808. Stress and Its Hidden Side Effects – Part 2


Dr. Martin continues with part 2 of his deep dive on what stress does in the body.

We live in a tsunami of stress, and for the last 2 years especially, between the virus and lockdowns, everyone was affected by stress one way or another. In this episode, Dr. Martin looks at how stress suppresses the immune system.

Don’t miss this informative two part series!


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. Let's talk a little bit again. We're doing a two part. I don't think it'll be three. We talked yesterday about the physiological effects of stress. And we did a little bit of a deep dive, didn't we, together on what stress does in the body. And, again, a couple of bullets. One, your body's made for stress. Okay? Your body's made for stress. And the idea of it is that it don't go on forever. So today, we live in a tsunami of stress. For the last couple of years, between lockdowns, and between a virus, and a pandemic around the world, you have to be living on another planet if, some way or another, this didn't affect you. Now, of course, it affected some people much more than others. Okay?

And I was sharing yesterday with a dear friend, who's in medical school. My friend Thiago, he's in medical school and he's a smart dude. He's always asking me questions. And telling me what they're teaching in medical school. And he said to me yesterday, "Dr. Martin, did you see a lot of people with mental health issues?" Yeah, lots. From schizophrenia to depression, severe anxiety, ADD, ADHD, bipolar. Thousands upon thousands of patients over the years with mental health disorders. He said, "In the medical field, it's a big, big issue." And I said, "Yeah, you ain't seen nothing yet, honey. 'Cause it's going to get worse. It's not going to get better."

Anyway, stress is normal. Prolonged stress over a period of time is abnormal. You're not meant for them. And we talked yesterday about what are the facts? I appreciate Wendy, because she put it in bullet points on the private Facebook group. But what I'm saying is that stress or cortisol because the hormone, there's a couple, but the one I want you to focus in on is cortisol because what does cortisol do to you, or to people when it's left unabated? What does it do? So, we went through that list.

And we talked about one, what it does to the immune system. What it does to the immune system, well established. If you're just getting ready to punch someone or race away because they scared you, walked up behind you in a back alley, and it's dark at night and you're in a parking spot that's dark. You hear someone coming behind you believe you me, your body is going into high stress. Adrenaline rushing, all your blood is going to your muscles. You're not thinking of fighting an infection. You're thinking of punching the lights out, or running away. And, again, your body's made for it. Knows exactly how to respond to that.

So, I explained yesterday that cortisol is a diversion. It diverts its attention away from things that normally happen. Okay? And one of them is the immune system. We showed that it suppresses your T-cells, especially, your Navy SEALS of your immune system, it suppresses that. So, if you're stressed over a period of time, it creates a cascade of problems. And one of them is immunity. And this is the reason, we talked about colorectal cancer because it's colorectal cancer month in the month of March. But we also talked about, and I talked about this, so many times. Breast cancer, ladies, you're a sitting duck. What bugs me when they have these cancer awareness months, you wear pink for breast cancer. I get it. You don't want me to get into the politics of these cancer societies 'cause about 95% of their budget is spent on their salaries and marketing. Almost nothing goes into research, but anyway, I don't want to get off on a tangent.

But what I do want to say is this: stress, the physiological results of that, suppress the immune... And remember a lot of people think of immune system and they think of okay, bacteria and viruses. But cancer, your body, your killer cells, your T-cells they see cancer cells and they shoot torpedoes at it, unless they're diverted in stress.

And this is what I said, when I did case histories, I'll tell you a little thing that, this I wrote, late 80s, chronic fatigue syndrome, I wrote up a 10 case study for my thesis for my PhD. Okay? It was a 10 case study, but we had over 500 women in surveys. It was interesting. Boy, that's a long time ago. You know [inaudible 00:07:33] but I talked about chronic fatigue syndrome and I talked about the adrenal glance and nobody else was. I talked about stress, how that had a major impact. And I talked about chronic fatigue. Women that got it were twice as likely. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, a huge link to breast cancer. Even in those days I said it. Why suppression, a diversion of the immune system. Okay? So see how I recap?

It's me. It's the way I do things. Secondly, we talked about the vicious cycle of sleep. You're stressed. You don't get into the four phases of sleep: REM and non REM sleep. When your sleep is disrupted, oh, there's a cascade of problems. But one of them is your cortisol goes up. Your cortisol goes up, you don't sleep. And that is, you know what a pandemic is. Everybody knows what a pandemic is today. But these are hidden pandemics. We have a hidden pandemic today and you know what it is? A lack of sleep. I'm telling you, 70, 80 percent of the population have trouble sleeping and you know, I'll go into a deep dive. Okay? I promise I am going to do a deep dive on sleep. Okay? Because I told you yesterday, I'm writing a new book, "Sun, Steak, Steel and Sleep and Salt and Coffee".

I don't know exactly. Okay? But we got a lot of feedback yesterday. People like that title. Okay? It's coming to a theater or near you. Okay? I'm really bearing down and writing. Okay? I really want to get it out by the fall, this book. So you could look for it, but a thing with sleep it's really, really important because what happens, okay, is that you do not get enough sleep. 70 to 80 percent of the population have trouble with that. That affects a lot of things and it's not good. It's not good. And it's a vicious cycle when it comes to stress because stress cortisol is high. It's supposed to be high in the morning. It's on their circadian rhythm. It's a clock. It's supposed to be high in the morning, getting you up, getting you going, cortisol. Your body is unreal. Fearfully and wonderfully made, your body knows exactly what to do. Gets cortisol, gets you going. But what if it's high at night?

Well, you don't want to be getting going at you want to go to beddy-bye and get your Z's? Well, cortisol will affect that big time. Okay? And I don't mind telling you that. And in our office, I used to measure cortisol and it was unbelievable, especially in the last 10 years of my practice, maybe a little more than that. But seriously guys, it was like, there was a paradigm shift in my practice. I'm not kidding you. You ask Nick, you ask Jeannette who worked with me. It was unreal how much stress we saw are in the office and people lot of times, "Oh Dr. Martin, I'm not stressed". Uh-huh (affirmative). You might not know you're stressed, but you've got high levels of cortisol and that ain't normal. That ain't normal. So yesterday we talked about that sleep immunity.

We spent some time on digestion. How it diverts. Your body's not thinking about a meal when you're scared. Isn't it funny though? Okay? Isn't it funny now when you don't feel good, you know what you want in terms of fuel? Crappy carbohydrates. You know why? Because your body, all it's saying is "Look, I got a lot of other issues. Just give me something quick. Give me something that burns rapidly." Now you know me and the wood stove theory. You don't heat your house with paper and twigs in a wood stove. That's carbs. I need carbs. No you don't.

If you never had another carb in your life, I mean it, your body is so smart. The one macro that it doesn't need is carbohydrates. And listen into this. If you need glucose, your body will take steak and turn it into the one teaspoon of sugar that you might need. Isn't that amazing? But it does. But carbs never turn into protein. There may be a little bit of protein in carbs.

But guys, when you don't sleep properly, when your cortisol is high, you're going to reach for the wrong food. This is why people with severe anxiety or whatever, they reach for the wrong foods. It's a diversion. And let me do digestion and I'll come back to foods. You're not digesting properly. Your stomach is not getting the acid it needs, the blood supply it needs into the bowel. It's diverted. And again, who cares if it only lasts for a few hours or whatever, who cares?

Not the end of the world, but what if it lasts for days and months and years? I'm taking care of my sick parent. I've got kids that are out of control. I've got someone and my dear loved ones that are sick. I'm going through a divorce. I'm going through a separation. I'm going through this or I'm going through that. I was a history guy, guys. I often tell people I majored in school. Okay? I majored in recess as a kid. And then I majored in history. In my health field. I was a history guy. I thanked my father for that.

I'm a history guy. Give me history. My son-in-law said to me the other day we were chatting. He's the smartest doctor I've met. I mean that Bob, my son, Dr. Sam, my son-in-law, he's smart. He really is. Well, he married my daughter. That makes him very smart. Doesn't it? He's a physician. And we were just chatting. And I said, "Sam, what makes you so good?" He said, "You know what it is? Asking questions". What makes you a great physician?Asking questions. You know why? Cause my dad used to say it. Patients have insight information, asked questions, get their history, find out what's going on. You got digestive issues. A lot of times might not be the original cause, but what's exacerbating. What's making everything worse is that stress in your life.

So we hit the immune system. We hit sleep. That vicious cycle of not sleeping. We talked about digestion yesterday. We talked about inflammation. Remember? Did you like my little illustration of rubbing with sandpaper on your skin and what would happen? The detrimental effects of inflammation in your body.

And somebody was asking this morning, I saw it on our private Facebook group. CRP, well, CRP doesn't cause inflammation. CRP is the best marker of inflammation. C-reactive protein, the test, has been around for a long time. It really has. You might not know this. This was written in the year, I'm going to say, 2000. Okay? That Laurentian University, that's the university in Sudbury, where I live. Did a study and they said by watching and looking for C-reactive protein, the test, you could predict a heart attack up to seven years before.

Why is that? They didn't explain it in those days. They just knew that CRP, high C-reactive protein, had a direct correlation to increase in heart attacks. They knew it was an inflammation marker, but what they didn't tell us in those days, and we know today, is what inflammation does inside the body left unabated. Cortisol increases your inflammation. This is why I wrote a book years ago, "Serial Killers". Not with a "C" because people thought I was talking about cereal that you eat in the morning for breakfast. No, although it was in the book, because I talked about serial, but this was serial killers with an "S". Two hormones that wants you dead. You like that title? I sold a lot of those books.

Unreal. Two hormones that wants you dead, what were they? Cortisol and insulin. Yeah, insulin. Cortisol and insulin increase your inflammation. It's silent. It's rubbing away at your blood vessels. Very dangerous for your heart and your brain. Strokes, Alzheimer's. Guys, I was light years ahead of the curve when we were talking about that. So we talked about that. The effects of inflammation in the body when your cortisol is high. You know what else? We didn't talk about this yesterday, but we'll do it today. A couple of things. Couple more. Okay? Cause I'm getting excited. Let's talk about another physiological effect. You know what it does? It elevates your blood sugar.

Think about it. See when you get up in the morning and this is why I often tell diabetics, "Don't take your blood sugar in the morning." I mean, you can. Of course your blood sugar's going to be higher. It should be higher in the morning. Why? You're waking up. Cortisol elevates your blood sugar. That's a normal part. Okay? It's normal. Your body's waking up. Your blood sugar's going to go up a little bit. The problem is when cortisol doesn't get turned off, your blood sugar goes up and what does that do? Now your body floods. It floods the bloodstream to get to your blood sugar. Remember what we teach you all the time. Sugar does not belong in the bloodstream.

Okay? Your body does everything it can to get sugar out of your bloodstream because sugar left in your bloodstream is extremely dangerous. So if you empty out your five liters of blood out of your body on any given day, even an hour after eating 20 doughnuts. Have 20 doughnuts. Well, don't, but let's say you did. You had 20 doughnuts and in an hour, if you're not a diabetic, you'll have less than a teaspoon of sugar in your bloodstream. People tell you, "You need sugar to survive." I go, "My cortisol is going up." I think about it. Your body does everything it can. It will secrete so much insulin to take that sugar out of your bloodstream.

Get out, out, out, out. We're going to park you. We're parking you. So what happens? Think about this in cortisol. Cortisol goes up, your blood sugar goes up, you secrete more insulin. You know what insulin does? Hey sugar, come here. You can't park there. Don't park on the bloodstream. You're going to destroy blood vessels. Get out of here. I'm the traffic cop. Where does the traffic cop? He sends that sugar to your muscles, but if you don't have any, and then it sends it to the Costco parking lot, your liver. And when the Costco parking lot is full, it sends it into your bloodstream as triglycerides. And then, and it starts parking around the Costco park. It's not in the Costco parking lot, but they start parking on the grass around, you know what that brings you. You know what cortisol does? Think about this for a minute. Here's another major side effect: obesity, especially belly fat.

Go to the mall. Okay? Go to the mall. Use your eyeballs. Observe: what will you see if you go to the mall? You'll see big people. You'll see women with a beer belly. It's not beer guys. It's a cortisol belly. They got a cortisol belly. It's a stress belly. And then like I said, guys, my circular reasoning, when your cortisol is high and you're stressed, you usually choose the wrong food and you become, "My name is Tony. My name is Sally. And I'm a carboholic. I'm a carboholic because I need a quick fix because I'm stressed. That's what the body saying.

And you choose the wrong fuel. And then you get obesity and you get belly fat because if the Costco parking lot is full, your liver, I can't help myself. I need illustrations. Okay? I'm an illustrator. I love illustrations. I went through and learned all my medical stuff with illustrations in my head. It's the way I operate. Okay? The Costco parking lot. And you know the self cleaning oven of your brain, the lymphatics. We didn't even talk about that today because we talked about it yesterday.

When you don't sleep. Here's another thing. So your blood sugar goes up and the way here's another physiology. What goes up must come down. So if blood sugar goes up, your insulin comes in. Remember insulin is squirt. It don't matter. I don't care if you don't like me, I'm a miserable neighbor to live beside, but I'm coming, knocking on your door. If you insist on eating carbs and sugars, I insist on coming around because I got to park that sugar out of your bloodstream. Can't stay there. Come here, come here, come here, come here. And then remember what insulin is. Remember my book? I put a picture of it. It's right in the book.

It's a jail guard. It won't allow fat to escape because it's storing. It's a storage hormone. It's a fat switch. So your blood sugar's up. Well what goes up must come down. A lot of people suffer what we call hypoglycemia. Hypo, not hyper. Hyper is high sugars. High sugars. Hypo is low sugars. How do you get low sugar, doc? Well, it's not because you're eating meat or eggs or cheese. It's because your cortisol is too high. And when your cortisol is high, your insulin comes out because your blood sugar is going up and it'll hammer it down. Hypoglycemia. That was a big part, by the way, of chronic fatigue syndrome. But the idea is not to go and eat sugar or carbs. That's what you feel like eating. You want a quick fix, but that's the worst thing you can do.

The worst thing you can do is that, okay, let me finish with one more physiological change. What does cortisol do? Think about it. You're going to punch. You're going to run. Elevate your blood pressure. BP, blood pressure, goes up. A lot of people have high blood pressure. And the point is it's, "Oh, I got high blood pressure cause I'm not on medications." What? Medications for high blood pressure and please don't get me wrong. I never ever, ever, a lot of people try and get me to do it and I won't do it. I don't take people off their medications. I don't, I'm not your doctor.

I'm just trying to educate. But a lot of people, the men, they have high blood pressure and nobody's telling them, why do you have high blood pressure? And I spoke about this in that book, "The Serial Killers". I did a lot of that high blood pressure is the result of two hormones: cortisol, insulin. When you insist on eating sugars and your body is stressed out, that's what cortisol does. It elevates your blood pressure. Like I said, for a few seconds or a minute or whatever, who cares? But if it goes on, it's not good. There's so many physiological changes. Right? With stress. What have I been screaming from the rooftops? "Hello John, the Baptist, crying in the wilderness. Don't worry so much about a virus. Worry about what the effects of stress is doing to our society today. You it's going to create the tsunami of cancers. Not just mental health, but physical health, high blood pressure, people that are not sleeping properly. There's a lot of stuff that goes on and obesity and belly fat and go to the mall."

And use your eyes. Those two eyeballs that God gave you and look and see. Look and see. Look and see if what I'm telling you. It's the truth isn't it? And the truth shall set you free. You guys again, what I love, okay? You know, I'm passionate. I love teaching. Okay? I do. Tony has to get it first. Okay? Me. I can't teach it to you unless I get it. Okay. I'm taking a deep breath because getting my cortisol down. Okay? I didn't even tell you what to do about it. Okay. We might need a third session, maybe. Okay. I'm called Mr. Rabbit Trail. I love going down trails. I said to someone the other day, "I'm 70 years old and I ain't change."

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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