Midlife stress can upset hormones and cause weight gain.
Dr. C.W. Randolph,a bio-identical hormone gynecologist, is being applauded by Suzanne Somers this week in her new book. She says that Dr. Randolph is helping women across the country understand their every changing hormones.
Randolph says there is a direct relation between estrogen dominance and weight gain.
"For years I have observed how my patients' midlife stressors seemed to directly contribute to their weight gain," says Randolph. "In some people, midlife pressures stimulate their bodies to store more fat."
Dr Randolph's middle-age patients often cite stressors that include being laid off or fired, experiencing major money worries, losing a parent, going through a divorce or dealing with difficult or angry teenagers.
What does stress do to hormone levels? When the brain perceives some form of danger, it signals the adrenal glands to pump out more of the hormone adrenaline, often referred to as the flight-or-fight hormone. The sudden surge in adrenaline levels signal fat cells to quickly release energy. This energy rush stimulates flight, or running away.
Once the body is out of danger, the brain continues to signal the adrenal glands that there is a temporary need to keep adrenaline levels elevated. Higher than normal adrenaline levels cause an increase in appetite which is needed to encourage the body to eat more calories and replenish fat stores. Under acute stress situations, adrenaline levels will soon return to normal once the immediate appetite has been satisfied.
Now this brain-body hormone stimulating phenomenon served human beings very well in times when people were trying to avoid immediate, dangers like the threat of being eaten by wolves. Today, the modern person in the United States is not frequently subjected to such immediate dangers. Contemporary stressors tend to be more chronic.
A life stressor can be considered chronic if it persists for three or more months. Instead of pumping out more adrenaline, chronic stress causes the adrenal glands to secrete more of the hormone cortisol. Because chronic stress is ongoing, high cortisol levels do not subside until the stress is removed or the adrenal glands are exhausted.
Over time, elevated cortisol levels can wreak havoc on the body. They destroy healthy muscle and bone, slow down healing and normal cell regeneration, impair digestion, and weaken your immune system. If you are stressed out, high cortisol levels will also compromise your metabolism and cement more pounds around your middle.
Stress has been directly linked to more belly fat. Deep abdominal fat tissue has been found to have up to four times the number of receptors for cortisol as does superficial fat elsewhere in the body. This means that, when you are stressed out, the cells in your belly work harder to store fat.
Little Steps That Can Help You Lose Big
Step 1: Stop living on automatic pilot and put "YOU" back in your life. Start with carving out one 20-30 minute ritual per day that brings joy, fun, pleasure and/or peace of mind. Some ideas: walking, yoga, meditation, mindful bathing, reading, playing with children or pets, working on a craft, or hitting golf balls in the back yard... The trick is to make sure that YOU are the primary beneficiary of this activity.
Step 2: Move your buns more everyday. For most busy and stressed out people, a regular exercise commitment is the first thing to fall off their to-do list. Set realistic time slots for an ongoing exercise that you enjoy. Write your exercise time on your calendar and/or set aside the same time everyday. Regard this time as non- negotiable. Don't be afraid to start with a commitment as small as 10 minutes a day. You can walk, run, do pilates, dance to Frank Sinatra or reggae.
Step 3: Address Your Underlying Condition of Estrogen Dominance. If at least three of the following descriptors apply, then it is almost certain that you are estrogen dominant.
•a man over 40 or a woman over 35 years of age,
•have 10 to 30 to 40 extra pounds around your middle,
•have two or more persistent symptoms of hormone imbalance
•current life situation is moderately to highly stressful.
Unfortunately, estrogen dominance and high stress levels are entwined at a cellular level. The most important thing you can do is, first, re-establish your body's hormonal equilibrium.
•add bio-identical progesterone back into your system.
•supplement your system with Calcium D-Glucarate. This particular supplement helps the body excrete excess estrogen through the bowel.
Step 4: Don't Miss Meals But Choose Foods To Restore
Hormone Balance. There are foods that can help neutralize underlying conditions of estrogen dominance and, help reestablish optimum hormone balance. The wonderful thing is that all of us need to eat between three and six times every day and eating the right foods can help restore hormone balance and catalyze weight loss.
Step 5: Support Your Body and Mind With Vitamins and Supplements.
The adrenal glands play a role in almost all of the body's processes, and are the main sites of stress damage in the body. Dr. Randolph provides an Adrenal Boost Formulation that nourishes depleted adrenal glands while encouraging adrenal cortex secretions. Addressing an underlying condition of adrenal fatigue is a critical first step to neutralizing the havoc that stress can wreak on your health and your weight.
Taking a high potency multi-vitamin supplement can insure that you give your body what it needs to not only deal with the stress, but also burn fat and lose weight
For more information on Dr. Randolph, go to www.hormonewell.com. To set up an interview with Dr. Randolph, contact Nanette Noffsinger at 615-776-4230.