Part One – Will Adrenal Fatigue Cause Weight Gain?

You must first understand why you would get weight gain with adrenal fatigue and how it all works. 

There is a condition of hypercortisolism that is high cortisol. The adrenal gland has an outside and an inside. The outside makes cortisol, the stress hormone.  There is a condition called Cushing’s syndrome. It is is high cortisol. Hypercortisolism means too much cortisol. It does not develop quickly. It is the same with adrenal fatigue, it starts at a certain point and it gradually gets worse and worse. Just like you have insulin resistance, pre-diabetic and then eventually a diabetic.

With the cortisol being high there is always a beginning point. It could be subclinical where you start developing symptoms yet it is not a full-blown problem yet. You can have a series of stress events over the years and start having more and more problems with fatigue to the point where it becomes magnified as a full-blown Cushing’s syndrome problem.

Here are the symptoms with a full-blown Cushing syndrome case:

  1. A lot of visceral fat. You will see more belly sagging fat. It will be in the midsection mainly because cortisol is a stress hormone. During stress states your body would want to store fat closest to the vital organs, the liver, the heart, things like that.
  2. High blood pressure.
  3. Round face.
  4. Red cheeks
  5. Fatigue
  6. Lowered immune system susceptible to viruses.
  7. Anxiety
  8. Buffalo Hump
  9. Fat on your collarbone.
  10. Thin skin because cortisol is a very destructive hormone, it is called catabolic. It starts to break down proteins and you are going to have very thin skin.
  11. Decreased libido
  12. Low potassium
  13. High sodium so you are going to retain fluid.
  14. Low vitamin D levels
  15. Insomnia.   

There are a lot of other symptoms involved but these are the main ones.

A lot of people have a lot of these symptoms so they may not have a full-blown Cushing’s syndrome but they might have something that is not quite as severe and that is adrenal fatigue.  

To answer the question can adrenal fatigue cause weight gain it really depends on how chronic it is.

High cortisol can come from many things:   stress, a tumour on your pituitary, from a virus, from major loss of a loved one. It can come from many different things but if you have chronic stress that can definitely create adrenal fatigue so it really depends how long you have had the stress or if it was a short-term thing and your diet.

High cortisol can cause the fat but then what about the diet? Are you eating to counter some of that effect because the more stressed that you are the healthier the diet should be.  People will tend to eat carbs when they are stressed. That makes things worse.

Learn what is causing this stress. Can you locate the actual cause of the stress and fix it and sometimes you cannot so you have to maybe improve it slowly over time but there is always something you can do to improve this situation. The weight gain depends on several factors.

Why does someone with adrenal fatigue (high cortisol) actually gain weight in the first place? Well the cortisol is a survival hormone and it needs to release quick energy; what it does is, it releases stored sugar from your liver and your muscles. It just dumps this sugar.  Then this sugar gets converted into fat later especially if you do not need the sugar because we are not being chased by a tiger anymore we are sitting in a desk, we are not as mobile or stressed and so all the sugar can easily then be converted to fat around your gut.

Cortisol gives you quick energy releases sugar but it will make new sugar called Gluconeogenesis. Where does it make sure you are from – your own muscles. It converts your muscles into sugar, which then turns into fat. What muscle does it primarily go after? Your thigh muscle and your gluttonous Maximus so you start losing your thighs and your butt so all this turns into sugar then converts into fat around the midsection so that is why you would get weight gain in the midsection.

Please come back next week for Part Two – Will Adrenal Fatigue Cause Weight Gain?  You will learn how does this actually work.

This Post has been condensed from Dr. Berg’s video, Will Adrenal Fatigue Cause Weight Gain?

Dr. Berg is a chiropractor, who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting, is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.

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