Evan H. Hirsch, MD - Episode 1
The causes of fatigue and the 4 step process to resolving them (Part 1)
Evan H. Hirsch, MD - Episode 1
The causes of fatigue and the 4 step process to resolving them (Part 1)
Dr. Evan Hirsch is the #1 best selling author of Fix Your Fatigue: The 4 step process to resolving fatigue, achieving abundant energy and reclaiming your life!
He is also one of the world’s leading experts on finding the root causes of fatigue and resolving them naturally.
He suffered with fatigue for 5 years before he achieved resolution using the Fix Your Fatigue Program that he developed in his medical practice.
He has helped thousands of people optimize their energy naturally and is on a mission to help 1 million more through his online programs and the training of providers.
He works mainly with exhausted, health-conscious, mission-driven achievers who can’t reach their potential because of fatigue and low energy.
In 2018, he transitioned to a virtual practice so that he could work remotely with people around the world. He now helps other doctors do the same so that they can have more impact, more success and a greater quality of life.
He has lectured nationally and internationally on topics in integrative and functional medicine and is board certified in family medicine and integrative medicine.
When he’s not at the office, you can find him singing musicals, playing basketball, traveling, dancing hip-hop, and spending time with his wife and daughter.
Evan H. Hirsch, MD: Hello, and welcome to the Fix Your Fatigue Podcast. Whether you can't get out of bed in the morning, your energy crashes throughout the day, or you're a biohacker looking to optimize your energy, productivity, and focus. This podcast is for you. I am Dr. Evan Hirsch. And I will be your host on your journey to resolving fatigue and optimizing your energy. And we'll be interviewing some of the top leaders in the world on fatigue resolution. Welcome.
Evan H. Hirsch, MD: Okay, great. Welcome. Welcome. So today, we're going to be talking about the causes of fatigue and the four-step process to resolving them. So first off, congratulations. Every time you take another step in this process, you're going to get better and better, and you're committing to getting better, which I really want to applaud you for. So we're going to talk today about my story of fatigue, the causes of fatigue that I had, and how it led me to learning about all of the causes of fatigue, and then the four steps to resolving fatigue. So, here's my story.
So when I first entered residency, I was just coming off of a yoga meditation retreat, actually a yoga teacher training at Kripalu in Western Massachusetts. That's me on the left there 2004 I had been traveling I went to Australia and New Zealand, and I was just having just a wonderful time with life. And then I entered residency, came out to Western Washington. That's me actually with a bunch of acupuncture needles, I believe, coming out of my ears. Some of the electives that I had done fourth year of medical school. I think that was at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. But I started my residency in Family medicine through the University of Washington's program in Olympia, Washington.
So about a month in, I met my amazing wife to be Stacy here on the right. And we fell in love. And unfortunately, about three months later, she had chronic fatigue. She had a really hard time getting out of bed. She went from practitioner to practitioner, and so finally, she found a naturopath who would run an adrenal stress index on her. And her cortisol pretty much had flatlined. And I was in residency, I was learning all this stuff about Conventional medicine, and I couldn't help her. I felt completely powerless. And I asked everybody that I could all of my attendings and specialists about fatigue and nobody really had any answers. We'll kind of get into in a little bit about what Conventional medicine has to offer in terms of fatigue, but they really couldn't. I would come home. I would I didn't have much time to do some research. And I didn't really get anywhere.
Fortunately, she got better after about three years. And so in 2006, we got married 2007. I graduated from residency after three years in residency. And then 2008, started a practice and had a child. And Stacy was just coming out of her fatigue. And then I went into my fatigue. So it was kind of like a bathtub that was slowly being filled. I was felt like I was swimming, trying to just barely keep my head above water. My brain fog got so bad that I could barely remember the person in front of me. Now, fortunately, I was able to focus on them long enough to practice good medicine, but once they were out of that chair, thank goodness I had an electronic medical record because I couldn't remember anything about them.
And that was really challenging. I had to hire other practitioners to come on board to cover the overhead. I had staff at that time. I had the cost of the building, the rent, lots of costs. And so I had to bring on somebody else because I could only work couple hours a day. And then I had to lie down. And I really couldn't function at home. I couldn't help out my wife, which really pushed my buttons on guilt and shame. I felt awful about myself. I couldn't play. I couldn't help out with my new daughter. So I was really struggling, and that went on for five years.
And so my quest to finding the cause of my fatigue, where I started off in Conventional medicine, I got board-certified, and I was looking at the conventional cause of fatigue, which really are just thyroid. There are some other ones more severe ones like hepatitis, lung problems, liver problems, heart problems, but nothing of the kind of chronic fatigue nature that is more common and less severe. I then learned about Integrative medicine, I got board certified in it, and I learned about how to replace any sort of deficiencies that were present. So nutrients, hormones, I learned a lot about lifestyle, a lot about the importance of food, eating the right foods, removing the bad foods, food toxins. And then, I learned about Functional Medicine.
So basically, a biochemical look at individuals. So what is an individual's biochemistry? How are they different from this person over here? And what are the areas of imbalance? Inflammation, immune system looking more at areas of imbalance, as opposed to just like a one size fits all and looking more at individualizing medicine, and it was this new paradigm that was really exciting. And then what Functional medicine couldn't teach me didn't have to offer I went and learned from Environmental Medicine. And I learned more about the toxicities, heavy metals, chemicals, molds, and infections that we'll get into in a little bit. So, top of the screen is what we used to think the old paradigm kind of just labeling things. And then the new paradigm is the bottom is the roots. What are the root causes? You're never going to go wrong if you're always looking for the root causes, and always asking, "Well, what's the cause of that? And what's the cause of that? And what's the cause of that?" Saying that diabetes is the cause of somebody's symptoms is just the first step.
The next step is what is the cause of the diabetes? And then what's the cause of that? And then what's the cause of that? Kind of moving down that until you really get to the root causes of these problems. So and what I found were the real causes of fatigue, which can be grouped into two groups, deficiencies, and toxicities. So, for deficiencies, I found that there were nutrient deficiencies, which included vitamins like vitamin D, B12, other B vitamins. Minerals like magnesium, iron, selenium, I learned about hormonal deficiencies. So the adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, sleep issues, sleep deficiencies of people aren't getting enough sleep. They're not getting good quality of sleep. They're snoring, or they have sleep apnea, having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. People who had a lack of or an excess of movement or exercise. So for a lot of my patients, they are not able to exercise because of their fatigue, and there are a lot of, and sometimes people get fatigued from having excess exercise, okay?
So sometimes I find that people read online that if they have fatigue, they just need to exercise harder, and all that does is drain their adrenals. But then there are people who are more sedentary who need to exercise more. Dehydration, so most of us are walking around dehydrated, not drinking enough water, deficiency, and water. Deficiency in organic food. There's the nutrients that are going to come from the food, the quality of the food, the antioxidants, the energy of the food. We'll talk more about food toxins or food allergies when we get to the toxicities. Then mitochondria, so the energy center of every cell in the body except for red blood cells is the mitochondria.
It produces about 70% of our ATP or our energy and so incredibly important and can be damaged by a lot of the toxicities we're going to talk about. Heavy metals, chemicals, molds, infections, allergies. And once it is damaged, it has to be you have to remove the toxicities, but you also have to rebuild the mitochondria. Fatty acids or cell repair this goes along kind of with mitochondria, but there is a cell membrane that exists around every single cell in the body, there's over 100 trillion of them. And those cells are responsible for communication. So oftentimes, when we have memory issues or brain fog, we don't have good cell to cell communication or outside of cells to inside of cell communication. And that all has to do with this lipophilic membrane, this membrane that's made up of fats. So very important. Also important to remember that 60% of the brain is fat. So we have to get the good fats in and in the right ratios. And then neurotransmitter deficiencies like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, GABA.
So and then, the other group is the toxicities. So this is the heavy metals. So there are 100,000 pounds, well over 100,000 pounds at this stage of mercury that's dumped into the oceans every single year by coal plants. Okay, and now, we have found that every single thing that comes out of the oceans all marine life, has some mercury in it. So very toxic, and a huge problem. There are 84,000 chemicals that were exposed to on a regular basis that haven't been necessarily evaluated appropriately by the FDA. And these are cosmetics. These are household products, and then electromagnetic frequencies. So everything that has a battery, we can disrupt our DNA. We're talking, a lot of people are talking about 5G coming to their areas, and that I think would be catastrophic because we're finding that the more toxicities that people have, the more they're affected by these electromagnetic frequencies. I have some clients who drive down the road and if they can tell because they get neuropathy in their feet if they're getting close to a cell tower, or a power plant station. So very toxic and a big part of fatigue causes.
Evan H. Hirsch, MD: I hope you learned something on today's podcast. If you did, please share it with your friends and family and leave us a five-star review on iTunes. It's really helpful for getting this information out to more fatigue people desperately needed. Sharing all the experts I know and love and the powerful tips I have on fatigue is one of my absolute favorite things to do. If you'd like more information, please sign up for my newsletter, where I share all important facts and information about fatigue from the foods and supplements to the programs and products that I use personally and recommend to others so that they can live their best lives.
Just go to fixyourfatigue.com/newsletter to sign up, and I will send you this great information. Thanks for being part of my community. Just a reminder, this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. It is provided with the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.
If you're looking for help with your fatigue, you can visit my website and work with us at fixyourfatigue.com and remember, it's important that you have someone in your corner who is a credentialed healthcare professional to help you make changes. This is very important and especially when it comes to your health. Thanks for listening, and have an amazing day.