Hormones and neurotransmitters can affect your energy production which can cause fatigue. These need to be regulated to treat fatigue.
In this video you will learn:
- What are hormones?
- How does the thyroid affect fatigue?
- How does cortisol affect fatigue?
- The role of neurotransmitters
- What else plays a role in fatigue?
Hi, this is Dr. Minkoff, LifeWorks Wellness Center.
We’ve been talking about fatigue and I want to now relate fatigue to hormones and to neurotransmitters. These are two areas that can affect how much energy you have okay.
Now hormones play a very important role, hormones are signaling molecules.
They are chemicals that give your cells instructions. Probably in fatigue the most important one is thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormone sends a message to the cell that the cell is supposed to make energy and it’s supposed to make these little factories in the cell which make the energy called mitochondria, they’re under control of the thyroid.
Now many people have low thyroid and they don’t know it or they’ve done a routine screening thyroid test like a TSH and it looks okay to the doctor and they say you’re okay.
But they’re tired and they have dry skin and they’re losing hair and they’re constipated and they really are hypothyroid but the test that was used to screen them wasn’t accurate enough to show it.
So you want to make sure if you’re tired, that your thyroid is in normal range and in order to do that you have to do a couple of blood tests that include the thyroid.
TSH which is thyroid stimulating hormone, that’s the brain part of it
and then two hormones from the thyroid gland Free T3, free T4, these usually aren’t ordered by regular physicians. They usually just do a TSH, sometimes a T4 but you want a free T3, free T4, TSH.
The ranges that are given for normal are averages of the population, they’re not optimums and they may not be normal for you.
So if the, if the normal range, if the range of 80 percent of the population that’s gone into the laboratory on free T4 is maybe 0.8 to 1.5 and your point nine, so you’re just a tenth of a point above, chances are that’s not enough for your body. Your body might need 1.2 or 1.3, it might need it higher.
Yet when the physician looks at the lab test and he sees that it’s in the normal range he may tell you that you’re fine, but you have every symptom of hypothyroid and you’re right, you are hypothyroid.
So you need to see a physician who knows how to read these things and can look at them properly. Another thing involved with fatigue is cortisol, hydrocortisone. This is a hormone made by the adrenal gland. The adrenal glands are in the back, right above the kidney, so it’s above your ribs in the mid back on either side, you have two of them.
They’re about the size of maybe an almond, they’re not very big, a little bigger than that and they control a hormone called cortisol.
And cortisol is supposed to be the highest in the morning and the lowest at night and during the day there’s a curve which makes it go down.
So sometimes people have adrenal glands that are so exhausted that they don’t make enough cortisol to be high in the morning or at noon or at night then instead of the curve going from high to low, you do the cortisone curve and it’s flat right across the bottom. Those people will be exhausted, they will be fatigued, they will often have trouble with brain fog, they will definitely have trouble with energy
and their adrenal glands are just basically burned out. They usually have low blood pressure, they are often very thin but sometimes they’re, they can be overweight.
But they need to be measured and if the cortisol levels are too low, a person may need extra hydrocortisone given to get them in a normal range so that their cells can function and they have enough energy, so that they’ll work. Some people, particularly males, if their testosterone is very low, feel lethargic, they don’t have energy, they have poor mood, their bodies feel flabby, they may have low sex drive but their testosterone is low and you can get them on enough testosterone so then their energy comes back, their libido comes back, they feel like their body is actually stronger, their drive is back and it’s a hormone deficiency that has caused them to feel fatigued and lethargic. So these are just examples of things that are easily measured and that are easily correctable that may be an underlying cause, if you have chronic fatigue.
The same thing in women, menopausal women. Their estrogen and progesterone and DHEA may be too low and testosterone and they don’t feel good, they don’t feel energetic, they may be moody, they may feel tired all the time and so hormones in women are also very important. They’re measurable, they’re correctable and the person can feel better. Often times there’s multiple things going on at once.
There’s a chronic low-grade infection,
there’s a chronic low-grade dental infection,
there’s a deficiency of magnesium or zinc or potassium or one of these minerals that’s really important.
There also may be amino acid deficient, they may also have a low borderline low thyroid,
their cortisol may be low and sometimes we find three four things in the person, it isn’t one thing
and when we put the correction in on those things, then their bodies like oh yeah now now it’s good you know. I get up at seven o’clock, I work a full day, I don’t need a nap, I go to bed at 10, I get eight hours of sleep and I do well and that’s what we want.
There’s one other aspect of this and that is there’s these things called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are messenger molecules, they’re communication particles.
If this is a nerve coming out of the brain and that has to connect to another nerve or give an instruction to another nerve that’s going this way,
it doesn’t do it by contact.
It does it by sending a particle or particles, chemical mediators across the space to this guy and they say to him to do something, turn right, turn left, go faster, go slower, shut down, whatever it is.
And anyone that’s got problems with sleep, with mood, low energy, depression, anxiety, has neurotransmitter problems
and neurotransmitters are another one of these areas that we always look into because they’re correctable.
They may come from a nutritional deficiency, they may come from an infection or a toxin that’s actually poisoning the system, so it’s not making neurotransmitters. Most of the neurotransmitters are actually made in the intestine.
There are what, there are cells there called neuroendocrine. So they’re kind of a combination of a nerve and an endocrine so they make hormones or they make neurotransmitters.
And those cells line the small intestine and they’re present in the large intestine
and they have, they get signals from the bacteria that are growing in your colon and between the signals from those bacteria and the cells themselves, they send these neurotransmitters up through the vagus nerve into the brain
and they determine lots of these different things that we’re talking about.
So if you have a bad gut, you don’t have enough bacteria of the right kind or you’ve got bad bacteria or funguses or parasites,
then the relationship between the flora, the things that are growing in your intestine and the neural endocrine cells may be off
and then the neural endocrine cells don’t produce these neurotransmitters in correct amounts or correct relationships
and then what you feel might be lethargy or fatigue or lack of drive or lack of sleep or depression or all these other things okay.
So the gut is a big factor in this too and we always measure, excuse me, stool tests in people so that we can see…
I saw somebody yesterday, they had no good bacteria. They’d had a lot of antibiotics and the good bacteria weren’t even there on culture
and they had three bad bacteria plus a lot of yeast. Now that person of course doesn’t feel good because the bio, the chemicals that are made from the bad bacteria and the yeast go into the system and the good bacteria which are supposed to give signal messages to those neuroendocrine cells aren’t giving the signal messages and that person feels terrible.
And in three or four months we can get the good bacteria in, we can get the bad bacteria out, then these neuroendocrine cells get the right messages. Then we supplement with amino acids and now they can make the neurotransmitters and then the person starts feeling well and they come back and they say gee I’m really sleeping well now
and you know my depression is really lifted, I don’t have it anymore, okay.
So these are very important parts in fatigue and they’re solvable
and almost everybody has these things,
has fatigue for a reason
and we can discover the cause of the fatigue, we can handle it and then they literally get their life back and they feel better and then they’re happy and if they’re happy then we’re happy. Okay, hope this helps.