In this episode we continue our discussion on FATIGUE.
Remember...Low energy means your body's check engine light is on...
Your body is trying to tell you something.
Which is why we wanted to share with you the BIGGEST causes of fatigue.
Last week we talked about the effect your thyroid, adrenals, and estrogen has on your energy levels. In this podcast we dive into Insulin, B12, Vitamin D3, and Magnesium.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: You're listening to The Doctor Is in podcast from martinclinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical, and in our opinion, awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes, so enjoy.
Hello, I'm Dr. Martin, Jr.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: And I'm Dr. Martin, Sr.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: This is The Doctor Is In [00:00:30] podcast. This is episode 173. Today we're going to continue the discussion that we started on the last episode. If you haven't listened to the last episode, I would strongly recommend that you go back, listen to that episode because we talked about the first major cause of fatigue in women. The idea of these two episodes, this one and the one before, was talking about the three causes of exhaustion or fatigue in women. The idea is these three causes [00:01:00] that we're discussing really cover a majority of the issues that women have when it comes to fatigue.
Last week, we talked about the idea of the Bermuda Triangle of hormones, the thyroid, the adrenals, and the ovaries, and how most women that are exhausted, don't just have a thyroid problem, or don't just have adrenal fatigue, or don't just have an issue with estrogen or progesterone. [00:01:30] They have a problem with all three.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: It's because those three areas specifically, the thyroid, the adrenals, and ovaries, are so connected that if one goes bad ... so, it can start off as a problem ... A lot of people start off with an issue with their thyroid. They notice some thyroid symptoms. They get tested, nothing shows up, but they notice a difference in their thyroid, and then all of a sudden, they start to get some symptoms. They look them up, and they're like, "Ah, it's my adrenals." [00:02:00] Then it's, "I've got some estrogen issues." And they don't quite understand what's going on, and it's because one can lead to the other.
You can start off with adrenal fatigue and that wrecks your thyroid and your ovaries. Or you could start off with an estrogen issue, and that's going to wreck your thyroid and your adrenals, because they're so connected. Too much estrogen will block how your thyroid functions. A slow thyroid will lead to estrogen dominance. Adrenals will steal-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You can't win either way.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: That's right. The adrenals will steal progesterone from [00:02:30] your ovaries, and the ovaries will deplete ... It's amazing how those three things are connected. Most women who are exhausted, are in what we call a metabolic storm. It's a problem with their thyroid, adrenals, and ovaries.
Again, if you haven't heard the first episode, go back, listen to the previous episode. We talk a lot more in depth about the three areas involved in the Bermuda Triangle of hormones, and we go into that with a lot more detail. Today, we want to talk about part [00:03:00] two and three, the two other big causes, which are high-circulating insulin and deficiencies.
Now, you and I talk a lot about high-circulating insulin. It's something that we spend a lot of time on, so if you've heard us talk about this, you can tune us out for the next few minutes because we're just going to ... Again, we get so many new listeners and so many new people that discover us every week that we can't assume that they've heard this before, so we're just going to talk a little bit about this. [00:03:30] Again, if you've been with us for a while ...
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Repeat and rinse.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. We give you permission to do something else in the meantime. You can listen to us in the background here.
Again, here's the thing. We get a lot of questions about blood sugar. We get a lot of questions, especially the age group that we deal with, a lot of blood sugar issues. Diabetes is exploding. It's climbing up the charts of top killers. It's climbing up the charts for everything. Right? Here's the thing. Your blood sugar levels [00:04:00] are so tightly regulated, extremely tightly regulated. The reason for that is that blood glucose can be ... it can be deadly. If your blood sugar levels go too high it can kill you. If it goes too low it can kill you. So your blood sugar levels are very tightly regulated.
Every time you eat food, it messes up your regulation of blood sugar. What happens as you eat food, it's broken down into glucose. That causes a [00:04:30] surge of blood glucose. Your blood sugar levels go up. Because, as we just said, high blood sugar is deadly, your body can't leave it that way. So you either burn it off for energy, or your body then says, "All right, blood sugar is up. We got to bring it down." It secretes insulin. Insulin comes along and insulin is what they call a partitioning hormone. It takes it and it sends it to different locations. It either stores it in the muscles, stores it in the liver, or [00:05:00] when those are full, stores it in fat cells.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, and has an unlimited capacity to make fat cells that stink in insulin.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: And here's the thing. Your ability to make fat cells is for the sole purpose of keeping your blood sugar levels normal. That's it. Your body puts on fat to protect you from getting diabetes. It will do that for as long as it can, and then eventually, it can't even do that fast [00:05:30] enough, and you end up with elevated blood sugar levels. That's when you end up with diabetes.
Now, some people have the ability to store a lot more fat before they become diabetic. Some people don't have the ability to store fat so they are diabetic and they are not even obese or anything. They're not ... they just-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: A skinny diabetic. It happens a lot.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Their liver gets full. They got fatty liver, always, because their liver is stuffed. And their muscle glycogen [00:06:00] is stuffed but they can't put on fat cells anywhere else so their blood sugar levels get elevated.
But that's how important your body views blood sugar, that it will put on fat to protect you. It takes the glucose out of the blood, turns it into glycogen, and stores it in muscle, liver, or basically turns it into fat and stores it away into fat cells, right? That's what's happening.
So you can imagine, every time you eat, your blood sugar levels go up. Now, if you're eating high- [00:06:30] processed sugars and crap like vegetable oils, your blood sugar levels are going to shoot up fast. You secrete a ton of insulin. You bring your blood sugars back down. Then you're hungry and-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: What goes up must come down.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: You do it over and over again. But here's the thing. After a while, your body ... We've given this analogy before. Eventually your body stops listening to insulin. What happens, [00:07:00] your body has only one thing it can do. It makes more insulin. It's the equivalent of me giving instructions to somebody and they're not listening, or they listen at first but then they stop listening. What ends up happening? Parents know this. They raise their voice. If they don't respond then, a lot of parents, what do they do? They go one more level up. They start yelling.
Well, that's what happens with insulin. You need a little bit of insulin to lower your blood sugar, and everything's great. After a while, the body ignores it or doesn't respond [00:07:30] as well so your body says, "All right, I'm going to give you a little bit more insulin now." Now you secrete even more insulin. That works for a while, then eventually, your cells ignore that. Then you just start making way more insulin. That's what we call high-circulating insulin.
What happens after a while ... and that can vary differently depending on somebody ... how long they've been eating bad foods for, how little they exercise, how little muscle they have, because the more muscle you have the more glycogen [00:08:00] you can store. I mean, there's a lot of factors, but some people can get high-circulating insulin pretty quickly. Some people it takes a long time to develop it. But eventually, they end up with too much insulin circulating all the time.
When that happens, that's where the problems go, because high-circulating insulin causes a problem in every organ in your body. And everybody reacts differently. Some people get diabetic. Some people get Alzheimer's/dementia. Some people end up with skin issues. Some people end up with joint issues. [00:08:30] Some people end up with heart disease. We'll talk about in an upcoming episode about half the country is, according to the American Heart Association, has heart disease. We'll talk about that coming up.
But regardless, they have high-circulating insulin. Here's the thing. When you have high-circulating insulin and you end up with a condition that we call insulin resistance, a lot of people do, you end up with lower energy. Think about it ... from a lot of different reasons why. One, your blood sugar levels are unstable. You've [00:09:00] got high glucose, a ton of insulin. You're inefficient. Your body's ability to efficiently make, store, burn, everything, it's out of whack. Your engine is messed up.
Also, high-circulating insulin has an effect on your mitochondria, which is the battery packs of your cells. Even you're not efficient at making energy anymore. You don't make as much of it. Your mitochondria don't function as well. Your-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You've got a dirty fuel.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. Exactly. [00:09:30] So then all of a sudden, it's like your engine is, like you said, you got a dirty fuel, dirty engine, and you push on the gas in a car that has ... and then it's sluggish. The spark plugs aren't doing their job. There's a lot of stuff going on.
Unfortunately this is so common. It's so common, because as I mentioned, you can get a problem eating too much sugar. Just high-sugar diet can do it. High-carb diet can do it. We always talk about finding your carb tolerance, because everybody [00:10:00] can tolerate a different amount of carbohydrates.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, some people hardly any.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Again, it depends on ... A person who is lifting weights or is more active, and they build more muscle, they generally can tolerate more carbs. We all have a different amount. Some can tolerate more, some can tolerate less, but once you get above your tolerance level, and you start to make too much insulin all the time ... so that's another cause, right? But at the end of the day, this is very, very common.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, because it has a big effect on your energy. Absolutely.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: [00:10:30] Unfortunately it's also tied in to the first cause of energy for women, which is the metabolic storm, because insulin can hurt your thyroid. Insulin can hurt your adrenals. And insulin can definitely hurt your ovaries. You can start off with an insulin problem and end up in the metabolic storm. I mean, it's just ... It's attached. But again-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Well, we know that insulin is a growth hormone, and so when you look at somebody with PCOS, polycystic ovarian disorder, [00:11:00] medicine ... one of its treatment for that is to actually give you metformin, which is a diabetic drug to cut off your insulin because they know it's a growth hormone, right? But again, it's crazy but this is so common today because why would insulin, for example, high-circulating insulin, be so prevalent in our society today, and women are certainly no exception to it, is because ... I mean, it's one [00:11:30] of the biggest things is the amount of sugar that's added to foods.
The average ... You know, I was showing you something off-air today that they say in the United States the average American is consuming 50 gallon of soda a year, just soda. Like 50 gallons of it. Sugar, sugar, sugar, sugars, sugars everywhere, right? An estimated 200 pounds of sugar a year, the average person in the [00:12:00] United States and Canada are consuming. Well, women are no exception to that. They're part of that group, and that just makes insulin go crazy. And then you add vegetable oils, which we don't talk about enough. That acts like a sugar in a lot of ways, too, because it just [crosstalk 00:12:18]-
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Well, it's highly inflammatory, right?
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Very inflammatory.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: It's highly inflammatory. Here's the thing. A lot of women when they end up with high-circulating insulin, like I said, it affects their hormones, but it's definitely an energy killer, [00:12:30] which is why a lot of women, once they start to correct high-circulating insulin, they feel better. Their energy comes back. They feel better. Now, if you've got a problem with a metabolic storm, you better fix that, but somebody with high-circulating insulin, and they eat below their carb tolerance, they fix that, man it's amazing how much better they feel. I mean, that's a major cause. So that's the second cause.
Now, let's talk about the third cause. We talked about the Bermuda Triangle of hormones. [00:13:00] We've talked about high-circulating insulin. And the third thing is, is that straight up deficiencies, right? The number one deficiency that we think ... Again, I mean, you could take our opinion, and you couldn't even get a-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Hey, it's worth something.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, you can't even get a cup of coffee with it. You can't even get a cup of coffee with our opinion. Listen, this is our opinion, but based on what we see and hear, and talk to people ...
Dr. Martin, Sr.: And that we're right.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, I don't want to say that, but in our opinion, the number one deficiency that [00:13:30] leads to fatigue in women is B12.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah. Very, very complex vitamin, a finicky vitamin of finicky vitamins. It's molecular. It's a huge vitamin. It really is. I was looking at the structure of B12 the other day, just going back in my old chemistry days, and look at B12 and what it looks like, it's the largest vitamin. It's like Arnold Schwarzenegger of ... I don't even know if that's a good illustration. [00:14:00] Maybe people don't remember him. But anyway, it is huge. That's a problem because that makes B12 very, very difficult, even at the best of times, to be absorbed by the body. You cannot be on any medications, any medications, in my opinion, and absorb B12 properly.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. If you're on a medication, you have a B12 issue.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah. If you got any digestive issue at all ...
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Heartburn, bloating, gas, [00:14:30] you're not getting B12.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You're not getting B12. You're not getting the right amount of B12.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: And the reason why you're saying that is because B12 has to get absorbed in the stomach. It needs an assist with intrinsic factor. If you have-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: A lot of people don't even have that factor.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, so I mean, that's the thing, right? It's very difficult, like you said, to get B12. If you're swallowing a B12 ... A lot of people take B complex, which are fine for stuff like B6 and all the other stuff, but not for B12. It has to be [00:15:00] dissolvable. It has to be injectable or sublingual. We use ... It has to be a sublingual. It has to dissolve. There's a lot of ways to get B12, but-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: And a lot of people don't eat red meat anymore.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, I mean listen-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Women love chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yep.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: I kind of tease them at the office. I said, "I bet you you're eating chicken and salad, or salad and chicken." Right? They don't eat a lot of red meat anymore. Red meat's got a bad rap. We've talked about that in the past. But, [00:15:30] if you're not eating red meat, like you ain't getting B12. It's just as simple as that. Don't try and fool yourself. It's not in the plant kingdom, not enough for a mouse in the [crosstalk 00:15:40].
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Well, unless you want to eat oysters all day, but then again, who wants to eat oysters all day? And here's the thing, so B12, one of the issues with B12 ... A lot of people are like, "Oh, I get my blood tested and my B12 is fine." But again, here's the thing, here's the thing. If I come and get tested and my number is [00:16:00] like X, well that might be enough B12 for me but that might not be enough for somebody else. Each person has an optimal level of B12. They could be at a number and then it decreases and they get their blood tested and it's like well, they're still within normal range, but it's not optimal for them. It always is how do you feel, right? B12 is difficult. The testing, in our opinion is-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: I just want to bring you back to some history because in the 1950s of whatever, if someone was low [00:16:30] in energy, almost invariably, without blood tests ... I just know this for a fact because of my father and your grandfather ... B12 given in shots was probably the number one medication, ahead of aspirin and everything else. If you had low energy, you were getting a B12 shot. It was so common. Family doctors, they ... I mean, it was nothing. They had B12 in [00:17:00] their doctors' bags. Now it's unheard of. It's almost like you ... To get a B12 shot from a family physician, is almost like they just don't do it anymore.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Well, they'll check your numbers and say, "Oh, you're fine."
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, and it's just because it's ... It's changed, right? There's been a big shift away from B12 and yet, today, there's a huge, huge deficiency in B12. This is one thing that people should really consider, that [00:17:30] our listeners really consider that that ... If you're tired, you're probably low in B12. It's so common. You have no idea.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: And it has a major effect on the brain.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: A lot of depression, anxiety ... I mean, it has a major-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You're yawning a lot?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: People that they're always yawning, that's ... Your body's sucking up for oxygen, right? A lot of times that is just, you know what? Your B12. Again, I love what you said because [00:18:00] what is your optimal levels of B12? We've been talking about this in the past, of testosterone for men, or whatever, and yeah, I'm normal. Yeah, but you should be at optimal, because you'll do a lot better at optimal than you will at normal levels. It's the same thing with B12.
I've found over the years ... and this is my clinical experience ... is that I find that when I top up B12 in patients, when I top their levels up and get [00:18:30] at their optimal levels, and they often ... You know, it's amazing how much they ... patients know themselves, because once they start taking B12 and a couple of weeks, and they say, well ... If they missed it for a day, they noticed it. I say, "Well, there you go. There's your answer. Your body's talking to you. Obviously you need that amount of B12 for now at least." They feel better. They've got more energy. But B12, yes, I like it that we mentioned that [00:19:00] at the top of the list of deficiencies, because I really think ... And you know? Metabolically, too, just ... I know I'm on a little tangent on B12. But, metabolically, it really has a lot to do with hormones. Even your thyroid needs B12. Your ovaries, ladies, need B12. It is a vitamin of hormones.
And so, if you're stressed out, guess which vitamin is being sucked out of your body. Cortisol will suck your [00:19:30] B12 out of your body. They do go together. So yes, B12 is essential for energy.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: There was a study done a while ago. They looked at 3,000 men and women. What I found interesting is they found that 40% of the people in the study were in the low normal range already. 40%. And then even a percentage was below that, as well, but 40% of the people were in the low normal range. Think about that. [00:20:00] If you have low normal blood B12, you're low in B12.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, you're low in B12.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Don't call it ... It's just that the range, in my opinion, has to be tightened up quite a bit, but they ... Again, we talked about this in the last episode about how they determine ... It's like the 95 percentile. If 95% of the people are in this range, that's normal. 2.5% above it, that's high. 2.5% below ... So, if people's blood B12 levels are changing, the slide scales. The range gets bigger. [00:20:30] Then the normal gets bigger. You see that in men and testosterone. The testosterone range for men now, in a lab test, is like ... What is it now? 200 to 1100?
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: That's a big ... Because 95% of the population ...
Dr. Martin, Sr.: That's two football fields ...
Dr. Martin, Jr.: It fits within that range.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Some men, they can have a level of 500 and they still have symptoms of testosterone. The same thing with everything. So again, the question is how you feel. That's a big deficiency.
Another big one as well, is vitamin D3. A lot of energy [00:21:00] processes ... Well, first of all, vitamin D will ... It basically enhances the activity of your mitochondria, those little battery packs.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: They need D.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: They need vitamin D.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Your immune system needs D.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: If you're low in vitamin D3, which again I-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: I never heard of that vitamin before. [crosstalk 00:21:16].
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, I know. I think if they did a search of vitamin D on our website, it'd probably return like 3,000 search queries. I mean, we talk about vitamin D3-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, but it's essential, you know? We don't apologize. I mean, look-
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No. And [00:21:30] we've done episodes, and we've done a lot of newsletters over the years on the effect that D has everywhere. If you don't have normal D, you're not going to have normal energy. Let me just ... We're almost out of time, but let me just ... Every once in a while, you'll get like 500 ... Now, this is an exaggeration ... You'll get like 500 good studies on vitamin D ...
Dr. Martin, Sr.: And then you get-
Dr. Martin, Jr.: And then one bad one ...
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah. The media is all over it.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: And then that bad one gets all the media. I mean, look it-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Talk about fake news.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Oh, listen, [00:22:00] a study came out recently talking about even WebMD, which like WebMD, for them to print something positive about vitamin D, I'm sure how to go through three levels of editorial corrections and the president of WebMD himself, probably he or she had to approve it. It kills them. They talked about a study showing the cancer-protective effect of vitamin D levels, right? I'm sure that killed them to write it.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Oh yeah. They didn't like it.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: At the end of the day, vitamin [00:22:30] D is essential, obviously. Most people are deficient in vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D you need varies. I take 8,000 or so international units in the wintertime, because for me, personally ...
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You need it.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: That's what my body needs.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Everybody's different. Everybody has a different amount.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Again, I think, and I think research shows this, the more insulin resistant you are, the more vitamin D deficient you become, and even your ability to take vitamin D [00:23:00] when you're in the sun decreases. That's a theory I have. Regardless, a lot of people are vitamin D-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: And you're not going to go wrong with vitamin D.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: No.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: You know? We live in northern Ontario, and one thing ... You know what the window does? I'll tell you what a window does. It blocks your UV radiation.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, you're not getting it.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: What does that mean?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: You can't see it.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Because even when the sun is out, and you might be ... Am I ever enjoying that sun because [00:23:30] it's coming through the window in the afternoon?
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Well, the sun might feel nice and warm-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, it feels-
Dr. Martin, Jr.: You're not getting your vitamin D.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: No, you're not getting your vitamin D from it.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Listen, we're almost out of time. Let's just talk about one more common deficiency, which is magnesium. Again, magnesium is so essential for energy production. Over 300 biochemical processes use magnesium. It's a very, very common deficiency. In fact, most people with low energy are low in B12, low in vitamin D3, and low in magnesium. [00:24:00] Typically, that's kind of like a triangle or like-
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, the trinity there.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: The deficiency triangle of ...
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Hey, maybe we should write a book about that.
Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. Those three. So if you're struggling ... And let's just wrap up with this, all right? If you are struggling with energy or fatigue, you're exhausted, it's a good chance it's your hormonal issues, like we talked about, the Bermuda Triangle of hormones. There's a good chance you've got high-circulating insulin, and there's a good chance you're deficient in the three nutrients that we just talked about. [00:24:30] Those three ... Those got to be corrected.
Again, over the last two episodes we shared a ton of information, and we get a lot of questions on this, so if you have questions you can email us. There's a lot of ways to get a hold of us. Also, we have a private Facebook group that ... It's a fantastic audience. I mean, it's a fantastic community. They're answering each other's questions, and they're helping each other out, and they're encouraging each other. It's awesome. Go to our website. You can join that group from there. But again, we want to thank you for listening [00:25:00] and have a great day.
Dr. Martin, Sr.: Thanks for listening to The Doctor Is In podcast from martinclinic.com. If you have any questions you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It's a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join [00:25:30] us again next week for a new episode.