May 26, 2021

5 Facts To Know About Stress And Its Effect On Health with Dr. Vikki Petersen

5 Facts To Know About Stress And Its Effect On Health with Dr. Vikki Petersen

Our guest is, Dr. Vikki Petersen, She is co-founder of Root Cause Medical Clinics. She’s a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Chiropractor, and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner.

Stress. We have all have it. Work, family, friends, pandemics... it seems as if our collective stress levels have seemed to hit an all-time high throughout this past year. While stress seems like an inevitable, natural response in our everyday lives at this point, it is important to know that it is actually wreaking havoc on your overall health and wellness. 

Dr. Vikki Petersen is co-founder of Root Cause Medical Clinics. She’s a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Chiropractor, and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner. She shares 5 facts to know about stress and its effect on health and what you can do to combat it. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why Stress Causes a Major Imbalance in the Sympathetic & Parasympathetic Nervous System
  • Why Stress Prevents Production of Sex Hormones
  • How Stress Inhibits Melatonin Production
  • Why Under Stress, Your Body Eats Up More B Vitamins and Nutrients
  • How Stress Lowers Your Immune Response


Guest Website

Fit Mess Toolkit



[00:00:00] Dr. Vikki: This is the fit mess conversations with world-class experts in the fields of mental, physical, and emotional health. And this episode, you can't just thank your way into, okay. Today, I'm going to be relaxed. You know, when you have all these imbalances going on and you have all these hormones in a red state, you have to work from the inside, out and the outside in.

[00:00:24] Now, here are your hosts, Zach and Jeremy. 

[00:00:28] Jeremy: Stress, we all have it work, family, friends, pandemics. It seems as if right. Collective stress levels have seemed to hit an all time high throughout this past year. And while stress seemed like an inevitable natural response in our everyday lives at this point.

[00:00:43] It's important to know that it's actually wreaking havoc on your overall health and wellness. Today, we're going to talk about the day damaging effects of stress and what you can do to prevent our guest this week is Dr. Vikki Peterson. She is co-founder of root cosmetic clinics. She's a certified clinical nutritionist chiropractor and certified functional medicine practitioner.

[00:01:03] So I'm by no means immune to stress. It still affects me constantly. This last year has been. But when I think about my relationship with stress, I feel like it has changed a lot since I started this path of wellness or whatever it is that I've been on for the last, uh, as it turns out eight or nine years, I think about how angry I used to get at work about dumb things and how it would just dominate my, my Headspace for days over something somebody would say or something the way somebody would react to work that I put together.

[00:01:37] Was wait, like I had no control over how other people reacted to me, but I allowed their reaction to just control me and stress me out and drive me insane. And it's so, uh, uh, I guess, rewarding to look back and go, you know, this journey that began on a bike started to ease. Some of my stress found myself in a therapist office where he pointed out what some of that stress was and how small it really was.

[00:02:06] And through teaching me, meditation has allowed me to just go, oh my God, none of that shit matters. It just doesn't it like the things that drove me to the brink eight years ago, I don't even like, they don't, they're not even thoughts. They don't even occur to me anymore. Now. It's like, it's the big stuff.

[00:02:26] It's, COVID it's house payments. It's moving. It's jaw. Like it's finding new jobs. It's the big stuff that matters. And it's amazing how. How much we let little things just completely stress us out. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:02:41] Zach: I hear you. There's still a few things in my life that I've led in that are so simple are so small that caused me the greatest amount of stress.

[00:02:54] And just being able to recognize that though and throw them out is so liberating 

[00:02:59] Jeremy: just before we hit record, I got an email from my boss and I was ranting about it and it's like, oh God, it's so frustrating, blah, blah. I'm already over it. Eight years ago that email would have like four days from now. I would still be just stewing over it and just like, ah, just don't understand so dumb, like, but, but when you have the perspective and when you can train yourself to take a minute and pause.

[00:03:23] And reflect on, does this really matter? And that's not easy. That takes a lot of practice and a lot of effort to get to that point. But when you can do that, that's when you can really prioritize which stressors to respond to and how to appropriately respond to them. So I want 

[00:03:39] Zach: to unpack that just a little bit.

[00:03:42] Cause you said, you know, you got, you got on a bike, you started meditating and eight years later, things don't stress you out as much. Sounds too easy. What do you think are some of the bigger contributors to your ability to react and then just let it go? What, what, what's the biggest thing, mindset difference that you've put in place that's, that's allowed you 

[00:04:05] Jeremy: to do that?

[00:04:05] I think the big thing and all of those tools that I mentioned are they create clarity. My, my therapist and, and anyone who's read anything about this kind of work has heard an analogy like this one or this one. So much of our life is just, it's this glass of water. That's just, it's murky and muddy and, and, or you're walking through a river and it's murky and muddy.

[00:04:26] And every step you take, it just kicks up more and more. And it just, and it's just hard to see through. So by meditating, by learning to live more in the moment, which is basically what, what biking taught me, because if I didn't live in the moment on my bike, I was going to die in the moment because something was going to hit me, just learning just to just be present in now, whenever now is, or even now.

[00:04:48] And being able to meditate and just let all of that sediment settle back down to the bottom, allows me to see what do I really need to focus on? Do I really need to focus on that email? Now, the points that were brought up, I don't have to deal with those. So rather than sitting here going, well, I better come up with a good answer and I got to respond appropriately and come up.

[00:05:09] None of I wrote, I literally wrote back and said, this is not something I can deal with right now. I'll deal with it when I have time. And like, that's it, I'm done. I moved on and it's, it's his problem. Not my problem. So yeah, I can now focus on the things that I need to do to give him a better answer when I'm ready, rather than worrying about how is he going to respond to whatever answer I can manufacture.

[00:05:31] To satisfy his needs. I don't need to satisfy his needs. I need to make sure that I'm doing what's appropriate for me and alleviating whatever stress that is creating for me. Can 

[00:05:42] Zach: you speak about it as though it was super easy to do so it's just Ray and I, and I I've kind of gotten there myself too. I, I, I tried it.

[00:05:52] I read it somewhere the other day, but it, this is actually the way it works in my head is I feel like I'm in a train state. And I'm sitting on the bench and this works for meditation too. Like, and the trains are going by and the trains are my thoughts and every now and then a train goes by and I just get on it.

[00:06:09] And then I realize I'm on the train. Like, oh shit, I'm on the train again. And I have to get off and sit on the bench and watch the trains go by. And that's for me, like letting that go is going, oh, I'm on the train. Tell him to get off my benches right there. Let me go sit on my bench again. Does 

[00:06:28] Jeremy: that make sense?

[00:06:29] It absolutely makes sense. And I think it's a similar analogy. And I think, you know, you mentioned that it sounds simple. I did mention that it's taken eight years to get to this point. You know, th this is hours of meditation. This is Richard. 

[00:06:40] Zach: What I'm really trying to get at Jeremy is how do I do this overnight?

[00:06:45] Jeremy: Come on. Well, there are a certain psychedelics you could experiment with. I can't speak from experience on them, but, uh, I heard they weren't great. Um, but, uh, but there are some techniques, there are some breath work techniques. There are some meditation techniques. There are some retreats you can go on and on in a weekend, have a tremendous amount of relief and learn a little bit more perspective.

[00:07:06] There are some shortcuts. There are also some long cuts and that's a lot of what we get into with our guests. Her name is Dr. Vikki Peterson. She is co-founder of the root cause medical clinic, and there are so many things that get in the way of our ability to manage stress, properly diet. Nutrition exercise.

[00:07:26] I had a chance to have a really in-depth conversation with her about all of them and some simple tools you can implement in your life to be able to start managing those stressors a little better. And the conversation begins with an examination of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems and how stress affects them in our body.

[00:07:43] Dr. Vikki: I like to start with the sympathetic because that is the fight or flight part of the nervous system. And most people have heard of that. So the fight or flight. That's the same as the sympathetic. And that's what gives you adrenaline and raises your heart rate and gets blood pumping through your muscles.

[00:08:04] And so you're stronger, you're faster, you're cognitively better, you know, it's, it's good stuff. Um, and, and we like it, you know, you and I are doing a little bit of that right now, but, um, the idea is that that. That is not constantly engaged now I've, you know, I've seen several new patients this morning before you and I are talking.

[00:08:28] And, um, so many people say, you know, at night I can't sleep because. My head just keeps running around things like I get a little bit, but I know it's not deep and you know, and they have all these other problems. So when you're not in the sympathetic, especially at night, the parasympathetic comes in and that's your rest.

[00:08:52] Relax. Repair and digest. So maybe, um, you've heard don't, don't be running around while you're eating, you know, sit and relax. And I, I always think of the Italians, you know, they're very good at having a three hour meal and it's like, it's an event, you know? Um, But eating in a rush, you know, it's like, oh, I ate too fast or I was super stressed when I ate and I kinda felt sick it's because you're, you were in sympathetic overdrive, you were in the fight or flight and you weren't in the parasympathetic allowing you to.

[00:09:29] To digest, but it also, as I said, is what you need for sleep because you get the repair and the regeneration. And, uh, so in a nutshell, those are the two systems. So 

[00:09:41] Jeremy: let's talk about stress, which we've all been under a, an extraordinary amount, especially in the last year. And I'm looking forward to a post vaccination vaccination world, but I am still stressed about how to, sorry.

[00:09:55] Not go back to normal, but go into whatever the next phase of this of life is going to be like this. So I don't know that the stress is going to go away. I think it's just going to take sort of a different approach. So what is that stress doing to our sympathetic and parasympathetic system? What is what's happening with with that?

[00:10:11] Dr. Vikki: Yeah, when you're stressed, you're, you're revving that, uh, sympathetic the fight or flight. I mean, that's, what's, that's what stress is. It is unfortunate that the body does not really. Um, make a distinction between. Physical stress and mental, emotional stress. So somebody can be, you know, sitting on their job all day long and not, not somebody who's getting any physical activity, but they have a lot of mental, emotional stress and that's draining them just as much.

[00:10:40] They were, you know, running a marathon probably more because it's a negative type type of stress. And, uh, it's really, what's interesting about stress is like what? I'm, what might be stressful for me. You go no big deal. Right? So you, you can't really assess for somebody w what stress is it's, it's, what's true for them.

[00:11:02] It's stressful. So, you know, then you get into sleep and it's like, well, I can't sleep because I'm stressed and you're in this catch 22. I mean, what I do for a living all day long is, is getting to that deeper level of why. And, you know, it was sleep. You look at hormones and you also look at gut health, uh, because that's where the immune system is.

[00:11:23] So it's really immune system and hormones, and you're just unburdening the stress sores as we like to call them from the body. And then you can be left with the stuff that is more lifestyle related, uh, that then you can say, okay, I'm going to make some lifestyle change. I'm going to get some me time. I'm going to, you know, I'm really going to chill an hour before bed and dim the lights and get in the bubble bath or listen to the music I like, or, you know, like you start to do lifestyle changes on, uh, on top of, you know, me doing my team, doing the physiologic changes because you can't just.

[00:12:08] Thank your way into, okay. Today, I'm going to be relaxed, you know, when you have all these imbalances going on and you have all these hormones in a red state, uh, you know, there's a little bit about thinking it, but, but not for long, like you, in other words, what I'm trying to say is you have to work from the inside.

[00:12:26] And the outside in, you know, so you have to have smart practices day in, day out, but then we really have to make changes internally. And w what we've been confronted with with this virus is that the people that are doing poorly with it predominantly have these co-morbidities, as we call them the things we all know we're suffering from.

[00:12:50] Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, et cetera. And these are setting one up for a poor response because we have a lot of inflammation and inflammation is the root of all degenerative disease. But with this particular virus, That inflammation is setting you up for that, like a hypervigilant response. That's when you get into this cytokine storm that we've all heard of.

[00:13:19] So it's a cascade. And so it's always been a good idea to get healthier. You know, that's all I do. But with this extra, you know, planetary burden that we have. Now is the time, you know, now is the time to make those steps and take the information down. Have a stronger immune system or more balanced immune system, better diet lifestyle, you know, it, it all just feeds in.

[00:13:52] And then, you know what patients say to me, and this is, you know, pre COVID as well. Well, my, my life hasn't changed. I'm still, you know, a busy, you know, busy person and parent or spouse and work is the same, but now it's just sort of rolling off my back in a way. It didn't before, you know, the things that used to just impact me really hard now.

[00:14:14] Aren't and I feel it's just because I internally and more balanced and that's true. 

[00:14:20] Jeremy: Does that make sense? It does. And so I wanted to ask you, uh, I'm not asking you to diagnose me, but you mentioned you do this all the time. So from nutrition and functional medicine, all of that. There's gotta be some common things were walking in the door before even seeing the patient.

[00:14:35] You know, these five things are probably top of the list. These are the things that are most common with most people dealing with all of the stress and the inflammation, all of these things. Can you sort of give us what are the sort of the basics that almost all of us are battling all the time and come to you going, I don't know what to do about that.

[00:14:55] Dr. Vikki: Sure. Sure. I mean, generally speaking, we start with diet 

[00:15:01] Jeremy: shocking, shocking. 

[00:15:04] Dr. Vikki: You know what you're putting in that mouth, you know, food is information. And so I used to joke like, Pre COVID I'm in Silicon valley and I do all these lectures in a big Silicon valley corporations. And it's like, if you were going to grab a candy bar and you know, and after the ingredients that said, you know, this is full of inflammatory ingredients, so you will be moving toward obesity type two diabetes, Claudia arteries.

[00:15:31] You know what I mean? Like if it translated what those ingredients. We're telling your body to do you give it some pause before you ingested it? And we're not really taught that food is information. We're just, we're hungry and we eat and you know, the place that's closest. Maybe we drive through goodness for bed, you know?

[00:15:53] Um, so it it's getting that training of, you know, one of the first things we do with patients was we put them on, what's called a modified elimination diet, and that's just a hypoallergenic. Food program for about three weeks and we're doing testing at the same time. And, and, uh, but, but it's so funny how patients return and we see patients fairly often in the beginning because there's a lot of changes.

[00:16:18] And even we can't remember for longer than a week, what happened? Like you can't see somebody a month later and said, so how did that go? And it's like, you know, it's just too much time has passed. So, um, You know, they'll say maybe they're 10 days into it or two weeks into it and say, wow, like, you know, my bloating's better.

[00:16:36] And I actually feel like I'm sleeping a little better and my energy is definitely better. And I think those headaches haven't had as many, you know, and they're, and they're sort of going through this little list and then they look at me here, you know, one of my team and say, but we didn't do anything.

[00:16:51] Like, we didn't even get the test results back. Like we didn't do anything. And it's like, no, you've done a lot. You know, that diet change was very significant and that is a foundation that too many clinicians miss and certainly conventional medicine, this is all the time. That's something 

[00:17:10] Jeremy: that, um, has really been interesting to me.

[00:17:13] I don't, I don't want to be the guy that says, I think most people, because it happened to me, but until I was really tired, To pay attention to how my body responds to what I put into it. I never would have given it any thought. And it just, it seems so odd that it took me until I was 40 to go. W what happens to my body when I eat this stuff, instead of just, this is good, this is bad.

[00:17:33] I've heard this as good for me. I've heard this is bad for me. Shove it in my face and see what happens, but it is remarkable sort of the lab that our body is that you can wake up and go, God, I ate horrible at midnight last night. Shockingly, I feel terrible this morning. 

[00:17:48] Dr. Vikki: Exactly. Exactly. And then sometimes because, you know, you've got 23 feet of small intestine and another 11 of the large, uh, or, you know, seven to 11.

[00:17:59] Sometimes there can be a delayed response and the, and, and that can sort of make people want to tear their hair out. Like we're really good at treating migraines. And you know, when I, when I start to say there's a often a food relationship, you know, sometimes I, I get the stink-eye coming at me. Like I haven't tried everything I could possibly think of.

[00:18:17] It's like, you know, I get it because there can be a cascade of internal reactions occurring before the symptom. So, so it's both, but, but you're absolutely right. We're not trained with, well, this is going to have an effect in, in yeah. Be aware of it, you know, and start to see that. So anyway, to get back to your questions, one, what you're putting in, in your mouth.

[00:18:44] Um, uh, two hydration is a huge one. I mean, there's so many Americans that are dehydrated, cause they're not. Not drinking enough, just good clean filtered water. Um, three sleep sleep is huge. And, uh, I was just talking to a patient in and just now, and she said, she goes, you know, I need, you know, eight, eight and a half hours.

[00:19:06] Like, like she's asking for the sun moon and stars. And, um, and I was like, okay. The requisite, you know, the sweet spot of sleep is eight and there's nothing wrong with nine either. Like less than that. And, and you're increasing your risk for cancer and dying. You know what I mean? Like there's a, there's a lot of great research on sleep.

[00:19:28] And, and so now there's the quality of it and regaining that, which we can get to the root of maybe why, but as far as allowing enough hours in the bed, Is is a huge one because people are sleep deprived. And so they're not allowing that our friend, the parasympathetic nervous system to really get in there and repair and do all those phases of repair and regeneration and anti-aging and all those wonderful things.

[00:19:55] That's when the immune cells come out at night. So that's, um, that's a huge one there's, uh, exercise and maybe it's there. So, you know, the basic basics. Again, can't say enough about how important exercise is, and you can hear all sorts of opinions about exercise, but from a, um, Longevity, keeping the brain happy.

[00:20:23] There's something called brain derived, neurotrophic factor BDNF. Um, but it's generated from, from exercise. And it's what is said is 30 to 40 minutes a day. As many days of the week as you can. So minimally five, but you know, seven is great. Six is good. Uh, but moderate exercise, 30 to 40 minutes a day, you know, getting your heart rate up a bit.

[00:20:50] Uh, certainly if you want to do more and you're lifting weights and cardio, that's all good, but. The sweet spot, like the eight hours for sleep, the sweet spot for exercise, as far as just LUNGevity and cognitive health. Not that hard, you know, 30, 40 minutes a day. 

[00:21:09] Jeremy: I mean, is that a good walk? Is that, is that a 40 minute walk?

[00:21:12] Is that yoga? Yes. 

[00:21:15] Dr. Vikki: Any of the above any of the above it's you know, the other thing that research says is, you know, it's something you will like to do and you will do it is strategy. Number one, you will do it, that thing, you know, then we can get into the nuances. Yeah, a little, you know, a little stretching afterward would be good.

[00:21:35] And, you know, we want to get the heart rate up a little bit, but it doesn't have to be high intensity, you know, it can literally be a good walk 

[00:21:46] Jeremy: for sure. Interesting. Uh, you mentioned sleep in there and again, the focus of our conversation is sort of from a stress standpoint, talk about that. How stress affects our melatonin production.

[00:21:58] Dr. Vikki: Yeah. So, so melatonin comes in with parasympathetic they're they're married. Okay. So when you, th the melatonin comes up and it actually releases the immune cells to come out, and that happens in a parasympathetic state. So that's why, uh, you know, whether it's COVID. Any sort of, uh, degenerative disease, any sort of infection.

[00:22:26] We have to have a robust immune system. That's cleaning house every single night and, and keeping ahead of anything that came our way during the day that might lead to an infection or toxicity. And so the, uh, getting a strong melatonin level, meaning a deep sleep. Is is critical and stress will compete with that because stress is adrenaline.

[00:22:52] And as I say to patients like you can't be awake and asleep at the same time, you can be, you can have a lousy night's sleep where you feel like you were awake and then you can have a lousy day because you feel like you're asleep on your feet, but you're you're, you are awake or asleep, you know? Right.

[00:23:08] You're not doing both. And so, um, Adrenaline and melatonin it's like this, you know, it's, they're, they're never operating at the same time. And so, um, melatonin is a very safe hormone. I mean, it's why is it anti-cancer? Why is it anti-aging because it engages the parasympathetic. You're getting into that repair and, and, and that.

[00:23:32] The immune system come out and, and they counter infection and then they counter aging, uh, and they handle cancer cells, you know? So it, it, it makes sense. That's why sleeping pills are so dangerous. Cause they're putting into an artificial system. Of sleep, but not getting to the root cause of why you're not really sleeping.

[00:23:53] So studies came out, um, several years ago now where, you know, the, uh, prescribed prescription sleeping pills are associated with increased risk for cancer and heart disease. Like of course they are, you know, because they're masking, you know, it's a, it's a false sleep. It's not a true sleep. And, um, You know, you can have a different, whether it's an apple watch or I have a, I have a loop band, uh, or a ring, you know, there's a lot of technology out there now where you can start to get an idea, um, on your sleep quality and.

[00:24:27] It's very important. And it's, if you, if something's getting in the way of that, that again, it's immunity and hormones. So, uh, and 80% of immune cells are in your gut. So we say gut and hormones, that's, that's the root cause that we go after. If you're really endeavoring, it's like I do everything right. And I dim the lights and I try to relax.

[00:24:49] I'm still not sleeping. Like, okay. Then internally we have to balance. So 

[00:24:55] Jeremy: let's talk about sort of some strategies to combat this. Um, you, you, we talked about melatonin and, and it got me thinking about supplements and, and I hear conflicting information all the time about taking a multivitamin because it's, it's a really simple way to.

[00:25:09] Correct or to make sure you're getting things in your diet that you're not otherwise getting. And then I hear that's probably one of the worst things you can put in your body. So are there things aside from, okay, so we've got, we've got our diet dialed in. We're paying attention to how our body responds.

[00:25:23] Do I need a multivitamin? Do I need more vitamin B? What do I need to put in my body to keep things working the way they're supposed to and make sure have a long, healthy life? 

[00:25:32] Dr. Vikki: Yeah, I mean, it's a really good question. And that's where. Yeah, the health history comes in as far as. What your body has been through, you know, were you like a kid that had a lot of antibiotics, you know, because you had strep throat all the time.

[00:25:48] Were you a team that was on medication for acne? You know, were you just somebody who had chronic sinus infections? And so again, these antibiotics. Really messed up your gut, you know, and you don't have a good balance of good bacteria, so you're not absorbing as well as you should. And then we get into genetics, which is pretty fascinating.

[00:26:11] And, and you can have these tendencies in your family. You know, all the women have thyroid disease, or there's a lot of autoimmune disease in my family or, you know, various issues. And that's a real thing. And it can have these little defects, these little genetic defects that are not. They don't dictate, you know, the color of your eyes and the shape of your face.

[00:26:32] We're not changing that these are, they call them snips because you can, they're, they're actually in a, on position or an off position and it's on is giving you inflammation. You can actually work a little harder nutritionally. And turn them off BC. So when something is heavy in the family, it's like, yeah, we're all like this.

[00:26:54] You know, like everybody, every man has heart disease. You go, all right. So let's look at some of the weaknesses we have in the genetics and where do we have to work a little harder. So. Vitamin D is a great example. You know, you can give somebody the best quality vitamin D and then their levels do not change.

[00:27:16] And you go, are you taking it? And they're like, no, no, I'm totally taking it. It's like, it's not changing because they can't turn it into the active form. They just genetically can't. So then you give them the active form you see? So you might need to jump a step because thereby. Can't do it. So for, for me, and in my family, there's methylation, methylation does hundreds of things in the body, but the major thing it does is, you know, it's keeping this detoxification and your mitochondria, your little energy packages that are in every cell.

[00:27:49] And I methalate out of a possible 100% at about 12. This is not good. This is not a strong methylation. Right. And this was given to me genetically, but I've worked in my health. So, you know, so well for so many decades practicing what I preach, never bothered me until a year ago and then smack, you know, and yeah, it was a lot of stress doing a lot of things, building clinics around the country.

[00:28:14] Okay, fine. You know, but this is me. This is my normal life. It was like, all right. And you just went one step too far. Right. And I was like, okay, okay, methylation, what do you need? And, you know, mollycoddling it with things. And now it's happy again, but you know, it's, it's having those tools to say, You know, so you asked, do you need a multiple vitamin maybe, you know, is, is unfortunately the answer now there's quality and there's a huge difference in quality out there.

[00:28:48] So it's supplements are definitely a get what you pay for a moment. There's no two ways about that. I wouldn't recommend them getting them at a big box store or getting them at a drug store, you know? Um, You know, they should be an, I mean now online there's, there's so many great products out there, but it is a get what you pay for a moment.

[00:29:08] Same thing with fish oil, you know, fish oil is getting your omega three fatty acids. They're anti-inflammatory and they're so important. Is that, is it processed such that all the, all the heavy metals like mercury were removed from the fish, you're not going to take an anti-inflammatory with a, with a side of inflammatory heavy metal and, you know, neurotoxin.

[00:29:31] Right. So it's, so these things are, you know, what do I like? I like a great multiple, I like a great C D. Uh, fish oil. Um, and then, and then that's sort of like the foundation and then what do you need? What, what are your nuances, you know, based on your, 

[00:29:52] Jeremy: and it seems like that's something we would need to work with our doctor or, or a functional medicine practitioner to, to really do the tests and dial that in and figure out what we're, what we're doing.

[00:30:01] Yeah. 

[00:30:01] Dr. Vikki: And really, yeah, I really find out is this, and we always say to patients like we're going to use some therapeutic doses in the beginning to handle X, Y, and Z, but then we should be okay with just foundational, unless we find something that's unique to you. And it's like, w like me with my B12, you know, uh, you know, with the methylation and I need this very special form of B12.

[00:30:23] And, and that's it. I that's. You know, we're buddies now. So we're, I ain't getting rid of that beach. Well, 

[00:30:33] Jeremy: um, all back to stress, I know we talked about sort of changing your diet and, uh, and getting enough sleep and getting enough exercise, any other sort of final takeaways that you would recommend that are for people that are just feeling the stress of, of the world, of work, of parenting, of all of the things that are coming at us all the time.

[00:30:50] What other things should we consider sort of in closing here, uh, as we try to reduce our stress and, and live a little bit more. 

[00:30:58] Dr. Vikki: Yeah, one thing we didn't talk about were, um, sex hormones. So, um, and women can feel this a little bit more acutely. We have two major hormones, estrogen, progesterone. We make testosterone too.

[00:31:09] We both sexes make all three is just very different ratios, but, uh, progesterone is the mellow feel good, relaxed de-stressed hormone. And literally when you're under stress, Your body will shunt away, but biologically away from making the progesterone to just make more stress hormones. It's like, we need it over here.

[00:31:31] We need it over here. We don't, we don't care how you, you know, you're in a, you're not going to be relaxed. It's too bad. We're just, we're just using it so much over here. And so you can get into a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, things where the next thing you know, somebody is handing you a, you know, a psychiatric drug.

[00:31:49] For your depression and anxiety and it's, it's not, um, you know, it's not a brain problem. It's a hormonal imbalance problem. Right. And so finding a clinician that can balance those now, everything we talked about helps, you know, the basics help, but just don't give up. If you just go, wow, I'm just so anxious and it's just unrelenting.

[00:32:14] Uh, there, there is a deep. Reason for that. And, uh, and not to leave out the men either, but the body has the, you know, stress, it goes into. We're having a life and death moment. And, you know, the joke in the field is like, well, I don't, we don't care how you feel about it. We're going to get away from the saber tooth tiger and to fight it out their, their day.

[00:32:36] And we'll talk about how you feel bad later. Right. And so, um, and of course the saber tooth tiger is not supposed to come around very often. So it's not, it's not going to create problems, but when you're in that, you know, fight or flight fight or flight fight or flight, the sex. Are going to suffer and not that they can't be rebalanced, but it's just, it's just something that you want to address and not feel like you're stuck with it.

[00:33:01] And 

[00:33:01] Jeremy: is that something we can address on our own or do we need help from, uh, from a doctor with that? 

[00:33:08] Dr. Vikki: Well, starting with some of the basics that we talked about with the diet and the exercise and hydration, like, you know, sometimes people clean up their diet. Oh, my gosh, I can't even believe, you know, if I'd only known.

[00:33:19] Right, right. And then, and then sometimes that will get you a quarter of the way and we still have more to go. So it's very personalized, you know? And patients, you know, I have a YouTube channel and they go, what do you do for blah? And it's like, well, you know, 10 people could come in with migraines, but I'm doing eight different things.

[00:33:36] Cause it's, it's a personalized program. Right. But, but there is a foundation, there are a foundational truths and that's what we've gone over. And then there's the nuance of the individual. 

[00:33:48] Jeremy: Uh, that's all amazing stuff. That's been great talking with you. Where can we learn more about you and seek you out if we want to get that one-on-one help.

[00:33:56] Dr. Vikki: Yeah. So the website is root cause medical clinics. That's the bin and that's probably the best way to go to the website. So we have a location in here in California, Florida. And then next year in 

[00:34:11] Jeremy: our, thanks to Dr. Vikki Peterson co-founder of the root cause medical clinic, lots of great information there about getting your diet back on track, making sure you're taking whatever supplements are useful for you, and just really learning how to manage your stress a little better.

[00:34:26] And you know, one of the things that's frustrating in this arena, this space, whatever, when you're, when you're working on self-development or whatever, is that it is. Very individualized, whatever needs to change. It's hard to do a podcast like this and reach out to all the people that this reaches and feel like it's going to land for everybody.

[00:34:45] I know a lot of times I'll read books and there's tons of information in there. And I just feel like, yeah, but I just need someone to, to draw a map for me. I can't take this general path and, and apply it to something really simple for me. That's one of the most stressful things about this work is trying to figure.

[00:35:03] What works for you. And I think that so much of what we talk about here on this show is that that idea of just, you know, for lack of a better term biohacking throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks, looking at how your body responds, how your mental health response responds and sticking with those things, or getting rid of the things that create problems.

[00:35:25] Zach: And it's about self advocacy as well. There are basic things that we can all do to help relieve the stress. Um, you know, gonna keep saying, you know, yoga, right? Anyone can go to yoga to relieve the stress. Anyone can do breathing exercises to relieve the stress. And when you get into things like exercise and working out, that's going to be hugely different, right?

[00:35:47] Maybe you have bad knees. Maybe you have a bad shoulder. Maybe you can't do this or that. Right. You have to customize that. And then there's nutrition. Some people work really well with the keto diet. Some people work really well with carbs. Some people work so different for everyone. So it really comes back to that.

[00:36:04] Self-advocacy and being curious about yourself and experimenting with those biohacking things, right? What happens if I remove white stuff like flour and rice and things like that from my diet and you know, what happens if I. Walk an hour a day, or what happens if I delay my coffee by two hours every day?

[00:36:24] No, I do that every morning now. And it's amazing. I would've never thought to do that, but, 

[00:36:31] Jeremy: um, yeah. And we'll get into a little bit more next week, but yeah, that, that has been a game changer for me because I used to drink coffee all day long. And now I have two cups because I've delayed my first cut by two hours.

[00:36:43] And my adrenal system is allow, is functioning more properly to keep me to keep my energy level up throughout the day. It's incredible. How, a little thing like that, that terrified me when I heard it. And it was no way I can't do it. I can't, you know, I can't get past the first five minutes of my day without coffee.

[00:37:00] And now my whole day. Feels better because of the way that I've implemented that change. So the little things like that are huge and, uh, you know, another point that I think is important in that I think some people will take away from it. This interview is that a lot of our problems are in our head, but there are some that come from our physical body.

[00:37:18] And if we aren't taking care of it properly, if we're not giving it the nutrients that it needs, the water that it needs, the movement that it needs, then that can create. More stress and more anxiety and more depression. And so it really is a throw everything against the wall. Maybe not all at the same time, because you'll burn out and fail, but just start throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks and what works for you.

[00:37:42] I'll reiterate that. And it's, 

[00:37:44] Zach: there's the basic things that you can do. Being curious about yourself, what happens if I do this? What happens if I do that? And it's not all going to work and, you know, you spent eight years getting to the point where you can let your stress go, how much, you know, to a certain extent, but how many of the things that you've done over the last eight years?

[00:38:07] Are still with you. How many of those 

[00:38:08] things 

[00:38:09] Jeremy: stuck? A glass of water analogy at the beginning of the show that has been in my head for eight years. When, when that was, this was explained to me that stress and all the problems in my life are a murky glass of water that I'm spinning and spinning and spinning around and trying to see through it.

[00:38:23] When all I had to do is just set it down. And it would all fall to the bottom and that's, that has changed my life. Many 

[00:38:30] Zach: things are not with you that you've tried. 

[00:38:33] Jeremy: Oh God. Yeah. Yeah. Huge list. Let me get, let me get out of the pile of books that are and the garbage. 

[00:38:39] Zach: Exactly. So it's all personalized and you need to have.

[00:38:44] Again, that curiosity, that, that ability to fail to right. Try something. Oh, that didn't work. Try the next thing. Cause eventually you'll find something that works really well for 

[00:38:53] Jeremy: you. And you can, you can find lots of things by listening to this show, to listening to other shows like it, reading books, but sometimes you are going to need help.

[00:39:02] And that's where someone like Dr. Peterson would be a really valuable resource or your doctor or some other functional medicine practice. Sometimes you will have tried everything and you just need some help and you need to be okay with asking for it. I guess I just hope that conversations like this one help whoever's listening to try these things and, and ultimately decide if, if more help is needed.

[00:39:25] All right. So with that, we will wrap things up. A lot of the things that we talk about on the show, some of the, the biohacking tricks are actual products that we actually use. I ordered some myself today that came in the mail. I'm very excited about if you have heard us talk about things that you want to try and you're thinking, well, where do I get this stuff?

[00:39:39] We do have a little store on our website. You can check it out. It's in the affiliate, check it out. Uh, we call it the fitness toolkit. It's just tons of stuff that we talk about here that we actually use, that we actually enjoy. By the way we aren't getting paid for, for most of it.

[00:39:53] It's just stuff that we've tried. It, we like it. We put it up on the website for you to buy. So if you would like to go check that out and while you're there, please do subscribe to the newsletter. So you never miss an update related to the show. And while you're there, you can also subscribe on your favorite podcast player and follow us on the various social media platforms that are out there.

[00:40:10] That's a lot of words and I'm, I'm done talking. So we're going to wrap it up there. Thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week on Wednesday with a brand new See everyone. 

[00:40:22] Dr. Vikki: We know this podcast is amazing and doesn't seem to like anything, but we need a legal discipline.

[00:40:28] Prior to implementing anything discussed in this podcast is your responsibility to conduct your own research and consult your physician. You should assume that Jeremy and Zach don't know what they're talking about, and they're not liable for any physical or emotional issues that occur directly or indirectly from listening to this podcast.

Dr. Vikki PetersenProfile Photo

Dr. Vikki Petersen

Functional Medicine Practitioner

Dr. Vikki Petersen is co-founder of Root Cause Medical Clinics. She’s a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Chiropractor, and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner.