Importance of Managing Stress

Importance of Managing Stress

Note: The text below is a transcription from the video above. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Rutherford please visit or call us at 775-329-4402.

Okay, the question is the importance of managing your stress response. I think people are starting to get that it’s important to manage your stress response, a growing problem. I think most… I don’t know, maybe I live my little world, but it seems like most people are probably aware of this, that it’s important, we’re going to talk about why. I mean, I’ve been in this a while now, quite a long time. And everybody who comes in here now, everybody has anxiety, depression, chronic stress. I have a section on my intake form on my questionnaire that I have a patient fill out once we’ve decided that their case looks like something that we can help. And there’s just one whole section in there on are you accomplishing your life’s purpose? Do you feel like you have enough time to exercise? Do you feel like you have enough? Are you overwhelmed with things to do?

A lot of times stress isn’t stressed. A lot of times it’s the daily stuff. And then you have all the news over the last five years and you have the continual at you by listening to the news or looking at your phone all the time. I have… I’ve done… I’ve worked at stress literally my whole career and in the beginning I was primarily doing chiropractic and diet and nutrition. And you noticed that the people who were stressed were not going to respond well to their chiropractic adjustments. And we’ve had physical therapy here and so on and so forth. So they wouldn’t respond well to physical therapy. They wouldn’t respond well to chiropractic. They just wouldn’t respond well and was it was very… We started to screen them out and say, “Listen, we can do this, but as long as you’re under stress, you just need to know this may not work very well.”

But since then, it has become so ramped up. Back then, it used to be those people stood out. Now every single person that comes in here has on their intake form, anxiety, stress, depression, it’s unbelievable. And it’s concerning. All right?

When I was younger, people knew stress kind of wore you out and they’d say, look at that person. They’re a look older than they should be, than they’re biological ages. Or somebody would get cancer and they’d go, “Oh, that person probably was stressed.” And there was just this general understanding of stress. But it’s a big player in these chronic conditions. And stress is, for example, most of the chronic conditions that come in here, not all, but even well, the vast majority that come in here are autoimmune.

But I had a couple yesterday that’re not, and even in their cases, or I think they’re on their way to potentially developing autoimmune problems, but they haven’t yet. But the problems that they have in their particular case, they were gut problems. Those gut problems definitely have come from their chronic stress because why do you have to manage stress? Those of you who have watched me have probably heard me say many times, if you have an autoimmune problem, if you have an autoimmune thyroid problem, if you have a gut problem, if you have lung problems, if you have a lot of these problems and you’re under stress, what’s happening is you are putting out hormones that are at a certain level, supposed to be good for you. At a certain level the cortisol that is put out when you’re under stress, which everybody now knows what cortisol is, they come in and I go, “Cortisol.” They go, “Oh yeah, stress hormone.” Well, cortisol first is part of your immune system that goes up to dampen inflammation. Cortisol good, okay?

Cortisol is also a hormone that, it’s called a glucocorticoid. Gluco stands for blood sugar. So it also helps to control your blood sugar. When your blood sugar goes down, a number of things happen. And one of the things that happened is your cortisol goes up and then there’s other things that work with your pancreas, your liver, and you start putting out blood sugar from your liver to bring your blood sugar back up. If you haven’t eaten for eight hours or something like that, cortisol good. When cortisol goes up too high, now it creates inflammation and damage to everything, to every single cell in your body.

So I have a lot of people come in here. Let’s just talk about gut problems, okay. So I have a lot of people come in here, they have gastritis or they have poor gallbladder function or they maybe they’ve gotten to the point where they’ve developed small intestinal bacteria overgrowth was, for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a bad bacteria that grow up in your large intestines that ultimately end up finding their way in your small intestines and they screw everything up.

And so the number one cause for those things happening is stress. Because the stress hormones do so much, they actually will paralyze your intestines. So when you’re in fight flight, you’re in full fight flight. I was watching this Live in Alaska thing like last night on television and they were warning the people that were buying the house. “Now, you know there’s going to be bears in your backyard?” So the bear comes in, you’re going to fight flight, and it’s ah, basically you go into survival mode. And what happens is your gut is shut down while everything else is ramping up. Your blood sugar’s going to your muscles and your heart starting the pound and you’re getting much more oxygen in. And that’s okay for about 20 minutes. It literally paralyzes your intestines because you don’t need… And your bladder, your urinary bladder, because you don’t need to be peeing or pooping or eating while you’re running from the bear.

But when you’re in chronic stress, you’re experiencing that same chemical process, but on a much lower gradient. But if your gut is paralyzed a little bit from a stress response, it will slow down your ability to make hydrochloric acid in your stomach. It’ll slow your pancreas down. You might get blood sugar symptoms. It’ll slow your gallbladder down. You may not be able to digest your fatty foods. All of that can lead to damaging, slowing down your gut. The stress hormones themselves will actually attack the inside lining of your stomach. I mean, everybody in my lifetime has understood the stress has a lot to do with acid indigestion and ulcers, but maybe not the rest.

And that stress hormone also damages the inside line of your intestines. Now you’re subjective to… Now you’re subjected to creating food sensitivities. You’re subjected again to the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Number one, causing your gallbladder coming out is usually stress because when you’re in that fight flight all the time, it slows your gallbladder down. It doesn’t paralyze it, but it slows it down. Next thing you know, go in, they check your ejection fraction for your gallbladder. It’s not going, “Ah, let’s snip it out.” Not a good thing. Let’s handle the stress. Okay, let’s handle the stress. Easier said than done.
And here’s the other problem about stress. So much of the things that distress causes now feed back into brain function and it creates a lower threshold for your neurons to be set off. So you’re supposed to have a fight flight mechanism. It’s only supposed to go off when the bear comes after you, but today it goes off all day long. Somebody who you voted for president didn’t get elected and next thing you know have a panic attack, this was my neighbor, that’s why I’m using that as an example. Because her threshold for fear is here now instead of here. And she actually couldn’t sleep for days and she had panic attacks and stuff like that. And a lot of it was the chemistry that she already has. She was overweight, she doesn’t eat well and all this type of stuff. And so she’s already set herself up for that. So, the stress response is incredibly important.

When I got in, I said I first was into chiropractic and we had do physical therapy, physiotherapy and we had physical therapists in the office and stuff like that. And we started noticing that. And I actually started eventually to do something called functional neurology, even before I did functional medicine. It was really all about getting a stress response under control and watching how much better people got, just doing the stress response under control with brain rehab exercises, many of which are very popular today. But if you have the bad chemistry, good luck with the brain rehab exercises, having as much effect as they could or long term.

So I have a chart up here and it’s called The Gut-Brain, Brain Gut Access. And basically, here’s the answer to your question. Your brain gets stressed, it breaks down your gut, 75%, 90% of your immune system is in your gut. It breaks down. Toxins start getting out, it breaks down. You start developing food sensitivities. I can go on for the next 30 or 40 minutes with all the things that happen and then all of those things that should be going into the toilet that get out and go into your bloodstream. Many of them find your way back here. Next thing you know, you’re angry, depressed, you’re anxiety because 95% of the serotonin that makes you a happy person is made in your intestines. That’s breaking down because there’s stress. So it’s a vicious cycle. So it’s a vicious cycle.

So this is really the core of what’s happening with those of you who are having this anxiety and depression. There is a massive, massive physiological component to it. I know there’s probably more psychologists and psychiatrists in the country now than any time in history per person, per capita. And I’m not saying they’re not necessary, and I’m not saying it’s not helpful, I’m a positive on people going to get help as far as that go get. But the rest of it’s so important. So you break down the physiology, the physiology comes back, breaks this down. You have this vicious cycle going now you’re, you’re where you are now, you’re taking a medication, you’re coming here with Xanax, Prozac, antidepressants, all that type of stuff. And those are tenuous at best as far as long-term use.

So that’s why stress is important to do whatever you can do. Whatever you can do to get it under control. Whether your choice is breathing exercises or whether it’s taking a walk, or whether it’s going outside and making a primal scream or whatever it is to get that stress down as soon as you can. The CBD oil seems to be helpful. There’s a number of supplements out there that can be helpful. Whatever you can do to get it down immediately is good. Okay? You want to get that under control. The trade off is probably worth it. But in the end, you’re going to want to handle the rest of the things that the stress response is creating and then viciously cycle back onto your brain and then creating that need to take these things forever.
So that’s stress. So that’s stress. It’s huge. It’s huge. Stress is the, it’s the number one trigger for autoimmune disease. When I have somebody come in here who is a 10 on a scale of 10 of stress, I have to think twice and I discuss it with them. I have to think twice about taking the case because overcoming that overwhelming amount of stress chemicals, this is more than just cortisol. That overwhelming amount of stress, chemicals, the blood pressure going up, the aldosterone go, all that’s up, can be tough with diet and lifestyle and nutraceuticals and stuff like that. So stress is huge. It’s just trying to take care of your stress responders. Absolutely. It’s probably the most important thing you need to do.


  1. I am a Hashimoto’s patient living on the East coast. The increasing hours of daylight at this time of year cause more than usual anxiety, panic and depression. I feel calmer in the evening and do eventually adjust by the time summer arrives but I feel much better during the “longer” evenings of fall and winter. Am I the only one who feels this way ?

  2. Dr. Rutherford is amazing at his job. If you have the symptoms that he describes please do yourself a service and schedule and appointment to see him. I had experienced many types of traditional and hollistic medicine prior to being one of his patients. When he evaluated me, his tests and methods of treatment were unlike anything I had experienced before. When I came to him I was deeply concerned about my health and to say I was stuggling. Eventually he helped me to heal and live a normal life. As this video teaches, he educated me about the issues I faced and how to address them. He then showed me how to manage my stress, diet and supplements to put the autoimmune illness back into dormant mode so I can live a normal life. If you deal with gut issues, autoimmune, brain fog, anxiety, ect I high recommend you to see Dr. Rutherford. He is the real deal.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *