The Dr. Lam Show

How Stress is Harming Your Liver: The Shocking Connection You Need to Know About

March 10, 2024 Dr. Lam
The Dr. Lam Show
How Stress is Harming Your Liver: The Shocking Connection You Need to Know About
Show Notes Transcript

Discover the surprising link between stress and liver damage in this eye-opening video. We delve deep into the science behind how chronic stress can have detrimental effects on your liver's health. Learn preventative measures and proactive steps to protect this vital organ and promote overall well-being.

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Stress affects our liver in multiple ways. When a person is under stress, which can be physical or mental, the body reacts. Now bear in mind, sometimes you may not think that you're under stress. For example, if you're eating. Eating is a stressful event, for example, just thinking about something that is unpleasant can be a stressful event. So the body reacts in a certain way even though you may appear calm. But let's stay with where we are, the body receives the signals from your eyes from your nose from your ears, you hear the startling sound that is loud, you visualize a traumatic accident, you have a bad relationship, the brain receives all these signals. And as far as the brain is concerned, it is stressful. So what does it do? It sends a signal through the HPA axis and HPT axis, Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal, as well as the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid axis, which is like the highways that carries the hormones to the various organs. And what do these organs do? The brain will signal the adrenal glands to make cortisol. Cortisol is the body's anti inflammatory and the ultimate stress hormone. What does cortisol do? Cortisol raises blood sugar. Why? It's because the body now understand that if you're under stress, you may need to have sugar for you to run away, as if a tiger is attacking you. So it raises cortisol, the cortisol goes to the liver and converts the glycogen into blood sugar, so that the sugar can then be sent to the brain for you to stay alert, and to the muscles, so that you can run away. So what else what happens when this event occurs is that its intended to be good, okay. But in the process, you're increasing blood sugar, and increasing blood sugar will lead to an increase in insulin output from the pancreas. Because pancreas job is to see that the blood sugar doesn't go too high, to bring it back down. So you're putting excessive stress into the pancreas now, okay. And so if this goes on for too long, then the body's insulin level goes up. Its level of insulin go up means that the body's sugar is trying to push back into the liver and create a cycle where the liver has too much sugar in the form of glycogen and triglyceride storage leading ultimately, to a condition called fatty liver. If you're not careful, as well as insulin resistance. So one branch is to stress increased cortisol which increased blood sugar which increased insulin, which boomerangs back to the liver. The second is the involving the hormone called adrenaline or also called epinephrine. When you're under stress, not only does the cortisol go up, you know, the epinephrine, which is controlled by the adrenal medulla, the center part of the adrenal glands also go up, especially in the case of So when you have stress, epinephrine goes up, the blood flow to your liver goes down that increases the chances of you getting liver congestion. Okay, so liver congestion, again, it leads to the sugar not being moved into the liver and chronic stress where your body's in fatigue over time, causes peripheral hyperglycemia by design, but this leads, just like the cortisol increasing the blood sugar through glycogen conversion to sugar will lead to hyperinsulinemia or excessive amount of insulin. So excessive amount of insulin over time and chronically low in cortisol. Remember in when your body is we're talking about over time, we're not about acute, you know, just one or two hours and come back down, that is normal. But if you keep doing it over and over again, then the body eventually will get too much insulin that lead to insulin first exposed to stress, cortisol tend to go up. But if resistance leads to a fatty liver, as the sugar is trapped in the liver in the form of triglyceride and liver become saturated. On top of that, remember stress also, I mentioned earlier goes through the thyroid and two mechanisms. you continue the stress for a long time the cortisol will tend One is through the HPT axis, where there's a direct connection from the brain to the thyroid to tell the thyroid to slow down. Again, to conserve energy, okay. Very important. Number two cortisol, when it is high, also binds up the thyroid to go down and becomes a flattened, so to say, and when binding globulin that is undesigned in order to reduce the thyroid output. Why is because the body thinks that you know, in time of stress its important to conserve energy. So, what's a better way to conserve energy to non essential that happens, if you don't kind of have the body kind of restore organs than by lowering the basal metabolic rate, which is thyroid, so people with adrenal fatigue, especially in advanced stages, often have low thyroid symptoms, they may not be clinically told to be hypo thyroid, but they have avid this equilibrium, then that will trigger the release of reducing Free T3, low Free T4 and TSH tend to go up like bloodwork. And then stress as I said earlier, because of the cortisol effect, and the insulin effect can lead to a rising insulin. So you do fasting insulin, it can go up. The adrenaline. Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, restricts triglyceride can go up as well. And so, these are all ramifications of how stress can affect the liver. And from there, once the liver is compromised, then your metabolic regulation goes down. Yeah, because of the triglyceride, blood flow to the visceral organs, the gallbladder, insulin, glycogen storage will be affected. Number two, your insulin may be affected resulting ultimately in potential hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. And with the side effects of the hypoglycemia, if kidneys, and is doing that for the reason to help to push the the insulin level goes too far up to fast, and of course, you know, the adrenaline that we talked about as a function of stress can also cause a bunch of side reactions, including insomnia, POTS (which is Postural Orthostatic blood into your brain and other muscles. So you can run away and Tachycardia), PVCs, atrial fib, Fibromyalgia, anxiety, an excessive amount of cortisol can also lead to metabolic disruptions, and salt craving, blood pressure dysregulation, etc. So your body is pretty messed up. And a lot of it has have alertness. So the internal organs are kind of sacrificed, to do with liver. So reduce the stress is number one, fortify your liver function is number two. And then I think you will be much better I hope you get to understand how physiologically how everything is intertwined. And maintaining a healthy liver by reducing so to say, during the time of stress. stress is seldom what we call it paid attention to, but it's such an important factor in your overall optimum health.