Ep. 42: Tracy Freeman, MD - Is fatigue keeping you from your optimal life? The antidote is here.
We are so excited to have Dr. Tracy Freeman (BB&R’s Chief Medical Officer) in the studio today to share her thoughts on fatigue. She is a doctor who specializes in holistic medicine and integrative medicine.
Dr. Freeman is noticing more and more people coming into her office who are complaining that they lack the energy to live their optimal lives. This can be caused by being over scheduled. We create ongoing and never ending duties and to do lists that undermine our well being. Women often feel that they need to keep going going going and doing doing doing.
She explains that vitamin D3 can help fight fatigue. Vitamin D3 is actually not a vitamin it is a hormone that integrates with the cholesterol in our skin. Fair skinned people need 10 minutes of sun a day (when at it’s high point 11am to 1pm). Dark skin people need about 30 minutes a day.
Dr. Freeman also talks about our second brain (our gut) and breaks down what you need to know about probiotics. She talks about how to rotate brands of pills (minimum 25 billion CFU) and get them naturally in things like apple cider vinegar and fermented foods.
The light on computer screens can also keep our brain in day mode, but herbs like basil, ashwagandha and rhodiola actually tell the brain, “just take it easy for a moment let it go”. If you have problems staying asleep your adrenal glands may be overworked from stress and chronic fatigue.
If you are feeling severe and chronic fatigue that is not linked to your lifestyle it might be time for a workup on anemia, mono or lyme disease.
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[01:26] I want to talk about fatigue today and I think that's because I see that a lot of it in the office. I see so many people come in complaining that they're just not living their optimal lives because they lack the energy to do what they need to do. In part I think that's being over scheduled -- being people who have to take care of children, work and try and slip in sleep somewhere in the middle of all that. And that actually doesn't work out all the time.
[05:06] But I think people get confused with it and it's a misnomer, vitamin D3 is not a vitamin it's a hormone that integrates with the cholesterol in our skin and from there travels around through the body.
[05:41] How much is the right amount of sun to get for vitamin D? That depends on complexion. So the fairer you are really you only need 10 minutes a day on your face and arms. That would be at a high point for Sun so probably between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 PM. If you're very dark skinned you're looking at 30 minutes of sun in a day to get your daily dose.
[09:04] Linus Pauling he did a lot of vitamin C working against cancer and helping your immune system and things of that nature.
[09:46] The reality is we're more bacteria (microbial) than we are human in terms of cells. So we have to make peace with the fact that bacteria are a part of us and we shouldn't be out to kill every single one of them.
[12:38] I advise people to get at least 25 billion CFU. (probiotics)
[13:22] We call our gut the second brain. The gut also has hormones that it creates that are very famous in the brain, serotonin being the main one.
[14:30] This even been shown that people who have kidney stones they're missing a particular probiotic that other people don't have.
[16:46] The American woman is the most constipated creature on the planet. The you said over and over again and it's true because psychologically we need to be relaxed.
[17:44] Some of it is our own fault because we put ourselves in front of computers and that gives off a light that tells our brain that says “Hey it's still daytime so no need to start winding down” -- we are going to keep going. We were designed to kind of work with the sun and if we create an artificial sun then the body doesn't know how to shut down.
[18:33] Basil, ashwanganda and rhodiola actually tell the brain just take it easy for a moment let it go. Otherwise we have a never ending to do list in her head. For some people it's not a matter of falling asleep -- it's a matter of staying asleep which actually is I think a little bit more common.
[19:19] Falling asleep is easier to treat if that's the issue staying asleep is harder because it usually involves the adrenal glands and adrenal fatigue.
[19:47] The funny thing that my (government shut down) patients learned from the shut down is that the world won’t stop without them… It was a good lesson for them to realize that they can take a break and things will still go okay.
[20:12] Naturally I see that mostly in women as well that need to keep going going going and doing doing doing…. Sleep becomes a pretty serious matter.
[20:24] Without sleep, the cardiovascular disease risk goes up and the cancer risk goes up.
[20:44] The brain needs a break. It needs 15 minutes away to regenerate itself and take a break and then it can come back again and optimally focus -- so you can do it all but only for a period of time.
[21:38] It's almost in the genetic code because I honestly used to look at women before I had kids like why on earth are you putting these men before you and these children before you -- take care of yourself. And now I am that woman.
[22:24] The CDC has said that out of the top six causes death five of them related to stress.
[22:38] Europeans who on their six week vacation time they get this break and you're like, “I'm glad I got a week”… I know it's a mentality and a difference that we have prided ourselves on. We all think work is supreme and we're going the wrong way.
[24:52] Tricia: The 4-7-8 from Dr. Weil is one that I know we use with a lot of people. You breathe in for four breaths, hold it for seven and then blow out four eight. And then you just do it routinely routinely. You can't be stressed when you take deep breaths.
[26:32] Tricia: The idea that we talk about a lot is that -- stress really doesn't exist. There is no stress there is none. Because if it was there it would be the same for all of us. So it's really the way that we react to situations. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who's one of our great teachers, has taught us that it's really the reaction to the situation and that is in your control.
Thank you for joining us on HealthGig. We loved having you with us. We hope you'll tune in again next week. In the meantime, be sure to like and subscribe to this podcast, and follow us on healthgigpod.com.
“The reality is we're more bacteria (microbial) than we are human in terms of cells. So we have to make peace with the fact that bacteria is a part of us and we shouldn't be out to kill every single one of them.” – Tracy Freedman, MD
“We call our gut the second brain. The gut also has hormones that it creates that are very famous in the brain, serotonin being the main one.” – Tracy Freedman, MD
“The brain needs a break. It needs 15 minutes away to regenerate itself and take a break and then it can come back again and optimally focus -- so you can do it all but only for a period of time.” – Tracy Freedman, MD
“It's almost in the genetic code because I honestly used to look at women before I had kids like why on earth are you putting these men before you and these children before you -- take care of yourself. And now I am that woman. ” – Tracy Freedman, MD
“The CDC has said that out of the top six causes death five of them are related to stress.” – Tracy Freedman, MD
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