Understanding Thyroid and Adrenal Health with Dr. Izabella Wentz

Welcome to The Betty Rocker Show! Today I’m talking to Dr. Izabella Wentz, a compassionate, solution-focused integrative pharmacist who is dedicated to finding the root cause of chronic health conditions.

An accomplished author, Dr. Wentz has written several New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling books about thyroid health and protocols for healing Hashimotos that I recommend looking into if you’re interested in those topics.

Her latest book the Adrenal Transformation Protocol focuses on resetting the body’s stress response through targeted safety signals and features a 4-week program that has already helped over 3,500 people.

Today we’re diving into thyroid and adrenal health to help you understand these interconnected systems and get some ideas about navigating the stress response. Dr. Wentz has some great suggestions for helping to support the adrenal glands and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from listening!

Episode Transcript

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Welcome to The Betty Rocker Show, the place to be, to nourish your mind, love your body, and rock your life.

Bree (00:23):
What’s up, rock Stars, Coach Betty Rocker here. And today I’m talking to Dr. Izabella Wentz, a compassionate solution focused integrative pharmacist who is dedicated to finding the root cause of chronic health conditions. Her passion stems from her own diagnosis with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2009, after dealing with a decade of debilitating symptoms. An accomplished author Dr. Wentz, has written several New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books about thyroid health and protocols for healing Hashimoto’s that I really recommend looking into if you’re interested in those topics.

Her latest book, The Adrenal Transformation Protocol, focuses on resetting the body’s stress response through targeted safety signals and features a four week program that has already helped over 3,500 people. This book, like her other work, is written in her clear and friendly writing style that makes learning about your body fun and interesting. I’m so looking forward to diving in and learning more about adrenal health with her today as her program has an impressive success rate with over 80% of her participants improving symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, sleep issues, and libido. So join me in giving a warm welcome to Dr. Izabella Wentz. Welcome Dr. Izabella Wentz.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (01:52):
Hi, Bree. It’s so great to have to be here with you. It’s so great to see you again.

Bree (01:57):
It’s so great to see you too. And thank you so much for coming to talk about adrenal health because it’s such a juicy topic that we are all so interested in and you’re so well known as a thyroid expert. When I think of you, I think about Hashimoto’s protocols and thyroid health, and I constantly refer people who I’m coaching to you and your work and your books for this very reason.
So I am super interested to hear all about your new book about adrenal health, but I’m also curious about your journey with thyroid health because it sounds like that’s really set the stage for all of this great work you’ve done. Tell me more about your background and this work that you’ve been doing with the thyroid and now adrenal work.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (02:50):
So I wasn’t always interested in the thyroid gland during pharmacy school. I had a course, maybe one hour lecture on thyroid disorders. And pretty much what I got from it was that the most common cause of thyroid issues, of hypothyroidism was an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s which is correct. And that the solution for that was to prescribe a medication known as levothyroxine, and that sometimes the person might need a branded version of that because of the absorption profile, because it was a narrow therapeutic index drug. And I was like, wow, that’s so boring. That is not something that I’m interested in.

And then of course I got the condition myself, and I realized that it wasn’t so cut and dry. And I had years and years of symptoms, 10 years where I went through panic attacks, anxiety, fatigue, hair loss, I had carpal tunnel in both arms, I had irritable bowel syndrome, I had tons of allergies and acid reflux. And it was like my body was falling apart starting in my 20s. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was around 27 years old. And by that time, I was kind of a couch potato. I had all of these ambitions, but very little energy to do anything other than go to my job, come back home, eat something, sit on my couch, watch TV and go to bed. I would sleep …

Bree (04:25):
Oh my gosh. As a 20 year old woman too. That’s just so sad.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (04:31):
It was crushing. I mean, I would go to bed at nine and I’d wake up at eight and then still exhausted.

Bree (04:37):
And did you have that sort of sense of I need to be exercising, I need to be eating, were you struggling with your body image? Because that’s very common at that age too, and not having answers to what was going on with you.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (04:53):
I had a lot of bloating and I had excess weight. I remember just one day I was putting on my sweatpants. This came a little bit later, so I was like, why are my sweatpants so tight and why is my stomach so bloated? I used to go to the gym five days a week and ate whole grains and did exercise and all these things, but I just did not look fit. So I couldn’t build a lot of muscle anywhere in my body. And I was so into doing ab exercises and all of these things, but I had a central fat in my tummy. That’s where it would all collect.

Bree (05:35):
Yup. And this was all from your thyroid dysregulation?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (05:38):
It was from my thyroid dysregulation and all the things that came with it. So I say that I thought thyroid conditions were very boring because I thought it was just one medications to treat them. And I didn’t realize that the thyroid gland impacts every cell in the body. And so there are root causes of why we get a thyroid condition, and then there are the consequences of being hypothyroid, and they can play a big part on the body so hypothyroidism can impact our digestive tracts. So we oftentimes need to fix that when we’re addressing a thyroid condition. And then having a thyroid condition can lead to a lot of stress in the body. So we need to fix that.

And on the flip side of that, digestive issues and stress can also contribute to thyroid issues. So it’s kind of a big picture approach that I didn’t really realize when I was in pharmacy school where you looked at the thyroid gland through a microscope or through a very narrow lens, and you just hyper-focused on the thyroid gland. And thyroid gland is sick, give it thyroid hormone, and that’s it, where what I’ve come to realize now as a Hashimoto’s expert, human guinea pig is there’s a lot of things we need to do to get a person who may happen to have the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s to actually feel like a human again.

Bree (07:05):
Yeah, that’s really interesting. And then you’re now really looking into the adrenals because you’ve got a new book about adrenal health. And how did you segue from this Hashimoto’s protocol into adrenal health? I mean, they’re connected, but make that connection for us, help us understand how that works in the body.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (07:30):
Absolutely. In my healing journey, one of the things that helped me initially was getting off of inflammatory foods. Gluten and dairy were two of the most common inflammatory foods for people with Hashimoto’s, myself included. So a lot of my digestive symptoms went away when I cut out these foods within three days. And I was like, wow, I have abs. Where did these abs come from within just a few weeks of doing that? But then I still struggled with brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, sleep issues, unrefreshing sleep, all of these symptoms. So I was like, okay, I got rid of two symptoms. Can I go deeper and figure out what else is going on with me? And somebody brought up the term adrenal fatigue, and I was like, okay, I’m doing my little search online. And I’m like, adrenal fatigue. Oh wait, it’s not a real disorder. So I was like, nevermind. I don’t have it. It’s not real.

And then finally, I think the 15th person brought it up and I was like, okay, fine. I’ll look into it. And sure enough, I had all of the symptoms and then the more research and the more digging I did is that it makes a lot of sense for people who have thyroid issues that the majority of them will have adrenal issues. And this was definitely the case with me. So people, if you have Hashimoto’s and you have hypothyroidism, your body will try to compensate by slowing down the breakdown of your cortisol. And this is kind of helpful to kind of help you have more energy when your thyroid gland isn’t able to produce more energy. But the energy from cortisol is more anxious energy rather than kind of relaxed, and I’m present, and I’m here and I feel good energy.

And when you have a hypothyroid condition and that’s discovered by a physician, they will usually give you replacement thyroid hormone. And this can be very helpful to correct that hypothyroidism, but it can also unmask your cortisol being dysregulated because your cortisol clearance will increase when you have normal thyroid function that has been underactive for a while. And so a person ends up sometimes having adrenal fatigue, adrenal dysfunction, adrenal issues once they get on thyroid hormones. They’ll say, “Okay, great. I was hypothyroid. I’m going to take these hormones. I’m going to feel so amazing.” And then they take them and they’re like, “Well, feel a little bit better.” And then all of a sudden they might actually crash and they feel worse.

Bree (10:07):
And that’s because of the cortisol connection?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (10:10):
Exactly. So the cortisol will start clearing out of their body quicker, and then this can uncover that stress response, that altered stress response that many of us get stuck in. And I would say with working with people over the last decade, 90% of the people that I’ve worked with with Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome and autoimmune disorders, they have some pattern of adrenal dysfunction where their adrenals are not producing the right amounts of cortisol at the right time, and they’re stuck in that survival mode, and they’re stuck in that dysregulated adrenal state.

Bree (10:53):
That I can relate to. I began my own journey down the pathway of functional medicine protocols and just really trying to find answers for myself when I was dealing back in my early 30s with this totally dysregulated energy, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. And I had that tired but wired thing. And it coincided with getting out of the hospitality industry and having been working like a dog at night all the time on a really messed up sleep schedule. But also it culminated after I hadn’t dealt with my deeper core stress issues yet. And so it was sort of a snowball effect, I think, that I was fortunately working with a functional medicine doctor at the time who diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue. And I remember researching it myself because I’m such a fact finder and reading all this stuff. And this was over 10 years ago at this point.

And it was even more poo-pooed by the conventional medical industry of, “This is fake, this isn’t a real condition, you’re full of it. There’s no such thing as adrenal fatigue,” which it’s hard when you read that stuff and you’re like, oh, I have this fake thing that some quack doctor is helping me with, but actually I got a lot better thanks to them looking at that as what was going on. And then as I alluded to, I worked to heal my stress response by addressing some of the underlying stressors that I had, but I also really needed someone to help address my cortisol. I needed someone to help me figure out these things and what to do about it. So it’s really interesting what you said about the adrenal burnout or the adrenal fatigue piece and how that has been sort of like, I don’t know, just poo-pooed by conventional medicine.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (13:01):
Yeah. It’s a little bit frustrating for me because what patients hear when they’re struggling with the brain fog, with the fatigue, with the depression, with all of these symptoms, the feeling wired but tired and gaining extra weight when they don’t want to be, what they’re hearing is it’s all in your head when you say that this condition isn’t real. When the truth of the matter is there is a thing that happens with our stress response in response to stress. Your body will adapt to stress in a very predictable way, and that is through that dysregulation of cortisol production. The scientific term for it is HPA-axis dysfunction or hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis dysfunction, which doesn’t roll off the top of your tongue, but it is a real condition. And if you look into PubMed, if you spend any time on the medical research, you’ll be able to find that condition.

It’s not a disease, per se. It’s the way that our body adapts to stress and chronic stress in particular. And the symptoms are all there. The symptoms are all the same. I think the confusion came about was where a naturopathic doctor who was really in tune and really listening to his patients noticed this cluster of symptoms and made a connection between that and the person’s stress response. He coined the term adrenal fatigue and this ended up trending, I guess, back in the day. But his theory on how that worked was that our adrenals were actually tired or damaged or for whatever reason they weren’t able to produce enough cortisol and stress hormones throughout the day because they were physically unable.

Now, the truth is that that’s not necessarily what’s happening. It’s basically there’s a communication breakdown between our brain, the hypothalamus pituitary, and then our actual adrenals. And so that’s what’s happening when our body has been exposed to chronic stress and senses chronic stress for a prolonged time period. Things like early childhood trauma can set you off into that survival setting and you’ll get in that state. It’s not a disease per se, but it is real. So if anybody has these symptoms, they’re 100% real and there’s a way out.

Bree (15:33):
Yeah, it’s not in your head. And I work with women every day and I feel like I hear from them constantly how they’re dismissed for their concerns or for their symptoms. I’m just going to speak to the women that I serve. I feel like many of them are presenting or have been diagnosed with thyroid dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction, other types of even autoimmune. And I wonder, is this something that does affect women more? Are we more impacted by stress in that way?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (16:13):
Absolutely. The studies with thyroid issues, for every man diagnosed, there will be five to eight women diagnosed. The HPA-axis dysfunction is also more common in women. Autoimmunity is more common in women. And I feel like as women we are just more tuned into our environment and our ability to sense stress is increased, which, in a way, it’s a gift, but it’s also a burden. We are the ones that are carrying new life into this world and when we are exposed to stressful events our bodies are just tuned in to help us survive. So, for a woman, it probably wouldn’t be beneficial to reproduce and carry a baby during a famine or during a war.

And so that’s the adaptive physiology piece where our bodies are like, “Okay, this is a tough time. We’re going to help you survive. We’re going to take away reproduction. We’re going to take away beautiful hair. We’re going to take away having good metabolism and taking away your energy to focus on survival so you can get through this harsh winter, sit it out in your cave, and wait until the bears pass by your cave and move away from there.” And I feel like that is the pattern that I’ve seen in a lot of women over the years.

Bree (17:44):
Just that they’re so much more prone to having these types of conditions that stem from the dysregulated stress response, basically?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (17:53):
Women are not little men.

Bree (17:55):
No, we are not, and it makes sense what you’re saying. I feel like the women I know and the women I serve, they’re so deeply empathetic, and I know so many empathetic men, but we know that we have differences in our psyches and the way that we process information. We also have vast differences in our hormone balance throughout our life cycle because of reproduction. Whether or not you’re having kids, you can still get these dysregulations, and it’s just really important, I think, to more know more about how your body works. So I’ve got this thing called “the four pillars of health” in my brand and these are the four things that I always say we have control over or that we can address. We can do as much to control these four things as possible, and they’re sleep, nutrition, stress management, and exercise. And people always come to me for the exercise piece, but I say, “Look, the exercise piece isn’t really going to work for you unless you’re surrounding it with these other things which are also within your control.”

And the stress piece is one that I feel is sometimes the least understood or the least addressed by most of us, because it’s one of those intangibles. It’s hidden in plain sight every day, what your stress level is, what you’re dealing with. And women are strong as heck. They’re capable, they manage a million things all the time, and I feel like they’re a lot of the times suppressing the stress that they have, internalizing the stress that they have. I guess where I’m going with this is, I’m wondering, how do you help people to tune into their bodies and to tune into the stress levels that they have? What are some of your suggestions and solutions, I guess, for that?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (19:50):
Sure. So one of the things that I go through is figuring out, what are your current stressors and thinking about why is your body receiving messages from your environment that you’re not safe right now? A big part of what I do is I help women shift out of survival mode into that thriving mode. And we focus on safety signals where, if there are stressors we can get rid of and we know that they’re there, let’s do that first, where I’ll have a person take a piece of paper and they’ll divide that in half and we’ll make a list, makes me feel better on one side and makes me feel worse on the other side. And we can design our own healing plan this way. A lot of times people feel worse when they’re sleep-deprived. They feel better when they spend time in nature. And so if there are things that are modifiable, maybe you are just burning the candle on both ends and you don’t need to be, then can we get more sleep? And that can be really helpful for recovery from stress.

Can you do more time in nature? Is that realistic for you because you know you feel so much better when you do that? And I focus on really helping women to get to know their own bodies and listen to the subtle signs that they’re getting from themselves. A lot of times, when we’re anxious, when we’re feeling irritable, when we’re feeling exhausted, it could be not necessarily because we’re doing too much, but it could be because we’re doing too much of the wrong things and not enough of the right things. So I really want to focus on, what are the things that you can do in your day-to-day life to make you feel really, really good?

Bree (21:41):
And you mentioned safety signals. That’s a powerful phrase. I like it a lot. It’s one of the things that I think I had to work on myself when I was healing those early childhood things, those events, putting them into the place. I had to create a sense of security in myself, and safety was a big piece of that, feeling safe. And so, regardless of the reason why you don’t feel safe, by sending safety signals I guess we’re implying that we don’t feel safe, and that’s something that whatever the reason behind it is it’s important to acknowledge that. Would you talk a little bit more about that? I find that really interesting.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (22:32):
Sure. So thinking about what causes us to sense danger in our environment, there are four types of stressors. So that would be inflammation. That can be from something internal in your body like a chronic infection or a toxic exposure. It could be from the food that you’re eating. It could be something like sleep deprivation or circadian rhythm dysregulation. Whenever that’s out of balance, we’re going to be sensing danger in our environment. Then there’s also the trauma and stress piece of it. So current psychological stress, what’s going on in your life these days that’s leading you to feel overstressed? Is it over exercising? Is it under eating? Is it skipping meals? What kind of messages or behaviors and patterns like that sending to your body? I always say, “We’re these evolved humans in some ways, but also we have the genes of cave women, and a cave woman probably wouldn’t be running on a treadmill for three hours straight and starving herself.”

Our body still senses that as a big stressor. Our body’s picking up the stress that, “Okay, we must be in a famine or we’re being chased by some lions, tigers, or bears, whatever,” and so the body will shift into that survival mode. I really think about that. What can we do in our current lives that is setting off those danger alarms? Sometimes it’s media that we consume that’s currently stressful for us. I know during the pandemic times when everybody wasn’t sure what was going on and you’re watching TV, it’s all doom and gloom, that can really set off our stress response and nobody feels safe. Something bad could be happening to us. Fortunately, most of the things nowadays do not threaten our existence, our immediate existence, and so sometimes tuning those things out or just finding a way to ground yourself as you’re listening to bad news is going to be really helpful for your stress response.

And then I think one piece that you really talked about that’s super important is that history of childhood trauma or even trauma that we experienced as an adult. That can really shift us into that danger state where we could be perfectly safe, but our body is sensing and just on high alert for any danger. I know I was recently talking to somebody who had a friend who survived a shooting, and so this woman, she walks into every room now and has this hypervigilant stress response after surviving that traumatic experience of, “Oh my gosh, I need to check where the doors are. I need to check where the exits are.” And I know this is a really extreme example, maybe most of us haven’t been through things like that, but there are a lot of patterns that some of us are not even aware of from childhood that can be very triggering in present day if we don’t rewire some of those patterns.

Bree (25:48):
When you deal with things at a young age that your brain can’t process, I think a symptom or a sign to give you a clue that something might need to be addressed is that you’re reacting constantly instead of being able to respond, right? Would you say that’s kind of a sign?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (26:11):
Yeah, that’s a huge sign for a lot of people. I always say if you don’t heal what cut you, you’ll bleed on those that didn’t hurt you. You see that a lot with people who get really easily triggered. I know for me personally, I grew up with an older brother who was like 6’2″ and really into martial arts and super strong all the time, and nothing that ever happened to me didn’t have any major trauma with him or anything like that, but he was always the strong one and I was this little weak one. So I was walking around with this story in my head that I was weak. And I remember when I was maybe 10 years old, there was a toddler that hit me that confirmed that I was this little weakling that just could be attacked by anybody.

I was walking around with that story in my head and somebody would say something like, “Oh, let me get the door for you.” I would be like, “No, I can do it myself.” I would be so triggered by people trying to be kind or lifting things for me where when I took the time to reprocess that trauma, I was like, “Oh, you want to carry my bags for me? So that’s so kind of you. Or you want to open the door for me? Wow.” It doesn’t mean that you think I’m weak and I can’t do it myself. It means that you actually are trying to be kind and you just… Trauma basically gives you a different lens and gives you a different perspective on the world that isn’t necessarily true.

Bree (27:44):
It has this big impact on our cortisol response, that chronic stress that we have. I know that in women, chronically elevated levels of cortisol, not only do they lead to these dysregulated HPA axis dysregulation, which we’ve talked about a lot from several angles, but also we get this propensity to store fat, especially in our belly. This is particularly in women, which seems completely unfair, but it’s like this is one of the things, I mean, as a fitness coach, of course, every day, one of the things, one of the several things that I’m helping my women with is their body composition, right?

We’re really focused on how can we help strengthen our muscle tissue. We know that cortisol breaks down muscle and helps the body store fat, which is the opposite of the body composition that we are going for for the most part. It’s not just the aesthetics of the body composition that are what people are after, it’s the health metrics as well. I mean, if you’re constantly exercising and hoping to get stronger because you want to have better bone density as you age, you want to have more capability, but you’re constantly dealing with this chronic stress and the results of that and your body’s fighting you, it’s breaking down all the muscle you’re trying to build, and you’re just never going to really feel that health, that vitality, that ability to have your body thrive and do its normal functions.

So I guess if there were specific things about our adrenals that we should know to do to be proactive in supporting our adrenal health, are there any specific tips? I want to basically make myself a little checklist right now and be like, “We’re having to do Isabella’s checklist to make sure I’m promoting the health of my adrenals, a healthy cortisol response.” Of course I’ve read your book, so I just want the recap too.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (29:48):
Yeah, of course. Definitely cortisol can be really problematic whether it’s too high or it’s too low or if it’s in the right amounts, but secreted at the wrong times of day. So the way to rebalancing it all is we want to focus on sending these safety signals. One of them is really huge is nutrient density. So you’re eating foods that are full of nutrients and that’s of powerful signal to your body that you are safe, that you’re not starving, that you’re not in a famine. So I aim for really high quality foods. Also we’re focusing on foods that are not inflammatory to your body. Oftentimes for people, gluten and dairy can be very inflammatory, so we stay off of these foods if they are inflammatory to you.

We really focus on making sure you have enough protein and fat on board. That’s incredibly helpful for balancing blood sugar. Protein is also one of the things, and I know you and I both love protein and I actually had your protein shake this morning. It was delicious. The vanilla one is my favorite. I am actually a vanilla girl. Everybody loves chocolate, but I’m like, “Give me more vanilla.” It’s fabulous. A lot of women, they’re not getting enough protein. When we’re in that catabolic state, that means that our body is breaking itself down. In order to fix that, part of what we need is more protein because we need more amino acids to repair our bodies.

A lot of times people think if you’re a bodybuilder, you need more protein. Definitely if you’re on an exercise routine, you recommend you do want to do that. But also people who have chronic health issues and people who are older, you do need to eat more protein, right? So unless you have kidney issues, and of course that is something to consider. Proper hydration, utilizing electrolytes, I don’t mean Gatorade. A lot of times when people are under chronic stress, they’re going to be dehydrated and they’re not going to have enough of these electrolytes and these are going to help us recover.

I always say electrolytes are utilized by athletes to help them recover from strenuous stress and exercise. For people with adrenal issues, sometimes walking around their house can feel like that too. So if you’re somebody that’s like, “I want to do more exercise, but I can’t deal with it, I have such a hard time with recovering from exercise,” which is one of the things I hear from the women that I’ve worked with is let’s really focus on hydration and let’s also focus on your mitochondrial health. So our mitochondria, many times if you have exercise intolerance, you’re not able to perhaps tolerate as much exercise as you used to, focusing on supporting our mitochondria, part of the protocol that I recommend is addressing some of the nutrients that are going to be depleted when we’re under a lot of stress.

B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, these are all also very important for mitochondrial health. I also have a section about utilizing carnitine, which is fabulous for muscle health, for our mitochondria and even for thyroid fatigue and for brain fog. Then I go through some things like lifestyle related in addition to supplements and nutrition, such as aligning with a circadian rhythm where you are exposed to bright lights throughout the day, not so much at night, and just really establishing that healthy sleep pattern so your body can have lots of energy throughout the day and get really refreshing regenerative sleep at night. Then I-

Bree (33:44):
Also going to help with the when, because earlier you were saying cortisol can be too high, it could be too low, it could be just right, but then you’re not having it happen at the right time. I think addressing the circadian rhythm would be one of the ways that you could help it happen, could help it get back on its correct cycle, because cortisol has a cycle that it’s supposed to go through in the body. Correct?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (34:06):
Absolutely. So generally we want to have higher levels of cortisol in the morning and go down this gradual slide as the day goes by to the point where at the end of the day we have very little cortisol so we can make melatonin and get sleep, all that good stuff, not wake up at 3 AM hangry.

Bree (34:23):
Right. Which is why we want that bright light in the morning and we want to dim the lights towards the evening. That’s one that people hear a lot, but they’re like, “Eh, whatever. I’m just going to watch my show.” I’m like, “Just put on your blue blocking glasses when you watch your show or just do something to help your body start to know it’s nighttime.”

Dr. Izabella Wentz (34:54):
Thank you so much. I will say I have 14 specific signals and everybody kind of chooses what works really well within their lifestyle because they all build on each other and not everybody needs to address everyone.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (35:11):
Positive thought patterns are things that people can utilize in their day-to-day life. So things like starting your day with gratitude, one of the fastest ways to shift out of overwhelm, which is a common symptom of adrenal dysfunction and being in that survival mode.

Bree (35:29):
Fight or flight.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (35:30):
Fight or flight, exactly. Is just starting off with some gratitude and working on journaling habit, finding a way to say positive things to yourself so-

Bree (35:43):
Doesn’t that send our body a safety signal, like if we’re stressed out and worried about and feeling overwhelmed in that overwhelmed state, kind of just stepping out of that overwhelmed state and focusing in on the things that we’re so thankful for can help us get out of that crazy stressful like, “I have to worry about everything all at once,” right?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (36:07):
Oh my gosh, absolutely. It’s very game changing within just 10 days or so of people utilizing that practice. I know a lot of the women that have gone through the program now, 3,500 or so, have gone through and they’ve rated all of the various interventions as the most helpful and the positive thought patterns and the gratitude. They’re like, “This is something that I’m going to keep with me for a as long as I possibly can remember because it’s so helpful.” We can go about our days and thinking about our to-do lists and all the things we have to do and we don’t take the time to celebrate our wins, to be thankful, to say kind things to ourselves.

Bree (36:48):
What were we saying earlier, women are such achievers. They do all these things. They’re so capable. So part of why I love that is because you’re giving a mindset framework that we all need to remember, and it’s very simpatico with one that I give, which is all or something. Just like you giving us this list of 14 things, some people might look at that list and be like, “I have to do all 14 of those things.” I’ll say to them, “No, it’s not all or nothing, it’s all or something. You’re going to do some of the things and that’s going to be great. That’s going to be perfect.” You’re also got to remember, you’re flawsome. That is my version of perfect, is that we can hold the space to both be flawed and awesome at the same time.

Those are the two mindset pieces and my community that people most needed, I think. As women, we just feel all the time this intense pressure just to be desirable, to be the best mom, to have a career, all these things that are just kind of crushing at the end of the day when you try to layer them all on top of each other and then you’re also trying to exercise, eat the right thing. Oh, I got to get my protein shake. I need this. I need to go get groceries. I need to remember to take care of my mother. I need to call this.

It’s just so much on your plate. So having that a moment of gratitude of let me just bring it back down into myself. Remember, it’s not all or nothing or I’m failing. Those are the things. I think that’s why from both of our people we’re hearing that response that that’s one of the best things ever is because we… I came up with those things for myself. Probably you tune into gratitude for yourself as well because they’re so incredibly helpful. Anyway, I’m so glad those are on your list. I’m just so glad.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (38:35):
It’s amazing. You’re so right that women will put everybody ahead of themselves, right? So they’ll focus on all the things that they have to do, so they have to go to work, they have to take care of their parents and so on and so forth. You go through and you’ve gone through a whole day of just doing things for other people and that can be extremely fatigue inducing and that can cause burnout, right? In a sense, adrenal dysfunction is the same as burnout.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (39:00):
Right? And in a sense, adrenal dysfunction is the same as burnout. That’s a different name for the same thing. I think burnout is a great illustration of what can happen. One of the things, and another safety signal that I give to women, is, I actually give them a prescription to do things they love and do things they enjoy, pleasurable activities, whether that’s walking on the beach, talking on the phone to your girlfriends, finding a way to do something you enjoy like painting, whatever it may be. Doing that can so quickly shift you from that fight or flight survival mode into that peaceful rest and digest and thrive mode.

And that is another thing that women will say, “Okay, I’m on with the diet, the blood sugar balancing, huge game changer for me. Supplements were a huge game changer, but holy cow, I just didn’t realize how much energy I can get from just spending an hour a day of painting, and just doing something for myself that I enjoy, that I’m just doing for the fun of it.” I feel like we have this side hustle culture where people are like, “If you like doing something, you should turn it into a business.”

Bree (40:20):
Monetize. How can you monetize it? Yeah.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (40:24):
Yes, and it’s kind of like, okay, well… I know I’m a writer, and I love writing, I’ve always loved writing. I’ve written terrible poetry over the years and terrible fiction stories, and finally found my sweet spot of writing really helpful health related books and articles, and I love doing it and I think I’m pretty good at it, but also when I have deadlines, it’s not the most relaxing thing in the world. So you have to find something that you can do just for the sake of doing it and for the sake of this is what’s relaxing for you.

Bree (41:01):
What you just said there is so important because the reality is, we’re all living a life that has demands. We’re not going to suddenly take a break from our busy life to heal our adrenals. We’re going to have to keep doing many of the things in our lives that are required of us, to be successful, to thrive, to take care of our families. However, we have to also make the space for ourselves within that. We have to carve that out.I really like the list, and I like that all of these things are so accessible to everyone.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (43:06):
Absolutely, and I know when I first got trained in adrenal issues and all of that, in Addison’s disease, there is a condition where you absolutely need medications, and it’s known as Addison’s disease where your immune system attacks your adrenal glands. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about people with chronic stress, chronic burnout, adrenal dysfunction, and something that conventional medicine doesn’t recognize. These are my people that will go to the doctor and they say they feel awful and they’ll be told that they need to exercise more and that they need to eat less. And then they’ll say, I have trouble falling asleep at night. And they’ll be given a prescription for Ambien or they’ll be given an antidepressant because their mood is off. Some of them will be given stimulants because they don’t have enough energy in the morning.

Anxiety meds, antidepressants, all of these things where it’s really like you’re playing whack-a-mole with your symptoms and you’re giving them bandaids, where to have true sustainable healing you can learn how to shift your body into that mode. I know there’s life where we are going to have stressful events happening, so sleep deprivation can really dysregulate our adrenals, but knowing how to recover from that, these are the tools that I want to give to people so that you can shift into that thriving mode really, really quickly. I’ve worked with people who have had chronic illness for decades, and within three weeks they’re saying, “My brain fog is better. My fatigue is better. My sleep issues have gone away. I have a libido again and I’m actually losing weight, but I’m doing less.”

Giving you those tools so you can really shift into your healing state can help you so much.

Bree (45:04):
They are things we could do today. We could pick two things from this list and do them today. And probably I feel like really since the pandemic, I feel like we’ve, as a collective human species, been dealing with a higher level of stress in general, so I feel like even if you don’t have adrenal burnout or you don’t feel like your adrenals have been impacted, we all are dealing with stress every day.

And I feel like some of these suggestions that you’ve been giving can be helpful for the average person. Like what I asked you right at the beginning of this, give me a list so I can get out ahead. I can be proactive in managing my stress, even if I don’t think I’m very stressed out, I still need a reminder to have that daily check-in, to be managing my own stress like I manage my exercise schedule. I make time for exercise. Why shouldn’t I make time for things that impact my mental health and my energy state in my body?

Dr. Izabella Wentz (46:31):
Yeah, I love it. I definitely is something that I took on personally, just I’ve been through stress, a lot of stress at various points in my lifetime, and developing, I guess a toolkit for when you’re going through stressful times, for when you’re triggered and having that toolkit that you could reach into. You know you’re going to be sleep-deprived, you’re going to do some extra B vitamins, you know you’re going to be doing a lot of exercise that day, and that maybe you pushed it too much and so your body is a little bit sore. You can take an Epsom salt bath and you can utilize some electrolytes and some extra protein to help you recover from that.

Having these healthy coping strategies for your mental health too, so if somebody says something really bonkers to you and that sets you off and you just want to tell them off and tell them exactly how it is, you can actually take that feeling and channel it and turn it into something more positive. You can go for a run with that feeling or journal it out or just giving yourself a list of things that you can utilize where this is what happens when I’m triggered and I know when I’m triggered, I can yell at people, so this is what I’ll do next time I want to yell.

Or I know when I’m triggered, I will eat seven pints of ice cream that I shouldn’t be eating, and I feel awful the next day. So it’s like, okay, next time I’m triggered, I know that I’m going to do this instead. That’s a big part of what I recommend. And also kind of figuring out what your triggers are and finding that underneath cause for them. A lot of times, like we mentioned in the beginning, that’s rooted in trauma, so getting rid of those knee-jerk reactions that we all have can be a really big game changer because then you’re not triggered. You might have that thing happening that would normally drive you nuts and all of a sudden you’re like, this doesn’t have any control over me anymore. And that comes from some of the deeper work too.

Bree (48:38):
Yeah, and like you were talking about earlier, rewriting stories that we live in. You were talking about your childhood and the story you told yourself about who you were and the reaction that created in you. I think examining the truths and the stories that we live within that create those triggers are so important. I love that you have that in your work, it’s so important.
Anyway, to summarize how much I want people to read this book. I think it’s such a valuable resource and tool, as are all of your books, but this one I feel is, you could read this book even if you didn’t think you had an adrenal dysfunction. I think adrenal health in general is one of those things that will help support your stress response, and being proactive in researching and understanding your body’s HPA access and understanding what cortisol does and how it functions, especially as we go through time as women, because it does change as you go from your regular cycling years to perimenopause into menopause, your hormones do change and our sleep cycle changes and our stress response gets impacted.

I think knowing that this is a piece of your health is a really important thing. This book is such a valuable tool in the toolkit, which contains a toolkit. It’s a toolkit that contains a toolkit. I absolutely love it. We can find you… And there’s actually a link that I’m going to put with a podcast that allows people to get, I think, book bonuses to go with your book and they can get your book. Do you want to tell us about how to find you on social media and all those things? Because I recommend, I love following you. I learn things about things I didn’t know about all the time when I follow you.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (50:34):
I love it, and same from you. My website is thyroidpharmacist.com, and my Instagram page is izabellawentzpharmd, and I’m also on Facebook under Dr. Izabella Wentz, Thyroid Pharmacist. I hope to connect with everybody, and it’s really an honor to be a part of your healing journey.

Bree (50:55):
Thanks, Dr. Izabella Wentz, so great to have you on and we wish you all the best and can’t wait to hear from my people about their experience with reading the book and what they’ve learned, and we will talk to you again very soon.

Dr. Izabella Wentz (51:11):
Thank you so much for having me, Bree. It’s been a pleasure.

Betty Rocker:
Just as a quick aside, I wanted to mention that when I was creating Rock and Restore, my freeform essential amino acid formula, I originally was going to just create a BCAA, or branch chain amino acid formula, because of the support it provides to the muscle tissue.

But as I was doing my research, I decided to create a complete essential amino acid formula because the body can’t make these aminos on its own, and they’re needed for everything from brain function, hormone and enzyme function, immune support, and muscle protein synthesis.

Of course, the BCAAs, by default are contained within the essential aminos, but I took it one step further to make this formula ideal to use during your workouts. I included an optimal dose of the most anabolic or muscle building of the BCAAs, which is leucine, so that you get the support you need during your workouts, along with these other essential amino acids that have such important jobs in the body.

It’s still of the essence to be including complete dietary protein in all of your meals throughout the day, as your body will actually break down your hard-earned muscle tissue to get at the amino acids stored within it if you’re not fueling consistently with protein.

This is why I created high quality protein powders to supplement your healthy whole food diet and why I continue to encourage you to use my eating guides and meal plans to teach you easy ways to balance your nutrient intake with whole foods throughout the day and ensure you are getting what you need in around your workouts.

Rock and Restore is in a free form, which means it doesn’t need to digest like your dietary protein or protein powders do. That’s why you can take it during a workout. It is not a replacement for your dietary protein or your protein powder, it’s just a bonus. And a great bonus that I use personally to give me the edge in my training results, especially as a woman over 40.

You can shop my entire collection of protein powders, aminos and meal plans at Store.TheBettyRocker.com.


Speaker (51:17):
This podcast is for information purposes only. Statements and views expressed on this podcast are not medical advice. This podcast including Bree Argetsinger, Betty Rocker Inc and the producers disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information contained here in. Opinions of guests are their own, and this podcast does not endorse or accept responsibility for statements made by guests. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about guest qualifications or credibility. Individuals on this podcast may have a direct or indirect financial interest in products or services referred to here in. Before starting a new exercise, fitness or health protocol, or if you think you have a medical problem, always consult a licensed physician.

This episode brought to you by Rock and Restore Aminos!

Today’s podcast is brought to you by ROCK AND RESTORE, my free-form essential amino acid formula. This great tasting fruit punch formula contains 30 servings of all 9 of the essential amino acids (including the BCAA’s) in their free form for rapid absorption and metabolic use so you can rock your workouts, build lean muscle, recover faster, boost your immune system and improve cognitive function.

Get Rock and Restore right here!

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The post Understanding Thyroid and Adrenal Health with Dr. Izabella Wentz appeared first on The Betty Rocker.

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