Not sure why you're so tired all of the time?
Thomas DeLauer breaks down the Top 3 Causes of Adrenal Fatigue on the latest #ScienceSaturday
Want to take back control of your Adrenals? Try Jigsaw's NEW Adrenal Cocktail:
Transcript by Rev.com
- What's goin on Jigsaw land It's Thomas DeLauer and I'm talkin more about the adrenals, minerals, and this time really focusing on cortisol. So stick with me Jigsaw land cause I'm gonna break it down, I'm gonna give you the facts on what cortisol's doing in your body and why you may wanna become friends with it versus seeing it as an enemy.
Let's get down to the science of the adrenals and let's get down to the science of stress and cortisol. What I wanna talk about today is how stress directly impacts cortisol and how high cortisol levels affect you and how high cortisol levels ultimately turn into low cortisol levels which cause even more damage. And then lastly, at the end of this video I'm gonna give you the main three causes of adrenal fatigue that directly have to do with your cortisol levels.
But first and foremost we have to understand what happens when we're under stress. See it starts when we get stressed out. Our brain sends signals to a small gland that sits above the kidneys known as the adrenal gland. And that adrenal gland produces a lot of different catecholamines. It produces a lot of different hormones.
But for the sake of argument today we're just gonna talk about three.
The first one that it produces is adrenaline. We all know what adrenaline is. But what we don't really realize is that adrenaline really focuses on just a couple of things. Adrenaline is the fight or flight hormone response. It's the job of adrenaline to get you amped up, to get you that initial surge of energy that you need to get a job done.
Then there's another catecholamine or hormone released and that's called norepinephrine. Now norepinephrine and adrenaline are very, very similar. But norepinephrine's job is more so to give you alertness, okay? It's job is to actually divert blood away from the organs and get you blood to where you need it right out the gate.
Then when we're stressed out the third hormone that the adrenals produce is cortisol. This is the one that we all hear about, the one that we really don't give enough credit to because it's really more good than it is bad. It's really our own fault that it turns bad. What cortisol does is deliver glucose to the cells so that the cells can have energy. So when you get stressed out it's like a three part equation.
Adrenaline gets you that initial surge. You can ride on adrenaline. It's like a fake energy that you get for a little bit, it's like artificial. Norepinephrine diverts the blood away from the organs out to the cells, out to the extremities. Then as a result of the norepinephrine carrying the blood away the cortisol increases blood glucose levels. So the cortisol increases the sugar in the bloods, the norepinephrine can move the blood to get to the cells in your extremities so that you can burn the glucose and have energy to run away or fight or whatever you need to do. So you're not getting blood flow to your brain that's for sure.
Okay so let's talk a little about how this cortisol actually works in your body though. Cortisol also slows down other functions in the body. So it's gonna slow down your digestion, it's gonna slow down your immune system it's gonna slow down your reproductive system and the whole purpose of that is to make sure that your body is only focusing on what's important at a very given point in time.
You don't need to be focusing on having sex when you are running from a tiger but you can see how if we have chronically high levels of cortisol that's not good. It's gonna make our immune system suppressed. It's gonna make it so we're not digesting food. It's gonna make it so we don't have a sex drive. It's gonna make it so our brain doesn't function well. But believe it or not having a high level of cortisol isn't really the problem.
It actually comes down to having lower levels of cortisol which is called hypocortisol. Now when you have low levels of cortisol it's a direct result of having high levels of cortisol for too long of a period of time. Now there's a couple of different reasons behind why you might ultimately end up with low cortisol but most of them are pretty much hypothesized. We don't really know a solid way that this is happening or a solid reasoning. But it's been shown in a few studies to have to do with the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal access which is the communication between the pituitary and the adrenals.
When your cortisol levels are super high for an extended period of time you start to wear out that access so the brain no longer gets a chance to really communicate with the adrenals very well. Now we have to remember that cortisol's also all about homeostasis.
You see we always give cortisol this bad name, like we always think it's just terrible but in reality, when cortisol goes up other hormones go down. When cortisol goes down other hormones go up. You see it's always just a balancing act and cortisol weighs a lot more. Cortisol can weigh down and cause other hormones to go way up. And when it's up the other hormones go way down.
So you can see how if cortisol levels are elevated then it's throwing off that balance. But if cortisol levels are low it's also throwing off that balance. See cortisol really holds the power to keep our body in a positive state as well too.
So if we have it too low it's just as bad as if it's too high. But why exactly does cortisol get low and why is it almost worse than having cortisol that's too high? Well you see, high cortisol levels over an extended period of time will cause brain damage. They can actually cause your brain to not function very well.
Now a couple of doctors, Hellhammer and Wade actually did a study a few years ago and they found that very much so cortisol did affect the brain. So they saw that it was actually a down regulation process to protect the brain. When cortisol levels were high for extended periods of time, eventually the body steps in and says, wait a minute this is gonna start becoming damaging to the brain. And we almost like have this physiology built in that tells us it is bad to be stressed out. We shouldn't be stressed out that much.
Now the other thing we have to look at is corticotropin factor down regulation. Now that is a big mouthful to say. Corticotropin releasing factor is actually a component of cortisol in and of itself. You see we have different CRF receptors on all of our cells and when we have cortisol levels that are elevated for an extended period of time we end up having what is known as down regulation. It's basically where these receptors that are use to receiving cortisol get so used to receiving cortisol that they no longer receive it anymore. So therefore the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal access isn't receiving the cortisol like it should.
What happens then?
Well because it's not receiving the cortisol that it normally would it actually becomes very sensitive to cortisol. So you have this access that's completely thrown off. So then when you do get stressed out the brain overcompensates and produced too much cortisol at any given point in time. So you have these big spikes and these big crashes. That's why once you become a stressed out person, they say you have a short fuse. Because it really does happen. You end up developing a quicker stress response because that hypothalamic pituitary adrenal access and the corticotropin releasing factor down regulation is absolutely screwing your over. Alright now let's talk real quick the basics.
What is causing all of this? And this is simple. I don't have to spend a lot of time on this. The biggest one is emotional stress, okay. And it's how we perceive that stress.
Studies have shown that our perception of stress dictates what levels of cortisol are released. So that means if you're excited or you're really getting ambitious about something and you're releasing cortisol because you're excited it's gonna have a different affect on your brain and it's gonna have a different affect on your CRF receptors than it would if you were negatively stressed out from some kind of emotional trauma.
Now we can't always avoid emotional trauma but we can control how we react to it and that's the big thing. If we can control how we react to emotional trauma we can control how long our cortisol levels stay elevated because if there's anything if there's anything you're learning from this video it's that cortisol levels should not be elevated for too long of a period of time.
The next big one is sleep. Sleep resets our corticotropin releasing factor regulation. Basically it makes it so that your body can respond to cortisol better. Remember you don't want to not have a response to cortisol, you want to have a good response to cortisol. So adequate sleep is gonna make a big, big impact on this. And believe it or not you can catch up on sleep.
Studies have shown that if you actually catch up on sleep one day per week and get a few extra hours, you can actually recap and help some of the neuroplasticity and help some of the receptors simply by catching up on sleep. Lastly the big one is sugar. Okay, remember how I mentioned that cortisol works directly with glucose? Okay, well glucose also works directly with cortisol. Every time we get a major sugar high and we have that massive amount of inflammation coming in the body it skews our brain's ability to communicate with the adrenal glands. And if there's anything again that you're learning from this video it's that access, that communication between the pituitary and the adrenals that is so important. Inflammation clouds the phone line. The phone line doesn't work well which means the brain can't send the signal which means the signal isn't getting to the adrenals and the adrenals aren't producing enough cortisol and therefor you're ending up in that hypo corticoid state where you're in trouble.
Now I know this isn't the answer to all of your problems but one of the biggest things that you can start doing is making sure that you're getting enough potassium, enough sodium, enough magnesium and keeping track of your minerals cause that's the biggest way you're gonna be able to help out your body produce enough of the cortico minerals that it needs to produce, the aldosterone it needs to produce, and of course the norepinephrine and the adrenaline.
So the most important thing for you Jigsaw crew is to make sure that you get your minerals in but also make sure that you take advantage of Jigsaw's Adrenal Cocktail because honestly, that's got everything that you need in one place to make sure that you're getting the mineral support and nutrient support that you need to take the pressure off the pituitary and the pressure off the adrenals that you can just focus on being you.