Adrenaline may be preventing you from losing weight. The hormone adrenaline is similar to hormone cortisol in that it responds to stress. There are times when you might not eat for a while and your blood glucose levels fall to dangerously low levels resulting in your body being stressed more than normal.
The adrenal glands make both adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline (and cortisol) can correct the condition of very low glucose levels in the body by converting glycogen and protein to glucose.
The body automatically converts to a new source of glucose to meet the body’s glucose needs. Fat is used as an energy source when you have depleted all your glucose and glycogen stores. The real problem arises when your body has too much adrenaline (or cortisol).
Hormonal Imbalance and Your Adrenal Glands
Hormone imbalance can arise when you allow the body’s glucose levels to fall too low levels by not eating the proper foods on a regular basis. Hormone levels change to meet the lifestyle choices made daily. If your hormones remain constantly in flux, you may develop serious health problems.
At the beginning stages of hormonal imbalance, insulin responsiveness begins to degrade. Insulin becomes more insensitive to levels of glucose in the body – it takes more insulin to do the same job compared to what it used to take.
All of us start our lives with high (meaning ‘good’) insulin sensitivity. We can eat anything we want and never gain weight. Age and lifestyle choices begin to affect the sensitivity or responsiveness of our insulin. Gradually insulin becomes less and less sensitive (or active) to the same quantity of glucose. Our cells become less receptive to receiving the glucose it needs because insulin is not strong enough to do its job.
Continuously high levels of adrenaline and cortisol can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the body will make more insulin than is customarily needed to feed the cells in the body. Long-term insulin resistance generally leads to excessive amounts of glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol to accumulate in the bloodstream.
Without any lifestyle changes (food choices, total calories, exercise, nutritional balance, stress relief, etc) insulin sensitivity degrades to a level classified as insulin resistance. Your body has many built-in protective processes.
When the pancreas sends insulin into the bloodstream and discovers that there is still a need for more insulin, it makes more insulin and sends that newly formed insulin into your bloodstream. Your body doesn’t want excessive amounts of glucose building up to dangerous levels.
Adrenal Glands and Stress
Similarly, other hormones can experience similar difficulties. Continuous untreated stress can ‘burn-out’ the adrenal glands. This typically happens when you are stressed – day-in and day-out – and there appears to be no end in sight. You are literally fatigued from the stresses in your life.
The adrenal glands have been working overtime to address the internal biochemical needs associated with stress, and you are unable to address the causes of your stress. People with insulin resistance typically start adding a lot of fat, especially visceral fat around their abdomen.
Your adrenal gland secretes hormones that control your blood pressure, heart rate and sweating – to name a few. Adrenal gland burnout does not happen overnight. It takes years of constant overproduction to enter into a burnout condition. The longer it took to burnout your adrenal glands, the longer it will take to recover.
As with correcting stress in your life, you must start by removing the causes of your stress. If you are insulin resistant and have adrenal burnout, you need to remove the sources of those two conditions to recover fully.
Depending on how long, and the choices you have made, it might be best to reduce rather than eliminate things such as over-exercising, smoking, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, white sugar, etc. Cold turkey is not always the best way to start fixing a problem.
Insulin resistance can improve with a dedicated healthy lifestyle. Adrenal and cortisol levels will heal with time and careful attention to stress relief and stress management. It is common to have withdrawal symptoms when adjusting to a new lifestyle.
You have trained your body to respond in a certain way to the stresses you accept and to the foods you choose. Fatigue, irritability, and depression are common symptoms when rebalancing your hormones. Don’t be surprised if you gain a little weight or experience water retention. These symptoms are generally short-lived and moderate quickly thereafter.
Normal levels of insulin, adrenaline, and cortisol can be established by controlling your lifestyle. Withdrawal symptoms are normal as your new lifestyle takes effect. A problem is usually caused by multiple issues. Fix one issue at a time. Some people can adjust easily within thirty days – others might take ninety days to adapt to a new lifestyle.
Monitor the changes in your body and be vigilant to those persistent symptoms that won’t go away. There may be another underlying cause of producing those symptoms that are not obvious.
Lifestyle changes must become a new habit in your life to effectively rebalance systems that have been out of balance for a long time. Body fat will begin to disappear as you normalize your insulin activity, cortisol and adrenaline levels.