What do Wine, Chocolate, Fine Lines & Stress Have In Common?

As a mum you constantly have to deal with stress, there is physical stress like the lack of sleep, tiredness or perhaps juggling kids & work. Then there are the emotional stresses we face from the pressure of striving to be a good mum, role as new mum, loss of income or money troubles.

When you are faced with a stressful situation your adrenal glands that sit above your kidneys, release cortisol or the ‘stress hormone’ to manage the bodies energy requirements and get sugar into your bloodstream so that your body has the energy to deal with the ‘danger’. 

If you have to deal with constant stress your adrenals become overworked, producing more and more cortisol.

What are some of the common signs that your body might be reacting to stress?

alcohol glass wine
Physically

Do you:

regularly need sugar, caffeine or chocolate for energy

– have problems with sleep

– have problems with your digestion like bloating, pain or cramping

– have bad PMT and it’s getting worse

– see an increase in wrinkles

can’t shift weight around your tummy

– ongoing tiredness & lack of energy

Emotionally

Do you:

– feel unconfident, unsure of yourself, negative thinking, feel less creative 

Why do you crave chocolate when you’re stressed?

milk chocolate bar

Your body uses up magnesium when your stressed, chocolate is high in magnesium (and sugar) so if you crave chocolate everyday you might be lacking in magnesium. Magnesium also increases the feel good hormone serotonin so perhaps that’s the other reason for chocolate cravings.

Wine, Stress & Weight Gain

Alcohol increases cortisol and sugar levels, so more than 2 glasses per day increase fat storage around the tummy.

Faster ageing & wrinkles

An essential hormone but in excess cortisol has negative side effects. Cortisol (and sugar) thins or breaks down skin tissue, hence the fine lines and wrinkles.

Why stress can make it hard to lose weight?

With chronic stress the body is in constant state of alert so the adrenals will be releasing cortisol constantly. Cortisol stimulates the release of fast energy resulting in high levels of insulin and sugar levels in your blood stream. As a result of the high cortisol levels your appetite is stimulated, you get hungry and you eat more resulting in weight gain. This is the viscous circle you might find yourself in.

stress

Studies show that cortisol causes the body to add fat around the abdomen rather than the hips. Stress increases cortisol in the blood stream and your body goes into ‘flight or fight’ mode looking for energy and as a result sugar cravings increase.

 Solutions

There are numerous solutions to helping you manage stress. A combination of good diet, relaxation and exercise could be the key to addressing your problem. However chronic stress can deplete your cortisol levels to the extent that you may need the additional support from herbal adaptogens and essential nutrients.

Herbal medicines like Rhodiola, Ginseng, Withania can be extremely effective when used to address many of the imbalances caused by stress & high cortisol levels.

To know for sure you can get your cortisol levels  checked, it’s a simple saliva test. If you think you might have excess or an imbalance in your cortisol levels it’s always worth speaking to a qualified practitioner to understand what you can do for yourself.

* Always consult a qualified herbal practitioner when you’re using herbal medicine combinations.

 

 

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