Several studies have demonstrated that people with elevated levels of serum cortisol (caused by continual stress) were at a greater risk for developing insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, and diabetes, in addition to other blood lipid abnormalities and hormone imbalances. Stress weight gain is a completely different topic than simple weight gain.
Belly fat is unlike the other types of fat caused by stress weight gain in our body. It is a highly metabolically active fat that can produce its own hormones. Some of those hormones can promote insulin resistance, disrupt the hormone balance of other organs in the abdominal cavity, and even make more of itself!
If cortisol blood levels remain continuously high it creates a situation for the body where belly fat is stored in larger quantities to provide us with fat reserves for survival. This is a result of the stress response habitually stuck in the “on” position.
Stress-eaters, particularly women, tend to eat high-fat, high-sugar, high-carbohydrate foods in response to stress, in what starts as an instinctual attempt to raise blood sugar levels for the “flight or fight” response to stress.
Excess insulin can eventually cause carbohydrate addiction by triggering intense recurring cravings in the brain. Each of the stress resulting factors listed above contributes to an endless cycle – causing more stress weight gain, more fat storage and more insulin to be secreted, in turn elevating glucose levels, causing even more fat to be stored in a vicious cycle.
Inquire about your adrenals
If this sounds like you, scheduling an appointment to discuss with a qualified healthcare practitioner to have hormone and blood sugar levels checked is recommended. Read the Adrenal Fatigue Solution to gain a greater understanding of the role the adrenals play. Check out the ingredients found in Adrenal Health by Emerald Labs that have been shown to help address these imbalances caused by on-going stress. You can also take a topical approach by using Adrenal Support essential oil blend by Essential 3. Use them all for targeted support from the inside and out.