Podcast #165 Dr. Carrie Jones on Hormone Imbalances and Adrenal Fatigue

Dr. Carrie Jones, N.D. is a Naturopathic Physician who specializes in hormones. She graduated from the famed National College of Natural Medicine, School of Naturopathic Medicine located in Portland, Oregon where she is currently an Adjunct Faculty. She completed a 2 year residency in advanced women’s health, gynecology, and hormones. She is an expert writer for the women’s health website,www.empowher.com and has articles on both Yahoo! Health and Shine. She frequently lectures on the topics of women’s health, hormones, thyroid disorders, Celiac Disease, food intolerances and more. Today we discuss the importance of hormone testing that looks at your cortisol levels. Many of my female clients struggle with weight loss, belly fat, mood issues, irritability and other pesky symptoms that can all be improved with the right type of testing to identify the issues and fix the underlying causes.

Adrenal fatigue is more common than ever and Carrie and I both agree that deeper stages of adrenal issues are being found. No longer are people living in the early stages of adrenal issues, but they are living in complete burnout.

People are accepting the fact that everyone around them has mood issues, is overweight and likely struggles with depression or other mood issues. Just because something is common does NOT mean that it is normal.

Depression is the #1 leading cause of disability as stated from the Center For Disease Control. Without addressing the root causes of depression, we will never be able to sustain our economy, our population, our way of life.

We must take immediate action to fix ourselves, so we can have the motivation and energy to fix our friends and family around us. We truly are all in this thing together and if we strive to just run away and "escape" from society, we have to realize that goal is not realistic.

Enjoy this episode and I definitely recommend scheduling a free consult to talk about your issues further and determine if we are a good fit for each other.

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Evan Brand:          Hello, welcome back! I’m here with Dr. Carrie Jones, a lady who’s been super helpful for me in terms of my testing when I first started using a particular hormone test for my men and females that have so many symptoms that they never get answers from their conventional lab testing. Dr. Carrie has helped me to provide clinical feedback when I’m doing my testing and now it’s time for her to join me in our `Not Just Paleo’ podcast. Thanks for coming on!

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I’m really excited! Thanks for having me, Evan.

Evan Brand:          You were practicing for 10 years, you said, as a naturopath and then you transitioned into the world where you’re at right now where you’re giving clinical feedback around the world to different doctors and practitioners, and things like that. So, that’s very exciting! How did you first get into naturopath?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Well, in college undergrad, I knew I wanted to go to medical school and I became quite disillusioned, which I think a lot of people do with traditional allopathic medicine. So, I was living in Ohio and I moved to Oregon. I needed a job and I got a job at the naturopathic medical school, randomly, and I realized that’s the school I wanted to be at. So, I applied and [I] graduated as a naturopathic physician and did a *2-year (2:53) residency in hormones, women’s health, [and] family medicine. And I’ve been in practice for the last 10 years until transitioning to this job.

Evan Brand:          That’s great! So, did you specialize – I guess, for me, it seems like everybody is slanted towards females – but [would] you say you specialized [in] helping out females with hormone issues?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I did! The mentor that I worked with in school, primarily, was a women’s health and hormones expert, so to speak. So, that’s just the direction that I went [in] and what happened over time, which is [what] often happened, is women will come in and then they realize that their husbands have similar symptoms. All of a sudden, I found myself treating a lot of couples, somebody would send their dad in, or they’d send their brother in , they’d send their best friend in. I got to see more and more men. I would say the majority, of course, are women because [it seems] more women go to the doctor. But, hormones are my thing, most definitely. I would joke “If you break your ankle, don’t come see me. I’m not the person that’s gonna help you. But if you’re hormonally crazy, I can help you there.”

Evan Brand:          That’s exciting. I’ve gotten several phone calls from random numbers and it’s a deep-voiced man on the other end of the line. And then I’m like `Holy crap, who is this?’ and it turns out that it’s a husband of some woman, who’s finally been convinced that he needs to do something. He’s like “I don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s working so… “

Dr. Carrie Jones:   (laughs)

Evan Brand:          That’s fun! Let’s talk about adrenal health. This is something that you and I both love to geek out on. So many people have adrenal issues. Every single person that I’ve tested over the last 6 months is surprisingly not stage 2 or stage 1 anymore; it’s stage 3 – complete burn out. I’m curious to see if that’s what you’re finding too because you’re looking at a lot more lab tests than myself.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I am seeing that a lot more. What I’m seeing a lot more [of is] perceived stress, which is really scary and concerning to me. The brain recognizes actual stress. [If] there’s an actual lion or tiger in front of you, it reacts the same exact way as if you think or anticipate a lion or tiger in front of you. And I think, in today’s society, we have so much perceived stress on top of real stress that our brain, our endocrine system, our adrenals, for men the gonads, the ovaries – everybody is just stressed out all the time. It’s very sad.

Evan Brand:          Well, it seems like it accelerated and you’ve been practicing for 10 plus years, so, have you seen an acceleration as soon as the iPhone came out? Did your lab test start getting more dysregulated?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   (laughs) Yes, I would absolutely agree. Yeah, definitely.

Evan Brand:          Well, because…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Don’t you think?

Evan Brand:          Yeah, it seems so silly and it’s so trivial but at the same time I’m guilty of it myself. I’m looking at the phone too much and I don’t see how we could have a balanced nervous system if we’re constantly looking at something on the phone. To me, it’s *Fighter Flight (5:57). I’ll feel myself jumping into Fighter Flight If I’m getting on social media sometimes. Do you feel that?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Oh, absolutely! I was joking with a girl friend of mine how I saw a meme on Facebook or Instagram where it said: “Me trying to go to bed – 10 PM” and said “11 Pm – spend an hour on social media on my phone” and I was like “Yeah, that’s what everybody does.” And I see that a lot on lab tests. I’ll see their night time cortisol be elevated and the practitioner [will] say “What’s going on at night?” [and] I’ll say “I guarantee you, they’re on their phone.”

Evan Brand:          Yeah.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I’m just as guilty. We’re on social media, and we’re texting, and we’re looking up articles, [and] watching YouTube videos. All of a sudden we’re hyper-stimulated [when] we’re supposed to be in bed. All that blue white is ruining our pineal gland and our adrenal glands.

Evan Brand:          Yeah.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   And we get a rhythm issue.

Evan Brand:          Tell people a little bit about what you do now. Because you’re practicing and then now you’ve jumped into the role of the main clinical adviser – maybe that’s not the exact definition. You tell me what the best definition for it is.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Close! I’m the medical director of an international hormone lab. So, we specialize in dried urine testing for hormones. So, instead of getting your blood drawn or instead of saliva spitting in a tube, you just pee on a strip four times a day, let it dry, and then mail it in. It’s pretty easy.

Evan Brand:          Yeah. That’s great. I was telling you before the podcast, but I guess I’ll mention it here to, that I used the test – the DUTCH test – for a female client of mine that has not had her period in over – I believe, it was close to – 10 years, and she’d gone on all sorts of hormones and thyroid medication and everything. I was actually able to use this test (DUTCH test) with extreme accuracy that her other lab [test] that she sent over had no clinical value at all. And then, now, with the right supplements and everything, she’s dialed back in. She emailed me this morning and said “Hey, I finally got my period back”. It took some time but that’s the power of a good quality test. So, that’s great.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah, and [with] the appropriate treatment to match it. Once you have the information from the test, you [will] know what to do and how to move forward appropriately. And then, lucky for her, she got her period back!

Evan Brand:          Exactly. So, just out of curiosity, how many test are you looking at, would you say, per week, or per month? It’s got to be a lot more than when you were practicing.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Oh my gosh, most definitely. I’m probably looking at 500 to 1000 a week, actually; depending on the week.

Evan Brand:          That’s amazing!

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:          Are you seeing – I guess this is a *(8:42)… question – are you seeing anybody with healthy or normal adrenals?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes! Believe it or not, I do! I really do. Now, it’s usually not the people who are sending the testing in for the first time. It’s the people who’ve seen great practitioners, like yourself, and they are getting great treatment and they want to know `What’s my follow-up? What do I look like now?’ So, that’s when I see the good person. Obviously, nobody’s gonna send a test in -- some people. Some people just want to have an idea of what their hormones are doing but I’d say the majority of people are tired, their stressed out, they can’t sleep, they can’t lose weight; women are having hot flashes, men are having mood swings or erection issues. And so, it shows up at the lab test.

Evan Brand:          That’s amazing. So, where should we start with hormones? Is chronic stress your ultimate 1st place or the deepest root cause of hormone imbalance?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes! Stress is such a broad term and I use it broadly because you can think of stress as [an] inflammation. Think of people who have poor diets and all sorts of gut issues and gas and bloating, and they’re eating the American standard diet. Inflammation is quite stressful and it can be emotional stress; maybe they’re in a terrible job, or a terrible relationship. It can be sleep stress! They don’t sleep very well [because], just like we were saying, they are on their iPhone or their android late at night, therefore, they’re getting poor REM sleep. They are not making enough melatonin and that’s stressful. And it just keeps compounding itself. They’ve gotten sick; maybe they have autoimmune, they have a thyroid problem and it just keeps going and going and then it builds up and takes its toll on the body.

Evan Brand:          Yeah, and it’s synergistic too but it’s a bad synergy.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes!

Evan Brand:          That’s what’s scary about [it], to me. You have the phone or you have the wi-fi or the electrical pollution stress and you have the emotional part and, to me, the big one that’s not really talked about is the relationship side of things. I find being behind the computer and doing a podcast and, generally, doing what we do is kind of isolating in a way. And, if I don’t make an effort to go hang out with friends, or my family, my grandparents, I start to go crazy.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah, and we hear this all the time. More and more of society – they know how to interact from behind the screen but they don’t know how to interact face-to-face. So, you go into a coffee shop or a restaurant and everybody is on their phone; nobody’s having deep, meaningful conversations anymore; nobody is connecting. And it’s so sad because we need that connection, we need that nurturing.

Evan Brand:          Yeah, and it’s funny to be kind of an outspoken, outgoing person and then you come across people and they are unable to deal with face-to-face interaction. I think we are losing that. There’s still hope, I believe, but I do think we’re in a turning point right now [because] smartphones get better. Now, you can watch full movies on YouTube on your phone in your bed in your pajamas. It’s gonna be a little bit tougher to reverse this whole trend.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I think so, too, unfortunately. But, I know people are aware. I read about it a lot, I hear about it a lot but I hope people are willing to just make changes.

Evan Brand:          See, that’s the hard part because I feel like we have all this brain candy, we have all these new research that proves this and research that proves that; but if it‘s just in your head, floating around, and you shout it out to other people but you don’t act on it, how valuable is that?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah, it’s definitely true.

Evan Brand:          So, let’s talk about hormones some more. Chronic stress – there’s a thousand million sources of it that cause people issues. Now, you mentioned inability to lose weight, erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, other things like that. The first step for all of these people, and obviously they may say `Oh,well she’s biased,’ to me, it’s getting a test to actually figure out what is the status of your hormones. Would you say that’s true?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I would agree. Even before I worked for DUTCH test, even before I was in the position I was in now, when men and women come in and say `I have all these symptoms.’ I guess [and] I could say `Oh, that sounds like you have low progesterone. That sounds like you have low DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone). That sounds like you have high cortisol’ but if I didn’t do the test and didn’t know, I could really treat them in a wrong direction. If I thought they had low cortisol – which we were kind of talking [about] a little bit before the podcast – let’s say I thought they had low free cortisol but, in fact, maybe it was a metabolized cortisol issue then I could really send them in the wrong direction. And so, testing, to me, is kind of the first way to start to pick the symptoms, put it together with the visual picture, and then go forward from there.

Evan Brand:          Yeah. Let’s break that down a little bit. It’s mind blowing to me to see the difference on the lab. If someone gets, whether it’s this test or, say, salivary adrenal test and their looking at their overall cortisol rhythm, we’re talking about free cortisol there?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes! The free cortisol is the active hormone and it’s what’s unbound. The hormones are like children. They have to be attended at all times and so that’s a bound-up hormone. When it’s unbound, it becomes free and active and it’s able to do what it needs to do; it can bind to receptors and it can unlock locks, it can change symptoms only if it’s free. But, what people don’t realize is that the majority of free hormones is a very, very small percent – something like 5% or less. A hormone floating around is free [and] the rest of it, 95 plus percent, is bound-up and not active. So, when somebody does an adrenal path and they’re looking at the rhythm in the morning [and] in the afternoon before bed, that’s the free hormone that’s being graphed out, which is good! That’s the active hormone, but it doesn’t always tell the whole story.

Evan Brand:          That’s exactly what I was getting at. So, you led me into that perfectly. So, then metabolized cortisol – that’s the other piece of the puzzle that a lot of people, for me, have been showing up * low force (14:55). So, could you explain that a little bit?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah. So, it’s just basically a stream-lined way of looking at the total and the free. So, metabolized cortisol is similar to the total gland output. So, people will say to me “I have adrenal fatigue.” Well, adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands do not make cortisol anymore, the cortisol in a whole. So, what they’re looking at is the free cortisol and I’m like `Well, no, free cortisol, remember, is just 5% or less.’ But, if you’re not looking at all of your cortisol production – in our test we call it metabolized cortisol – the total cortisol, then I don’t know if your gland is able to produce cortisol. So, that’s why it’s important to look at both markers: One, do you make cortisol in the first place; and then two, what is free and available.

Evan Brand:          So, what’s the common problem that you see when you’re looking at all these tests? Are you seeing more low metabolized cortisol - which will be reduced adrenal function – or are you seeing the low free cortisol, or is it both?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   You know, believe it or not, I’m actually seeing a lot of high metabolized cortisol, which seems counterintuitive from everything we were just saying with stress. However stress, inflammation, obesity, high insulin, poor diet – all those things will push on the adrenal glands to make a whole lot of cortisol. So, I’ll see metabolized cortisol really high. So, it’s not an adrenal problem [because] they’re making tons of cortisol. But ,then, what happens is I’ll see a low free cortisol, which what we’re all used to. We kind of call that, when we see the low free (cortisol), [a] stage 3 adrenal burn-out `adrenal fatigue’. But, really, the problem isn’t that person can’t make cortisol. They’re just making it and metabolizing it so quickly because they have all this metabolic and endocrine and stress and inflammation issues going on that there is not a lot of free cortisol left over to be used. And then they’re exhausted because if you don’t have your active hormones, you’re tired.

Evan Brand:          Wow. So, you can measure it accurately with the free (cortisol) and you can see you’re low so something is going on but you have to dig a little bit deeper.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes, exactly.

Evan Brand:          So, say you remove all of the stressors and you fix the diet, you have a good nutrient-dense diet and maybe you’re balancing out your omega fatty acid, and things like that. Is that metabolized cortisol gonna come back down and that’s gonna free up some of that energy which then allows that free cortisol to be back into their normal rhythm? Is that what happens?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yup, and I see it a lot on a repeat testing.

Evan Brand:          Okay, that’s great.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   People can heal themselves, absolutely.

Evan Brand:          Okay, so, now, if people don’t change anything does that metabolized cortisol eventually get low because then the adrenals do? Do they ever really get fatigued without metabolized cortisol going low because the gas tank’s empty?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Adrenal glands will never – unless there’s an autoimmune disease, which is called the Addison’s Disease – unless there’s an autoimmune condition, the adrenals will never run out of cortisol. It always has the ability to produce cortisol but the difference is with all that cortisol being produced, initially, if the person never changes then a feedback loop kicks in and the brain says `Woah, woah, woah! Way too much cortisol. Let’s temper this down.’ And so, production becomes less, and less, and less then we see low cortisol across the board; and it’s kind of the body’s mechanism to protect itself from all of that damaging cortisol floating around, and you will see that. You’ll hear of long standing illnesses or long standing stress, really terrible diet – what have you – and PTST, over time and then, all of a sudden, I’ll look at their test and I’ll [be] like “Wow, I could really see that your brain has shut everything down. It’s really slowed the production of cortisol to protect you. [And] as a result you feel like crap.”

Evan Brand:          That’s amazing, because it is catabolic at the end of the day.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes, it’s exactly what you said. The catabolic people are those high cortisol people and what happens is it’s high cortisol in comparison to their DHEA and their testosterone. And as you just pointed out, it’s the DHEA and the testosterone that helps with the lean muscle mass and it helps with the burning of fat, and it helps with not having all that high blood sugar and high insulin floating around; whereas cortisol is very pro blood sugar [and] very pro insulin. It’s breaking down all that blood sugar because we need sugar [to] `try and run from the tiger’ except we’re not actually running, so, we’re not using the blood sugar up and then the body goes `I have all this blood sugar floating around that’s not being used. I’ll just store it as fat, I’ll just store it in the liver’ and liver says `No, I’m full’ so, it just gets stored as fat. And so it becomes this vicious cycle all because of that high cortisol.

Evan Brand:          So, all the women out there listening. It’s every single week – “I want to get rid of that belly fat.” It’s always due to some sort of chronic stress that put it there in the first place because all the other places that sugar could be stored to make that cortisol, they’re full. All the buckets are full.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Right. Exactly, exactly. And, on testing where you’re just getting the daily rhythm, if you‘re just getting the free cortisol, you may have low free cortisol. Your rhythm through the day may look low and you think – or maybe your practitioner has told you – `Well, you actually have low cortisol’ but yet you have a whole bunch of belly fat. And I’m like `Yeah, I bet you have high total cortisol. I bet you have high metabolized cortisol. I bet you’re very catabolic.’ And, I would say, 99 times out of a 100,that’s what I see on my end when I’m looking at the test and talking with people.

Evan Brand:          See, that’s mind blowing when you add that extra dimension to it because if you’re just looking at the low rhythm, you assume that you just need to add in, which I know most people don’t use that anymore. But, I’ve read the outdated model which is to add in more cortisol . The practitioners would just use – I don’t even know what form it was, was that oral?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes, it was oral. The prescription is called *Cortef (21:21) and so that‘s what a lot of people were doing. And then the patient was feeling – maybe having more energy – but feeling worse and gaining more weight

Evan Brand:          So, is that the equivalent of if you’re driving a 1978 Ford Pinto and it’s about to be on its last leg and then you’re just trying to floor the gas pedal one more time. Would that be a good analogy?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah, that’s a good analogy. Yeah.

Evan Brand:       Either the engine’s gonna blow or you’re gonna have to slow down. So, at that point, that’s when we run in to the thyroid issues, right?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes, yup,or…

Evan Brand:          Is the thyroid what you would consider – go ahead…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I was gonna say: or sometimes it’s concomitant. The thyroid and adrenal glands, to me, I always say, are best friends [and] they try to help each other out but they can `sail’, so to speak, or not work as optimally at the same time which is a double whammy.

Evan Brand:          So, if you have to pick one and you’re looking at a pie chart and you have to pick which one’s the bigger issue, typically, is it gonna be the adrenals that are the bigger piece of the pie that end up causing the thyroid issues?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   You know, I’d say on the majority, yes. I always say treat the adrenals and the gut first. However, there are definitely instances when the thyroid directly impacts the adrenal glands. So, when the thyroid is really, really, sluggish it will slow down cortisol production, which people don’t really realize and, in which case, then you have to support both at the same time. You have to support adrenal and thyroid. And I don’t necessarily mean, by thyroid, hormonal thyroid replacement [because] maybe it’s just thyroid nutrients – natural thyroid support – [that you need] to get it going again so that the adrenal gland can make cortisol. So, in that instance, it may not be an adrenal problem [because] maybe the thyroid is just slowing everything down. But yeah, I would say that the majority of the time, treat the adrenals first.

Evan Brand:          Yeah, makes sense. So, now with the thyroid. If you’re talking about the offenders there, are some of the biggest ones – is that your bromides and your fluorides, and all the other…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes, yes. Oh my gosh. Yeah, definitely.

Evan Brand:          Now, [do] you have fluoridated tap water where you’re at?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah (laughs).

Evan Brand:          Yeah.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah, unfortunately.

Evan Brand:          We do here too. So, I’m in Louisville, in Kentucky and I went on the Louisville Water Company’s tour. They gave a tour in the summer during a little festival because it’s rated [as] some of the best tasting tap water in the country, which is it really is – delicious. We go through this whole tour and she never mentions anything about fluoridation. I know that the water’s fluoridated so I asked her about the process and she was kind of hesitant to answer in front of all these people, which I found weird because most people are not gonna think much about it…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Right..

Evan Brand:          And she said “Well, the last step – as soon as we have all the water filtration done – we go through the limestone here. So, that’s why it tastes really good.” And then she said [that] at the last step, a semi-truck or two backs up to the big water bucket, if you will, for the city’s water and then they back up and then they dump the dump tank-full of sodium chloride and mix it in, and then, it’s shipped out to the tap. My jaw just dropped and I was like `Oh my god’ [and] I asked her “Why do you all do that?” and she said “Well, the government makes us.” So, I guess they’re not able to make any decision to overturn that. Now, I know Portland…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes, Portland does not have fluoridated water. Not yet. It’s a debate on-going…

Evan Brand:          Told to add it?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   …all the time. Yes.

Evan Brand:          Really? Because, see, I thought – I remember when I was in Austin, there was a huge petition going around trying to remove the fluoride there – I was thinking this whole time that Portland reversed it; where they did something and they said `Okay, we’re not gonna do it anymore,’ but they just never had it to begin with?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Okay, that’s a good question. Now, I don’t remember, but I don’t believe we have fluoride in our water at this time.

Evan Brand:          Oh, are you in Portland right now?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I’m outside of Portland so I’m in *Minnville (25:21). We have different water.

Evan Brand:          Oh, okay. Man, that’s insane, isn’t it?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes. Yeah. So, I really hope that Portland can hold on and not get fluoride in their water.

Evan Brand:          Yeah, because we look around and – this isn’t judging, this is just the way it is – you look around at people and when you hear that 1 in 3 people are obese, and in the U.S, you don’t really comprehend that until you go to a big amusement park or something and then you actually see it and you’re like `Oh my god’. I was talking to my grandma the other day [and] she’s like “Evan, you got too skinny” and I told her “Grandma, you’re..” – she goes over to a casino all the time and she’s around these people that are just eating and smoking and drinking sodas and whatever – and I said “Grandma, you’re looking at a population that is completely different than who I am.” So, it’s almost like a normal looking person can now look skinny to someone.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Right, right. Yeah. We’re skewed in what the normal is.

Evan Brand:          Yeah! It’s mind-blowing. To me, I always go back to all of these thyroid offenders. So, it’s not the people’s fault. They don’t know, they just end up on Synthroid, right?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:          The doctor’s like `Your THS (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) is low we need to crank you back up.’ But…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   No, high. It’s the other way. THS is high.

Evan Brand:          Oh, and then they throw them on Synthroid?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Then they throw them on Synthroid. So, THS is high and then the T4 (Thyroxine) and the T3 (Triiodothyronine) are low, then they put them on Synthroid. They don’t know what else to do. They’re like `Well, looks like you have a thyroid problem.’

Evan Brand:          So, what is the equivalent? Is that kind of the same thing where if the gas pedals are already floored [and] you’re just trying to push it more with that drug?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Well, usually, with thyroid [it] has an incredible feedback system. So, if you put somebody on thyroid medication it’s like telling the thyroid gland to sit back with the remote and the TV because the medication will do the job for it. Your own thyroid gland will shut down production and let the medication take over.

Evan Brand:          Wow! So, that’s why…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Which is why it can be really tricky to get out once you’re on medication, depending on how high of a dose you’re on. That’s why it can be really tricky because you have to wake your own thyroid gland back up.

Evan Brand:          Wow. So it does down regulate just like testosterone.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   It does. Yep. It does. People are doing corticosteroids. People do corticoid cream, they do prednisone, or they do inhalers, or nasal sprays for allergies that have prednisone or cortisone in it and it’s the same feedback loop. We see it on testing a lot, especially this time of year [because] people are on their inhalers, they’re on their nasal sprays, and it down regulates their cortisol production. So, they’re very, very tired and we look at their report and, like, `oh yeah, you hardly have any cortisol.’ You’ve enacted the feedback loop and it’s because of your inhaler or nasal spray, or whatever.

Evan Brand:          That’s scary because a lot of this stuff [that] you’re talking about – that’s over -the-counter now, right? Like the Flonase and things like that.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah. Yup, yup.

Evan Brand:          And so, these people, they have no idea. You’re saying, basically, [that] they’re adding in – is it cortisol that they’re adding in with those sprays? What is it?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   It’s the corticosteroids, like the prednisones, not the biodentical cortisol but it’s the prednisones in it. But, it still causes the feedback loop and their adrenal gland gets down regulated.

Evan Brand:          Wow. So, I guess on the bright side of things, instead of people resorting to the inhalers and all of these other exogenous things, we could just be pulling out the allergenic foods. We could be helping [to] support the adrenal glands

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Right…

Evan Brand:          Give us some good hope for this because so many people are so dependent on these little crutches like that; like the inhalers or they go to the doctor for the steroid because they have a weird skin reaction that pops out after all the stress, and things like that. How do we get to the root of this thing?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Right. Modern medicine, unfortunately – what do they say the average doctor’s appointment is? Like 9 or 11 minutes? You just can’t get a history. You can’t talk about diet, you can’t discuss stress and relationships and what’s going on [all] in 9 or 11 minutes. Unfortunately, the model that medicine is following doesn’t allow for doctors, or providers, or healthcare practitioners to get into diet, to say `Hey look, you have a lot of phlegm. Maybe you shouldn’t eat gluten and dairy, maybe you should stop it for 30 days and see what happens.’ Or `Hey, look! You have a corn allergen or sensitivity, maybe you should give up corn for a while.’ But, instead, they say `Oh, you’re snotty and congested. Here, take this inhaler.’ or - excuse me an `intranasal spray’ – `Oh, you have a tough time breathing? Here, why don’t you take this inhaler.’ It’s like, `Well, you’re kind of perpetuating the problem.’

Evan Brand:          That’s crazy to me. The more that I interview people like you that are tuned into functional medicine, it just makes the big red thumb that is the conventional approach to these type of chronic issues, even more ridiculous. If I break my arm, I’m obviously gonna go get it fixed but…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Right, right.

Evan Brand:          …if I have the sniffles year-round, I’m not gonna go there because it’s not gonna work.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Right, right. And just like with any medicine, there’s a time and a place, absolutely. If you’re having a full-blown asthmatic attack and might die, take the inhaler. Don’t think about your adrenals at that moment.

Evan Brand:          Right.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   (chuckles)…use the inhaler. But, just like you said, if you’re having year-round asthma, potentially, there could be a lot of different things! It could be the food you’re eating [or] it could be the environmental stuff that you’re exposed to; maybe you have a mold exposure [or] maybe it’s candida. There’s a host of things that it could be.

Evan Brand:          So, I know I’ve given you a little bit of topic whiplash and you are just so en pointe so…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   (laughs)

Evan Brand:          Thank you so much for allowing me to just go all over the place with these hormone questions.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Absolutely!

Evan Brand:          Alright, so, let’s talk about some takeaways. I mean, it’s so funny however deep you dig into things with health [and] when you zoom out you’re like `Okay! Stop being on your phone at night.’ It’s so simple and so profound. So, what are some things that you’ve done? I know you’re giving a lot of clinical feedback to people, are there some lifestyle things that you add in to those? Or do you, mostly, go for the more treatment approach in terms of the…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   No. Oh, definitely lifestyle. Lifestyle is the easiest thing to change and it doesn’t usually cost any money. Supplements cost money, even supplements that are needed. But, to stop [looking] at your phone at night – if your goal is to be in bed at 10 or sleep by 10, you should probably be off your phone by about 8 [or] 8:30. Like I said, I’m totally guilty. And, unfortunately, I’ll be on my phone or my iPad and my husband will go – and my husband is not medical at all, in fact, he’s an officer in the army – he’ll go “Honey, you’re destroying your pineal gland.”

Evan Brand:          (laughs)

Dr. Carrie Jones:   And I’ll be like “Stop listening to me!” (laughs)

Evan Brand:          That’s awesome…

Dr. Carrie Jones:   “Stop! Don’t listen to me!” But, I think, definitely, the number one [is that] sleep is so critical to our health because it’s during sleep that we get all of ourselves scrubbed and restored. It’s during sleep that we make melatonin and we make growth hormones. And I tell people that growth hormone is like scrubbing bubbles; it goes through and it heals and repairs so that we wake up feeling refreshed and restored. How many people can you say still wake up in the morning and feel refreshed and restored? Not many. And so, it’s true [that] the hypothalamus in the brain requires 7-8 hours of sleep a night. So, that’s what I tell people. We really have to get good quality sleep, so start there. And then number two is diet, you are what you eat. If you, routinely, put junk and sugar and simple carbs and fancy coffee drinks with whipped cream in your body, then, you can expect that your engine’s not gonna run very well. You’re gonna feel tired and you’re gonna have blood sugar stuff, you’re gonna weight stuff, you’re gonna have hormone stuff, and skin stuff – it just goes without saying.

Evan Brand:         Yeah, it’s crazy. Now, when you go to Christmas parties and things like that with your family, is there a circle of people around you asking you questions about what they can do to fix themselves?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   No, believe it or not. (laughs) It depends, sometimes. I’m gluten-free and I’m dairy-free so, I think, sometimes my family is like “Oh, we have to think of something gluten-free for her” and I’m like “You should be gluten-free too! I got it from somewhere!” Like, “It’s genetic!”

Evan Brand:          Yeah. It’s just crazy, to me, when you start talking with people and you aren’t in a social situation and, say, you get on the subject of health or something like what we’re talking about – people are interested in this stuff; even if they don’t admit it, even if they’re not really ready to take action yet. People start to perk up a little bit when you start talking about sleep or their sex drive, and things like that. Maybe they don’t get the deeper part of how to fix it, but, they hear how much more potential you can have to be a normal or optimal functioning human and that’s appealing to people. I think we’ve also forgotten the weight thing we were talking about earlier. The average expectancy of how a human should feel and operate through life has been skewed too and, I think, people are accepting garbage moods as normal. Depression is not something that we should be feeling. I’ve watched tons of Amazon tribe documentaries and [read] different articles, most indigenous people they don’t even have real words for happy or sad. They just are and they’re always smiling and that’s so mind-blowing to me.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah. I completely agree. People accept stress, they accept fatigue [and] they accept moody as normal because everybody is, because their co-workers are, their family is, their partner is, their friends are. You text somebody `How was your day?’ and somebody writes – it’s emojis, right? – you get the frowny face emoji or the sad face emoji all the time and it’s like `Yeah, me too.’ No, no, no, no, that’s not normal. You can feel better than that.

Evan Brand:          I’m so happy for what you do and I’m so grateful and thankful that there’ s people like you that exist that are doing this stuff because we have to be little beacons, we have to be little lighthouses out there.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   (laughs) Yes! Yes, definitely.

Evan Brand:          There’s a lot of `dark’ out there, would you say?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yes. For as much information as the internet provides, I feel like there’s also a lot of naysayers and there are a lot of healthcare practitioners who do follow the traditional medical model who are like `No! You just need this medication and you’ll be fine.’ But, then the medication doesn’t work or it comes with side effects or it really doesn’t address the cause and you just get stuck in this whirlwind and can’t get out of it.

Evan Brand:          Yeah. So, this is my last question because I know we got to wrap this thing up. How do you maintain some sense of sanity about that?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   I think, because where I work, I hear super positive, exciting stories every day. Just like the feedback you told me this morning on your patient who got her period back after years of not having her period. You figured it out, you got her tested, you worked with her, and she emailed you how excited she was [that] she got her period, and I hear stories like that all the time. People really do want to, for the most part I think, get healthy. And in the field that you’re in and the field that I’m in, it’s so empowering. People come and they say `I don’t feel good. This is what’s happening. I need your help’ and it’s really exciting to put it together and it’s even more exciting when they email you or call you and they say `I’ve lost 10 pounds’ or `My acne is gone’ or `I don’t feel depressed anymore’, `My panic attacks are gone.’ And, it’s just so exciting! I just had a doctor that I’ve been working with, her patient who had really, really low cortisol across the board, couldn’t figure it out [and has] been to all these endocrinologists, and I read a research paper that Accutane, for acne, kills off cells in the hypothalamus. So, I said to this doctor “Go look up Accutane. Go look up this research. Your patient’s on her second round of Accutane.” Sure enough, she sent me an email yesterday and said “You’re not gonna believe it. We took her off Accutane [and, now,] her blood sugars are back to normal, her cortisol’s back to normal, and she feels amazing.” It was Accutane, and I’m like `Hallelujah!’ This is amazing! This poor woman would’ve probably put on drug after drug after drug to get her feeling better again and it was [the] removal of Accutane that did it.

Evan Brand:          Oh my gosh. That just gives me goosebumps.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Yeah. It’s simultaneously scary (laughs) but also exciting at the same time that that was the simple answer for her. She just had to stop it.

Evan Brand:          And now, she’s fixed, almost, or she’s on the right path.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   And now, she’s on the right path and, obviously, she’s gonna do an entirely different treatment plan for skin care because she was on Accutane for acne. So, now they’re gonna work on gut health, diet, and vitamins that are skin supportive and I think this patient will be just a 10 out of 10. I think she’s just gonna feel amazing in the next couple months

Evan Brand:          Oh. That puts a smile on my face. That’s awesome.

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Absolutely!

Evan Brand:          Thank you. Well, tell people where they can keep up with you. Do you put out any blog post or anything that people can read?

Dr. Carrie Jones:   We do, absolutely! If people go to www.dutchtest.com we actually even have a blog section and I do write part of the blog, which is super fun for me. So, DUTCH is in the country – dutchtest.com that’s where we are.

Evan Brand:          Awesome. Well, thank you! Dr. Carrie Jones, everybody! Go check her out! And thanks so much for being part of this. This is a blast!

Dr. Carrie Jones:   Thanks, Evan. I really appreciate it!