Let’s get acquainted with the adrenal glands for a minute. They are so important, and are tiny glands that sit on top of our kidneys. They have an open communication with our brain via the HPA Axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis).
Familiar with an adrenaline rush? Well our adrenals are responsible for adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that help our bodies react to stress.
Stressful event occurs, cortisol is released into our blood stream, our nervous system detects a threat, blood sugar rises in order to bring energy to our muscles and body for FUEL to out run the bear or lift a heavy car. Other stressful events: need money to pay rent/credit card, road rage with traffic, fight with significant other, friend’s health is declining, final exams pulling an all-nighter, or heavy workloads. Our body has a tough time differentiating between STRESS.
In all instances, our heart rate and respiratory rate increase, we sweat, and we get a burst of energy (thanks to our blood glucose spike). Whenever we have spikes in blood sugar, insulin needs to come save the day and bring our blood sugar levels back to normal and balance us out.
Chronic stress leads to spikes in Cortisol, blood sugar & Insulin, over and over… the never ending cycle. Years and years of this, our bodies once again are at risk to becoming INSULIN RESISTANT. This is how stress and cortisol are related.
Find ways to balance your stress in your life. Anything. Sit in silence, read a book, hit a yoga class or breathe deeply (I like this one in the car with LA traffic). Re
store your nervous system and let if relax a few minutes a day, if not more.
HOW CAN YOU HELP PREVENT INSULIN RESISTANCE?
Adequate sleep, recommended at least 8 hours
Eat plenty of vegetables, the more diverse the better
Balanced meals: Fat, Protein & Fiber @ every meal
Exercise: weight lifting & building muscle is the BEST
Walking and movement after eating
Prioritize stress management (we need to prioritize habits to improve our nervous system & response to stress)