year of sugars. Bread's going to be sugar in five seconds, and pasta is going to be sugar in five... "Oh, Dr. Martin, I have whole wheat bread." Well, who cares? It don't matter if it's whole wheat, 17-grain, or whatever. "Doc, it's better." [00:09:30] It's going to be sugar in five seconds.

Dr. Martin Sr: This is why I'm constantly harping on getting insulin down because when you think of it, when you get insulin down, you get insulin resistance down, and then secondly, secondly, what happens is you're bringing your inflammation down. When you bring your inflammation down, you help to get [00:10:00] to the root cause of sleep apnea. This is why when patients change their diet, change their lifestyle, and start burning a much better fuel... Carbs is crappy fuel. It's garbage fuel for your body. Your body resists it.

Dr. Martin Sr: The other day, I was talking about sleep and what happens in your brain when [00:10:30] you go to sleep. I talked, if you want to go back to another video, I talked about microglia. Microglia. They work the night... They're little wee... Isn't it wonderful? They're little wee brain cells that only work the night shift. It's unbelievable. They come in and work at night when you're asleep, but they only work when you're asleep. When you wake [00:11:00] up, when you wake up, the microglia, they go to bed. You wake up, they go to bed.

Dr. Martin Sr: But if you wake up in the middle of the night, you're not... You know what? You get no... because these microglia, what they do is they promote repair. Night shift, it's like the office building. It's very busy during the day, but at night only the cleaning stop. They come in and clean them at night, don't they? [00:11:30] That's what your brain does to itself. It's called your microglia, these little cells. They get in your brain, and they clean up, but not if you're not sleeping, not if you have sleep apnea, not if you're... and if your inflammation levels are high, your airway, the oxygen going up into the brain is diminished, and therefore, you're not getting into that recuperative sleep. Microglia do not get a chance to [00:12:00] do the, they will not get a chance to do their repair. They take heavy metals out. They take debris out. Imagine, they detox your brain when you're sleeping.

Dr. Martin Sr: Sleep apnea, major issue. We know its cause. It's not rocket science. It's not a lack of the machine. You know what the machine they put over your face and you go to sleep [00:12:30] with it? Listen, don't misquote me. I'm not against... If you have sleep apnea, for sure, use the machine until you get rid of it, not the machine until you get rid of the sleep apnea. Thousands and thousands and thousands of patients over the years have gotten rid of sleep apnea because they lowered their insulin, they changed their diet. It's so incredible. Think about it. This is why I'm talking to you [00:13:00] about this because it is an important topic for sure because what are they saying now? 70% of the population do not get a recuperative sleep, never get a good sleep?

Dr. Martin Sr: I talked about this, again, how women are very much even more affected than men, not with... Men get sleep apnea, but women have all sorts of sleep issues mainly because of hormonal issues like cortisol [00:13:30] and extra elevated estrogen compared to their progesterone. This can have a major influence on your sleep. This is why women that have slept well all their lives, and then they get menopausal or peri-menopausal even. There's a fluctuation in those hormones, and then they don't asleep as well.

Dr. Martin Sr: Let's just talk for a few minutes here about what to do. What to do. [00:14:00] The key is, is number one, lower insulin resistance. How do you do that? Diet. Change your habits. It takes three weeks to form a habit, six weeks to cement that habit into your life. It takes three weeks. That's how much psychology I took in university, just, I learned that. I learned human behavior. Three weeks, [00:14:30] you form a habit. Six weeks you cement that habit, and it becomes part of your life. Then so you lower your insulin, change your diet, get off the sugars. If you do nothing else, read your labels, and look at how many carbs and especially sugars.

Dr. Martin Sr: Number two, so get your insulin down. How do you get insulin down to it helps it? Intermittent fasting. We talk about this a lot. Lower your insulin [00:15:00] by shorten your eating windows. What do I mean by that? Because this... Let's say I ate this morning. Then let's say I would eat again at noon and eat again at 6:00 and maybe have a snack in between, and then have a little snack at night, whenever, which is very common for probably 90% of the population.

Dr. Martin Sr: The problem with that is the second you eat, that becomes your eating window [00:15:30] because what happens is that when you eat, insulin is secreted, but insulin, it's not just, "I ate, and then I stopped eating." Well, you might've stopped eating until you had a little snack again, let's say at 10:00 in the morning, or even at lunch, you eat again. The problem is your insulin didn't take a break because your insulin was doing a job all the way through. When you eat, you need insulin, and insulin, it's got a job to do. It's got to take sugar out of the bloodstream. [00:16:00] You ate. You converted your food to sugars, and insulin like the traffic cop telling, "Sugar, hey, come here. Go park over there. Go park in the liver. Go park in the muscles. I'm going to have to make some fat cells here because I got no more parking spots, and I'm going to make more parking spaces for sugars," and they're parked as fat.

Dr. Martin Sr: Intermittent fasting [00:16:30] is when you don't eat for 14 hours. Let's say you stopped eating at 6:00 at night. You go to 6:00 in the morning. Well, that's 12 hours, but intermittent fasting is got to... It really only works when you hit the, about the 14-hour mark. You got to go until 8:00 in the morning. I got a lot, a lot of patients that go until noon. They eat at 6:00 at night, and they go right until noon the next day, or even 2:00. [00:17:00] What that does, that lowers the insulin, that lowers the insulin response. Your cells become less receptive to insulin. That's a big key. That's a big key.

Dr. Martin Sr: Number two, number two. Somebody was asking about melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that your body makes. Mankind didn't invent melatonin, [00:17:30] so if you see it in a capsule or you see it, melatonin, at the health food store or whatever, we didn't make it. Your body makes it. How does it make it? The sun. The sun. Isn't that amazing? Your body makes melatonin from the sun. [00:18:00] That's why usually you sleep better when you've exposed yourself to 20, 30, 40 minutes of sun because you're elevating your melatonin.

Dr. Martin Sr: Now, a lot of people have trouble because they have low levels of melatonin because they have low levels of vitamin D. You see the importance of vitamin D? Vitamin D is very antiinflammatory. This sun is very antiinflammatory, [00:18:30] and it's so good for sleep apnea. It lowers all marks of inflammation, so change your diet. If you can, implement intermittent fasting, shorten your windows of eating. Understand how insulin works, that it will work all day long if you're snacking. If you have a snack before going to bed... and some [00:19:00] people have to. I understand that. I understand that. But it's amazing how you can change habits and you can change your body if you change fuels.

Dr. Martin Sr: Thirdly... We talked about vitamin D. It's very important to get vitamin D. Thirdly... because that vitamin D lowers all markers of inflammation. Thirdly, get your cortisol down. Get your cortisol down. That's your stress hormone. Get your [00:19:30] stress hormone down because if you don't sleep, your cortisol is going to go up. If your cortisol goes up, you won't sleep because cortisol is secreted by what we call the circadian rhythm of your body. You wake up in the morning, your cortisol's going to be a little, is going to be on its highest level. It's getting you going, and then as even about noon, it starts to come down a little bit, and as the day progresses, it slowly decreases, so, [00:20:00] "Hey, I'm tired. I'm going to bed." That's the way it should be. Well, what if you don't sleep? What if you can't fall asleep? What if you can't stay asleep?

Dr. Martin Sr: These things are important to understand, so change the diet. Watch your carbs. Guys, you know me. I'm constantly, constantly, constantly preaching the same thing. It's because it's true. I've proven [00:20:30] it again to thousands of patients. They sleep better when their insulin is down because it lowers all markers of inflammation. Their brain clears up because they let their microglia come in and work the night shift and [inaudible 00:20:53] out the brain and clean out the debris and lower the inflammation. This is what microglia do, but [00:21:00] they don't work if you're awake. They only come in at night. It's amazing how the body is made. I wanted to do the little bit of that teaching to this day, so share it with your friends.

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