807. Stress and Its Hidden Side Effects


‘Follow the science’ has become a catch phrase in recent years and it’s often used when people don’t want to be questioned. Our health care is really not following the science either, especially when it comes to prevention of disease. 

Our bodies are built to handle stress but for short periods of time, not long-term. When we’re stressed, cortisol kicks in, but when it doesn’t shut off, it can be detrimental to your body. Dr. Martin talks about 6 things that can happen when you have high circulating cortisol.

Join Dr. Martin as he talks about the effects of stress on your body in 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:  Well, good morning, everyone. Once again, welcome to another Live and hope you're having a great start to your day. How does stress... We talked about this yesterday because when we were talking about colorectal cancer, we were talking about some of the factors. It's Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. And I'm not against these awareness months. I really am not. I think October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And I don't know, prostate is November, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. And yeah, I don't mind that people are aware of it and should be made aware of it, but they don't often talk about preventing cancer, do they? Prevention in medicine is detection, early detection. And again, I'm not against that either, but I think that there should be a fair amount of time talking about how to prevent colorectal cancer, how to prevent breast cancer, how to prevent prostate cancer, any cancer, how to prevent it.

Now look, guys, I think we all understand this, in this world, we're going to age. We're going to die. I mean, those are just absolutes. But we want to try and as much as possible take care of ourselves. I think that we all agree with that. You wouldn't be watching this program unless you believe that. And what I try and do mostly is give you tools, give you information to protect myself. Physician, heal thyself. And that's an important thing because even for me, I don't want to preach at you guys and then not do it myself. Because people often ask me, especially on the private Facebook group, like, "What's Dr. Martin eat?" And I'm married to an Italian. What does Dr. Martin eat, and what does Dr. Martin drink? And what does he do for exercise, and this kind of thing.

And guys, I really try, and I mean that. Anybody that knows me, my family and friends, know that I'm a pretty disciplined person. I have to be because I got bad genetics. And you can override genetics. I'm absolutely convinced about that. If your family and your family history is not good... Ours certainly isn't. There was diabetes coming out both years, cancers, lots of it in our family. And look, I'm doing things I can. I'm doing everything I can personally. And I do nothing, it seems, like research all the time. I'm going through every study I can find so I can help myself and then help you. And I mean that. It's terrible to have a closed mind. I think that's been a huge problem in medicine over the years.

And they've coined this term now, especially in the last couple of years, follow the science. Well, they're not really following the science. What that means is, is we don't want to discuss it. That's what it means. When they say, "Let's follow the science," they don't want to have a discussion about the issue, really. It's couched behind that term. And medicine, it's not only politicians do it, medicine, they're famous for it. In the 1960s and the 1970s, like, "Don't have ask me questions. Why are you asking me questions? I'm a doctor." Like, "I'm a demigod, you can't ask." But today they're better at it. I try and influence the situation as much as I can. I talked to a couple of doctors yesterday, as a matter of fact, and I was sort of patting on the back because I said, "You guys, at least your mind is open to information." Just read, read, study. Okay? Anyway, I think I just stressed myself out.

We're going to talk about the effects of stress on your body. And I want to just spell it out because there's study after study after study, you wouldn't believe the study's coming out, on people who are stressed and what that does to your body. Now, I told you yesterday that is a major factor. It is pouring gasoline on cancer cells, colorectal cancer cells. And I've talked, I don't know how many times, how cancer cells proliferate in the presence of high cortisol. It's pouring gasoline on the fire. So let's go through... How many did I write down here? Six, but there may be a few more. What does stress do to your body? Now remember again, okay, this is important. Your body is made for stress. It is. You have your adrenal glands, adrenal, on top of kidneys. And those little chestnut-shaped glands on top with the kidney, not very big, they're small, but they're very important.

If someone scares you, if someone's chasing you, you have a mechanism in your body to deal with that. It's called the adrenals. And the adrenals, from the brain to the adrenals, I'm pointing up to my brain. What center in the brain gets your adrenals to secrete adrenaline, cortisol? What center is, okay? Tick, tick, tick, tick. You guys should know this. Remember, two centers in the brain, two major centers. And the one that deals with hormones is called the hypothalamus. You're right. It's the hypothalamus. You're absolutely right. Again, you guys happen to be, my audience happens to be, and I know this for a fact, for lay people, and I was boasting about you guys the other day, the smartest audience in all of the audiences I know. Because I watch a lot of YouTubes and stuff like that, and you guys are the smartest. I mean it. From a lay perspective, you know more.

Anyway, okay. So now your body is equipped. The problem is when cortisol... Cortisol is this, okay? You can sort of feel it. It's inside your body is in the fight or flight. And when that don't get turned off, you're in deep doo-doo, because there's a lot of things that happen. Cortisol is a distraction for your body. It's meant to be very temporary. I'm getting chased. Okay. I'm running or I'm kicking or I'm punching or I'm skedaddling. Okay? But if it continues, there's at least six things that happen in your body that are detrimental to your body, that are not good for you in the long term. And we discussed one yesterday, and let's start with that.

Because when you're in the fight or flight, your body's not thinking about, oh, you know what? There's a virus too, by the way. I'm running away. I'm scared. The hairs on the back of my head are standing up, and I'm uptight and all the blood has gone to my muscles and things like that. And you know what, numero uno? The immune system takes a hammer. Your T cells, they're not thinking of fighting a virus. Your T cells are your Navy SEALs in your immune system. They're not thinking of fighting an infection. They're not thinking of fighting cancer cells. Because you know what, guys? You are so fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm telling you, if you don't believe in God, I don't know what to say to you. Because your body, when it sees a cancer cell, you think it doesn't know it? Of course it knows it. It says, "There's a cancer cell and it don't belong." Just like a virus or a bacteria. That doesn't belong here. Your body produces an antigen. Your body says, "You are gonzo."

And I've shown it to you in the past. You can Google this. Go on YouTube and look at it. Put in a white blood cell chasing a bacteria. Watch it live and in color. I used to do it all the time in the office. And I'd show my patients, "Look, your immune system's working. It's chasing down a bacteria or a parasite. Look at it." And it would swim through the ocean of your blood. It had a beeline. It had its radar right on that bunk. And it was fun to watch. But that's how your immune system works for your cancer cells. You got cancer cells in your body as we speak. So do I. Little renegade cells, bad news cells. And your immune system's meant to go after it. But what if it's getting distracted? Your immune system is... Oh, you're in the fight or flight. Your immune system is... The T cells are not on guard. They're not watching.

And that's all right if it only lasts for a minute or two, but what if it's going on and on and on? What happens? Your immune system. That is why I tell you, this is why I use the term, your cortisol, because that's the hormone should think about. Cortisol is pouring gasoline on the fire of cancer cells. Okay? It doesn't start the cancer, but now accelerates it. So your immune system gets distracted. Now I got to talk about this because this has to do with immunity too, because this is a factor, but you will understand this when I say it. You know what gets affected by high levels of cortisol over a period of time? Your sleep. Now, I'm writing a new book, coming to a theater near you. I've already named it. Should I tell you? Sun, steak, steel, sleep. All S's. I've really got to bear down and finish it up. But I've been writing.

I talk about sleep. And is it 70 or more percent of the population don't get enough sleep? What's that do? Well, it decreases your immunity. We know that. Why? Because when you don't sleep, when you don't get into the four phases of sleep, physiologically, your body changes. What happens? This is a study that come out many a time because anybody that studied it, they come to the same conclusion. When you don't sleep, your immune system goes down, and they prove it by a virus, the cold virus, the flu virus, in particular viruses. They don't talk to you about cancer, but I do.

When you don't sleep, guess what happens? When you don't sleep, your cortisol goes up. When your cortisol goes up, you don't sleep. What a vicious circle that is. I'll tell you, in my days of practicing, I saw that so much. It was like I could close my eyes, wouldn't even have to look at the testing. I just knew it. It was unbelievable. Ask my staff. Ask Ginette, ask Nicole. They saw it every day, every day, every day, every day and several times a day. So what happens? You don't sleep. You don't sleep, your cortisol goes up. Like I said, it's so prevalent in society today. Now, this is a little sidebar. When you don't sleep, you know what autophagy, autophagy, whatever you call it [inaudible 00:15:08] because I'm no good at it.

Dr. McEwen tried to get me to say it properly. I said, "Hey, I don't know if it's because I'm a Frenchman or whatever, I can't say that word that you... Autophagy or autophagy or auto [inaudible 00:15:23]. What it means is your self-cleaning oven in your brain. Okay? You got your glymphatics in brain to get rid of garbage. Your brain produces a lot of energy. It's like a manufacturing plant. Well, okay, part of a manufacturing plant is you got debris. You got garbage you got to get out. Well, if you don't sleep, you don't sleep, your brain don't clean itself. Because your self-cleaning oven in your brain only works when you're sleeping. You think that could be a factor in dementia? You know me and rabbit trails, I can't help myself. Because if I think of it, I got to tell you. And then people, you know what they do? They take sleeping pills. They sedate themselves. And I understand why. "Doc, I can't sleep. I got to sedate." They don't think it's a sedation. They think it's a sleeping pill, but a sleeping pill is sedation.

You ever feel good after having surgery when they sedated you? Like you come out of [inaudible 00:16:50]. And you know what guys? You might think you're sleeping. You're not sleeping. You're sedated. The self-cleaning oven in the brain's not working. It doesn't work when you're sedated. It's only when you sleep. Especially when you get into the REM sleep. Anyway, I get excited, as you can tell, but it's so important to lower cortisol. The double whammo of not sleeping, your immune system, you don't sleep. You get a cold too. A lot of people get recurring infection because they don't sleep properly. It has a big effect on the immune system and cortisol sure does. So we talked about that.

The digestive system. I don't know if I'm going to finish in time. I'm thinking how I get sidetracked. The digestive tract. Well, again, your body is not thinking about digestion and eating when you're stressed. You might even be more hungry, but it's a distraction for your... Because the blood supply has gone to your muscles and not to your gut. That disrupts your microbiome. It disrupts your digestion. It is a big factor in IBS. It's a big factor in diverticulosis. It's a big factor in irritating the bowel and your stomach. We already know about acid reflux. It gets affected my stress.

A lot of people, they don't... And they go to your doctor, and I can't find anything. I know, but Doc, if you'd only ask me questions about the amount of stress I'm under. When's the last time your doctor talked to you about... I better do a cortisol test. Anyway, I don't want to get angry because I'm not, but they just don't learn so much, because when they think of the adrenal glands, I'm just talking about generally, they're thinking about either Addison's or Cushing's disease. They're not thinking about your daily [inaudible 00:19:22]. Your doctor's going, "I'm stressed too. What are you worried about?" Because it has a major effect on the body. Immunity, sleep, digestive tract. It's a diversion, guys. It diverts energy to the wrong place if it goes on for a while. Okay? The digestive tract.

Now the other one is chronic inflammation. Because think about, you don't even know what's going on inside. You get used to it in a way, but your body is wound up. That creates inflammation. You don't know it necessarily because when people think of inflammation, they think of pain. And that might be, but most inflammation is silent, guys. It's silent. You don't hear, you don't know. And again, most physicians, not all, most physicians don't even look for that. What is your CRPC, C-reactive protein? A silent inflammation.

You know what inflammation does in your body, guys, okay? Think about this for a minute. I'm showing you my underarm here. What if I was to take sandpaper? Got it? I'm going to take some sandpaper... I don't have sandpaper, but pretend. And I do this. Hey, you just made yourself a little wound there. What if I just keep doing it. Sandpaper. Holy moly, I'm wearing down... Guys, that's what inflammation does to your blood vessels. That's why stress is a big factor inside your little Teflon layer of your blood vessels, your endothelial layer of your blood vessels. You get the sandpaper rubbing on it because you're like this, stressed, and you don't know it because there's no obvious... There's no obvious signs to it, but inflammation creeps up and it damages blood vessels. That's why even medicine will agree with this, inflammation is a real big factor in cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's and diabetes and autoimmune. Well, if they disagree with that, then they've got to disagree with all the research.

Inflammation though, remember this. Inflammation, you know the Martin Clinic saying, is not Houdini. It's not Houdini. It doesn't just show up. There has to be a route. And at the Martin Clinic, you and I know each other. What do we say? High circulating insulin, food. Leaky gut, oxidative damage. Then stress pouring gasoline, inflammation. Big time. It is a silent killer, chronic inflammation. Not necessarily pain, guys. I'm not saying that there can't be pain, but most times it's silent. You don't even know it's happening inside your body. And that's what makes it so dangerous, inflammation, the silent type that goes on and it's doing this with sandpaper to your blood vessels and your cells. Big factors, aren't they, in cardiovascular? Think about it, guys. I love teaching you guys.

You know what we're going to do with this? We're going to make it a two-part series. I got to do it again tomorrow because I got other ones I got to talk about. Okay, I got to talk about it. So let's make this a two-parter. What does stress do to your body? How does it irritate the body? What are the big systems of the body that get affected by it? And I want you guys to understand this because it's a very important factor. This is one of the reasons, guys, I'll just close with this. It's one of the reasons I was so uptight about the lockdowns. I understand politicians. I understand. I believe they have good... Okay, I don't want to get into a political argument. Okay, I don't.

What I'm saying is what Dr. Martin was worried about is something that I perceived would be the fallout of this, was the mental health, including depression and anxiety and the amount of cortisol. Because a doctor said... Well, several doctors have said, "You know how many cancers we're going to miss?" Because he was thinking of early detection, you see? And I don't disagree with that, but you know what I was saying? You know how many cancers we're going to miss because cancer started because of the stress levels of fear, and young people, especially. Colorectal cancer was an old man's disease. Not anymore. It's a young person's disease. And one of those factors is stress. Big time. That's one of the reasons I was screaming from the mountaintops. Would people at least admit that we have an immune system and that we ought to, if nothing else, take care of ourselves? But nah, no. I am having so much fun this morning, I can't get over it.

Okay, now guys, Friday question and answer. And we're going to be on in the mornings as far as I know all week. Tell your friends. Guys, share this information. Share it. I don't know nothing about Facebook, okay? I don't. I really don't. I don't know nothing about nothing, but what I know is, is that the reason this show is so popular is because of you guys, and you share it and you get people to join our email list and join our Martin Clinic private Facebook group. We appreciate that big time. And the podcast, The Doctor is In podcast. And you've made those very, very popular, and we thank you for that. That's you, guys. That's not me. That's you. Okay, I love you guys. We’ll 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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