Health, Wellness and the Adrenal Gland

Adrenal fatigue is a condition several people suffer from and for many is a condition under-diagnosed. This article will give an overview of what the adrenal glands do, and what can happen when they are overworked and become fatigued.

Flickr photo credit Dale Leschnitzer

The adrenal glands are endocrine glands which sit on top of the kidneys from which they are separated by a layer of fat. They are most known for their functioning when in situations of danger or stress the body moves into a ‘fight or flight’ state as they send adrenaline into the blood. It’s the adrenal glands that have the body ‘ready for combat.’

Their function goes far beyond this however. Hormones produced by the adrenal glands control the body’s use of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, suppress inflammatory reactions in the body and also affect the immune system. Other hormones inhibit the level of sodium excreted into the urine, maintaining blood volume and blood pressure, while others are responsible for the formation of male characteristics.

With prolonged stress and an unhealthy lifestyle, the adrenal glands become fatigued causing various symptoms including:

– premature aging

– dark circles under your eyes

– low blood sugar

– low blood pressure

– light headedness when standing up

– cravings for sweets – carbohydrates

– cravings for salt

– easily irritated

– dry, unhealthy skin with excess pigmentation

– heart palpitations

– excessive sweating or perspiration with little activity

– muscle twitches

– lower back and/or knee weakness or pain

– weight gain

– poor memory

– lack of libido

– alcohol intolerance

– fatigue, especially at midday, yet have insomnia or poor sleep

– lower immunity or increased susceptibility to infections

– increased environmental sensitivities

– allergies

Though this is not an exhaustive list, it gives insight into the vast array of problems that can be experienced when the adrenals become fatigued.

 

What contributes to adrenal fatigue? Common causes include, but are not limited to:

– imbalance or excess of emotions such as anger, guilt, worry, fear and depression

– sleep deprivation

– surgery

– chronic inflammation

– chronic pain

– toxic exposure

– excessive exercise

– overworked with physical or mental strain

– inability to absorb nutrients

– nutritional deficiencies

What can you do to help relieve the exhaustion? There are various nutritional and lifestyle changes that can be made to help alleviate the stress on the adrenal glands.

First, recognize that the body needs rest – sleep is vital to a healthy body. Get to bed early and aim for a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Eliminate sugar, alcohol and processed carbohydrates from your diet. Removal of these will help ease the adrenals as they help regulate your blood sugar. Eating regular meals can also help in this respect.

In aiming to keep your blood sugar regulated, it is suggested to avoid high glycemic fruits such as bananas, mangos, dates, pineapples, etc., for a period of time.

Ensure that a healthy fat is incorporated in each meal and eat healthy protein.

Because toxins stress the adrenals, eating organic food that is free of pesticides, insecticides and antibiotics can really rid the adrenals of excess stress when they are already in a stressed state.

Drink plenty of fresh filtered water and cut out caffeinated beverages.

It is also worth considering taking extra nutritional supplements specific to supporting the adrenal glands. Find a trustworthy nutritional supplement company and inquire about such products.

 

Do all within your means to live a balanced life. To the extent that it is within your control, keep your work time to regular hours and let go of activities and people that only add stress to your day.

flickr photo credit viewminder

flickr photo credit viewminder

Do not add to your stress by trying to implement all the nutritional and lifestyle changes at once. Start with one or two suggestions and add others as you go. Getting your adrenals back to a healthy state will be a gift you give to yourself.

Your Diet & Your Health

Flickr photo credit Nik

There is not a day that goes by that a new, better, different diet is promoted to the public. When that happens, people jump on the “new” bandwagon. People will follow the new diet in hopes of losing the weight that they put on in the last ten years by next month. Then they jump ship when the next, new, better, and different diet comes along. This is the trend and the habit people have embarked on concerning dieting.

A better approach is to see your “diet” as a means to an end – better health, a longer and happier life. As a society, the word diet has been equated with losing weight instead of being healthy. Eating healthier foods, exercising regularly, and confronting habits that might be affecting your health; such as smoking, drugs, over eating, etc., is a more effective approach to creating and maintaining your health.

The media is doing a much better job of linking poor diet with minor and serious health issues. People who are overweight are now hearing the serious consequences and risks that are associated with being overweight. Some people are actually listening to the reports coming out and some people still do not hear the message.

The problem with eating is – we all have to eat. Eating, as with anything, can become an addiction. Eating is driven by emotions, behaviors, environments, and conditioning. People do not always understand what is driving the excessive eating nor have they been diagnosed with health issues related to their weight – yet. By the time a person develops health issues, the habits are very ingrained and people do not know how or believe that anything can change.

The truth about your health is, from the first day you decide that health is your priority your body will begin to heal itself. Your body is a self-healing machine if you provide it with exercise, better food each day, a positive attitude, remove or manage stress, change your environment, and determine what is driving the emotional side of eating.

None of the activities a person needs to do have to be very complicated or sophisticated. You do not need to walk one hour on your first day – walk five to ten minutes! Do what you can until you are ready to do more – it is that simple. Find an activity that you loved as a child – like dancing or jump roping, or biking, or swimming. The activity does not matter – the consistency and the doing matter.

Flickr photo credit Angelo Benedetto

Begin to pay attention to what you are eating, the size of your portions, the frequency of eating, etc. For one week just document everything until you can begin to see the patterns. Then determine one or two things you will change the following week; such as, having smaller servings, eating only five times a day versus seven times a day, replacing fast food for lunch with a lunch from home, etc.

There is a lot of information about the topic of health and diet. Educate yourself, find workshops to attend, join a support group of like-minded people, find a nutritionist or a health coach.

The key is to make health your habit.  For more information on diet and your health, contact http://www.rothwellnesscenter.com.

Mood, Food and Weight Loss

Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Both major life events and the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts. These triggers may include:

  • Unemployment
  • Financial pressure
  • Health problems
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Work stress
  • Bad weather
  • Fatigue
Flickr photo credit photo and share cc

Flickr photo credit photo and share cc

Although some people actually eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you’re in emotional distress you may turn to impulsive or binge eating — you may rapidly eat whatever’s convenient, without even enjoying it. In fact, your emotions may become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a sweet treat whenever you’re angry or stressed without stopping to think about what you’re doing.

Food also serves as a distraction. If you’re worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.

Photo credit Christy

Photo credit Christy

 

Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The emotions return, and you may also now bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your weight-loss goal. This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle — your emotions trigger you to overeat, you beat yourself up for getting off your weight-loss track, you feel badly, and you overeat again.

What can you do to break the cycle of overeating?

  1. Understand that weight loss is not about depriving yourself of food. Instead allow yourself to eat healthy foods so that you feel satisfied. Healthy Rule of healthy choices: Roamed, Swam, Flew, or Grew Unprocessed.
  2. Use your body’s internal hunger cues, not your eyes.
  3. Eat slowly, and savor every bite. This will help you to eat less while more thoroughly enjoying your meals.
  4. Exercise in some form or another.
  5. Reset those often unconscious emotional triggers that drive you to overeat.

How do you access and change those unconscious emotional triggers?

The Emotional Weight Loss™ system uses QNRT, Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy, to make these shifts. QNRT is a system of healing that happens from within and recognizes and restores the connection of the brain, the body, and nervous system to remove the blockages so that the body can heal itself.

QNRT combines a unique biofeedback technology with a nervous system relay therapy to neurologically reprogram the brain/relay access points – the places where our body’s neurological and emotional programs reside. Simply put, the QNRT process actually “re-wires” the nervous system.

QNRT is non-invasive, requires no prescription, no manipulation, no physiotherapy and no extensive talk therapy.

Dr. Michael Roth is a certified practitioner of QNRT and The Emotional Weight Loss™ system.  For more information, go to www.qnrt.com and www.rothwellnesscenter.com. To schedule an appointment, contact drmroth@sbcglobal.net or call 805-644-0461

Comfort Food

Ah, the comfort of eating mashed potatoes, fried chicken, white bread, ice cream, potato chips, crackers, chocolate chip cookies, etc.  In times of stress, when we are feeling “down in the dumps”, lonely, or misunderstood, comfort food is what we turn to in order to feel better about ourselves or a situation.

Flickr photo credit Miguel Discart

Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.

Many of us learn that food can bring comfort, at least in the short-term. As a result, we often turn to food to heal emotional problems.

Situations and emotions that trigger us to eat fall into five main categories.

  • Social. Eating when around other people. For example, excessive eating can result from being encouraged by others to eat; eating to fit in; arguing; or feelings of inadequacy around other people.
  • Emotional. Eating in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety or loneliness as a way to “fill the void.”
  • Situational. Eating because the opportunity is there. For example, at a restaurant, seeing an advertisement for a particular food, passing by a bakery. Eating may also be associated with certain activities such as watching TV, going to the movies or a sporting event, etc.
  • Thoughts. Eating as a result of negative self-worth or making excuses for eating. For example, scolding oneself for looks or a lack of will power.
  • Physiological. Eating in response to physical cues. For example, increased hunger due to skipping meals or eating to cure headaches or other pain.

How Do I Break Myself of the Habit?

Identifying eating triggers is the first step; however, this alone is not sufficient to alter eating behavior. Usually, by the time you have identified a pattern, eating in response to emotions or certain situations has become a habit. Now you have to break that habit. Yet, simply distracting yourself from eating and developing alternative habits is not enough to manage the emotional distress that leads to excessive eating.

Flickr photo credit lee Carson

Flickr photo credit lee Carson

Emotional hurts that occurred in your early childhood, that you may not even consciously remember, are responsible for your eating habits today.  Your brain has been wired to react as a child and even now, as an adult, you impulsively eat not as a person of choice, but because emotionally you are stuck at your earliest emotional wounds.

The key is to reset the brain to lose weight and keep the weight off!

 

A quantum shift can occur in our behaviors by resetting the brain from those pre-programmed emotional stresses. We do not have to remain a victim to our own nervous system. We can forgive, resolve, and let go of the emotional stresses contributing to dysfunction in our bodies.

The Emotional Weight Loss™ system uses QNRT, Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy, to make these shifts. QNRT is a system of healing that happens from within and recognizes and restores the connection of the brain, the body, and nervous system to remove the blockages so that the body can heal itself.

QNRT combines a unique biofeedback technology with a nervous system relay therapy to neurologically reprogram the brain/relay access points – the places where our body’s neurological and emotional programs reside. Simply put, the QNRT process actually “re-wires” the nervous system.

QNRT is non-invasive, requires no prescription, no manipulation, no physiotherapy and no extensive talk therapy.

Dr. Michael Roth is a certified practitioner of QNRT and The Emotional Weight Loss™ system.  For more information, go to www.qnrt.com and www.rothwellnesscenter.com. To schedule an appointment, contact drmroth@sbcglobal.net or call 805-644-0461.

New Treatment for Weight Loss that Targets the Brain Instead of the Belly!

By Dr. Michael Roth

As a generation and as a nation we are gaining weight, growing tired, and sleeping less. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer are all on the rise.  Trends in medicine show that the “baby boomers” – those born between 1946 and 1964—are being haunted by the ominous shadows of increased weight and chronic illness as they reach age 50 and beyond.

There has been an alarming rise in obesity and heart disease in the United States in the last 20 years:

  • Two-thirds of America’s adults are overweight or obese.
  • As many as 30% of U.S. children are overweight.
  • Childhood obesity has more than doubled within the past 25 years.
  • Within the past 20 years, childhood diabetes has increased ten-fold.

We’ve been told over and over that to lose weight, we must eat healthy food and exercise.  Which foods, how much food, when and how to exercise—these parameters vary from person to person and are influenced by the popular diet plan of the moment.  Yet, many of us find ourselves in the repetitive pattern of losing weight and gaining it back.

We may be aware of when and why we overeat or choose to indulge in sweet or salty snacks.  We may know that we eat when we are angry, when our feelings are hurt, when we are bored, when we are happy, to reward ourselves for an achievement, or to console ourselves when we are feeling low.

These are examples of emotional eating. Yet despite all this diet information and self-knowledge, we find ourselves still overweight and struggling to change our eating habits.

Unresolved emotional stresses will shut down the brain, causing weight gain!

The body responds to emotional stress the same way it does to a physical or structural stressor. The brain stimulates the adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol, which acts on the liver to break down glycogen into sugar for “fight-or-flight” which in turn triggers the release of insulin.

The insulin brings the sugar into play for action, and if none is needed by the muscles, the sugar goes back to the liver. If not needed there because the liver has reached its maximum capacity for it, it goes to fat storage. High levels of cortisol cause the body to store fat.

The result of sustained high cortisol causes the three primary neurotransmitters to lower in the brain, contributing to weight gain, depression, and fatigue. These are the three most common complaints of all healthcare office visits in North America!

Three primary neurotransmitters typically depleted in weight gain:

  • Serotonin: Depleted levels cause craving of carbohydrates, especially sugars. Low serotonin levels are also associated with depression. Normal levels feel grounded and satisfied.
  • Epinephrine: Depleted levels do not allow the body to burn fat properly. Normal levels allow the body to burn fat effectively, and provide plenty of energy.
  • Nor-epinephrine: Lowered levels are associated with lack of motivation and normal metabolism.  Normal levels have plenty of motivation and drive.

The target area in the brain for successful weight loss is the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls the feeling of full and it also controls the stimulation to eat.

Flickr photo credit Laura Dahl

Emotional hurts that occurred in our early childhood, that we may not even consciously remember, are responsible for our eating habits today.  We have been wired to react as a child and even now as adults, we impulsively eat not as a person of choice, but because emotionally, we are stuck at our earliest emotional wound.

The Emotional Weight Loss™ system calls these wounds “negative core drivers.”

Examples of negative core drivers are:

  • Rejection
  • Powerlessness
  • Vulnerability
  • Feelings of Being Unlovable
  • Feelings of Being Defective
  • Emotional Deprivation

Negative core drivers and beliefs about ourselves are not accurate or reliable – they are just plain false!  The problem is that our nervous system doesn’t believe it and acts accordingly, making the choices that support those false beliefs!

A Recipe for Weight Gain:

  • Anger/struggle growing up will raise blood sugar and insulin causing fat storage.
  • Emotional stresses, fear, anxiety, and anger will raise cortisol levels for fat storage.
  • Poor diet habits rise insulin causing fat storage.

The key is to reset the brain to lose weight and keep the weight off!

A quantum shift can occur in our behaviors by resetting the brain from those pre-programmed emotional stresses. We do not have to remain a victim to our own nervous system. We can forgive, resolve, and let go of the emotional stresses contributing to dysfunction in our bodies.

True Health is not about what you are eating. It is about what is eating you!

The Emotional Weight Loss™ system uses QNRT, Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy, to make these shifts. QNRT is a system of healing that happens from within and recognizes and restores the connection of the brain, the body, and nervous system to remove the blockages so that the body can heal itself.

QNRT combines a unique biofeedback technology with a nervous system relay therapy to neurologically reprogram the brain/relay access points – the places where our body’s neurological and emotional programs reside. Simply put, the QNRT process actually “re-wires” the nervous system.

QNRT is non-invasive, requires no prescription, no manipulation, no physiotherapy and no extensive talk therapy.

Dr. Michael Roth is a certified practitioner of QNRT and The Emotional Weight Loss™ system.  For more information, go to www.qnrt.com and www.rothwellnesscenter.com. To schedule an appointment, contact drmroth@sbcglobal.net or call 805-644-0461.

 

5 Symptoms That Indicate You Might Have an Addiction

by Michael Roth, DC

Addictions are most commonly associated with drug and alcohol addiction, however the truth is millions of people suffer from all kinds of addictions.

Some of these addictions are related to some form of chemical dependency such as alcohol, controlled substances and even prescription medicines. Other addictions are related to compulsive types of behavior such as gambling, sexual, shopping, food disorders an even the Internet.

One of the most important things to recognize about any type of addiction, regardless of whether it is a chemical addiction or a behavioral addiction is that it is not a matter of choice. Individuals who are addicts do not have the ability to simply decide to stop abusing their ‘drug’ of choice. Addictions affect not only the user, but also their family and friends as well.

So what is an addiction?

How does it begin and when does a pattern of behavior become an addiction? Some individuals seem to have the ability to use a substance or engage in a behavior periodically over a period of years without becoming ‘hooked.’ Others, however, are not capable of stopping and become addicted.

Addictions affect all social and educational groups. There is no typical addict.

The causes of addiction have been studied for several years. In many ways, addiction is caused by the emotion the substance or behavior brings about in the user. The body and mind become dependent on that feeling and seek to maintain it.

There are addiction risk factors that make some people more likely than others to become addicts. Studies show that sometimes addictions can be hereditary. The child of an alcoholic may not grow up to be an alcoholic, however, they may become addicted to gambling or some other type of compulsive behavior as an adult.

Besides hereditary factors, individuals who grow up in families with abuse,trauma, neglect and who are impoverished are more likely to become addicts.

For most addicts, it can be extremely difficult to recognize that what they have associated as simply a habit is actually an addiction. While every individual is different, there are some symptoms that are prevalent among most addicts and addictions:

Flickr photo credit Chuck Grimmett

Symptom # 1

Unable to meet responsibilities at home, school or office.

Symptom # 2
Continuing to use substances or engage in behavior even when it is dangerous.

Symptom # 3
The need increases to engage in behavior or use more of a substance to achieve the same effect or feeling.

Symptom # 4

Has tried but failed to stop using the substance or end the behavior.

Symptom # 5
Continuing to engage in the behavior or use the substances even when they are aware of the dangers.

Answering yes to three or more of the above symptoms during a 12 month period may show that you or a loved one has an addiction. The first step to treating an addiction is recognizing that it exists.

Treatment and counseling can help an addict to learn how to control their behavior, withstand impulses and recognize the presence of a problem. Treating an addiction can take years and requires ongoing support from friends, families and support groups.

A 12-step program can be particularly beneficial in treating an addiction. One of the most well known 12-step programs is AA, also known as Alcoholics Anonymous; however there are similar programs for all types of addictions.

Living with an addiction requires a daily commitment, and there is always the possibility of relapsing. An addict that has been “clean” for even 20 years can succumb to temptation just as they did decades before.

There are several treatment programs and centers that can help with the numerous types of addictions that are prevalent today. Many of them are anonymous. Support groups are also available to help family and friends who experience the effects of an addiction in a loved one.