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Episode 13 – Adrenal Maladaptation



Welcome to the ATP Project Episode 13, Adrenal Maladaptation.

In today’s episode Matt and I discuss Adrenal problems:

• Chronic Fatigue
• Fibromyalgia
• Cortisol Issues
And, how a natural Adrenal response can quickly overwhelm your Hormonal Balance and lead to…
• Weight gain
• Insomnia
• Depression
• Loss of Muscle
• Acute Nervous Responses like Panic Attacks and more.

We take on two FAQs suffering from Adrenal Fatigue and discuss their issues and potential solutions through Diet, Exercise and Supplementation.

Stay tuned, the ATP Project is about to start.

I’m your host Jeff Doidge.

Jeff: Matt, good to have you here mate.

Matt: Thanks.

Jeff: So, this week we were going to talk about Adrenal Fatigue but you’ve been telling me off all week saying, “It’s not Adrenal Fatigue, Jeff, it’s Adrenal Maladaptation.

Matt: No, Adaptation.

Jeff: I still can’t get it right. Say it one more time.

Matt: Maladaptation.

Jeff: Matt, this is something we put off a few weeks ago. We had Beth and Adam both write us some questions, and at the time we read them out and you said, “You know what? Let’s hold that over because it is such a big topic that we want time to discuss it in-depth and really get into it. Some of the stuff that we’ve been talking about through the week, in preparation for the podcast is quite amazing, and obviously, it seems like it’s almost at epidemic proportions in terms of people whose Stress Levels, their Natural Biorhythms in their body, if you want to call it that, are just out of whack. So, Matt, let’s talk about it.
What is Adrenal Maladaptation?

Matt: You did it again.

Jeff: What is it?

Matt: Mal-adaptation.

Jeff: Ooh!

Matt: I don’t think it matters.

Jeff: No.

Matt: But anyway, it matters to me so it’s Maladaptation. No, it doesn’t matter. We’re referring to the different stages of HPA Axis Dysfunction. With the HPA Axis, I just want to put things into perspective because it’s very easy to fall into the trap of analysing individual Hormones and ripping them to bits and find out exactly what they do. We get really caught up in the roles of the Hormones and Receptor Binding and all that sort of stuff, but sometimes you have to take a step back and have a look at the big picture to just understand the concepts before we can go delve into the different chemicals.

People are always asking questions about Cortisol and Melatonin and DHEA, and all these other specific Hormones. But, without looking at the big picture we are forced to just attack each one of those, individually, without actually taking a step back.

Jeff: Totally. In terms of—again, from a particular viewpoint you can look at a certain Hormone, say Cortisol, and you can say, “Cortisol is bad,” or, “Cortisol is, for some people, good.”

Matt: Yeah, yeah. You need it.

Jeff: But, you can’t really say that. You can say, “In the right levels it’s required in the body and it’s needed.” You can say, “Okay, Cortisol might be bad for Muscle Tissue,” a lot of people would say. But, you need it in your body because if you don’t your Hormones are all going to get screwed up.

Matt: Why would it be there, too?

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: Everything that’s in there is there for a reason. Everything is done for a reason.

Jeff: And, as we say, it’s either too much or too little, that’s when the problems occur.

Matt: Yeah. So, it’s all about regulating the levels and modulating the levels. But, understanding how it affects the rest of the body and that sort of thing as well, and why it’s there, for starters. Because, if you don’t know why the Cortisol is there or isn’t there then how the hell are you going to be able to manipulate it?

Jeff: Now, through the week, you said something that surprised me, Matt. You said, and I’m not going to put percentages in your mouth, but a ridiculous percentage of the population, probably in the west, which we know more about, and who knows, it could be globally, are dealing with one stage or other of Adrenal Adaptation. Did I get it right?

Matt: Yeah, yeah. I don’t know how to say it though.

Jeff: So, you were breaking it down on a level through 1, which is good, a normal Hormone profile, again with Stresses and Adrenals and all the rest of it, through to 6 which is potentially Chronic Fatigue.

Matt: That’s when you can say, “Adrenal Fatigue.”

Jeff: Right. Well, let’s start first, Matt, and I’ve got a couple of questions here too, which really were the reason why we wanted to do this podcast was to answer these questions in-depth. One question is great, very short, and the other question, which is also great, is obviously a little bit longer. So, when I read them out bear with me, because the funny thing in the question, it actually looks like it’s targeting different issues in the body, including weight gain, insomnia, but Matt, you immediately identified it and said, “Well, it’s actually a problem with the Adrenal Function.

So firstly, Matt, let’s start with the Adrenal Adaptation.

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: And, talk about—I want to give myself a high five every time I say it right—and, talk about what is Stress, and is that the precursor that knocks everything out? Is Stress the problem?

Matt: Yeah, I guess so. Not so much Stress as the problem, but the fact that our body can’t afford to wait to see if the stress is life threatening or not, is the problem. So, basically, our Hormonal control of our Stress Response is governed by this thing called the HPA Axis, which is the Hypothalamus in the brain, the Pituitary Gland which is a switchboard to control your Hormones, and then the Adrenal Gland. That HPA Axis will give you your Stress Response. Okay?

The HPA Axis gathers data. So, the Hypothalamus will gather data from all over your body and signals come in, and some of those signals are defined as Stress. Now, the definition of Stress is anything that makes a change to your body. So, to answer your question, what is a Stress? Anything can be a stress. So, Pain, Inflammation—if your Immune System is activated through Infection, Infestation or Allergy, Temperature Changes, who knows? Lights, Electromagnetic Radiation, Toxicity, all of those things that may come in and trigger either an Inflammatory Response or an Immune Response or any sort of change in your body, will activate the HPA Axis to launch a Defence Mechanism just in case it’s life threatening.

And, what happens in that situation is, the Hypothalamus sends a message to the Pituitary Gland to say, “Number 1 Priority right now is Stress and Survival.” The Pituitary Gland then forgets about all of its other jobs, like Controlling the Thyroid, your other Reproductive Systems, and ultimately you can understand why because if there’s signals going to your brain suggesting you may not survive the hour or the day, Reproduction is not an option, and definitely stopping for ‘jiggy’ is not an option. But, then again, if you knew it was your last day it would probably be the first thing you’d do.

But, anyhow, what you’ll find happening is, the HPA Axis will get a signal, instantly send a message to the Pituitary Glands saying, “Priority is Stress,” the Pituitary Gland then releases a chemical called ACTH, which tells your Adrenal Gland to pump out a Hormone called Cortisol.

Jeff: Right.

Matt: Okay? Cortisol, it’s got a lot of beneficial effects in Acute Stress. Don’t forget, Cortisol in this situation is going to keep you alive. Alright?

Jeff: How does it actually work, in your body, to help you to stay alive?

Matt: Well, think about what is necessary to survive a Stress. Cortisol, one of the first things it does is it makes sure you’ve got some fuel in your bloodstream to either fuel your Immune System, your Nervous System and that sort of stuff, to escape, to punch and run. So, Cortisol will liberate stored fuel into your bloodstream, and it will liberate stored fuel from Glycogen Reserves in the Muscles and Liver. So, Cortisol will break down whatever reserves you’ve got easily to put sugar into your bloodstream.

At the same time, it stops your Insulin from working, it causes Insulin Resistance to stop that sugar from getting put back into the Muscles, to hold it into the bloodstream so we can use it.

Jeff: So, basically, you’ve got more currency inside your blood to, basically, use it?

Matt: Yeah. It also increases Triglycerides in the bloodstream as an alternative fuel once that sugar is gone, and those Triglycerides also contribute to the Insulin Resistance. The other thing Cortisol does, it will increase your Fluid Retention and increase your Blood Pressure in case this stress is an injury. So, it will actually hold more water into your blood in case you’re bleeding to death. These are the Acute Stress Responses.

Cortisol will also block off the sleepy chemicals in your brain to make you more awake and more alert. We’ll talk about Adrenaline and that sort of stuff at a later date, that’s our Nervous Response to Stress, but that will happen simultaneously. So, Cortisol is out there blocking the sleepy chemicals while we’ve got an up regulation of our Adrenaline Based Neurotransmitters that will wake you up. So, Cortisol will give you everything you need to punch something and run.

And, what’s interesting about it is, at the same time, Cortisol has been released to fuel your Stress Response, that released Cortisol gets back to the Pituitary Gland, back to the Adrenals and back to the Hypothalamus and let’s your HPA Axis know that you have launched a Stress Response. So, that Cortisol goes back, binds into the Receptors in the HPA Axis and tells it, “Chill out, you’ve survived your stress.” Okay? So, Cortisol gives you everything you need to fight that Stress, and then what it also does is it switches off the Stress Response.

What’s really interesting about that is, Inflammation is a Stress, Immune Activation is a Stress. Cortisol is Anti-Inflammatory and it suppresses our Immune System. You know how they make Cortisone creams for rashes and Hay fever and Allergies, and if you get a real bad cold and flu they’ll give you the Prednisone and that sort of stuff?

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: So, they’re all drug versions of Cortisol. So, Cortisol will switch off, not only our Stress Axis and let it know that we’ve survived the Stress and launched an appropriate response, but it will also switch off a lot of the Stress triggers that may be coming from inside our body. So, if you’ve got Allergies and Gut problems and things like that, Cortisol is necessary to actually switch off that Inflammation that is leaving us in a Stress Response.

Jeff: How long does it typically take for the Cortisol to switch off the Stress Response?

Matt: Oh, that’s a good question, because it’s quite funny. The text books tell us that.

Jeff: What?

Matt: A reasonable period of time without any Stress.

Jeff: How long is a piece of string?

Matt: Yeah. So, that’s a funny thing. Our text books will say, “A reasonable period of time without any stress.” But, let’s go through it again. What is a Stress? Gut problems, dodgy Food Colourings, Food Additives, Plastics, Petrochemicals, Electromagnetic Radiation, phones ringing, all that sort of thing.

Jeff: She Bears?

Matt: She Bears, all those sorts of things.

Jeff: Right. So, it can come from anywhere?

Matt: Only my wife is going to get that She Bear joke. You realise you just got me in trouble. So, “Nobody understands you She Bear.” That’s alright.

Jeff: So, what that means is other people—and, obviously there are Stresses everywhere, ones that we can identify and ones that we can’t. So, understanding how long your Stress Response is going to take to turn off is quite difficult. But, what you’ve just explained, Matt, and correct me if I’m wrong, is a normal reaction to Stress that the body must go through to make sure that you can punch and run as you say, then the cycle should complete, the body naturally turns off the Stress and you return back to a normal mode. It’s there to save your life.

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: The couple of questions that I’ve got, and obviously as we break further down into the different levels of Adrenal Adaptation, is where things are starting to go wrong.

Matt: Mm.

Jeff: So, let me read these couple of questions.

Matt: No.

Jeff: No? Alright, well do you want to keep going?

Matt: Yeah, because man, you don’t even have part of the story.

Jeff: Oh, alright well keep going.

Matt: Yeah, seriously, man. So, that’s a normal Stress Response.

Jeff: Right.

Matt: But, we don’t live in a text book, okay? So, what happens is, I’ve had a Stress Response, Cortisol has been released, it’s switching off my Stress Response, and then the phone rings, and while that phone is ringing I’m running late for a meeting, and I’m surrounded by Electromagnetic Radiation, I had some funny food last night and my Gut is not 100% right, and at this time of year when the weather changes I get snuffly. So, meanwhile my body has got some other Stress coming in.

So, if I’ve got other Stress Triggers coming into my Hypothalamus saying, “There is Stress here somewhere,” at the same time as Cortisol is going back switching off my Stress Response, I can’t afford to not listen to those Stress Triggers. So they, potentially, could be life threatening. So, what happens in that situation is that I have to be Resistant to Cortisol, so I have to ignore the Cortisol. So, the Cortisol is going back to my brain saying, “Chill out, you’ve survived your Stress Response,” another Trigger is coming in, I can’t afford to not react. So, what happens is, we become Resistant to Cortisol.

So, you become Resistant to Cortisol as an off switch for Stress. So, our brain can’t afford to not react to the Stress, but we can’t stop the fact that there’s Cortisol already been released everywhere. So, what happens is, our body is exposed to excessive amounts of Cortisol just because our brain can’t afford to register and listen to just the normal amounts of Cortisol coming back to switch it off.

So, what that basically means is, those effects I mentioned that happen with Cortisol throughout the body that are beneficial during a short term Stress, over a longer period of time they’re not as handy. For example, you start breaking down Muscle and Bone, and everything, you break down your resource to continually liberate fuel for your bloodstream. The Insulin Resistance becomes prolonged where you’ve got high sugar in your bloodstream for a long period of time.

Cortisol holds Fat and Fluid around your Internal Organs in case what was an Acute Stress that’s now become a Chronic Stress, might mean that you are immobilised for a period of time, or being stalked.

Jeff: So, in terms of body shape then, what you’re describing is ET look?

Matt: Yeah, so you’ll basically wither away on the arms and legs and preserve Fat and Fluid around your Gut.

Jeff: So, again, for a lot of guys and girls, especially guys, that little belly that they’ve got, not able to put on a lot of muscle but a bit of a belly, could be an issue with Stress.

Matt: Cortisol. Yeah, exactly. And, those people will say, “I’ve got a fast Metabolic Rate, I eat and eat and I can’t put on Muscle. But, I’ve got a fat Gut.” Yeah, so Cortisol does that.

The elevation in the Blood Pressure and the Fluid Retention can start becoming problems, and if you combine that with the Insulin issues that’s how we can get Cardiovascular Disease and all that sort of stuff.

Jeff: Wow!

Matt: Also, the Chronic Cortisol blocking those sleepy chemicals, including the activity of things like Serotonin, can start leading to Anxiety and Depression and start manifesting as a Chronic Mental Disorder. Also, when you’re looking at prolonged Cortisol over a longer period of time it suppresses the Immune System. So, people talk about Over Training Syndrome and all that sort of thing.

So, you can see what happens. The brain has seen so much Cortisol that the brain can’t afford to just keep listening to Cortisol as an off switch but the rest of the body is still exposed to Cortisol and isn’t becoming Resistant to it.

Jeff: Wow!

Matt: And, that’s how we go from what’s just a normal…

Jeff: Stress Response?

Matt: Stress Response, into what we call a Chronic Stress Response. But again, a reasonable period of time without adequate Stress, and that will go back to normal. Okay?

Jeff: So, a holiday sounds really good about now, actually.

Matt: Yeah, it does, as long as that holiday doesn’t include Electromagnetic Radiation, Bad Food, Alcohol, Smoking, Inflammation, Injuries, Fishing and all that stuff.

Jeff: Well, it sounds like a pretty boring holiday without some of that.

Matt: Yeah, so that’s how we go form a normal stress response through to chronic stress. Okay? Most of us go through those first two stages very quickly, early in life. The funny thing is, if you are exposed to excessive amounts of stress prenatal and perinatal, so while in the womb and in early life events, you can actually skip the first normal bit and go straight into Chronic Stress, where you are starting to manifest the symptoms of an Over Active Stress Response right from the start.

Jeff: Is that right?

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: Wow!

Matt: So, basically, after that Chronic Stress phase—so, what happens in that situation is your body’s seeing a lot of Cortisol all the time, just chronic, mildly elevated Cortisol. It does still switch off at night to allow you to go into sleep but it doesn’t go into those bid deep troughs that you’re supposed to. Then, what happens is, we go into a Hyper Reactive Phase; your body has got used to the fact that your Cortisol doesn’t register, normal amounts of Cortisol don’t work for you, they don’t switch off your brain, your brain does not know you’ve launched a Defence Mechanism so it has to continually pump the HPA Axis to have an exaggerated Stress Response, just so the receptors in the brain know that you’ve launched a Defence Mechanism.

Jeff: So, it’s almost like a negative feedback loop, so the body has to go, “Well, that’s not enough, so let’s shoot it even further.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. And, then what happens is, you go from normal chronic, “I’m seeing too much Cortisol and getting sick of seeing the stuff,” through to, “Man, this Cortisol’s not registering at all. Bam. A massive Stress Response, big bang, Anxious, Panic, Nervous response to stress followed by a massive surge of Cortisol and that’s when we get into, what we call, a Hyper Reactive Stage. So, we are Hyper Reactive to stress, any little trigger and we launch a Defence Mechanism as if it may as well be a life threatening stress. You’re in a shopping centre and you need to punch and run, those sort of things.

Jeff: So, is where you start to see some of the out workings of that in Panic Attacks…

Matt: Yeah, Panic Attacks—oh, in the medical literature they call it Melancholic Depression, which is a form of Depression that responds to Serotonin preservation. You’ve heard of drugs called Serotonin re uptake inhibitors?

Jeff: Yes.

Matt: The flood the brain with Serotonin. That stage, that Hyper Reactive Stage is big spikes of Cortisol flattening Serotonin activity. And, because the Cortisol spike is so high it never really drops enough. So, they go through a phase of really high Cortisol all the time, so they’re getting a lot of Anxiety, a Depression that’s born from Anxiety, which is Highly Strung, Panicky, Anxious, a really nervy sort of feeling. That type of Depression is when your Cortisol is high. Around the same areas you get a lot of Immune Suppression, you get a lot of Gut problems and all that sort of stuff. So, that’s very Anxious, Highly Reactive, and you snap at things very easily, and because the Cortisol doesn’t register really well it’s hard to let things go.

Jeff: Obviously, your body can’t stay there for too long, Matt.

Matt: No, it’s not sustainable because you can’t pump out that much Cortisol; Cortisol is a Hormone, your body’s got to make it and pump it out. So, what happens after that is, that’s when people think, “I’ve got Adrenal Fatigue,” because they go through this phase of really Highly Strung, burning the candle at both ends, and then they just crash, and they think they’ve got Adrenal Fatigue. What usually is the case, it’s a Phase of Conservation. Our body doesn’t want to ever let us fully run out of these Hormones because it’s got to keep some for that life threatening stress. So, what happens is, it gets to a point where it knows it’s losing control, the Receptors aren’t responding, these Hormones are pumping out, the poor Adrenal Cortex that makes Cortisol—it makes Cortisol out of Cholesterol, and that Cholesterol is supposed to be used to make things like DHEA and then Pregnenolone, Progesterone, Testosterone, all those other anabolic Hormones.

Jeff: Hormones, yeah.

Matt: It can’t afford to, it’s too busy pumping all those resources into making Cortisol. So, basically, what happens is, eventually your body goes, “Now hang on, we’re way out of balance,” and we start to adapt to our Adaptation because we’re—survival, man; that’s what we do. If we have to survive our own Survival Response after all, what’s the point? So, we go into a Phase of Conservation, and that Phase of Conservation is when we get this annoying trickly of Cortisol, not enough to help you deal with Pain and Inflammation and Stress, but we get this annoying trickle that’s left over at night.

So, that Phase of Conservation—when I was going through their stuff, just trying to put my notes together, and I’m actually going to take a photo of my notes for the seminar because it’s kind of funny.

Jeff: I don’t know if anyone will understand them.

Matt: Yeah, that’s the point. I realised that about 99% of the people I know are in Stage 5 out of 6.

Jeff: Well, that’s shocking.

Matt: I know. Mate, it actually spun me out, because I assumed most of us would be kind of normal to chronic, and just hovering from chronic back to normal, but when I really looked at it Stage 5 is a Stage of Conservation. In that phase we don’t get that big surge of Cortisol in the morning that’s supposed to wake you up feeling awesome.

Jeff: So, bounce out of bed, feel great?

Matt: Yeah. We don’t get that. We cheat, we’ll have a coffee or stimulants or cardio or something to get us going in the morning to trigger the Cortisol release. Then what happens is, again, if we need a pick me up through the day we’re going to have another coffee, we’re going to have whatever…

Jeff: Some energy drink?

Matt: Yeah, pre workouts and that sort of stuff, because you need to train and you’re feeling flat. So, we use things to spike Cortisol when we want it, but then what happens is, then at night we’re using things to switch the Cortisol off, to sleep. So, we’re all stuck in this Stage 5 Conservation where our Adrenal Glands are puffed, they’re struggling to deal with all of these things, they’ve given up, because there’s so much stuff wrong with us. There’s so much toxins and inflammation and immune, they don’t deal with it all.

Jeff: So, in this stage, effectively, what people are doing, they’re using some form of upper and some form of downer, whether it’s as innocent as a cup of coffee or a pre workout to get awake, or Cocaine, yeah. And, for the downers they’re using things like maybe ZMA, which is actually not a bad thing to do, or Melatonin which, again, has its place, or they’re using Valium or tranquillisers and stuff like that.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Most of us are in that stage where we’re just forcing these Adrenals to deal with what we have to get done. The phase after that, the Stage 6, which is into that full on Adrenal Fatigue is when we have pushed—normally that Phase of Conservation is our safety net to stop us from going into Adrenal Fatigue. And, what happens from that Phase of Conservation is, as our energy levels pick up, we go back to that stage of Hyper Reactivity, where we’re a little bit Highly Strung, and usually we medicate that too.

Jeff: Yeah, people start freaking out and going, “Oh my God.”

Matt: Yeah, they’re going, “Oh no, I’m getting Anxieties and Panic,” but you’re actually going from your Phase of Conservation back through a stage of Hyper Reactivity where you’ll then go back through the other stages, you’ve got to go back…

Jeff: And, you’re heading towards normal?

Matt: Then you’re heading back towards normal, but every time we get a symptom we medicate.

Jeff: That’s right.

Matt: We need to understand the hierarchy. But see, with that Phase of Conservation, if you continually drive those Adrenals and bypass our normal safety nets that are saying, “If you’re not going to stop, I’m going to stop you,” and we override those sort of things. We can push ourselves into a full on Adrenal Fatigue.

Jeff: Right.

Matt: And, in an Adrenal Fatigue situation your Cortisol no longer responds to Stress, which means your Cortisol is no longer responding to Inflammation or Immune Activation, and that’s when we get Autoimmune Disease and Inflammatory Diseases, and full on Chronic Fatigue. People always ask me—they come in and say, “I’ve got Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia.” The difference between Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia is the difference between Stage 4 through to Stage 6.

Jeff: So, what’s Stage 4, again?

Matt: Stage 4 is when your Cortisol levels are still high, and you get a lot of Anxieties, a lot of Depression, but the Cortisol is not working really well as an Anti-inflammatory or anything so you still get a lot of pain, but you get a lot of Insomnia and Restlessness, and can’t sit still.

Jeff: So, on a scale, and if people can imagine, you’ve got peaks and troughs with regards to your Hormone Levels. So, at a peak that’s where the Cortisol is up, you’re feeling wide awake, and yeah, your body’s dealing with Inflammation. As it drops back down again—and, that might go up to 100, but as it goes back down through zero on the way back down, that’s when you’re falling asleep, that’s when your body’s producing Serotonin, and all the rest of it. What you’re saying is, it’s going up and it’s staying high, it’s not going back down through that zero level where you can get to sleep?

Matt: Yeah, that’s right. The key feature with Fibromyalgia is aches and pains of many muscles but you can’t rest and you can’t sleep, they’re the key features.

Jeff: So, you’re constantly staying above that zero level?

Matt: Yeah, you’re always bloody tired but you can’t get a good night’s sleep. Then, as you go through Stage 4 to Stage 5, into that Stage of Conservation, all of a sudden you’re still not handling your Pain and Inflammation, but all of a sudden you’re not controlling your Serotonin levels, and you’re getting a flood of sleepy chemicals and a flood of Serotonin activity, and all you want to do is sleep.

So, the difference between Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia is how well you can sleep, basically. In Chronic Fatigue they just want to sleep all the time, just can’t wake up, can’t get going. But, in Fibromyalgia you’re struggling to sleep, and then you often will hover between the two, that’s the other thing. So, understand that when you’ve got that full on Adrenal Fatigue you get all the pain, you get Inflammation, you can’t do any of the good things that Cortisol does, and you can’t Respond to Stress, and you can’t Respond to Inflammatory and Immune Triggers. You can go back from that stage with enough nutrition and rest and recovery to get into Conservation and back through the cycles.

Jeff: Well, definitely. Matt, you’ve explained this well, and by the way, we will put up those six graphs, Matt, that you’ve got. And, we’ve got to draw them up properly because I think it would be good for people to see them.

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: But okay, then what the heck are we going to do? If you’re saying that 99% of the population is really quite stuffed…

Matt: Yeah, we’re in that stage, yeah.

Jeff: So Matt, are you ready to talk about how we work on this?

Matt: Yeah. Because, it’s not that hard, I make it sound scary. You’ve just got to buy my products. No. So, basically…

Jeff: So, what do people do, Matt?

Matt: Well, understand that you can’t stop Cortisol Response to Stress other than using a chemical straight jacket. The key is, to control the effects that Cortisol has in your body, and control the amount of Triggers coming in to activate a Stress Response. So, the first thing, where possible, is to avoid the Triggers. So, if there are known Triggers to you avoid them. Like, for me, I ran out of business cards and didn’t get anymore made, so no one’s got my phone number so it stops ringing, and that didn’t work, so I changed phone numbers.

So, basically, find out any ways you can avoid Stress and do that. The second thing is, desensitising yourself to the Triggers, okay? So, Gut Health is extremely important because if you are getting an exaggerated Inflammatory or an exaggerated Immune Response from foods that should be giving you Macro Nutrients, Micro Nutrients…

Jeff: Enzymes…

Matt: Calories and that sort of stuff, and instead they’re Triggering Inflammatory Stress Reactions; you’ve got to fix your Gut. So, looking for those sorts of things. If you have got known Allergies and that sort of stuff eliminate them where possible. I don’t care if you can find a test to prove it or not, but we all know that Additives, Colourings, Flavourings and that sort of thing aren’t good for us, and Electromagnetic Radiation, we’re stuffed. So, desensitising to the Triggers is an interesting one.

Jeff: As much as you possibly can.

Matt: As much as you possibly can, by using like Omega 3 Oils as an Anti-Inflammatory, those sort of things. Having these Innate Defence Mechanisms built in to take the burden off your Immune System like a healthy Gut Wall and all that sort of stuff.

One of my favourite tricks is Turmeric. Now, when you read about Turmeric—the Curcuminoids in Turmeric, and they’re sold as anti-cancer, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory. The new research on Turmeric is showing Anti-anxiety and Anti-depression.

Jeff: Wow!

Matt: And, what’s wild about it is, when you go through and have a look at all the effects of Turmeric it’s been shown to dampen down your Innate Survival Mechanism. So, when you get a Stress Trigger your automatic response is some Immune Activation, release Inflammatory Mediators, trigger some Anxiety, trigger some Depression—Turmeric just calms it all down. So, whatever Triggers are coming in, if you can’t stop it Turmeric will just take the edge off it, and tell your body, “You don’t have to react as aggressively to these things, I’ve got some of it covered.” So, it’s a really nice way, and a very healthy way of calming down your Stress Responses with something that’s the most Potent Antioxidant, Anticancer properties around.

Jeff: And, the beautiful thing about Turmeric, and Matt, we’ve spoken about Turmeric so many times on the podcast, but it’s one of your favourite ingredients, really, isn’t it?

Matt: Yeah, it is.

Jeff: And, it’s so readily available virtually everywhere. I mean you can cook with it, and if you’re juicing it’s great to throw a bit in with the juicing.

Matt: Grow it. If you can buy a Turmeric root, then you just stick it in the ground.

Jeff: And, it doesn’t cost you anything.

Matt: No, well the one does. Unless you stole it Jeff, like that book but anyway.
The other way to do it is to actually work using Adaptogenic Herbs that regulate Cortisol Response.

Jeff: What are they?

Matt: And, they can help to restore that up in the morning and the down at night. The most powerful Adaptogens to control Cortisol are: Schisandra Berries, which I talk about as well all the time.

Jeff: All the time, yeah again, that’s probably one of your top favourites.

Matt: It’s pretty easy, actually, so far to do the Legge protocol, the Turmeric and Schisandra will do most things. The other ones are Rhodiola, it’s very good. Withania which is your Ahswagandha. Through different mechanism they all help to regulate good levels of Cortisol.

Then, what we want to do is, we want to support the Adrenal Gland’s ability to fuel this Stress Response. It sounds crazy to say, “We need to fuel it,” but I spend more time helping people restore Cortisol function in the morning and helping them to bring it down at night as part of these protocols, you’ve got to do it all.

So, your body uses things like Vitamin C, Magnesium—Cholesterol is the building block so you don’t need to add extra, it will take some Cholesterol from the body. But, using things like Vitamin C, Magnesium, B Vitamins, they all help to put this stuff in to make Cortisol.

At my Clinic we use a lot of Adrenal Gland extract; we can’t get that in Australia, I bring it in from America. I actually get Adrenal Gland in a capsule and then I get people to have a big dose in the morning, like two capsules, and then a little dose at lunch and then none after that.

Jeff: Cool.

Matt: So, they get their big surge in the morning and a little bit in the middle of the day, and then nothing at night, and then we can retrain them. But, the whole time, you have to use the Adaptogenic Herbs like three times a day.

Jeff: Schisandra and…

Matt: Yeah. What I love about Adaptogenic Herbs is, regardless of the direction of change, they’ll try to bring it back to normal, but normal physiology, regardless of the trigger, and regardless of which way you’re dragged. So, that way, if your Cortisol is too low it picks it up, but if it’s too high it calms it down.

Jeff: Yeah, cool.

Matt: Then, the only other thing I tell people to do, usually, is Treat the End Result, which is the person. You can still go back, and you’ve got to realise that these things might take a little while to restore this function, and in the meantime they’ve spent a period of time with Cortisol everywhere. So, start treating those things. The other Axis that have been neglected while the HPA Axis has been driving—so, the HPT Axis is the Thyroid Axis, the HPG is the Gonadal Axis that controls our Reproduction and Anabolic Growth.

Jeff: Right.

Matt: So, your Thyroid can be totally screwed up by this because, in an Acute Stress…

Jeff: It’s getting neglected?

Matt: Well, in an Acute Stress–just basically get used and abused by this HPA, because HPA takes priority, it just does whatever it wants, everything else can deal with it. So, the HPT Axis, the Thyroid Axis, it will recruit some of those actions in a short term survival to get the Heart Rate going…

Jeff: Oh, wow!

Matt: Everything going, but then, once that Stress becomes prolonged it slows it down to slow down your Metabolic Rate and Conserve Energy because it doesn’t know if this has become one of those Endurance events, you know, where you’ve got to out survive the stork and lion or something. With the Gonadal Axis, yes, in the short term, again, it increases sensitivity to certain Hormones that might make you Aggressive and that sort of stuff, but in the long run it switches off reproduction to say, “Man, this person, if they’re not punching something and running–they should be hiding, you know, don’t reproduce, don’t have fun.

Jeff: Wow! It’s amazing.

Matt: Yeah, so you’ve got to treat those sort of things as well.

Jeff: It’s all interconnected.

Matt: It is. Even Histamine; for example, you know people who get a Nervous Rash, what happens is, during an Acute Survival Response, if you’re feeling a bit fatigued your body will recruit Histamine, because Histamine activates your nerves and makes you feel alert. So, Histamine wakes you up, and it can be released from Nerve Endings and Trigger a Stress Reaction and make you more alert, and in the process you can get a Nervous Rash. In some people you can actually see a rash happening on someone with nerves before they’ve acknowledged that they’re nervous.

Jeff: Oh wow!

Matt: Yeah, it’s wild, man.

Jeff: It is, it’s pretty amazing.

Matt: So, that’s easy, just do it that way.

Jeff: Okay. So, Matt, is there anything else you want to say about all of this? I mean that’s a lot of information to take in, in 35 minutes.

Matt: Oh, there’s so much more. I just drivel.

Jeff: No, well we’ve got some real live people that have got some questions. So, now that we can take that information and we can maybe actually see how it’s manifesting in both Adam and Beth.

Matt: Oh yeah, real life people? When you read the first sentences of each one of these questions and I will believe Jeff wrote these.

Jeff: No. Here we go.

This is from Adam: “Solutions, supplementation for overcoming Adrenal Fatigue. What to look out for in regards to symptoms, energy, time of day graphs, and all the rest of it.”

Well, you’ve pretty much covered most of that, Matt.

Matt: Yeah, and what we’ll do is we’ll summarise this stuff anyway, into proper charts. So, when we’re talking about Adrenal Fatigue, the key features for Adrenal Fatigue, I tell you so you know, you can’t get started in the morning, seriously, you could just roll straight back over and go back to sleep. Okay? Cortisol also regulates your Blood Pressure, so usually when you try to stand up you’re quite dizzy and you can’t respond to gravity very well. And, they can actually test you in a hospital, they do an Orthostatic Hypertension Test.

Jeff: I’ll take your word for that, Matt.

Matt: Which, is where they just get your Blood Pressuring and they get you up and down a bit until you look like you’re going to fall over. That’s one way of doing it. It controls your Stress Response, it controls your Pupil, and everything. So, if you can’t control your Sympathetic Nervous System the Pupil’s Dilated, you let more light in, so you get sensitive to glare and need sunglasses and that sort of stuff outside.

Cortisol holds Water into your body, so if you’ve got no Cortisol you’re constantly thirsty and it holds water into your body by conserving salt, holding on to salt, and also keeping our Blood Sugar high does it as well, to a certain degree. So, when your Cortisol is Low you’ll crave salt, you’ll be thirsty, probably crave sugar as well, but because you can’t hold that water in, you’re pissing—you’re going straight to the toilet, you can probably edit that word out Toni. So, what happens is, it goes in one end and straight out the other, you can’t hold your water. So, always thirsty but constantly going to the toilet, sensitive to glare, dizzy, usually irritated easily, sensitive to noise, can’t switch of your Stress Response, but you can’t be bothered doing anything about it, so you become bitchy whingy, and you get a form of Depression born from Apathy. Like a full blown Fatigue.

What’s wild about Adrenal Fatigue, you know how I was saying before that you’ve got that other stage of the High end of Cortisol where it blocks Serotonin and they call it Melancholic Depression and responds to antidepressants?

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: With Adrenal Fatigue they’re flooded with Serotonin in their head. They call it Atypical Depression in the literature, but it doesn’t respond to typical medication, which is Serotonin based because you’ve already got too much Serotonin and all you want to do is sleep and then they give you an antidepressant and say, “Somehow it’s going to fix this Depression and Fatigue,” but it just makes you want to sleep more and feel drunk and woozy.

So, with Adrenal Fatigue you get, usually, Low Blood Pressure, especially in response to gravity, Sensitive to Glare, Sensitive to Noise, Sensitive to idiots, lots of Pain, lots of Inflammation. Your Immune System; you get exaggerated Immune Response regardless of which way it goes, regardless if it’s an Allergy or an Infection, you just feel shitty.

Jeff: Wow!

Matt: And, because it can’t switch off any Inflammation, Aches and Pains you’re usually swollen and sore and achy. The funny thing is, in other stages of Adrenal Dysfunction you’d usually pick up later in the day but with this one, you kind of flat-line, you’ve got nothing all day, and nothing all night, and nothing to help you deal with Stress. So, it’s pretty miserable.

Jeff: You’re stuck in a horrible rut.

Matt: And, as you see, most people are actually in the Phase above that, but they think they’re in Adrenal Fatigue. So, most people are sitting in a Phase of Conservation where your Adrenals have got everything it needs, with enough stimulants you get up and go, but it doesn’t take control of it, itself.

Jeff: So, on a level – again, having a nice wave where it’s going up to 100 and then coming back down again?

Matt: Yeah. Adrenal Fatigue is a pathetic little trickle underneath the baseline where you get bugger all Cortisol.

Jeff: So, nothing’s happening, nothing’s moving in any direction.

Matt: To measure Cortisol, I don’t bother in my clinic doing blood testing, because, as you can see by this, one of the Stresses might be one lady wearing a white coat and coming at you with a needle, so, for me, that tends to put Cortisol up. I get Saliva Cortisol testing and I do them at home, and you do them at 6am, noon, 6pm and midnight, and that way we can chart your thing, and you’re in your own environment; the hardest bit is just trying to get enough spit out.

Jeff: Good one. And, I think we’ve covered off some of the supplementation.

Matt: Yeah, we’ll summarise all that.

Jeff: Okay, great. Alright this one is a little bit longer.

This is from Beth. Beth is a corporate lawyer and she teaches part time Les Mills, and trains pretty hard. She’s been known to overdo it, she suspects Adrenal Fatigue at the very least, and, generally, I miss waking up feeling bright and bubbly. Usually I power through but realise, due to getting numerous injuries, not sleeping and generally lack lustre, that I need to deal with the underlying issues.

Main worries right now: Sleep; I have been using sleeping tablets for years now with Melatonin. Now both seem to have stopped working, and more of a concern is I wake up every two hours, wide awake. I’ve been seeing a Naturopath here in Hong Kong. She originally gave me Sulphur and Sleep Manager, which is a Cortisol Regulator and Valerian Tea Tablets. The Sulphur was making me feel wired, so she just prescribed coffea, with an ‘a’.

Matt: Yeah, homeopathic.

Jeff: Yet to see how that feels. I was wondering if you had any products that you recommend for sleep and similar disorders?

Also, my weight and my Thyroid. I have had an underactive Thyroid for a number of years.”

Jeff: Gee, this is sounding quite funny, isn’t it, Matt?

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: I mean not funny in a…

Matt: Not a real nice guy there, Jeff.

Jeff: It’s just obviously these are a lot of the symptoms that people are having, which is all interrelated.

Jeff: “I’ve been on Thyroxine and Urfa to manage it. I was intrigued by your T432 product and really want to try it. I notice it has caffeine and wondering if you advise taking this with my sleep issues, could I try taking it earlier in the day, perhaps?

My weight also sits on my thighs, my bum and my stomach area. I was keen to try the ALPHA VENUS, BLOCK E3 and SUBCUT products. Would you recommend taking them altogether to deal with stubborn areas? Many thanks, in advance, Beth.”

Well, Beth seems to have covered off on pretty much—well, hit the jackpot with an Adrenal issue?

Matt: Yeah. And, probably in that Conservation Phase that we talked about, which sounds strange because a key feature in that Phase of Conservation is, you never get enough of a surge of Cortisol to help you deal with fatigue and aches and pains, but you’ve got this annoying constant trickle of Cortisol that slows down your Thyroid, increases your Estrogen, causes Insulin Resistance and stops you from sleeping.

Jeff: Mm. And, this looks like Beth’s got the whole lot.

Matt: Yeah. So, that Stage 5 that we talked about where you get this—it’s a trickle that runs all the time. You get a little blip here and there in response to a little bit of Stress or a coffee or whatever, but never enough to get you up and going, and those things don’t tend to work really well. So, you stay flat all the time, but then you’ve got this annoying trickle at night that blocks your Deep Sleep, stops your recovery and your regeneration and repair, which means you wake up in the morning in an exhausted state.
So, what we need to do in this sort of situation, it’s very important to get the Sleep to work because if you’re not going into a deep sleep you can’t get that big trough. One of the ways to force to get the Sleep at night is to get the Cortisol up in the morning as well. So, it’s a bit of a vicious cycle. In Beth’s case her body is trying to Conserve this Cortisol over a 24-hour period. What we want it to do is give her a good dose of Cortisol to get up and running in the morning, so we use our Adaptogenic Herbs to get started, the Schisandra, Withania and all that sort of stuff, to get a nice big boost in the morning, possibly even doing a bit of cardio and that sort of stuff first thing in the morning just to get that Cortisol pumping out and happening, and T432 capsules with breakfast, two capsules for breakfast and then do one capsule at lunch. What we’re actually going to be doing is starting to recreate that Cortisol wave by having things to boot up the Cortisol in the morning and then it will drop down naturally at night.

So, do a big dose in the morning, a little dose at lunch, then towards the evening you want to start focusing on loading up on things like Magnesium, and buffering [overtalk][0:44:51] those acids and that sort of stuff. Again, the Adaptogenic Herbs three times a day. So, things like Withania, Rhodiola, Schisandra, Turmeric, those sorts of things, one three times a day to keep that Cortisol getting retrained.

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: We do that boot in the morning with a bit of cardio, you get the T432 to start the day with another dose at lunch, and then at night we just focus on things like Magnesium, and you should see that the Melatonin and stuff starts to work.

Jeff: Yeah, I was just going to say…

Matt: As long as you have the darkness. Make sure that room is pitch black.

Jeff: Right. Because, Beth is obviously taking the Melatonin so she’s getting there but just a couple of other things to add in might help?

Matt: Mm. I know she’s fatigued because if she’s part time training Les and she’s puffed, she’s only got one client, Les Mills.

Jeff: That’s not even funny. But, she’s a part time trainer and does Les Mills classes, you Womble.

Matt: Les, he must be high maintenance. If anyone out there gets a call from Les, say no.

Jeff: Oh Matt. The weight and the Thyroid issue as well, too, Matt. So, obviously the T432 is going to help with that, that’s interrelated.

Matt: The Cortisol puts the Estrogen up, the Cortisol causes the Insulin Resistance, they all slow down the Thyroid.

Jeff: Now, what about the ALPHA VENUS. Beth also asked about ALPHA VENUS, BLOCK E3 and SUBCUT. I don’t know, Matt, I mean you’re the expert here, but I’d rather if Beth is going to use the product to try the ALPHA VENUS on its own. And, I don’t know. With Toni, for example, her moods really changed after she started taking ALPHA VENUS, they really stabilised, and things seemed to bother her a lot less. Her ability to handle stress, and even she’ll say herself, improved remarkably.

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: So, can that help?

Matt: Yeah, of course. So, she could do that ALPHA VENUS. What I’d do—but this is what I do, and it’s hard to say this for everyone out there, but in Beth’s case, for breakfast take two of the T432, for lunch take one T432 and one ALPHA VENUS, at night time take two ALPHA VENUS.

Jeff: Easy.

Matt: So, she’s having three T432 and three ALPHA VENUS in a day, but the T432 with the caffeine and things like that has the ability to spike that Adrenal Cortex. An Adrenal Adaptogen Formula, I would have one of those three times a day at the same time. So, what we can do, with that VENUS, the Tongkat Ali can actually lower Cortisol at night, so what would be really cool is if we can actually use the T432 to pick it up in the morning, and the ALPHA VENUS to slow it down a little bit at night, for Beth, it would start retraining that system.

Jeff: And, a bit of Magnesium and Melatonin right before bed?

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: Sounds good.

Matt: Yeah, doesn’t it?

Jeff: Alright. Well, Beth, I hope that helps. With regards to your weight as well too, and carrying that weight, that does sound like a Cortisol issue as well. So, you could certainly grab some SUBCUT and some BLOCK E3 as well, too, but it might be interesting just to see how you go…

Matt: I would leave them till later.

Jeff: Yeah, I agree.

Matt: Because, the thing is, with the SUBCUT and the BLOCK E3—BLOCK E3 you can do, but SUBCUT I’d leave until all your visceral fat is gone. Focus on T432, ALPHA VENUS and you’ll find your energy levels will come up, you’ll sleep really well, you’ll feel great because they’re so powerful with Anti-inflammatories as well. So, I would start there, and then what you’ll find is your tummy will go flat, you’ll lose all the inside stuff, and you’ll have a bit of subcutaneous fat left over towards the end and then you can use the serums.

Jeff: Yeah. And, also, Beth, it sounds like you’re a bit of a worrier as well, you keep pushing through. It might be an idea to back it back a little bit, put the feet up and watch a funny movie and just relax a little bit more if you can. Maybe just take the foot off the throttle, that might help a little bit as well, too.

Matt: Sack Les.

Jeff: Alright, thanks Beth. I hope that helps, and we look forward to hearing how you go with that. Matt, anything else you want to comment on now, because I’ve got a couple more random FAQs that people have sent through that we want to get through as well.

Matt: Well, let’s FAQ these guys.

Jeff: Okay. We’ve got Christie: “Love the podcasts. The experts all seem to disagree on Carnitine, so just to clarify, Matt, would you recommend supplementing with Carnitine on a fat…

Matt: The Enzyme that burns fat is called Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase, it uses Carnitine to make the Enzyme. We had the large pool of Carnitine that your body uses for a variety of functions. If we’ve suddenly started burning a heap of fat, that Enzyme that hasn’t been doing much all of a sudden starts working, and if we hit a plateau it’s not hard to imagine that we may have pushed ourselves into a Carnitine Deficiency. Taking extra Carnitine may prevent that plateau. So, I do it, I encourage all my clients to actually utilise Carnitine to make sure they’re capable of burning fat and just to cancel out a cause for a plateau.

Jeff: And, just to clarify, Matt, it doesn’t particularly matter when you take it. Most people do take it pre training, and it’s a good time if you’re going to the gym, throw some down, and also Acetyl-L Carnitine, is there any reason…

Matt: Better absorption, apparently, with Acetyl L-Carnitine. I use Acetyl Carnitine because it doesn’t taste like fish, but also because the Acetyl part is very good for Acetyl Choline and Acetyl production, very good for that.

Jeff: It tastes like powdered vinegar. It’s good for the brain. Makes you feel a bit happier, the Choline.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, that’s always good. That concept of Carnitine will make your preferred source of fuel be fat, you know that statement that’s in all the brochures and people talk about, that I don’t agree with. There’s too many other factors that will determine your substrate usage for fuel rather than just loading up with Carnitine. Insulin…

Jeff: Yeah, well I was about to say…

Matt: Insulin blocks Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase.

Jeff: So, try and avoid sugars as much as possible.

Matt: You can go and use Carnitine but the Insulin itself can stop it from working.

Jeff: And, that is a story for another day.

Matt: Yeah, that’s a big story.

Jeff: Okay. So, the short answer, Christie, yeah use L-Carnitine…

Matt: Hook in.

Jeff: Preferably Acetyl-L Carnitine.

Matt: Acetyl Carnitine, L- Canrint Tartrate.

Jeff: How much, Matt, have we go an amount that you recommend?

Matt: It’s more to do with what you gut can tolerate, but anywhere between 2 to 6grams equivalent worth of Carnitine.

Jeff: There you go. Well, hope that helps, Christie. So, give it a crack, keep taking it.

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: We’ve got a question for Isaac: “Hi guys, love the podcasts—I’ll cut these bits out because I think Matt doesn’t like me reading out when people thank us, but I love it—I have two questions, firstly on Migraines and Headaches: I’ve been a long time sufferer of Headaches and getting them roughly once a week along with constant Muscle Aches throughout my body, which is constantly affecting my training. They originate in my shoulder blade and work up to my traps, and feel more muscular. I was wondering if the DRAGON’S BREATH had any benefits with Pain, such as headaches? And, even if Matt could touch on the topic of Migraines and Headaches as I know I’m not the only one, and it’s such a broad topic.

Secondly, I was on a Memory Retention and Neurological heath—I have a big obsession with learning and knowledge, but struggling constantly with Memory Retention, Foggy Thoughts and even a Poor Mental State. Seeing as Matt is a human encyclopaedia…

Matt: Huh?

Jeff: You are. …I was wondering if there was any advice he could give or any of the ATP Products that would help with this overall brain and neurological health?

Cheers guys, really appreciate the amount of help and the no BS from your podcasts and products. Isaac.
Well thanks Isaac, that’s really nice of you to say.

So, Matt, question 1: what’s the deal with these headaches, it looks like it’s muscular coming from something in his back?

Matt: Yeah, idiom. Usually, if you can feel it coming from your back it’s a fair indication it is. DRAGONS BREATH if you put it at the origin and the insertion, so if you put it down in between your shoulder blades and then at the base of your skull, it will probably get to the top and the bottom of the Triggers and it may relieve some of that pain. But, it’s not fixing it. You have to go and get structural stuff done, start working with massage therapists and osteopaths and all that sort of stuff.

Jeff: Well, the funny thing is, it’s hard to find a good one.

Matt: Yeah, I know.

Jeff: I eventually found a really good one, Theo, if you’re listening.

Matt: Yeah, Theo’s good.

Jeff: The lovely Greek manicured man. He is amazing because he focuses on Trigger Point massage, and I find it absolutely brilliant. When I go and see him I get genuine relief from any of those neuromuscular things. If it’s something that’s reoccurring like that and it’s been happening for a while it does sound like it needs structural attention, as opposed to potentially a product. But, things like Magnesium can obviously help, and again, depending on the state of your nutrition, for knots and stuff like that.

Matt: Yeah. So, you’ve just got to work out what’s Triggering your Headache, that’s the hard bit, you can get different types of Headaches. And, also that Iggy McGowan, if you’re listening, you can have a massage off him, he’s a genius.

Jeff: That’s if you happen to be in Australia and in Queensland. If not, you can find someone decent locally.

Matt: Yeah, people do this stuff, it’s just a bit of trial and error.

Jeff: So, the DRAGONS BREATH maybe some temporary relief?

Matt: Yeah, you’ll get temporary relief with it, but just keep it away from the—I put some on my temples the other day to see what it would do; it gets pretty close to your eyes. I wouldn’t do that. The back of the head’s a much better idea.

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: Now, you can Headaches—and this is the weird thing. A throbbing type of Headache, what we’re talking about is a Vasoactive Headache, that’s what we call a Migraine, where we’ve got the blood vessels dilating. Okay? And, your skull is a certain size, has been for a while, your brain is a certain size and hopefully is not going to change much. So, when you get these blood vessels between the brain and the skull throbbing it hurts and you run out of room. The reasons for it to throb extra blood there is usually after not enough Oxygen to your head, so it’s very common if someone’s got Anaemia or poor circulation or low blood pressure, to get a throbbing Headache as the body’s responding by trying to send more blood to the head.

Alternatively, you could just have throbbing arteries for other reasons, such as Exposure to these things called Vasoactive Amines. I’ve got a list of them, we’ll put that up.

Jeff: So Vasoactive—what’s a couple of those?

Matt: Cheese. So, a Vasoactive Amine, Tyramine—you’ve seen Tyramine in supplements?

Jeff: Mm.

Matt: And that other something or other Tyramine, Tryptamine, there’s all these weird things. They’re found in things like Parmesan Cheese, Preserved Meats, MSG is a Vasoactive Amine that can cause Migraines.

Jeff: Red wines.

Matt: Yeah, red wine.

Jeff: Yeah, I think I know what you mean.

Matt: All those sort of things, you know, Chocolate, that sort of stuff, Avocado apparently, pickled Herring—I remember that because I’ve never eaten it. It’s on the list and I always ask people if they’ve ever eaten it and I’ve never met anyone that eats it, but it’s still on my list. So, those sort of things, called Vasoactive Amines.

Most Vasodilators, pre workouts, contain Vasoactive Amines. I’ve seen some companies using a Sodium Nitrate now as a Vasoactive Amine, that’s actually the preservative used in…

Jeff: Red wine?

Matt: Pickled meats, and salamis and everything like that.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah.

Matt: It all causes Migraines. So, people are putting it in as a Vasoactive Amine because you have it and it causes a flush in the arteries. But, they put it in the Vasodilator per workouts, and I think it’s a bit sneaky.

Jeff: Genius.

Matt: But yeah, so Vasoactive Amines will do it, and usually you know because if you eat those foods and you get a Headache and you get a list of them and you take those foods out and your Headache goes, then you’re fine. You know, coffee withdrawal, coffee is a Vasoactive Amine. You know when people stop coffee they get Headaches?

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: All of a sudden the blood vessels to the head have slowed down so the head’s like, “Give me more blood.”

Jeff: Wow!

Matt: Otherwise they can be structural, which is what this one sounds like, from Isaac, because he can feel it coming from down around is Traps, or something down there.

Jeff: Yeah, Acupuncture, Deep Tissue Massage. I mean I love Trigger Point and that seems to work really well for me.

Matt: You can also get these weird Toxic Headaches. You know, when people talk about Healing Crisis and Toxicity, or a Hangover, you know, that sort of thing, with Dehydration and everything?

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: But, if your Liver—those two phases of Liver that we’ve talked about previously, where the First Phase is designed to make your Toxins water soluble so you can get rid of them. The Second Phase is supposed to deactivate those Toxins. So, if your Liver is a bit out of whack, or your Phase 1 is running really fast and Phase 2 can’t keep up, you can get Headaches from there. And, Dehydration is the other reason why you can get common Headaches, so fix that up first.

The treatments that we use, again, as Jeff said, Muscle Relaxants such things as Magnesium and other Herbs, Kava, Corydalis, that sort of stuff. I use a bit of Kava for pain, in my clinic, it’s nice.

Jeff: It tastes like soap water.

Matt: Yeah, I eat a capsule. ALPHA VENUS is one of our best products for Headaches. ALPHA VENUS is a very powerful Anti-Inflammatory, really good for Memory, Concentration Span and Focus as well.

Jeff: Well, that’s going to…

Matt: So, it might be pretty good for Isaac. It helps to rebalance those Liver Pathways, and reset that. So, it just depends on your type of Headache. ALPHA MARS is really good if you don’t have enough blood, if you’re Anaemic and you’re not getting any blood to your head. It’s a tricky one.

Jeff: It is tricky.

Matt: There are so many different—over an email is hard, it depends on the type.

Jeff: Triggers. Yeah, exactly. Anyway, Isaac, hopefully we’ve given you a little bit of direction, to start with anyway. I guess it’s trial and error until you find out what’s working for you.

Matt: Yeah. When you’re under Stress—just quickly, his second part of his question for Mental—see, I remembered the second—you forgot there was a second part of the question, didn’t you?

Jeff: I didn’t know there was a second part of the question.

Matt: Yes, he was asking about Memory, and I’m an Encyclopaedia with a good Memory. Now, what was I talking about?

Jeff: Yeah, well I’m going to put the gag on you a little bit, because we do have some Mental stuff that you can’t mention.

Matt: No, I’m not going to mention that.

Jeff: But, give Isaac some help now.

Matt: That Stressed Nervous System that we’re talking about, that helps with Long Term Memory, Gut Instincts and Intuition. It totally screws with Concentration Span, Focus and Attention to Detail. So, it’s very important to get that HPA Stress Axis under control or the other systems simply just can’t work. So, when people talk about Foggy Head and all that stuff, often what they’re finding is, as part of a Stress Response we get this thing called Disassociation where our head separates from our body so we don’t feel pain. It doesn’t actually do it but it feels like it. And, then what it also does it works on Gut Instincts and Intuition, that’s helpful during a Survival Response. No one is going to stop, read a map, it’s like, “What did I do last time I was in this situation,” or, “What are my Gut Instincts tell me to do?” And, Far Vision is helpful. Close Vision and Attention to Detail is useless. So, during a Survival Response Short Term Memory, Close Vision, Attention to Detail, all that stuff is totally switched off. Long Term Memory, Gut Instincts, Autopilot, Far Vision, that’s what takes over. So, fix that with our Adaptogenic style treatment.

Jeff: Is there anything else then, and obviously there are a lot of products out there, Smart Drugs they call them and all that sort of stuff.

Matt: There’s heaps, but the big picture is more important. If you’ve got priorities in your body that are focusing on Survival because it thinks your head is about to pop and all that sort of stuff, it’s not going to worry about Short Term Memory and Concentration Span because that’s not going to help you survive the hour or the day.

Jeff: So, you think with Isaac it’s probably a Stress Response?

Matt: Yeah, balance it out, see what happens.

Jeff: Alright, cool. Anything else, Matt? Do you want to talk about anything else? Is there anything else we can talk about with regards to Mental Clarity, Focus, that sort of stuff?

Matt: No.

Jeff: No, we can’t.

Matt: We’ll talk about it later.

Jeff: Mm. Oh, Isaac’s being a bit nosy. Alright, thanks Isaac.

Matt: Nice one, Isaac.

Jeff: Brilliant. Well, thanks Matt. Is there anything else? Last word?

Matt: No, we have to start thinking of one.

Jeff: No, that’s okay. You’re batting 100%, you’ve never had one since we’ve started this. But look, thanks everyone for listening, I hope that you found that interesting.

We’ll be back next week with some more, and if you’ve got any questions in the meantime send them through.

Matt: Want a final last word suggestion?

Jeff: Yeah, stay tuned for next week, and thanks for listening. Thank you guys, bye.


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