Sunday, May 28, 2023

Weight Gain And Adrenal Fatigue

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Learn More With Overcoming Estrogen Dominance

Will Adrenal Fatigue Cause Weight Gain? Cushing’s Syndrome & High Cortisol Levels Dr.Berg

The body has an amazing ability to heal. We just need to give it the right resources.

In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.

More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.

So many women have experienced the pain and frustration that comes when they feel their symptoms and complaints are dismissed or minimized. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even when doctors do offer treatment, its typically in the form of prescription medication or invasive surgical procedures.

In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I hope to show that those extreme interventions are often unnecessary, and to give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements and natural protocols to rebalance hormones.

To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.

Hormones That Can Cause Your Fatigue Weight Gain And Mood Changes

Something we know for sure is this we all have hormones. These chemical messengers in your body are sent to your organs and tissues to perform a certain function. The communication that happens between your hormones and organs control major metabolic processes within your body, such as mood, energy, weight, temperature regulation and even digestion. An imbalance in these little guys are often what causes us to look at our health a little more closely, because its only until they are not working optimally that we remember we even have them.

Well discuss some of the most common hormone imbalances we see in our patients. Sometimes when you identify one hormone imbalance, you may find that it could be linked to another hormone imbalance, giving you the pieces of the puzzle you have been looking for!

1. Thyroid:

What you may experience with suboptimal thyroid:

  • Feeling tired and exhausted

What you may experience with an imbalance in cortisol:

  • Poor stress response

What you may experience when insulin resistance is present:

Try This Quick Iris Test:

Your eyes are not just the window to your soul, they are also the window to your levels of arousal and stress. An article by Scientific American magazine, gives a good rundown on the science of pupillometry.

A similar study is also looking into this area.

But you can also conduct a simply little eye experiment at home. Heres how:

  • Go into a dark room that has a mirror and allow your eyes to adjust for a few minutes this allows your pupils to dilate.
  • Stand close to the mirror or hold it close to your face.
  • Using a penlight or a weak flashlight, shine light across your right eye.
  • Watch your right pupil for about 30 seconds to see what happens.

It should quickly contract when exposed to the light. If, within seconds, it dilates again, this is a sign of adrenal fatigue. Rest your eyes, get accustomed to the dark again and repeat with the other eye.

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Exercise Smarter But Not Harder

And the scenic stimulation of blue sky and nature, means that you come back from your walk usually feel uplifted, not depleted.

  • Move at a moderate pace: I recommend exercise like weight training, use of kettle bells and dancing.
  • Do more gentle forms of exercise: It may seem counter-intuitive to slow your exercise pace to get more benefit but it really is important. Think about animals they dont go on marathon runs or head to the gym every day.
  • Calm your brain with yoga: Yoga is like a moving meditation that connects your mind, breathe and body and induces a relaxation response which helps lower your cortisol levels. At the same time it boosts your alpha brain activity, which promotes greater calm.


Body Changes At Menopause

Adrenal Fatigue And Weight Gain: Is There A Connection?

As we age, our muscles decrease in bulk and our metabolism slows down. These changes can contribute to weight gain around the time of menopause.Other physical changes associated with menopause may include:

  • skin changes, such as dryness and loss of elasticity
  • vaginal dryness

These changes may affect a womans body image and self-esteem and increase her risk of depression and sexual difficulties. Taking steps to manage the symptoms of menopause can help.

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Here’s What You Can Do To Soothe Your Nervous System And Lose Weight

It’s critical to turn off this fight/flight/freeze response and direct the body into more natural processes. How do you do this? First, see a good functional medicine provider. You can get tests and have a professional evaluate your stress levels and adrenal function. In the meantime, eliminate processed carbs and sugar and make sure you get high-quality rest, which means seven to nine hours a night of unbroken sleep.

Another great thing to do is to start meditating. Don’t worry about being an expert just sit still and breathe. Make your exhales longer than your inhales this activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is all about rest, relaxation, digestion, restoration. And finally, slowly and methodically work on resolving the underlying causes of your stress one at a time. It takes some dedication and patience, but it is entirely possible to heal the adrenals and lose those pesky extra pounds!

Tip #: The Value Of Potatoes

How to lose weight when you have adrenal fatigue all starts with a simple potato. Its like I always say: a potato a day keeps the inches away!

Studies have shown that boiled potatoes are in a class of their own when it comes to foods which curb appetites11.

Working more of these ingredients into your diet, in quick and simple ways, can help you combat adrenal burnout for good. The resistant starch in potatoes, in particular, will also help to heal your gut lining12.

There are so many superfoods out there, but potatoes can call themselves one of the original ones. They have loads of health benefits and can help you jumpstart your adrenal fatigue weight loss. Easy to prepare, easy to enjoy and youll be reaping the benefits in no time.

When it comes to balancing out the relationship between cortisol and body fat, potatoes are a great place to start. Heres how it could look as part of your day-to-day routine

Your Diet and Potatoes for:

  • Breakfast: serve a boiled potato beside your scrambled eggs.
  • Lunch: another boiled potato compliments any salad.
  • Dinner: enjoy a baked potato alongside a lean cut of meat.
  • No matter the meal, you can easily work more potatoes into your diet.

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What To Eat To Lose Weight For Adrenal Fatigue Or Hpa Axis Dysfunction

Adrenal Support/HPA Axis Meal Plan

The Adrenal Support /HPA diet plan is low in sugar and high in healthy fat and protein as well as various nutrients targeted at nourishing and supporting the HPA/Adrenal system. The diet includes whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein , healthy fats ,gluten free carbohydrates, and plenty of fluids.

Lets Talk About Metabolism

Adrenal Fatigue and Weight Gain, How Are They Related?

Before we dive into the adrenals, we need to address the metabolism elephant in the room. I dont typically recommend calorie restriction as the way to lose weight, and its because when you restrict calories, you reset your internal metabolism to get used to the new intake. So, when you first start this new diet, youll lose weight, but then after some period of time, the weight loss will stall out. This is because your body has become used to the new caloric intake level and adjusted accordingly.

In addition, when you go on a diet it implies a temporary state, and then inevitably, when you stop your diet you gain all the weight back that you lost. This is because you trained your body to get by on a smaller amount of calories, so when you increase the calories, you gain weight. An effective weight-loss plan needs to be designed around the quality of the food, the nutrient density, and the avoidance of processed and sugary foods.

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How To Control Your Weight As You Age:

As you can see, a lot of the symptoms of menopause can conspire to make you want to lie around more. But all of them are treatable if they get in the way of your feeling good. If youre concerned about the changes in your body and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and you just want to feel more energetic and primed to tackle all the plans you have for your 50s and beyond there are three important steps you can take right now:

In the end, as long as you are living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of yourself, a few extra pounds and a softer belly are nothing to panic over. Even if youre not jumping for joy about menopause, changes in your body are just part the tradeoff for not having to worry about period cramps and birth control, and getting to focus on all that we can achieve and enjoy in the decades ahead. We need to give ourselves a little bit of grace, says Dr. Faubion. We might not come out on the other side of the transition the same size we were when we were 18, and thats okay. Youre going to spend about a third of your lifespan after menopause, and the goal is to prime yourself for being healthy for the rest of your life.

Weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the harmful effects of diet culture.

Adrenal Fatigue And Weight Gain

Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands become depleted from being overworked and overstressed. Prolonged exposure to stress can cause excess production of stress hormones, which can deplete the adrenal glands.

Many people are aware of the connection between adrenal fatigue and symptoms like tiredness, brain fog, and body aches, but can adrenal fatigue cause weight gain as well? This article explores the connection between adrenal fatigue and weight gain.

Essentially, adrenal fatigue, also known as adrenal exhaustion, adrenal insufficiency, or adrenal burnout, refers to a state that occurs when the adrenal glands are overworked and overstressed. Prolonged exposure to stress causes excess production of stress hormones that drain the adrenals, leading to a depleted state.

The body releases a DHEA hormone to neutralize the cortisol and adrenaline hormones. DHEA, often referred to as “the precursor hormone,” is the most abundant hormone in the body produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA converts or stimulates the production of estrogens, testosterone hormones, and many other steroid hormones . The constant depletion of DHEA to counteract cortisol and adrenalin affects the body’s hormonal balance. Add to this the adrenal fatigue, and not only will your body age faster, but you can become more susceptible to metabolic and immune-related disorders.

To learn more about adrenal fatigue, read our article “What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

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Hypothyroidism Connected To Weight Gain

The thyroid is like the engine in your body. The stress hormone cortisol suppresses the thyroid at every level it can.

Your engine slowing down means everything slows down too. This leads to all hypothyroid symptoms such as:

And, its as simple as that.

This may make you want to crank up your engine however, that would be a mistake. Its important to take things slow and address the root cause of the thyroid issues and Adrenal Fatigue weight gain.

Pathophysiology: Mechanism Of Menopausal Obesity

Is Adrenal Fatigue Making You Fat?

The mechanism of the development of obesity in menopausal women is outlined in Figure 1. The continuous depletion of the follicular ovarian pool during menopausal transition lowers estrogen production with a relative increase in androgen levels. This hormonal imbalance alters energy homeostasis by regulating hunger and satiety signals. Estrogen inhibits the action of hunger signals, preventing events of excessive calorie consumption. It is postulated that during the menopausal transition because of fluctuating estrogen levels, its effectiveness to modulate hunger hormones is reduced. Menopausal women experience more intense hunger signals encouraging increased food intake which promotes weight gain.

Mechanism for development of obesity during menopausal transition

The hormonal imbalance during menopause also promotes the higher accumulation of fat in the abdominal region. Low estrogen levels along with high androgen levels lead to redistribution of fat present in the gluteal and femoral regions to abdominal regions of the body, favoring abdominal obesity. Besides, higher abdominal obesity is an independent risk factor for future metabolic complications.

Menopausal obesity is primarily driven by hormonal imbalance and its effect on energy balance. Some other crucial factors, such as unhealthy eating behavior, sedentary lifestyle, and secondary causes might also account for the differences in personal weight gain trajectories among these women.

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What Causes Adrenal Fatigue

Your adrenals are two walnut-shaped glands that weigh about 0.2 ounces or 5 grams each and sit on top of your kidneys. They produce hormones that have a range of functions in your body, but one of their most important jobs is to ramp up production of stress hormones when youre under duress.

A few weeks or months of stress are all it takes to start taxing your adrenals and ramp up signs of hormone imbalance. The trouble is your brain and body dont register the difference between a true health threat and a flip out over something in your day . It treats that argument with your partner, social anxiety at the dinner party and overwhelms you feel about your to do list the same as if your life was under threat from a pack of hungry wolves.

How Do Adrenal Issues Relate To Your Weight

Researchers believe that high cortisol levels can cause weight gain, particularly around your waistline. Once you get to the point of adrenal insufficiency, it will be hard to lose weight because

  • you crave junk food,
  • cortisol can increase your appetite and sugar cravings, and
  • chronic fatigue and pain dont make it easy to exercise and consistently cook healthy meals.

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Poor Nutrition And Tiredness

If youâve gained weight by indulging in high-calorie foods from sweets, soda, chips and fast food, you may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to support your health. Fresh vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and whole grains make for a balanced nutrition plan that, when eaten in moderation, supports a healthy weight and quality energy.

Consuming too many refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and added sugar, can also cause blood sugar swings that give you a brief surge of energy only to have you crash and feel lethargic an hour or two later. Eating more high-fiber foods and adequate protein, both of which take longer to digest, means the surges of sugar arenât as extreme and neither are the crashes. By moderating your blood sugar levels, youâll feel more energized throughout the day.

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Suppressed Metabolism Due To Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Stress & Weight Gain Are They Related?

Simply put, we are all designed to eat food, digest it, absorb it and convert the smaller bits into a universal form of energy . We then use this energy to make our body perform tasks like thinking, walking, breathing, and self-repair. Everything is dependent on this energy.

This metabolic process of converting this food into ATP is performed by your mitochondria. Eventually, overactive stress physiology significantly damages the mitochondria. The adrenals and thyroid work together to regulate this process.

Our metabolic process is compromised in one way or another when our body is in an active stress response. Sooner or later, this metabolic pattern remains when there is chronic stress even when the stressors are removed.

Unexpected Weight Gain and Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Andrew Neville

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Common Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Adrenal fatigue can present itself differently from person to person.

One of the most common adrenal fatigue symptoms of this condition is a change in appetite.

People who suffer from adrenal fatigue tend to crave foods that may be deemed unhealthy. This includes salty and sweet food.

This means that people with adrenal fatigue tend to consume more sodium and sugar than necessary. If left unchecked, this can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

These adrenal fatigue symptoms include:

  • Fatigue in the morning
  • Higher energy in the evenings
  • Heavy reliance on caffeine products
  • A worsened immune system

Other less common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Muscle weakness

Whats Adrenal Fatigue & How It Happens

Adrenal fatigue directly affects your adrenal glands.

These are two small organs located on top of your kidneys. Theyre responsible for the production of your stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.

The adrenal glands are responsible for your fight-or-flight response when you experience acute stress. That improves your reactions in stressful situations.

But when youre facing stress daily for long periods , your adrenal glands get exhausted gradually.

Thats when you cant produce normal levels of the stress hormones and you feel tired all the time. And that condition is known as adrenal fatigue.

However, adrenal fatigue is not recognized by the Endocrinology Society and traditional doctors. Thats because when you experience adrenal fatigue, your cortisol levels are low, but still in the normal range which most doctors interpret as being healthy.

But when you feel exhausted, weak, and out of energy as soon as you wake up, you know the symptoms are real. In this case, you can always reach out to a functional medicinedoctor.

Those medics recognize adrenal fatigue as a real condition. They can look into your cortisol levels in more detail and give you guidance on your treatment.

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