Having a difficult time staying awake in the afternoon and finding yourself reaching for that second cup of coffee? Feeling tired in the afternoons may be a part of normal circadian rhythm, but could also point to something underlying that needs to be dealt with. Listen to this episode on how to deal with the root causes of afternoon slumps.
1:30 - What is an afternoon slump
3:34 - How to mitigate insulin and blood sugar response.
5:58 - What your adrenals need to make cortisol
7:15 - Problem with too much cortisol
9:13 - Natural Circadian Rhythm
9:50 - How to test cortisol and melatonin
Trying to find an integrative medicine or functional medicine doctor who understands what you're going through? Lam Clinic does Telemedicine all over the world and is only a phone call away.
1. Educate yourself by visiting our website: www.lamclinic.com
2. Call our office at 714-709-8000 to schedule an appointment.
FIND US ONLINE HERE:
» Website: https://www.lamclinic.com/
» Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lamclinic
» Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lam_clinic/
» Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@lamclinic
» YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWtdb4L5h5EuxKvkNq3M7yw
Are you feeling tired in the afternoon and feel like you need a second cup of coffee to get you through the day? This is the Dr. Lam Show where we talk about integrative medicine, and educate and empower you to take control of your health. We hope that you find this information helpful. If you do, give us a review, this will help make this show more visible and help us reach a wider audience. Today, we're going to give you some very general and basic information on afternoon slumps. I'm Dr. Jeremy Lam an internal medicine physician and Board Certified in anti aging and regenerative medicine. I spent my medical career working in chronic disease treatment and prevention. And I believe firmly in the power of preventative and holistic medicine.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
I'm Dr. Carrie Lam, a family medicine physician, I've completed my fellowship in functional and metabolic medicine as well and worked in lifestyle and nutrition throughout my career. Today, we are going to deal with this common symptom of afternoon slumps, which many people complain of. It's not just the adrenal fatigue sufferers. So Dr. Jeremy, what is an afternoon slump?Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
We've all been through this when we felt energy drained in the mid afternoon and we don't quite understand why, all of a sudden, in the in the afternoon, our body just runs out of steam. We find that a nap is necessary, or else the body tends to have a brain fog and it doesn't feel quite right. Some patients describe it as you feel like you're going in slow motion for two to three hour period in the afternoon.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Yes and a lot of people feel it, especially after a heavy, high carbohydrate meal. They feelDr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
The most common problem is related to that brain fog immediately after lunch. So the afternoon slump can leave people in a severe state of what we call an afternoon coma or a food coma. This is related to insulin in a metabolic response of the blood sugar. The blood in your brain goes to your bowels to digest food, and therefore you feel a little bit more tired in the afternoon. In addition, there is a natural circadian rhythm where there is a slump when your body goes into that afternoon tiredness. In Spain, they take an afternoon siesta, because it is a normal part of their day to take a rest and their society has placed this need, so that they're more efficient and successful and be able to work throughout the day. But maybe that circadian rhythm is a natural thing that happens in our body? And so how do we mitigate if it is due to an insulin response or a metabolic response, Dr. Jeremy blood sugar. When you eat a meal full of carbs, then insulin is the cause, but if you eat a balanced meal with many vegetables and still have afternoon slump, then that could be due to adrenal fatigue.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
So if you have a metabolic response where your blood sugar drops, due to eating a high carb load, you can mitigate that by eating vegetables and salads with some protein. Less carbs means there is less likelihood of heavier food coma afternoon slump type of load. However, if you're eating well, with good vegetables and not high in carbs, then you have to think of something else like adrenal fatigue, which is causing this. What exactly can cause this? Imagine your gas tank is your body's fuel and if you are burning that fuel all morning, with stress due to work, and you eventually run out of gas, that's when your body starts to feel tired. This means that your body's giving you a warning sign, about low fuel, that your energy reserve is down, the yellow light that you need to fill it back up. So this slump is that yellow light. You have to listen to your body when you're running low on energy and if you don't refuel, you would not only have low sugar, but also feel tired in the afternoon. So it's important to eat food high in nutrients, that is good for your adrenals as well. What food would you recommend Dr. Jeremy?Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
The ingredient necessary to help the adrenals make cortisol is, fat. You need phospholipids and fat to make cortisol. Other things that's very important is Vit C and Vit B5 for making cortisol, the amazing hormone that the adrenals make. The cortisol helps to release blood sugar from glycogen storage and when your body encounters stress, your cells need energy, they need sugar. Cortisols helps to release sugar for your body to fight off stress. At the same time, it's anti inflammatory. So that's why the body feels great when you have cortisol in your body. Athletes, often take cortisol shots, if you have dermatitis or a rash that's highly inflamed, you put hydrocortisone cream and that helps soothe and helps with healing the dermatitis. So what happens Dr. Carrie when there the level of cortisol is very high?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
When your body continues to release a lot of cortisol throughout the day, your adrenals are going to burn out over time. Too much cortisol is actually a disease called Cushing's disease, where the adrenals keep releasing cortisol. Cortisol can store fat causing a buffalo hump on the neck, along with abdominal weight gain. The fat cells start to accumulate, especially in the stomach area, around the belly fat. You will not be able to balance your sugars if the cortisol levels continue to remain high. Over time, if the adrenals get really tired of producing high amount of cortisol, it causes a burnout and cortisol production stops. This leads to very low cortisol, which could cause this afternoon slump. So it's very important to have a good rhythmic curve, where cortisol is high in the morning, drops down during the day, slowly and gradually in a normal rhythm, curves up at noon and by late afternoon it starts to drop again and by late evening it stays low for the rest of the night. And so you want to make sure that your body's cortisol is able to follow this rhythm in order for your metabolism to be regulated so that you have enough energy in the day. By maintaining this circadian rhythm you can avoid the afternoon slump.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
Again, regarding the circadian rhythm, it might be natural to nap around that time, is interesting, because, for some people, on the other hand, if they nap in the afternoon then they cannot sleep at night. And so everybody is different and you you have to find your own rhythm and whether your body needs nap or whether that is the right time for you to take a rest.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
If you're curious about how to find your cortisol levels throughout the day, it can be done through saliva tests and you'll be able to see that curve even with melatonin as well. So you can see how your circadian rhythm is, you can find out what your cortisol curve looks like and where you need to have these curves worked upon. There is no magic pill that can solve this. It is an individualized program to be able to move that cortisol curve based on your sleep, your lifestyle, nutrition, supplementation, and get through this afternoon slump. It is doable and is better than drinking coffee to stimulate you in the afternoon. The more stimulants you take, whether it's coffee, herbs, glandulars, or sugar, will only boost your energy short term. But if you do it for long without finding the underlying cause, then you could develop tolerance. So it may get worse and then over time, your adrenal experiences higher burnout. So if you crash, you are craving that afternoon nap and you can listen to your body and take a short nap. Unless you're the type of person that if you take a nap and it disrupts your sleep at night. So listen to your body and know that this energy drop can be normal. But if it's something, very debilitating for you, it can also be a sign that something's unbalanced in your body. If you're concerned about this afternoon slump, call our Lam clinic, 714709 8000 and we can go through and we can run those saliva tests that we talked about to see where your levels are.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
Thanks for listening to the Dr. Lam show today. Please like and subscribe to this channel if you found it helpful and share it if you know someone who also needs to hear it. Bye for now from everyone at the Dr. Lam show and remember that we're here to empower you to take control of your health.Unknown:
This podcast has been produced and broadcast solely for informational and educational purposes by Lam clinic statements and views expressed in this podcast are not medical advice and have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. The products and supplements discussed in this podcast are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you believe you may have a medical condition please consult your own doctor. opinions of guests are their own and Lam Clinic does not endorse or accept responsibility for any of the statements and views made by guests. The views and opinions of guests in the podcast are their own and do not reflect those of Lam clinic. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about guest qualifications or credibility. In some cases, individuals on the podcast may have a direct or indirect financial interest in the products or services referred to herein podcast listeners should always seek the advice of their physicians or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding their own medical conditions. podcast listeners must always continue to follow the advice of their personal physicians for all of their medical needs.