Beating Adrenal Fatigue & Stress Related Weight Gain

1 in 5 people will suffer from adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives. This generally comes from periods of significant or chronic stress.

Stress can have a significant impact on weight retention and gain. Firstly when tired and stressed it is natural to want an energy boost and go for sugary and high energy snacks. Which make us feel good for 5 minutes, but leave us wanting more and feeling worse afterwards. Secondly high cortisol levels can put us into fight or flight mode (you know that mode that we have because we used to have to run from lions, but now get when our phone buzzes?), when we are in this mode, our body holds onto all energy in case we need it to survive!

Why are these connected?

– weight, appetite and energy are largely controlled by your blood sugar

– your body perceives low blood sugar as a “stress”

– our body stops sending blood flow to digestion when its needed for other purposes

For me the last few years have been incredibly stressful emotionally and physically. To summarise in some dot points these in order of occurrence since 2015 are:

~We built a new home

~Dad had a significant aortic aneurysm, he nearly died, luckily pulled through.

~Pregnancy

~Mum had a heart attack

~Mum and Dad had to move out of their home due to financial stress due to dads illness

~Had Baby with silent reflux (significant stress and lack of sleep, let alone general physical recovery needed)

~I got a significant work promotion

~Husband got significant promotion but then got extremely sick

~We decided to change our lifestyle, husband to stay home and we would sell our house

~Mum got diagnosed with a type of blood cancer – polycythemthia vera

~Family member a victim of domestic violence

~One of my best friends passed away

~I suffered from glandular fever

~Dad diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away

From this, and like many other people out there, you can see how much my body has had to deal with in the last few years, and not getting much of a break. I am sure you are reading this right now and thinking of what your last few years have been like and saying yep me too!

Here is the low down on stress:

~your response to stress affects your health, not the amount.

~inflammation and oxidative stress are the root cause of nearly all disease

~circadian rhythm is crucial to good adrenal health

~natural medicine can do wonders in this space

What is adrenal fatigue:

Adrenal fatigue occurs when you body does not have time to recover from acute stress, meaning our stress hormones continually produce and do not know when to stop. A lot of people see an increase in cortisol levels, for me it has been a significant decrease in DHEA levels. Some people suffer from both high cortisol and low DHEA.

DHEA is also produced by the adrenal glands and plays a role in producing the sex hormones in men and women, it declines with age.

What are the signs and symptoms:

~Fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome

~Insomnia

~Increase in blood pressure

~Increase incidence of anxiety, irritability and depression

~Weight changes

~Reduces Immune system

~Brain Fog

Obtaining a correct diagnosis can be difficult, there are a number of tests that can be done including saliva and blood tests, as well as general lifestyle questionnaires. For me a 24 hour saliva test is what confirmed my low DHEA levels.

What can you do to improve your adrenal health:

~Saying no to things that aren’t meeting your needs

~Staying away from toxic friends and family

~Changing response to stress, see stressful situations as a challenge or opportunity to learn

~Meditation

~Help Others

~Yoga

~Fermented Foods

~Water

~Increasing fruit and vegetables and nutritional support supplements

~Reducing Caffeine

~Changing the timing of my meals

Are you going through this too? Send me a message, or leave a comment.

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