Lack of sleep can cause an array of health issues, weight gain and overall stress.
Author and board certified physician, Dr. Kyrin Dunston, shares her tips on how to end your fatigue and awake to a healthier, newer, more fabulous YOU.
RadioMD Presents: Wellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: June 5, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: Kyrin Dunston
You’re listening to RadioMD. She’s a chiropractic, holistic physician, best-selling author, international speaker, entrepreneur and talk show host. She’s Dr. Susanne Bennett. It’s time now for Wellness For Life radio. Here’s Dr. Susanne.
DR. SUSANNE: Are you tired of being tired? Not feeling your fabulous self? My next guest is an author and board certified physician specializing in functional medicine and she’s here to share tips on ending your fatigue. Let’s go get awake here, everyone for a new healthier you. Please welcome, Dr. Kyrin Dunston. Doc, the number one complaint I hear from my patients is they are tired all the time and the majority of them have some degree of adrenal fatigue. Do you find this to be true with your patients?
DR. KYRIN: Absolutely. It is the number one complaint. Everybody is tired and typically there are adrenal or cortisol issues so I whole heartedly agree with you.
DR. SUSANNE: Now, when you say cortisol, let’s talk about what is it about it that actually makes us tired?
DR. KYRIN: Cortisol is one of your master hormones. It is produced in the adrenal glands which is in your back on top of your kidneys. You cannot live without cortisol. It’s very important for regulating lots of things such as your sleep-wake cycle. It has a lot to do with your weight, your immune system function. It has a lot to do with your sex drive, too. So, in terms of your sleep-wake cycle cortisol is very important for getting you up in the morning – kind of like starting your car requires a lot of gas. You’ve got to have a lot of cortisol to get going in the morning. And then, your cortisol needs to level out throughout the day at a nice pace where it keeps you energized. Then it has to go down for you to be able to go to sleep. I find that most people have disruptions in the diurnal variation of their cortisol and that is one of the key components of fatigue.
DR. SUSANNE: There is no doubt with cortisol that a lot of people end up having either way not enough in the morning and too much at night. It is completely flip-flopped. And those individuals cannot sleep. When you cannot sleep, obviously, you are going to be tired in the morning. What do you find with your patients and what do you suggest on how to help with that sleeping schedule?
DR. KYRIN: Yes. You are absolutely right, Susanne. The adrenal will cause dysfunction in the cortisol in a varied pattern where you are high at night and low during the day and then you have a disruptive pattern. Some of the things I tell people to do are have a set bed time. Have no lights in the room. Keep it cool. In terms of really helping to balance out the cortisol if it’s become disruptive it’s usually because of too much stress – and we could have a whole conversation about what the adrenal considers stress – I actually recommend that they take some herbal products called adaptogens. Those are things like rhodiola and ashwagandha that help the adrenals if they are high, come down low and if they are low come up. So, t really helps people balance out and get better sleep and have more energy during the day.
DR. SUSANNE: That’s a great, great tip there. Adaptogens. You talk about cortisol and how we need to be sure we sleep better and optimize our sleep-wake cycle. What other factors do you find is the root cause of fatigue?
DR. KYRIN: One of the other huge factors, Susanne, is low thyroid. I have to say, that there is an epidemic of low thyroid. Oftentimes, just like when I first started on this journey andd I had been told my thyroid was functioning normally by my regular physician and then I discovered functional medicine and found out that my thyroid was actually functioning low, I find the same thing with my patients. They come to me they are tired and they may have other symptoms of low thyroid function. They may have hair loss, brittle nails, dry skin, constipation. These are some of the signs and symptoms. We do their thyroid labs. In functional medicine, we actually check eight different parameters in blood versus mainstream physicians will check one or two. Then, when we get the labs back we compare those values to optimally functioning people, we don’t compare them to the general population, like mainstream medicine. I would say about 80% of the people who come to me with fatigue that have been told that they don’t have a thyroid issue, I actually diagnose them with a thyroid issue. Low thyroid is key.
DR. SUSANNE: Can you heal the thyroid naturally?
DR. KYRIN: You can do lots of things to heal the thyroid. In functional medicine we are like toddlers, we are always asking - why. The thyroid is low, why is it low? And some of the common reasons are a deficiency of iodine, for instance. The majority of people have that. Or a deficiency of selenium, for instance. That is an important nutrient for the thyroid. Or toxicity and overabundance in things like fluoride from toothpaste, and chloride from water and bromide from base products. That will displace iodine on the thyroid molecule. We are always asking why, and then we go uncover the why. If you are iodine deficient, the next question is why are you iodine deficient? Typically, that could be poor intake or it could be a gut issue that they are not absorbing the iodine. So, we are always asking why. Yes, you can heal it.
DR. SUSANNE: That’s good to hear because a lot of people I find, when they come into my practice their numbers are all normal, just like you were saying. But then they have these – they are called subclinical hypothyroid where you just can’t tell just from their symptoms. Their clinic symptoms that they are just not right yet. Not enough and that optimal level is so important. In my practice I actually use a great deal of natural formulas just like you suggested. But also, you mentioned about the fluoride. In my book, The 7-Day Allergy Makeover Makeover, I talk all about in day 2 all about how water is so important. We drink too much tap water in this country. The majority of our cities across the U.S. actually fluoridate the water. I know in your book, The Bikini Code, you actually talk about detoxing and eliminating these toxins, right?
DR. KYRIN: Yes, detoxification is key to getting your energy back as well as weight loss. The book is about weight loss. However, what you will find is that really these six imbalances are key for all health issues. They just out picture differently in different people. Some people may have the same underlying causes but be tired. Some people may have the same underlying causes but have overweight, so it varies. But, yes, toxicity and detoxification is key. Filtering your water and removing things – these are called halides – bromine, chlorine and fluoride, removing heavy metals and things like that. Also eating organically. Removing the pesticides and the hormones from your foods. Using natural cleaning products, cosmetics. You want to decrease the consumption of toxins and then you also need to do something to increase your removal of the toxins in your detoxification pathways from the body. So, it’s key to take some of the supplements that I recommend to help you clear your liver and get those pathways open.
DR. SUSANNE: All of that you’re sharing, great information. What it will do is up level your energy level which then, of course, increases your metabolism and helps you get into that bikini code.
DR. KYRIN: Absolutely.
DR. SUSANNE: One last tip I’d like you to share with our listeners, just a couple of seconds. What is your favorite thing to do every day to boost your energy?
DR. KYRIN: Meditate. I love to meditate. I think it is so key for staying focused and centered. I find that my energy and my focus are tremendous when I regularly meditate.
DR. SUSANNE: I love that. Thanks so much. Great talking to you. You gave awesome information and your book, Cracking The Bikini Code. I am excited to read that myself and learn more about your story. I really appreciate you being here, Dr. Dunston. Thank you so much.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Dunston’s program, please visit TrueBalanceMD.com or you can go to my Wellness For Life radio show page on RadioMD and find all of the links there.
This is Dr. Susanne Bennett sharing my natural strategies for ultimate health and wellness right here on RadioMD. Until next time. Stay well.