STRESS!!! and adrenal glands

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

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STRESS!!! and adrenal glands

Stress – we all experience it. Unfortunately, it is becoming normalised and accepted as part of life.

What does stress do to your body?

One of the major areas that is effected from stress are the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands sit just above the kidneys and they produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol.

Cortisol is a stress hormone and it can be public enemy number one. When your cortisol levels become elevated from stress it can interfere with your body in many ways such as headaches, insomnia, difficulty breathing, pounding heart, aching back, stomach ache, not in the mood for anything, irregular periods, infertility, low immune system, and liver problems.

What is even worse is when your cortisol levels are elevated over a long period of time it can cause the above symptoms to become worse and also lead to depression and anxiety.

When it comes to children excess cortisol can cause difficulty learning and it can decrease their resilience which will lower their ability to cope in social situations as well as stressful situations such as school and sport.

What happens if high levels of cortisol are ignored and cortisol continues to circulate the body in excessive amounts?

It can lead to a condition called Cushing’s syndrome. There are two causes of this syndrome. Internally through excessive cortisol and externally through long term use of corticosteroid medication such as those used for treating rashes and asthma.

Cushing’s syndrome has a lot of signs and symptoms and it also has a very particular body shape which includes weight gain around the abdomen with a belly that overhangs like a muffin top, excess weight around the upper back and above the collar bone, and excess weight on the face causing it to be rounded eg moon face.

Other signs and symptoms include:

- Red cheeks
- Acne
- Patches of excess pigmentation on the skin particularly the face and neck
- Fluid retention
- Poor wound healing
- Thinning hair
- Muscle loss & weakness
- Pink or purple stretch marks on the skin of the abdomen, thighs, breasts & arms
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar – diabetes
- Depression

In women – thick hairs on the chin, irregular or absent menstrual cycle
In men – gynecomastia, impotence
In children – poor height growth, obesity

Stress also plays a major role in peri-menopausal and menopausal weight gain.  When the main hormones of oestrogen and progesterone begin to decline you are no longer protected and cortisol and insulin take over, these guys are hoarders and they like to store fat, especially around the belly.  It becomes super important to work on insulin resistance and your body's stress response and cortisol levels as these hormones can be a bit mischievous and need to be kept in check. Also important to add in foods to help boost progesterone.

What can be done?

As a Naturopath we have specific herbs that are exclusive to natural medicine that work directly on cortisol to help regulate it and improve the body’s ability to cope in stressful situations.

Depending on your stage of excess cortisol there may also be other conditions which may be present and working on your stress will also be able to assist in these areas as well such as depression, insomnia, diabetes, and weight loss.

Appointments can be made for in our clinic as well as through our online video chat software. I help people all over the country and post their products out to them. I can help you too. 

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house.

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath


To book an appointment click here 


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