First, let’s take stock.
Have you had any of these in your life? Injury, pain, surgery, infection, illness, divorce, financial stress, job stress, poison ivy, giving birth, irritable people, starvation diets, the menstrual cycle, eating junk foods, drugs and medication, excessive cold or heat, staring into computer monitors, and babysitting 15 small children under the age of five for over 13 hours? Of course you have. These are all examples of physical, mental and emotional stress. It wants to follow you everywhere!
Your walnut-sized adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys, cannot distinguish among the various stresses that are present in your life — whether they are physical, mental, or emotional. The adrenals just pump out hormones to counteract stress — any stress! They are “fight or flight” hormones intended to serve us for short periods only. But today’s stresses are anything but short term … so the hormones just keep flowing! If this persists, you can become an “adrenal type” of person — one who has overactive and/or exhausted adrenals.
This is very serious business because your quality of life depends so very much upon how well your adrenal glands work. Visible symptoms develop with persistent adrenal imbalances. Chief among them is hanging fat in themidsection that sags downward over the belly.
Thinned-out arms, legs and buttocks generally accompany this fat because the key hormone that prevails during stress (cortisol) converts these muscles to sugar in an attempt to create more energy for a continually stressed body. With thinned muscles and a large abdomen, adrenal types often have a hard time finding clothes that fit. Moreover, stress hormones in excess will steal protein from the bones, leading to osteoporosis.
Sometimes a fat pad develops in the lower neck and upper back called a “buffalo hump.” Also, fat accumulation in the face may give a round or “moon face” appearance, a face that may redden because of weakened blood vessels.
So why does the extra fat appear? With all this sugar pouring into the bloodstream through the action of stress fighting hormones, the fat-burning hormones of the liver get turned off. Not even high-protein or low-calorie diets will turn them back on again! Then fat accumulates on the belly because of the excess sugar thrown into the blood to meet “dangers” that don’t exist. In the meantime, insulin stores the extra sugar as fat to keep your blood sugar levels out of the danger range.
In other words, stress hormones prevent fat burning. Counting calories or eating more protein simply will not help you.
To make matters worse, some adrenal types will try to work off fat with heavy exercise. But this just creates more stress and more stress hormones. Result? Less muscle and even more fat!
Sounds strange, doesn’t it, but it’s true. Many of those with adrenal weakness will actually get fatter with the wrong types of exercise! Can you imagine how frustrated adrenal types can get with their exercise programs?
What a predicament! Fortunately, adrenal imbalances can be corrected to turn muscle-burning adrenal types into fat burners again.
But that’s only part of the adrenal story. Exhausted adrenals can run short of anti-inflammatory hormones and create a chronic stage in the body where pain and inflammation stay present for years (e.g., fibromyalgia). Sore muscles don’t seem to recover after exercise. Pain triggers stress hormones, which turns off fat burning. A deep, restful sleep becomes impossible. Constant fatigue, mid-afternoon drowsiness, and brain fog or dullness prevail. Caffeine beverages become a constant sidekick, doing yet more damage to the already exhausted adrenals.
And over and over, and more damage, and more stress. I see it every day. If this is you or a loved one, let me help. Together, we can reprogram your mind, your body, and your life.
Call today, (210) 798-9322.