526. High Cortisol And Concussion Like Symptoms

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: Well, good morning. Welcome again to another live this morning and hope you're having a great start to your day and having your vitamin [00:00:30] C, can't start your day without that. Well, I'm going to do a little study that... Well, I'm going to review a study this morning. I think you'll find it interesting. I'm going to bring something to you that I flagged the other day, a study. I think you'll find it very interesting, I certainly did. Can I ask you a question? And of course you have to... I won't know for sure if you answered it properly, but [00:01:00] have you ever seen the movie Concussion? Anybody seen that? If you haven't seen it, I think it's probably on Netflix or one of those services. If you haven't seen the movie Concussion, I want you to know that that story is personal to me.

Now, the movie, and he could have easily won [00:01:30] an Academy Award, because a lot of people, you're looking at, and maybe you don't want to watch it because it's football, but it's really about football players and what happened to them, and post-concussion syndrome and much more serious than that.

But I want you, if you ever do watch it, it really is about one person, and that person was a personal friend of mine, [00:02:00] okay? His name is Mike Webster . Now, if you're not into NFL football, you might not know that name, but he won four Super Bowl s. Most of his career was played with the Pittsburgh Steelers and he had so many brain injuries. And I knew him since probably about 1985. Anyway, [00:02:30] we became very close and I went to his house. He came to my home in Northern Ontario. And then because of all these football injuries to his head, changed his personality. Here's a guy, like I said, is in the Hall of Fame of football, and he ended up living literally out of his truck in Pittsburgh.

And when he died, [00:03:00] he's exactly the same age as I am, he was exactly the same height as I am. And he played 17 seasons in the NFL, which is unheard of. But we were the same height, but not the same size. You know what is his size? See those big pipes, sir? He had two feet, 24 inch biceps. [00:03:30] That's how strong this guy was. Oh my word. But the movie concussion is all about him. It started it all because after he died, there was a pathologist who knew nothing about football and played by Will Smith. It's true story played by Will Smith in the movie, and I'm telling you it's a great movie. But if you ever get to watch it, keep me in mind because I was a personal [00:04:00] friend of his. Even Tony Jr. , I brought him to Pittsburgh one year as guest of Mike Webster. And we went to the dresser room and we went on the field with him and we ended... I had a tremendous connection to him.

But there's a study out now that shows a combination of two things can lead to [00:04:30] concussion-like symptoms, okay? A combination of two things can lead to concussion-like symptoms, and this study was showing that if you have a lack of sleep and cortisol, many of people suffer with concussion-like symptoms, like post concussion [00:05:00] syndrome. And we'll open this up a little wee bit, but I want to just tell you, you'll get unofficial notice about this. But next week, Wednesday, I think, Tony Jr. and I are going to do a webinar on cortisol. You'll find it fascinating. We talked about it yesterday together, planning. Tony Jr. always does the deep dives. He's smart [00:05:30] like his mother, doing a deep dive on cortisol. You'll find it fascinating. But anyways, we will invite you to an evening webinar. And right now we're scheduling it for next Wednesday on cortisol. But here's one with cortisol and sleep.

A lack of sleep and cortisol can give you concussion-like symptoms. And some of you will [00:06:00] identify with this. Let me just read the symptoms and then we will just peel the onion a little bit, okay? Dizziness, brain fog, fatigue, drowsiness, pressure in the head, sensitivity to light, headaches. Now I'm sure concussions occurred when I was a kid. [00:06:30] I'm sure they did, but not like today. You hear so much more about concussions, don't you? Kids that play sports, can happen with collisions. One of the reasons, in my opinion, that we see so much more of it. I mean, I had my bell rung a few times. I remember playing hockey in Timmins when I was a kid, playing what would be equivalent to junior Tier II today or whatever. And I [00:07:00] come around the net and I had the puck. And I didn't see a guy coming at me.

I didn't, I had my head down, which is a bad thing. But I remember thinking, okay, because I can remember it like it was yesterday. Thinking, man, I'm gathering up some speed here and I'm going to carry that puck up the ice except a train was coming the other way. And man, oh man, did he hit me? Holy [00:07:30] moly. All I remember was flying in the air backwards and he knocked the wind out of me. And I hit my head on that ice. And we had little, in those days, little scrawny helmets, my word. I don't think they did much, but I got my bell rung. Now, the rest of the game, I was stunned. I still played. [00:08:00] You ever see the cartoon Bugs Bunny, where they got little Tweety Birds going around in the head then. But guys, concussions seems to me that, especially with major league sports, has become a major issue.

Today, you get a concussion and they have a protocol and they put you in a little room or in football, they put you in a little tent, then they do a [00:08:30] concussion protocol. And what is well-documented is that some athletes never get over it. And you had a head injury in a car accident or whatever and some people just never get over the symptoms that we're talking about. They can't focus, brain fog and dizziness and lightheadedness and pressure and fatigue. [00:09:00] What is fatigue have to do with a concussion? Well, remember, your brain is headquarters, and when it can't process properly, that is really, really important. So one takeaway is I want you to watch that movie and then think of me. But you don't have to think of me, but this is very personal to me. And this guy, Mike Webster, just by [00:09:30] the way, I mean, he was so bad. And when they analyzed his brain, at first, they didn't see much, but the pathologist paid money out of his own pocket to have specific tests done sent to another lab because he couldn't understand how a man at his age might die.

He had no heart disease, [00:10:00] he had no cancer. He had no, whatever. And on the autopsy, he couldn't figure out how come he died. And then he said, got to be something in the brain and sure enough. And then of course they have this whole development of now a post-concussion, but what they call CTE. And damage, specific damage in the brain, and very serious. Okay. So let's unpack what this study was saying. [00:10:30] It's a combination of two things. One, high cortisol. What is cortisol? You know what well, stress, stress. And guys, a by the way, by the way, we haven't seen nothing yet honey, of what's coming down the road. I've been seeing this for months and months and months, and months and months, we're missing the big picture [00:11:00] in two areas. We're missing the big picture in two areas when it comes to this virus. One, metabolically, old age, but metabolically high circulating insulin and low levels of vitamin D are the only people that are at risk for the virus.

Okay? And that's what gets me upset. Metabolically, [00:11:30] they're not talking about that. And the reason that people are getting ill is because metabolically, they are unwell. Other than old age, over 80 even. Not 65, 80 and up. And that's why the homes are so vulnerable. But why are the home vulnerable? They're all low in vitamin D, it's almost invariable. And the other [00:12:00] thing that we're missing and some are talking about it, but generally infectious disease doctors are not talking about it. They should be, is this whole idea of stress. And what I'm seeing, and I'm no prophet nor the son of one, what I'm seeing down the road, it's already happening, but what's going to be even a tsunami [00:12:30] is the amount of stress-related diseases, including depression, because of our focus only in on the virus. Now people come at me for that.

Some people don't like me talking about it. Even on my show here, some people have said, well look, what else could we do? [00:13:00] You got to look at the whole picture, this is what I've said. Okay, there's a virus. I get it. I'm not minimizing it. But nobody's talking about metabolic syndrome, nobody's talking about vitamin D, because when you have metabolic syndrome and you have low levels of vitamin D, your immune system's not going to work properly. I've talked about that. But the follow of [00:13:30] people not seeing each other, not communicating. The amount of stress, it is incredible, incredible. The amount of stress that we're seeing. And what I'm saying is that is going to be a tsunami. It's already starting, depression, suicide, drug overdoses. [00:14:00] Is the cure of the virus worse than the virus? The effects of shutting down are worse.

Anyway, you know what I think about that? I think you can do both, you can do both. You can fight the virus, you can keep people safe by getting their immune system, but... Anyway, but this study is showing, it's really interesting [00:14:30] what cortisol does. Now, I've told you this before. If cortisol goes on for a long period of time, stress leads to what? Anxiety. And we at the Martin Clinic have been saying it for many years, and now science is confirming what we're saying. Is that stress, cortisol. If I come behind you and scare you, I'm going to stress you. [00:15:00] That is the fight or flight, that is adrenaline.

You're going to punch me or you're going to run. But if that doesn't get turned off, cortisol will turn into anxiety, one of its mechanisms. And now you have people who had never had anxiety before has got anxiety. The third step of anxiety is, you know what? Depression, depression. [00:15:30] I've shown you that even in the Bible, written thousands of years ago by Solomon. And Solomon says anxiety in the heart of man leads to depression. Wow. Wow. And we know, of course, there's all sorts of chemical ramifications to that. And hormonal ramifications to that. The brain changes, the gut changes, the microbiome changes, with [00:16:00] stress. Hormones get changed with stress. This particular study says stress, okay? And again, your body's made for stress. Your body is made for the fight or flight. You have two organs in your body called the adrenal glands and your adrenal glands got to come from the brain first, right? [00:16:30] And remember, two areas of the brain. For all intents and purposes, just remember these two areas of the brain, hypothalamus hormones, the endocrine system, remember that. Hypothalamus, your memory center. And what they're showing is stress.

Okay? If it's temporary, it's normal. [00:17:00] If someone gives you something stressful, it's normal. It's normal to be stressed. In a short period of time, it's normal. You're not a robot. You're going to react to fear or a situation comes up and you got butterflies in your stomach and you hear something about your kids or your family or whatever. That's normal. That's all normal stuff. [00:17:30] Your body knows how to deal with that. What happens when it becomes prolonged? Then it's big problems. We're going to talk about that next week. We'll talk about all the things that cortisol does in the body. Prolonged secretion of cortisol. If you're stressed and it's not resolved and you don't sleep, so high cortisol [00:18:00] will affect your sleep. We all know that. Does anybody here... put your hand up if you've ever had a sleepless night because you were worried about some. I have. Have you? Of course. Your kids are sick or your family dynamics or finances or whatever.

And you got the pit in your stomach and you can't sleep. Your brain is going at 110 miles an hour. [00:18:30] Well, one night, two nights, you probably get away with it without too much going on. But there's a lot of people, and this study is sort of confirming it, that when cortisol leads to insomnia, the major cause of insomnia is cortisol, you can get concussion-like symptoms. The brain [00:19:00] doesn't work the way it should. Your energy isn't there. I did more than a deep dive on chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I wrote books about it. Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. And I always talked about way back when, when no one was talking about it, I talked about stress. Because what I did, part of my thesis on chronic [00:19:30] fatigue syndrome was a questionnaire that I formulated. And originally, we had probably about 500 and they were mostly women, answered the questionnaire.

And in some cases, get blood work done and all this and that, but mostly it was what I had seen in my practice. So I developed a questionnaire and it was amazing. And people that [00:20:00] actually got diagnosed in those days, you're looking at the late '80s, early '90s, they were diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Now, they called it the yuppie flu, but at the end of the day, it got a new name. It was called chronic fatigue syndrome. And I remember doctors, even to mention that name, to them... Not all of them, of course, [00:20:30] but a lot of physicians never took that seriously. It's just depression and women, especially then, I hate to be negative, but especially in the '80s and even in the '90s, whatever, women weren't taken seriously. There was very few doctors that ever looked at a woman holistically.

Remember what I said up to you, ladies, ladies, [00:21:00] can I say something? And I mean, it in a loving way, in a very loving way. You're complicated. Complicated. You are. You have so much more moving parts than a man. Men learn nothing. Men are big babies. Men are not complicated. Men hardly ever get a complicated disorder because their hormones [00:21:30] are very easy to understand. But a woman, you got lots of moving parts ladies. When it comes to it, you got estrogen, you got progesterone. Men, we got testosterone generally, and that's... I talked to you, even, I think it was yesterday, even, about elevated estrogen in men, but it doesn't complicate their life other than their stinking prostate starts to grow, grow, [00:22:00] grow. But women, ladies, cortisol affects you differently. It affects your thyroid. Your thyroid is your metabolism. It affects your ovaries, estrogen and progesterone.

So going back to chronic fatigue, I understood that. And here was all these women, thousands of them, [00:22:30] very unwell. And because most blood work came back within normal limits, they were dismissed. I've been doing this, guys, for a long time. Ladies, you're complicated. If a doctor doesn't understand that, if your physician doesn't understand that, that you do not just rely on the lab. I don't dismiss [00:23:00] lab work, of course, I don't dismiss it. Ask my staff. I had to grab them by their little face symptoms, symptoms. Don't dismiss them. If they have symptoms and the lab doesn't agree, that doesn't mean that they don't have symptoms and they don't have a problem. So in chronic fatigue, [00:23:30] there was almost no one. We did thousands, but when I published my study, we had over 500 and 499, one of the symptoms they had was insomnia.

You see, fibromyalgia, they can't sleep. 499 had brain fog. Their brain wasn't [00:24:00] working. And actually one of the names and they still call it that today is ME. Now, if I have to say that word, my tongue's going to get, but it's an encephalitis. The brain swells. There's no doubt about it. So it is a lot like a concussion. So stress. And this is what I said, that cortisol over a period [00:24:30] of time... The book was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: The Modern Woman's Curse. You got to go back to the '80s. Women were under a lot of stress. It was different. The world was different, even back then. In the book that I wrote, I talked about my mum. I had 10 siblings. See, I get a headache just thinking about that. How did [00:25:00] my mum do it? Big families. Well, I grew up in a big fam.

You don't think I didn't have admiration for my mother? Of course, when I was young, you don't think about it so much. As you got older, I had nothing but admiration for my mom. Wow, how did she do that? 11. We were 11. Holy moly. But with diet, chemicals, stress, insomnia, [00:25:30] people not sleeping. You see, when you sleep, you have a system in your brain that's actually been discovered just more recently. And it's called your glial cells. It's your own sort of blood supply up in the brain. It's the cleanup crew that come in at night when you sleep, right? They do the night shift. You're sleeping, but the glial cells have come and take all that garbage out of your brain, [00:26:00] all the waste products. And they get rid of it. That's really important. But you see what cortisol does, it stops that because cortisol and you get insomnia, the night shift can't come in.

Now you have debris left in the brain. Isn't it a fascinating study, when you think of it? Makes sense. Cortisol and sleep gives you concussion-like symptoms. And that's why a lot of symptoms, like I get... I see [00:26:30] it on our private Facebook group. People saying, doc, I'm dizzy. Now, you can have an infection in the middle ear, you might not even know about it. You can have vertigo or whatever, but a lot of times it's this, it's exactly what I'm talking to you about. Doc, my brain, it doesn't seem... I can't focus. And the, yeah. I've heard it a million times. But don't dismiss it as being nothing. It's very important. Okay. [00:27:00] So, announcements. One, next week. So look for it. If you can, sort of block it off right now, we're going to do a webinar next week.

You're going to be invited to attend on cortisol. It's going to be a deep dive, but it... You know, how we teach, is going to be very practical for you. By the way, our book is sold out. So I can't even advertise it right now. It's into its second [00:27:30] complete print. You guys did that. Thanks a lot. Amazing. But right now we're sold out. And hopefully, very soon we will have an unlimited supply of our book, but right now, it's sold out. Wow, I can't get over that. And thirdly, if your friends or yourself even, if your friends and your family are not part of our private Facebook group, get them to join, that's a tremendous group. Now, [00:28:00] watch the movie Concussion and think of me. That's my good buddy there. Not the pathologist, but the football player. Okay. Love you guys.

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

Back to blog