That old saying "when times get tough, the tough gets going" might be very nice to say in a "macho" way, but things are not like this in real life.
In real life chances are that when we lose our job or our house, when our investment dwindles or fades away and when we fall in financial disgrace, we may not find the strength to "get going". And we may not even feel “tough” enough to pull ourselves out of adversity. We may not feel strong nor able to keep going, and we may be all affected by stress. A heavy weight settles in our shoulders, our sleep is interrupted, our hopes vanish and we may not find the will we need to think right. Sometimes we can’t even fight back nor find the energy to recover. Everything becomes a major task. We blame ourselves, we blame the economy and the banks and the politicians, but overall our morale is low and we don’t know what to do. Sometimes it looks like bad things accumulate, that our luck is worse because several bad things happen.
What to do?
I, Daniel Nuchovich, MD, can’t solve this for you, but there is something I have to make you understand since you are a member of my community: feeling down, defeated and stressed can and will hurt you in a way you didn’t know, and as a consequence, you may not be able to keep yourself healthy until the moment when things get better and opportunity strikes.
Remember the story of the "seven slim cows then seven fat cows"? Economy has been going through cycles of richness and poverty since biblical times. We are in a cycle of slim cows now, but things will get better. Things will improve. Question is, by the time things get better, will you be healthy?
Will you be strong when good times come or will you be overwhelmed by disease?
You may be asking yourself what this got to do with your problems. After all, if I can’t really solve your problems, then why I even poke in your personal life? I’ll tell you.
Because studies actually show a connection between feeling down, miserable, overwhelmed and stressed and the occurrence of disease. Yes, there is a connection. Stress, sadness and feeling hopeless are capable of causing disease.
Which means you can get worse, much worse.
So you may wonder what is the connection that causes this health decline on people in despair?
What is it?
What is that factor that will chew up your health when you are down, unless you are careful?
What is that thing that will keep you strong and healthy or weak and sick?
The answer is just one word: Cortisol.
Have you heard it before?
It is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and it controls your immunity, your defenses and your chances of getting or not getting better, of getting or not getting strong against adversity. Yes. Just like that.
Let’s review this a bit.
The adrenal glands are situated on top of the kidneys and secrete a hormone called Cortisol, which has an incredible strong impact on metabolism and disease. Abnormal Cortisol levels can lead to a condition of severe exhaustion known as fatigue. Cortisol can also cause high blood pressure, weight gain, sleep disorders, metabolic disorders, high sugar and low sex drive. Most of the times when Cortisol rises it brings its sister hormones with it: epinephrine, nor-epinephrine (which stimulate blood pressure and heart, raising pulse, blood pressure and also raising glucose) and insulin (which causes weight gain, obesity and Diabetes).
Adrenal response—The adrenal glands are the center of stress response, and they have been essential for our survival over the last several thousands years. During wars, famine, long winters, hunting, escaping, prisoner camps, fighting, etc., the adrenal response to stress has been our ally in the struggle for survival.
We teach all this at our office, and we evaluate adrenal and hormones. WE CAN HELP YOU.
Cortisol is the survival hormone, it has helped us survive all these centuries. No Cortisol= no survival. It’s the commander of the ‘hunting, fight or flight’ response.
Nevertheless, as society is today, this response is working against us, and in this times of crisis, the stress, the anxiety and frustration, the anger and depression, are making your adrenal gland secrete excess cortisol (and with it adrenaline and nor-adrenaline).
We face different kind of stressors nowadays: spouse, children, job, job loss, driving, excess of caffeine, losing the house, foreclosure, debts, credit card problems, money issues, exams, demands, addictions, excess of carbs, responsibilities, etc. These stress events stimulate the brain to release its chemical messengers which then go to the adrenal glands to stimulate the secretion of Cortisol and its “sisters”. At least when we were making money we were able to cope with it and even enjoy the stress and the ‘rush’ knowing that we were making some fat bucks for it. But now thing have changed. In these times of crisis and stress, the system is becoming wasted, with very low response because of fatigue of the system, known as Adrenal Fatigue.
Anyone can be affected, and of course doctors, nurses, policemen and paramedics come in first place. Some professions are harder on the adrenals then others. But then come the students, the bank workers, the mothers, the teachers, the business owners, the pain-sufferers, the drivers and many other professions.
Metabolic effect—Initially, the Cortisol, Epinephrine (Adrenaline), Nor-Epinephrine and Insulin (“the four sisters of doom”) are abundant, proportional and work well coordinated, but when the system loses its fine regulation bad things start to occur: Insulin goes up, hormones (Estrogen, Testosterone, DHEA, etc) are over-consumed, burnt, wasted, thyroid is suppressed (becomes under-active), metabolism slows down, cravings for salt-fat-and-carbs, hunger, water retention, inflammation, poor calorie burning by the cells , decreased muscle mass. The consequences of all that are weight gain, high sugar, diabetes, fatigue, loss of sleep, generalized weakness, depression, and a general decline in health and quality of life.
The same process causes low thyroid function, low DHEA, low hormones, low muscle energy, decreased brain chemicals (which causes psychological disturbances), bowel malfunction, irritable bowel, fatigue, low sex drive, irritability, depression, PMS, less enjoyment, mental fog, poor memory, coldness, cravings, poor immunity, allergies, pains, back pain, headaches, anxiety, and then the adverse effects of low hormones and low thyroid are multiple.
All this vary from person to person, and some individuals can have fatigue and no obesity, some may just have obesity, some may have both. But write this in the wall of your bedroom: malfunctioning adrenals will waste your hormones AND your thyroid (which, by the way, may both be slowly going down because of your aging and that bad food you’ve been eating).
Our office can teach you more, much more, and can help you repair yourself.
I am not writing this to scare you nor to make you feel bad. I am writing it because I am concerned about how people feel, how they struggle and how their health is deteriorating . I teach this in my office and I tell my patients to tell others. I want everybody to know this. This is after all a beautiful country and we are all together in this same horrible economical soup, hence we might as well help each other, support each other and advise each other so we all come up strong. So here is my advise and that’s why I write this. I want you to be aware and make others aware that the crisis you fell into makes you secrete excess cortisol from the adrenal gland, and as desperate as you may feel you need to remain strong and improve your adrenal-cortisol situation or bad health, vascular diseases and even cancer will take away any chance you might have to recover.
Even if you can’t find a solution to your job-house-money-business-family problem, keep your health strong until the moment comes for improvement. Yes, that requires understanding your adrenal-cortisol system and doing something about it. I am sure you’ll find the time to disengage from the screens of TV, PC and cell phone and study the problem. Our office can help you, and you can also find help in your area or in the internet (google "adrenal disorder" or "adrenal imbalance’).
Our Metabolic Test can show you how clogged your metabolism is.
Sometimes you just can’t tell how things got started, but one thing is for sure: regardless of who started first (money, job, family, economy, credit card debt, etc), the 4 sisters of doom, the thyroid and the hormones are involved, since they are part of a “metabolic triangle” in which one affects the others. Yes. As your worries grow, as your inner stress progresses, the cortisol excess drains the sex hormones, the brain hormones and slows down the thyroid, until all of them are disrupted and the hormonal and metabolic harmony is lost. That is when diseases fester. Will you wait till that moment? Will you try to learn more and prevent what could be avoided? What would be your next step?
I am stopping here because I don’t know how the people in general will respond to this article. Perhaps there is no interest at all so I’ll cut it short. If you are interested in learning more and reading about how to find out more and getting a solution and even how to be evaluated and treated , then communicate with our office. Then I will describe to you the diagnosis and treatment choices of this condition of adrenal-cortisol imbalance.
|Daniel Nuchovich, MD
||(561) 746-2033 or 746-1205
|175 Toney Penna Drive # 101