Healthy Living With TAU: Stress, hypothyroidism and weight gain
Is there a link between weight gain and hormones?
Stress is an integral part of modern life. It is normal and in fact instrumental to exceeding our performance and goals. Positive stress is intense and sporadic. Hormones get released in small doses, followed by an inactive and recuperation period. Negative stress, on the other hand, is repetitive and chronic. Inactive and recuperation periods are short or worse yet, non-existent
In order to respond to stress and effectively manage it, the adrenal gland secretes two hormones: Cortisol and adrenalin. The objective is to raise the glycemic levels to provide the energy required to handle stress. What occurs when these levels increase? Insulin is secreted and ultimately, this can provoke insulin resistance. Furthermore, when the Adrenal gland gets worn out because of overuse from chronic stress, the thyroid gland then takes over the action of stimulating our metabolism, until it also wears out and risks slowing down as well.
Stress and insomnia often go hand in hand
Stressed individuals often complain of insomnia, principally caused by cortisol, which prevents melatonin production, the sleep hormone. Based on research conducted by Chicago’s General Clinics’ resource center in 2010, lack of sleep can prevent loss of fat up to 55%. This study also revealed that lack of sleep increases ghrelin levels, a hormone secreted by the stomach which affects the brain and stimulates hunger while decreasing our body’s energy consumption.
Adrenalin, cortisol, insulin, thyroid hormones, melatonin, ghrelin… this hormonal assault results in health issues and weight gain.
This tiny gland is instrumental in regulating the human metabolism.
One out of three individuals are afflicted with subclinical hypothyroidism, or light hypothyroidism. Blood test indicate “just at the limit’’ results, but most people manifest most symptoms associated with hypothyroidism: Fatigue, weight gain and difficulty in losing weight, loss of confidence, depression, hair loss, constipation, irregular menstrual cycle, etc.
Stress management, quality sleep and a healthy thyroid gland
Step by step protocol:
- Stress management: Supporting our Adrenal gland is essential to proper stress management and adaptogen herbs have proven their efficacy over and again with regards to decreasing stress. Select a formula which incorporates a blend of these adaptogen herbs, notably Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, Siberian ginseng or Suma with potent nutrients such as Cordyceps, Vitamin C & B and/or Magnesium.
- Learn to breathe: Take small breaks, even if for just 5 minutes and breathe slowly in and out.
- Make sure you get enough sleep: If necessary, use melatonin, GABA, herbs with calming and sedative properties (Passion Flower, Valerian, Hops, etc.)
- Maintain your thyroid gland for optimal health In order to produce the hormones essential to our health, the thyroid requires iodine, selenium, tyrosine, B6 vitamin, iron and essential fatty acids. A healthy diet will provide most of these nutrients; however, the use of supplements will insure the proper quantity of these nutrients in cases of deficiencies. Our TSH levels can be checked and optimal levels are estimated to be between 1,0 and 2,0. Discover yours!
- Eat regularly and don’t skip meals. Furthermore, make sure you that protein is a part of every meal. Regular protein intake helps regulate glycemic levels, essential for weight loss, weight maintenance and daily energy maintenance. A daily minimum of 6 glasses of water is also essential.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5… essential steps to recover your hormone balance and feel great in your own skin!
By Lise Guénette, ND.A.