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Cortisol and Adrenal Fatigue

Over the years I have taken care of many people diagnosed with adrenal fatigue.  Stressed living, hard schedules, lack of peace and joy all contribute to the stress on the adrenals that can cause you to suffer dysfunction.

High stress can cause cortisol release, which is a two edged sword.  If it is constant, then the cortisol will break down tissue and provide you with potential energy for utilization to enable your stressed body to work.  Kind of like a fight or flight response motivator.  Give you the energy to go fight the lion.

But if you release it constantly, there is no way you can utilize said energy, and you find yourself storing the newly released glucose as fat.  Typically driving midline growth.  Now here is where things get tricky… the word fatigue relates to the inability of your body to produce cortisol, which in a significant situation is considered Addison’s disease.  Now the big flip from an adrenal stressed situation, to true adrenal disease, is that weight loss is now imminent.  So if you have had issues with weight gain, and then seemingly for no reason you flip and turn the corner, that would be a good reason to get your cortisol tested.

It might seem like a blessing in disguise without digging in further to review the horrible side effects, however I can tell you without making this an article about Addison’s, that most people never turn that corner.  Instead they hang in the balance of weight gain, and extreme post exercise fatigue.  For which I have an answer.

First off, the hormones need help finding balance, and adrenal function can improve simply by cutting carbohydrates.    It seems to have a two fold impact, first on the leptin levels, which can induce normal adrenal function, as well as… wait for it… your mood.  Yep!  Lowering carbohydrate consumption can have a positive impact on mood, and that makes you more likely to have a path towards healing.

So when you get that first bite of ice cream, and you say “mmmmm, yum”, it sadly doesn’t outweigh that secondary response of “why did I have that”, or “that much”, or “oh, I do not feel good”, followed by the actual energy crash which comes from a rising level of insulin, making is sluggish and lowering mood.

So my first step towards healing without supplementation, is to limit carbohydrates… best done by following the 60 Day Turnaround.  Followed by the second step of hunting for peace in your life.  And when I say hunt, I mean it…. literally looking anywhere and everywhere to find peace.  It is too valuable to ignore.

And with that, I leave you to ponder those steps towards health for anybody who has been on a weight gain and energy loss path.  For more on the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, check out the mayo clinic page.

Be well and Be blessed! – Dr. E

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