After a recent episode on the stress response triggered by caffeine, I received a number of emails about cortisol, adrenal fatigue and if the stress in our lives contributes to weight gain or trouble losing weight.
Today we're going to answer the questions.
The short answer is this: Yes, the stress you create is keeping you fat and much of the stress we experience is stress we manufacture.
We'll talk about adrenal fatigue, chronic stress & what you can do about it.
We need to have a better understanding of what triggers a stress response. We tend to think about stress as emotional stress but it's far more than that.
Much of the stress in our lives is stress we manufacture:
Stress can be caused by thoughts, emotions, injury, illness, exercise, food, fatigue & much more.
When your stress response is on overdrive it can lead to:
Your adrenal glands, though small, are a significant part of your health, happiness & ability to burn fat. You've got two of them and each one sits on top of your kidney, like a cap.
In response to stress of any kind, your brain instructs the adrenal glands to produce & secrete stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
Think about it like a fire alarm. The first time you pull the alarm, you react! The fire department reacts. The alarm stands out and an appropriate response ensues.
But what happens if that alarm goes off every single day? Or worse, if it is constantly sounding?
You don't react to it the same way, the fire department certainly doesn't either and eventually the batteries will die.
When we have constant stressors triggering the alarms in our bodies, these adrenal glands wear out. They get tired. They're constantly pumping out stress hormones. They're both exhausted and less effective.
This means that not only are you feeling constantly exhausted and on edge, your body is unable to respond to true issues like injury & illness.
It creates systemic hormonal chaos and is a strong precursor to injury, disease and depression.
Adrenal fatigue is absolutely something you can improve. Even if you aren't struggling with full-blown adrenal fatigue, you can benefit from minimizing stress and improving your response to stressful things.