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Adrenal Gland Health and Weight Loss

author image Allison Briggs
Allison Briggs has been a writer for several years, contributing features and scholarly research papers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a minor in sociology and a Master of Arts in communication with an emphasis in health from San Diego State University.
Adrenal Gland Health and Weight Loss
Young adult man feeling tired at work Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

If you are feeling tired, run down and overly stressed, it is likely that your adrenal health is affected. Your adrenal glands are fundamental to the balance of your overall health and well being, and can play a crucial role in your ability to lose weight. If you think that you might be experiencing problems with the health of your adrenal glands it is important that you speak to a physician to rule out any serious health conditions.

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Adrenal fatigue can influence your weight.
Adrenal fatigue can influence your weight. Photo Credit: fred goldstein/iStock/Getty Images

Your adrenals glands are situated just above your kidneys. They serve a role in producing and regulating your hormones. Primarily, your adrenals are responsible for the stress hormone, cortisol. Excess stress brought upon by illness or infections, emotional instability, poor diet, lack of exercise or lack of sleep can affect cortisol production and could lead to a syndrome known as adrenal fatigue. According to Dr. James Wilson, adrenal fatigue is comprised of a “collection of signs and symptoms” that includes mental fogginess, depression and weight gain.


Caffeine will boost those suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Caffeine will boost those suffering from adrenal fatigue. Photo Credit: Massonstock/iStock/Getty Images

If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue you may notice several seemingly unrelated symptoms. For example, Dr. Wilson explains that people with adrenal fatigue often crave salty foods and sugar, and rely on caffeine to stay alert. People with adrenal fatigue generally feel exhausted and run down, which can hinder them from getting appropriate exercise. The combination of a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle can cause excess weight and make it difficult to lose.


Cortisol is an adrenal hormone essential to maintaining the balance of your overall health. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” because it regulates your body’s response to stress. According to Dr. Wilson, its influences are related to blood sugar levels, immune responses, anti-inflammatory actions, blood pressure, central nervous system activation, and metabolism. Your adrenals may over-secrete this hormone in response to stress, and the excess of cortisol can disrupt your system and cause problems -- such as excess weight gain or challenges with weight loss.


Exercise is useful in maintaining adrenal health.
Exercise is useful in maintaining adrenal health. Photo Credit: FlairImages/iStock/Getty Images

You can usually treat adrenal fatigue by regulating your lifestyle habits. This includes maintaining a proper diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Some people also choose to include vitamins and supplements into their adrenal treatment plan. If you are interested in dietary supplements, speak with your doctor to learn which ones are right for you. Once your adrenals are functioning optimally again, you should start to notice a change in your ability to lose weight.


Certain health conditions could be related to adrenal fatigue. Dr. Wilson points out the following conditions that could place excess demands on your adrenals: alcoholism and addictions, allergies, chronic fatigue, chronic infections, blood sugar imbalances, fibromyalgia, herpes, HIV, hepatitis C, hypoglycemia, depression, PMS and menopause, arthritis and sleep disruptions. If you are suffering from any of these health conditions, speak with your doctor about the possible connections to the health of your adrenal glands.

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