Could Adrenal Fatigue, also known as Adrenal Insufficiency, be contributing to your weight gain? Could managing adrenal fatigue be the key to losing those unwanted pounds? The “adrenals” are two small glands that sit on top of each kidney. They are hormone-producing glands that regulate many of the basic metabolic processes including your ability to lose weight. Chemicals produced in the adrenal glands with their basic functions include the following:
- Cortisol – This is a basic “stress hormone” of the body and helps regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, inflammation, immunity, liver function, memory and more.
- DHEA – This is the building block of testosterone, estrogen, and other sex hormones.
- Adrenalin – This includes epinephrine/nor-epinephrine which are also “stress hormones”. Epinephrine is responsible for the “fight or flight” response and dilates airways in the lungs, increases heart rate, and constricts blood vessels – responses necessary to run or fight for your life.
- Aldosterone – This hormone controls sodium, potassium and water levels in the body through activation of the kidneys.
- For a more complete list, please see Adrenal Gland Chemicals and Functions.
We are designed to have cortisol released when our brains sense danger. High cortisol is not bad. Chronically high cortisol is the problem. It’s similar to inflammation. Acute inflammation helps wounds heal. It is chronic inflammation that slowly destroys the body. Chronically high cortisol levels can lead to weight gain, osteoporosis, fatigue, just to name a few.
While being chased by a tiger is uncommon in our world, our bodies respond the same way to any perceived stress, regardless of the type. You can’t find your keys, you get caught in traffic and are late, you hear a rumor of layoffs at work, your refrigerator is leaking, someone is rude to you, you play a shoot ‘em up video game….all of these cause your body to respond with high cortisol and epinephrine. Since your body thinks that you are “being chased by a tiger”, digestive, reparative, and restorative processes nearly halt. What are some symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?
- Weight gain (especially belly fat)
- Restless/Wakeful sleep
- Salt cravings
- Low sex drive
If you are experiencing chronic stress or any of the above symptoms, START SOMEWHERE today and be good to yourself. Learn more about Adrenal Fatigue. I can personally recommend an excellent resource that has helped me called The Adrenal Fatigue Solution by Fawne Hansen and Dr. Eric Wood. It is an inexpensive download directly from their website or you can purchase the book. It is well organized and easy to read. Managing adrenal fatigue and the stressors in your life will help you LIVE YOUNGER. Take heart! There is help and hope. Thanks for stopping by!