Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Hot Flashes, Hormones, and Adrenals...
What Are Adrenals?
The Adrenals are your stress handling glands located on your kidneys. These are your fight or flight emergency 'BATTERY PACKS'. When you have a stress alert, as in an emergency....they go into action. Dumping adrenaline and cortisol for Power and Fuel to handle the emergency. They are designed for these "EMERGENCIES" to be few and far between. But what is the reality?
The reality is... this 'EMERGENCY' event is happening every day...day in and day out....
Here is how: Your lifestyle. You know...the EVER READY BUNNY SYNDROME... running all the time without eating properly, sleeping enough and relaxing routinely. Is that you? After a while... you begin to feel the EFFECTS of all of this emergency activity and eventually...the crash and fatigue start setting in... First it begins with needing a vacation. Everyone needs one. Then it progresses to actual challenges like hypo-thyroid and much more. Those adrenals are small...how much do you expect them to take? What can you do to nourish and repair them?
Stay tuned... we'll talk about the actual process of this "STRESS" on your "Stress Handling" glands and the connection to Weight Gain, Hormone Imbalance, Thyroid Challenges and more. We'll talk about repair and corrective action to take in your lifestyle.
How Do I Repair and Correct The Problem?
When talking about adrenals, the discussion has to cover Cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands but more important is what Cortisol ACTUALLY DOES in the body, WHAT IS LOST because of it and WHY is it important to have. So here we go: Cortisol 101.
Primary Functions of CORTISOL:
To Increase Blood Sugar (why…possibly because yours has crashed.)
Suppress the immune system
Aid in fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism
Decrease BONE FORMATION.
If prolonged in the system, can consume your muscle.
Counteract too much insulin
Why EXCESS Cortisol is produced:
Stress, Stress, Stress
Low Blood Sugar
Sense of being Threatened: Fight or Flight
What Else Happens when Cortisol is produced:
Elevates Blood Pressure
Increase Fluid Retention
Reduces fertility and increases risk of Miscarriage
Reduces Serotonin (beneficial mood hormone) in the brain!
Increases belly fat and obesity rates
Reduces levels of DHEA and Progesterone (the happy, fat burning hormone)
Contributes to Pregnenolone Steal
Contributes to Estrogen Dominance.
When considering a healthier lifestyle that provides you with hormone balance, thyroid function and healthy adrenals, you must address aspects that affect your cortisol levels. That would include, diet, insulin flunctuations, appropriate understanding of foods and your body’s reaction to it, and day to day stress factors. This is just to name a few. And by the way, many many medications create insulin responses and subsequent cortisol production. So medications can be part of the challenge. Your adrenals become fatigued or exhausted when cortisol is over-produced day in and day out. This is one of the most prevalent contributors to weight gain, anxiety, difficult menopause and more. Can you correct it? The short answer is yes, the better answer is, it’s a process and it’s not overnight. It requires CHANGE. Unless you make CHANGES then CHANGE won’t happen.
Repairing the Adrenals: A quick snapshot of What to Avoid and What to Do Instead. With proper Lifestyle changes, repair can come quicker. Sometimes it can take 3 years. How you approach it makes all the difference in the world.
-Dr. Terry White ND, MH, PT, etc..
(Yes, there's a reason why we look alike. :-))
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