This week we are going to talk about how to have more energy! My guest is going to tell us the five steps that you can take right now to have more energy.

My guest today is going to talk about the five most common reasons that you have no energy. He gives you tangible things that you can start doing now or things that you can look into and research to add later. He also works one on one like I do. So if you’re feeling like you’re at the point where you want testing done and you want to get down to the root cause of your issues, reach out to either Dr. Rodger or myself and work with us one on one because there is hope. You don’t have to stay in the broken system of waiting until you have a diagnosis to get medication and “treat the issue”.

Medicines are just covering up your symptoms. It might prevent the progression of your disease so that it doesn’t get worse right away, but it’s not going to get you well. You’re not going to restore your health, be optimized and feel well. Question the care that you’re receiving. If it’s not making you feel any better don’t be afraid to leave this system and look for alternatives. That is, where functional medicine, integrative medicine, natural medicine all shine because we’re figuring out what is the root cause of the issue and solving that.

In this blog post, we are going to talk about…

  • The five things that you can do to have more energy.

  • Some amazing supplements that will help you sleep better and handle stress.

  • The number one thing that is killing your energy and sabotaging your efforts to improve your health.

Who is Dr. Rodger Murphree?

Dr. Rodger Murphree is a graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham. He’s a board-certified chiropractic physician and board-certified nutritional specialist. His Murphree method, a combination of functional and orthomolecular medicine, has helped thousands of patients get healthy and feel good again. He has written 5 books for patients and doctors including “Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome“, “Heart Disease: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You, “Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression With Orthomolecular Medicine”, and “Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Patient’s Manual.”

Dr. Murphy is the founder of Essential Therapeutics, a company focused on providing pure pharmaceutical grade natural supplements to help others get healthy and stay healthy. He is also a frequent guest on local and national radio and television programs including NBC, Fox, and ABC. He writes for several professional and public health-related publications. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, as well as peer-reviewed professional journals, including Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Chiropractor, Economics Alternative Fibromyalgia News magazine, and The American Chiropractor and Neutral News.

Welcome Back to The Functional Gynecologist Dr. Rodger!

Dr. Rodger: I’m so delighted to be here. 

Dr. Tabatha: You’re such a delight! This is gonna be a lot of fun. I know we always have great conversations together. I’m so glad that you’re back today because we have a lot more to talk about right? 

Dr. Rodger: We do. Given the world we’re living in right now, I think the topic we’re going to be focusing on today is really going to be well received. 

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, I would say energy or lack thereof is probably the number one complaint in my patients. They seek me out because they are tired of being tired and they can’t figure it out. It sounds like that’s what you’re seeing as well. 

If you just look at what we’ve gone through over the last year and a half to two years between the pandemic, the politics, coming to terms with racial injustice. It’s exhausting. It’s no wonder people are exhausted right now. If there ever were a time that you could raise your hand and say, legitimately, you have a reason to be exhausted This is this is it, right?

It presents physically in so many ways, but fatigue is probably the biggest thing that comes from all of that mental exhaustion.

Let’s Talk About The Five Things People Can Do Right Now To Get Their Energy Back

Dr. Rodger: If people can really focus on these five things. They will see a big improvement in their energy, both mentally and physically.

Number 1: Lack of Sleep.

Between the stress of everything that’s gone on, people working from home now, worry whether it’s financial worries, worry about the pandemic, politics or personal safety. I really have seen that people are really struggling to get that deep restored to sleep that they need each night. 

What are the main reasons that people aren’t getting enough sleep? 

I think that people are just stressed out. When you’re stressed out, hormones are being released that really sabotage your sleep hormone melatonin. I have numerous people that tell me that they wake up tired. Then after six or seven cups of coffee or energy drinks they finally get a little bit of energy in the afternoon, and then they can’t fall asleep at night.

Part of that is increased caffeine and sugar consumption. People are self-sabotaging themselves so they can’t get a good night’s sleep. The other part of it is, I think people are just physically exhausted. They wake up tired and they’re tired all day. Then somewhere close to bedtime, they get their second wind. They should be getting ready to go to bed, but it’s the only time they’ve had any energy. The next thing you know they’re doing everything around the house that they couldn’t do earlier. They miss their window to be able to get into bed and get to sleep at a decent hour.

Dr. Tabatha – Yep, that sounds like adrenal dysfunction that we’re all feeling. Do you usually test your patients for adrenal fatigue? I usually do, because it’s that common.

Dr. Rodger: Absolutely! I really have focused on Fibromyalgia for the last couple of decades. Anybody with fibromyalgia struggles to fall asleep, stay asleep and they never feel refreshed. A big part of that is knowing, some tips and tricks. Some of it is developing good sleep habits. One of those habits is winding down as it gets dark outside. It’s Mother Nature’s sign that we’re supposed to start getting rid of all the stimulation.

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, definitely! I’ve had patients who tell me that they are exercising after dinner. That’s not a good idea, because it makes it hard to fall asleep at night. I also think another big problem is that we’re stimulated by our phones, TVs, and iPads until we go to bed. We haven’t processed any of our thoughts all day long. Your body needs to take time to process everything. I think sleep to me is the number one thing you have to get right no matter what because if you’re not getting deep restorative sleep your body is not able to repair itself. You’re not going to feel well. We also know if you’re not getting deep restorative sleep, your inflammatory chemicals go up by 40%.

If you’re not getting deep restored to sleep, your metabolism goes down. You may gain some weight. That puts more stress on your thyroid, which can cause you to develop Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism. It further further depletes your stress coping hormones like cortisol. and DHEA. Lack of sleep is a recipe for poor health. 

Dr. Rodger: It doesn’t matter what illness I’m working with. That’s the first place I look to see if there is something we need to fix before I look at anything else because lack of sleep will derail my efforts elsewhere. 

Watch the entire video version of this interview here.

Can Melatonin Help?

A lot of people have tried taking melatonin to help them sleep and I think melatonin can be very helpful, but I also like GABA combined with ashwagandha, valerian root, and passionflower. They are all combined in a product I created called Delta Sleep. It’s very relaxing and calming to help you wind down and turn your mind off. You can also take it during the night if you wake up in the middle of the night.

You don’t want to take melatonin at three a.m. because it can make you feel lethargic the next day or maybe hungover, but you can take GABA or something similar that would allow you to fall back to sleep like L-theanine.

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, I love L-theanine and I think that’s a really nice addition to help women sleep. If anybody’s listening and they’re on Ambien, Nortriptyline, Elavil you can get off of them. You can try something natural that will help restore your body to health.

Dr. Rodger: In my practice, 95% of my patients are able to get off prescription sleep medication by following the natural sleep protocols that I use. So it definitely can be done. I don’t have a problem using natural supplements like GABA or melatonin along with prescription sleep aids, at least initially until they can wean off them. You can’t just stop those things.

Number 2: Work on Managing Stress

Number two really goes right with number one because if you’re not getting good restored sleep, you’re more likely to feel stressed out the next day. We all have a stress-coping savings account. As we go through the day, we’re using these chemicals and hormones to allow us to deal with the stress. Any kind of stimulation, Loud noises, bright lights, a letter from the I. R. S… any kind of stressor we have to deal with causes our body to release certain chemicals to allow us to deal with the stress. One of the ways that we make deposits into our stress-coping savings account is by getting enough rest.

You’ve also got to take action to manage your stress because if you don’t, you’re running on nervous energy. It’s mentally exhausting. Eventually, it exhausts your physical energy too. Then you’re stuck in this vicious cycle. You can’t sleep, you are stressed out and running on nervous energy so you can’t sleep…It just keeps repeating.

Dr. Rodger: The sad thing is, if you tell your family practitioner, then they’ll probably write you an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication. There are natural ways to fix that. For starters, take amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, but when they’re combined with B vitamins and minerals, they turn into brain chemicals. 

One of the amino acids that I use a lot with my patients is GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). You can get this anywhere, and GABA works very very well to calm things down within minutes after you take it. For my patients who are really struggling just feeling anxious, I will encourage them to take a product that I’ve developed. But the main ingredient in that is gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which is very calming and very relaxing.

You touched on something that I haven’t really even thought about. Your digestion. Your diet really plays a big role in how much energy you have mentally and physically, but part of that is what you absorb. For many people, they don’t make enough digestive enzymes. So it just sits there and it doesn’t get digested. 

Almost everybody, especially after the age of, 40, should take a digestive enzyme with every meal to make sure you’re digesting your food and getting the nutrients out of those foods so your body has the chemicals it needs to be able to handle the stress and make the hormones you need for energy. 

Yeah, I think there’s a huge issue with pancreatic insufficiency over the age of 40. Like you mentioned. It’s just the lifestyle we live and the natural aging process. We’re not making digestive enzymes properly and then we’re worsening that by taking antacids that suppress your digestive function.

Add to that, that you’re not making enough digestive enzymes so the food is not getting digested and assimilated properly. I think that’s a huge issue. 

What else is depleting our energy Dr. Rodger? 

Number 3: Support Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing cortisol, DHEA and adrenaline. If we are under too much stress for too long, (chronic stress), we tend to develop adrenal fatigue. In conventional medicine, they really don’t acknowledge that.

This is where you deplete your cortisol levels to the point you start to have physical and mental fatigue. I remember living through that. Hitting snooze 10 times, not wanting to get out of bed. You have to talk yourself into everything because you just don’t have the energy to do it. I even had a few episodes where I woke up in the morning and passed out because my blood pressure didn’t rise. My adrenals were like, Nope, we’re not doing this anymore. 

The common symptoms of adrenal fatigue are

  • fatigue

  • the inability to handle stress

  • loss of stamina

  • craving salty foods

  • apathy

  • cold hands

  • cold feet

  • tingling in hands and feet

  • mental lethargy

  • low moods

How Can You Recognize Adrenal Fatigue?

In adrenal fatigue stress really becomes magnified to the point that some people get so run down with adrenal fatigue that anything sets them off. They become, vulnerable to any kind of stimulation. Loud noises, bright lights things that you and I would just take for granted. They get to where it can be so bad that they don’t even want to leave the house because they just can’t handle any stimulation. 

How would you even begin to help a patient like that? I use an over-the-counter glandular. It’s called Adrenal Cortex. It just has the cortex part of the adrenal gland. That’s important, because if you use a whole glandular. They are going to be revved up too much because the whole glandular contains the medulla which has adrenaline in it. It will make you feel worse.

By the way, if you are thinking you might have adrenal fatigue, you can self-test. Take your blood pressure lying down and then standing up. Make sure your left arm is perpendicular out front at heart level and take it again. What you should see is that the top number (the systolic numbers) should go up. if it drops, that’s a sign of adrenal fatigue. Another way you can test for adrenal fatigue is by going into a dark bathroom. Cover one eye. Take a pin light and shine it in the other eye while you’re looking in the mirror. What you should see is that the pupil should constrict. It should get smaller. If it gets enlarged/dilates, that’s a sign of adrenal fatigue. 

Number 4: Fix Your Thyroid

I always want to treat adrenal fatigue issues first because I find a lot of times that takes care of the problem with low thyroid. But low thyroid is definitely number four. It’s more common than conventional doctors diagnose. We’re trained to just check the TSH level because that is the master hormone coming from the brain thyroid-stimulating hormone. The assumption is, if you’re making enough thyroid hormone, that level will be normal.

You Really Should Test More Than Just TSH with the Thyroid

When they only check TSH, they’re ignoring the other factors that are changing the TSH level, namely reverse T3 I see all of the time. When reverse T3 is elevated from inflammation, heavy metals, and infections. That makes the TSH look normal when in fact the patient feels like crap. It’s really frustrating for the patient, but as functional medicine doctors, it’s frustrating because we see people that have been on the medical merry go around. They’ve been to all these different doctors and, you know, they’re on probably half a dozen drugs that are treating symptoms, for example, they’re on Adderall for no energy, cholesterol medication because their thyroid is not working correctly. Maybe they’re on an antidepressant because they’re depressed and maybe Lyrica because they’re getting tingling in their hands and feet.

If just one of those many doctors that they’ve gone to had done the right testing, found the problem with the thyroid and treated it instead of treating all the symptoms triggered by the low thyroid, this person would have their life back. 

Dr. Tabatha: I really love the point that you made about treating the adrenals first because I see that all the time as well. The thyroid is just taking on the burden of other systems. When other systems are struggling, the thyroid works harder. It’s like a workhorse, it will step in and it will take on the burden when other systems aren’t functioning optimally. Once the adrenals and the sex hormones are balanced, the thyroid will oftentimes go back into balance because it’s no longer doing all that extra work. Do you see that as well? 

Dr. Rodger: Absolutely. The number one catalyst for disease is stress. When the thyroid gets under too much stress, it starts to work ineffectively. 

The number one catalyst for disease is stress. When the thyroid gets under too much stress, it starts to work ineffectively.

— Dr. Rodger

The body is healing itself all of the time and making the needed adjustments to keep you healthy. As you get into middle age and you get under one too many stressors, something comes along that is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. When that happens, the body is not able to handle whatever the last thing was. Maybe in years past, your body was able to handle what you threw at it without issue a diet full of white flour, fast food, and soda was no problem.

However, as you get older, more and more toxins build up, your body gets more stressed, then you start to develop things that you never even thought about. You start getting crazy reactions to foods that you’ve eaten for 40 years now. Suddenly, you can’t eat dairy anymore or you can’t eat gluten. These food allergies start to trigger autoimmune reactions, but it can be all sorts of things that develop from stress. Nutritional deficiencies create vitamin D or B deficiencies that then trigger these autoimmune reactions. It’s so important to figure out what’s really going on.

Take Hypothyroidism for example. You can have all the symptoms. Fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol tingling in your hands and feet, cold hands and feet swelling weight gain. All these things can be there for years, and your TSH may be normal for years. So your doctor does nothing.

Eventually, when the body attacks the thyroid to the point where there is no thyroid tissue left then finally, the TSH goes up and your family doctor or endocrinologist says, now we can put you on Synthroid. The patient then thinks that they just need to be on this prescription thyroid medication. It’s not that you need the thyroid hormone, you need to see what is causing the thyroid to be attacked and fix that.

That’s what I see in all of my patients. They come to me saying, I’ve been on Synthroid for five years, 10 years and I’ve just never felt well since I started it. I can’t lose weight. I have no energy. I just don’t even feel like me anymore. They get frustrated because they’re being told that they should feel better on this medicine when in fact it’s not that you need the medicine, it’s that you need to stop the attack. What else robs our energy?

Number 5: Diet

If you really, really run down, it’s hard to get your health back to where you want it. Eating healthy you can. That’s the long game. You can’t do it without that. If you’re just eating junk day in and day out your body is trying to work, using this junk as fuel.

People don’t know. They just don’t realize what’s healthy and what’s not. To make it simple, I think if you just eat on the outside aisles of the supermarket, stick with the fruits and the vegetables, meat, seafood, eggs, dairy (if you can tolerate dairy). Steer clear of the stuff on the inside of the isles, all the pre-packaged foods, the colored drinks, etc. If you’ll steer clear of all of that I think you’re going to be in good shape. 

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, I call them Franken Foods because it’s not really food. It’s just these things that they make up in the factories and it sickens me that we can even call them food. It’s chemical experiments, and I know personally when I stopped eating potato chips, cheap salad dressings, and deep-fried food from restaurants that had a huge impact on me because I was just piling on the inflammation and not getting any of the healthy fats. I couldn’t make my hormones and heal my cells. I love the idea that you have to change your diet in order to reclaim your health, but you also have to replace the vitamins and minerals that are missing right?

Dr. Rodger: Definitely, this is where it really helps to see a functional medicine doctor. They will do the tests that will help you to find the missing pieces in your diet and identify supplements that you should take. I think it definitely helps to take a digestive enzyme to ensure that you are getting the benefit of the healthy foods that you eat. A good multivitamin is also great for filling in the gaps in your diet as well.

Where Can my Listeners Find You? 

Well, they can connect with me on my website. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram. Plus, I have a new podcast called the Super Healthy Human Podcast. It’s more generalized so that anybody will be able to listen to that podcast and find a segment that will benefit them, whether it’s on hormone replacement therapy (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) or how to overcome anxiety and depression with Orthomolecular medicine, which is natural approaches to mood disorders or how to fix your Hashimoto’s. It’s much broader in scope. 

Dr. Tabatha: That’s awesome. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. This has been great!

To Wrap it Up

My favorite takeaway from this interview was how you can use GABA to help reduce anxiety or improve sleep. Sleep is the number one thing that you should focus on if you aren’t feeling well. Followed by managing stress, supporting your adrenal glands, figuring out thyroid problems and eating a diet rich in whole foods, and eliminating packaged foods from your diet.

Remember, you don’t have to do what your doctor says. You don’t have to just take that pill and keep feeling crappy. There are other options and it really is about discovering what your body needs, how it needs to be supported, what you need to remove from your life so that it can get back to optimal health. Your body has an amazing innate intelligence. It wants to be in homeostasis. It wants to heal.

Would you like help to discover the keys to amazing health for yourself? I would be so honored if you reached out to me for one on one guidance. I see women all over the country and even beyond the United States. Book a call to learn more.