It’s Not Just Calories That Make Bellies Fat!

Dr. Raj Banerjee, DC
Dr Banerjee’s Wellness Centre

Dear Seeker of Health & Fitness,

Have you had any of these in your life? Injury, pain, surgery, infection, illness, divorce, financial stress, job stress, poison ivy, giving birth, irritable people, starvation diets, the menstrual cycle, eating junk foods, drugs and medication, excessive cold or heat, staring into computer monitors, and babysitting 15 small children under the age of five for over 13 hours—these are all examples of physical, mental and emotional stress.

Your walnut-sized adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys, cannot distinguish among the various stresses that are present in your life—whether they are physical, mental, or emotional. These glands just pump out hormones to counteract stress—any stress! They are “fight or flight” hormones intended to serve us for short periods only. But today’s stresses are anything but short term … so the hormones just keep flowing! If this persists, you can become an “adrenal type” of person—one who has either overactive or exhausted adrenals. This is very serious business because your quality of life depends so greatly upon how well your adrenal glands work.

Visible symptoms come along with persistent adrenal imbalances. Chief among them is hanging fat in the midsection that sags downward over the belly. Thinned-out arms, legs and buttocks generally accompany this fat because the key hormone that prevails during stress (cortisol) converts these muscles
to sugar in an attempt to create more energy for a continually stressed body. With thinned muscles and large abdomen, adrenal types often have a hard time finding clothes that fit. Moreover, stress hormones in excess will steal protein from the bones, leading to osteoporosis.

Sometimes a fat pad develops in the lower neck and upper back called a “buffalo hump.” Further, fat accumu- lation in the face gives a round or “moon face” appearance, a face that may redden because of weakened blood vessels.

So why does the extra fat appear? With all this sugar poring into the bloodstream through the action of stress- fighting hormones, the fat-burning hormones of the liver get turned off. Not even high-protein or low-calorie diets will turn them back on again! Then fat accumulates on the belly because of the excess sugar thrown into the blood to meet “dangers” that don’t exist (and insulin stores the sugar as fat to keep your blood sugar levels normal). In other words, stress hormones prevent fat burning, and counting calories or eating more protein simply will n ot help.

To make matters worse, some adrenal types will try to work off fat with heavy exercise. But this just creates more stress and more stress hormones. Result? Less muscle and even more fat! What a predicament. Fortun- ately, adrenal imbalances can be corrected to turn muscle-burning adrenal types into fat burners again.

But that’s only part of the adrenal story. Exhausted adrenals can run out of anti-inflammatory hormones and enter a chronic stage where pain and inflammation stay in the body for years (e.g., fibromyalgia). Sore muscles don’t seem to recover after exercise. Pain triggers stress hormones, which turns off fat burning. A deep, restful sleep becomes impossible. Constant fatigue, mid-afternoon drowsiness, and brain fog or dullness prevail. Caffeine beverages become a constant sidekick, doing yet more damage to the already exhausted adrenals!

If you think you might be an “adrenal type,” there’s a whole lot more I can tell you about it (and how to get healthy again) at my one-hour “belly fat” talk, Saturday morning, at my Wellness Centre in Clayton just off 170 and Ladue. Seating is limited, so call us now to reserve a spot for yourself: 314-282-3990.
There’s a healing path for you if you’re willing to walk it.

– “Dr. Banerjee”

Here are a few words from patients who have discovered and embraced the value of wellness chiropractic:

“Before seeing Dr. Banerjee I was a wreck! I was overweight, had no energy, and experienced frequent anxiety attacks. Quite frankly, I was desperate for a solution. Since following Dr. Banerjee’s prescribed program I’ve lost over 25 lbs, my anxiety is a thing of the past, and my new level of energy allows me to function to my fullest. Not only do I look and feel healthier, my quality of life has dramatically improved.”

–Cindy H, St. Louis MO

“I came to Dr. Banerjee at the recommendation of a friend—and as a skeptic! Three months later I had realized one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Since attending Dr. Banerjee’s weight-loss program, friends have commented that my body is looking tighter and I have much more muscle definition. I have fewer food cravings, don’t depend on coffee, and have to say that I enjoy the compliments I get. Thank you so much Dr. Banerjee!”

–Miranda G, Edwardsville IL