Dr Gigi Chow

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Craving Sweets All The Time??

In Hormonal Health on July 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

What’s Happening?

Hormones play an important role in maintaining blood sugar balance and restorative sleep patterns. Sugar cravings and hormonal changes are nothing new to many women.

Your adrenal glands make cortisol. Cortisol is commonly referred to as the “Stress Hormone.” It plays an important role in blood sugar metabolism, blood pressure regulation, insulin release, immune function, and the inflammatory response. The amount and daily pattern of cortisol production can also influence how your body uses or stores fat.  Over time, the constant stress of life disrupts the delicate balance of hormones, including how much and when cortisol is made and released.

Some signs that cortisol and other hormone levels are out of balance include:

  • Sugar Cravings
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Tired but Wired
  • Afternoon Slump
  • Headaches
  • Constantly Stressed

Effects on The Body

Normally cortisol levels are highest 30 minutes after awakening and then taper down throughout the day. Cortisol is “designed” to help the body respond to a stressful event. When the event passes, cortisol levels drop. When your body is under constant stress, your nervous system never receives the signal to relax. This causes the cortisol response to become altered, which can lead to other hormones going awry.

Long busy days and short nights of sleep send messages to the body that it is in a state of stress. We may be civilized, but our bodies are still ruled by primitive survival drives. The body begins to store fat as a response to the stress, so there are stores ready for a future event that threatens survival.

Over a period of time with constant stress, the adrenal glands are fatigued and therefore produce less and less cortisol,yet the stress continues. Without enough cortisol the body needs to find energy from somewhere else. Our bodies crave sugar, caffeine and other stimulants to counteract low cortisol levels and temporarily raise energy levels.

If you crave sweet things regularly, you should consider checking the function of your adrenal glands and addressing potential adrenal fatigue.

 

References: http://www.labrix.com

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