Stress, cortisol and weight gain

If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of health trends, it’s likely you’ve been hearing the current buzzwords “cortisol creates belly fat” and “cortisol causes muscle wasting and fat storage.” These are the type of catch phrases that gain momentum every few years. And although some of the fads and trends showing up seasonally in fitness are myths, this caution about chronically elevated cortisol is true. Cortisol is also deeply connected with the dangers of chronic inflammation, which I described in another article, “Inflammation Creates Diseases.”

Like many hormones, cortisol has an effect on a wide variety of functions in the body. Although it’s getting particularly demonized lately, cortisol serves some very important and positive functions in the body. It’s an essential component of the flight or flight response, so it gives us energy, focus, strength, motivation and courage. But, like with sugar or caffeine, it comes with a crash that feels like an emotional, psychological and physical drain. Cortisol is important for survival, but we didn’t evolve to have high levels of it all the time.

According to hormone.org, cortisol isn’t only a stress hormone: “Because most bodily cells have cortisol receptors, it affects many different functions in the body. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation and assist with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure. In women, cortisol also supports the developing fetus during pregnancy. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to protect overall health and well-being.”

There are many symptoms of chronically elevated cortisol levels. With that said, the way a spike of cortisol gives you a jolt of energy is by raising blood sugar. It does this by way of gluconeogenesis. This literally means “creating new sugar,” and it happens by way of breaking protein down into amino acids that are then turned into sugar by the liver. What is a large source of protein in the body? Yep, muscles. This is what is meant by “cortisol causes muscle loss.” This in turn contributes to muscle weakness. Whereas normal levels of cortisol help to regulate blood sugar levels by breaking down only a little muscle (which can be replaced with exercise), excessive levels cause muscle wasting.

Why does cortisol cause fat gain? Remember those cortisol receptors most cells have? Fat cells have four times as many, so they are particularly responsive to cortisol. Okay, remember all that glucose the cortisol surge dumped into your blood for energy? Well, that also came with an insulin response to get your blood sugar levels back down, and insulin causes energy storage. And where do you store the energy? Yep, in those hypersensitive fat cells that cortisol just turned on. And what happens when you have too much insulin over time? Yep, diabetes. Also, another reason stress can cause emotional and/or binge eating is because cortisol also fires up your sense of purpose, as well as your appetite. So now stress has made you feel motivated…to eat.

Emotionally and psychologically, chronically high cortisol can exacerbate depression, anxiety, irritability and lack of emotional control. Cortisol triggers a release of tryptophan oxygenase. This enzyme breaks down tryptophan. Tryptophan is required for creating serotonin. Serotonin gives us the ability to feel happiness, and it also affects appetite, sleep and sexual desire. Since extended exposure to high levels of cortisol inhibits the production of serotonin, all the symptoms of low serotonin become problematic (decreased appetite, insomnia, impotence, etc.). In short, prolonged stress causes depression.

Cortisol also plays a role in the circulatory system. It manipulates blood pressure by acting as a diuretic. Excess cortisol causes an electrolyte imbalance, whereby sodium is retained, but potassium is excreted. Let me take you back to your high school biology days: Muscles fire because of the sodium potassium pump. The sodium potassium pump also effects the firing of nerves, including those impulses that cause your heart to beat and your kidneys to take in water for filtration. That sodium potassium pump is important throughout the entire body, across many of its biological functions. Because cortisol increases the concentration of sodium in your body, it has a direct impact on your blood pressure. Remember why excess salt can cause high blood pressure? Because it contains sodium. For all these reasons and more, chronically elevated cortisol also causes muscle weakness (ironic, since short bursts of it temporarily increase strength).

Cortisol has other effects on minerals. According to the Hindawi Journal of Sports Medicine, “Cortisol triggers bone mineral resorption (removal) in order to free amino acids for use as an energy source through gluconeogenesis. Cortisol indirectly acts on bone by blocking calcium absorption, which decreases bone cell growth.” As you can see, excess cortisol causes osteoporosis. It also exacerbates other bone mineral density diseases, which means cortisol can leave you literally brittle with stress.

Practically anything can become a stressor in the right conditions, and fight or flight is our only biological response to stress. Some triggers of stress include conflict, worry, alcohol and drug consumption, processed foods, excess exercise (especially prolonged and repeated sessions of low-level steady-state cardio training), sleep deprivation, thirst and hunger. As much as possible, protect yourself from stress with rest, relaxation, meditation, play time and healthy foods full of antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and thus the risks for practically all diseases.

Jack Kirven completed the MFA in Dance at UCLA, and earned certification as a personal trainer through NASM. His wellness philosophy is founded upon integrated lifestyles as opposed to isolated workouts. Visit him at jackkirven.com and INTEGRE8Twellness.com.

Adapted from https://goqnotes.com/61597/stress-cortisol-and-weight-gain/

Rally for Medical Research Hill Day

Held every September, this Capitol Hill Day event continues the momentum established in 2013, and includes nearly 300 national organizations coming together in support of the Rally for Medical Research.

The purpose of the Rally is to call on our nation’s policymakers to make funding for National Institutes of Health (NIH) a national priority and raise awareness about the importance of continued investment in medical research that leads to MORE PROGRESS, MORE HOPE and MORE LIVES SAVED.

The next Rally for Medical Research Hill Day is Sept. 22, 2016.

Sign up to receive updates, including a link to register once it becomes available.

Medic Alert Bracelets

This was posted today on Facebook from Jeannie Middlebrooks, an EMS provider.  She says “Anyone can message me with questions too!”
I have seen alot of people recently asking for advice as to what to put on their Medic Alert Bracelets, What Kind to buy, etc.
The most common things I see are that bracelets are being bought that look like “normal jewelry” because they don’t want it to stick out.
The other thing is that they are putting the IMPORTANT information on the BACK of the bracelet
Guys I have been in EMS 16 years, and recently Diagnosed SAI this past april. so I have a few things to say on this subject. You can take it for what it’s worth, but please understand this is coming from someone who lives in the heat of the moment taking care of people like us when that moment counts.. When we find an unconscious patient we have several things that we are attempting to do to save that patient, granted looking for a medic alert tag is important, but it is not more important that keeping a compromised airway open, checking vitals, getting an IV, asking family for a history, etc. Looking for a medic alert is usually done en route to the hospital if it is not blatantly obvious upon arrival.
#1 Anything that looks pictures I have posted below, I can 100% promise you, will be looked over in the heat of the moment if you are unconscious. Your family will more than likely be on edge and forget to tell us, or you will be by yourself and no one will know to tell us to look. It looks like standard jewelry.. so I’m not going to look at it.. therefore missing your life threatening emergency.. and if I am one of MILLIONS of first responders that are unfamiliar with Adrenal Insufficiency, I will NOT recognize the signs and symptoms, and you will NOT get the care you need pre-hospital.. leaving your body without the necessary cortisol for that much longer.
#2- If you place your Pertinent information on the back of your bracelet, PLEASE make sure that the medic alert symbol is on the front of the bracelet, BIG AND RED… don’t make it small and pink, or the same color as the bracelet.. yet again. we will overlook it in the moment..
#3- Necklaces are a bad idea.. They almost always get tucked into a shirt, and we almost NEVER see them. they are easily moved.
#4- Your medic alert tag should have your name. What you Suffer From, That you are Steroid Dependant. Where your Injection Kit is location (if applicable), Instructions to give the meds or you will die.. (This alerts bystanders to give you the injection as well.. I can say this because I had a bystander do it based solely on my Medic Alert tag.. she found it, drew it up, and gave it to me), and an emergency contact who can give responders information they need. If you have more than one Critical condition. List the most life threatening in order.
Please Please Please don’t take this post the wrong way. I am saying all of this coming from someone who lives in these moments every day. I know how many first responders are not familiar with the disease that can so easily kill us, and if you are willing to risk your life for the sake of a “pretty” bracelet, then I can’t stop you.. nor can anyone here.. Just know that it is a HUGE risk…

Important Recall Notice: All Auvi-Q Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

Sanofi US Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Auvi-Q®
Due to Potential Inaccurate Dosage Delivery

 

[Press Release]

Company Contact

Karen Sutherland

Tel. : +1 908-989-0726

Email : USMediaRelations@Sanofi.com

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 28, 2015 – Bridgewater, N.J. – Sanofi US is voluntarily recalling all Auvi-Q® (epinephrine injection, USP). The recall involves all Auvi-Q currently on the market and includes both the 0.15 mg and 0.3 mg strengths for hospitals, retailers and consumers. This includes lot number 2299596 through 3037230, which expire March 2016 through December 2016.The products have been found to potentially have inaccurate dosage delivery.
If a patient experiencing a serious allergic reaction (i.e., anaphylaxis) did not receive the intended dose, there could be significant health consequences, including death because anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening condition. As of October 26, 2015, Sanofi has received 26 reports of suspected device malfunctions in the US and Canada. None of these device malfunction reports have been confirmed. In these reports, patients have described symptoms of the underlying hypersensitivity reaction. No fatal outcomes have been reported among these cases.

 

Auvi-Q (epinephrine injection, USP) is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in people who are at risk for or have a history of these reactions. Auvi-Q is packaged with two active devices and one trainer device in a corrugate box. Auvi-Q was distributed throughout the United States via wholesalers, pharmacies and hospitals. All Auvi-Q is being recalled.

 

auvi-q-recall

 

Sanofi US is notifying its distributors and customers who include doctors, pharmacies, wholesalers and other customers in the supply chain by letter, fax, email and phone calls and is arranging for return and reimbursement of all recalled products.

 

Customers with questions regarding this recall can go to www.Auvi-Q.com and call 1-866-726-6340 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET for information about how to return their Auvi-Q devices. Customers may also email cs@sanofi.com. Sanofi US will provide reimbursement for out of pocket costs incurred for the purchase of new epinephrine auto-injectors with proof of purchase.

 

Customers should immediately contact their healthcare provider (HCP) for a prescription for an alternate epinephrine auto-injector. In the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), patients should only use their Auvi-Q device if another epinephrine auto-injector is not available, and then call 911 or local medical emergency services. Customers should contact their physician or HCP if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.


Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

 

Sanofi US is committed to patient safety and the quality of Auvi-Q, and will continue to work closely with customers and regulatory authorities to resolve this issue in a timely manner.

 

Important Safety Information
Auvi-Q is for immediate self (or caregiver) administration and does not take the place of emergency medical care. Seek immediate medical treatment after use. Each Auvi-Q contains a single dose of epinephrine. Auvi-Q should only be injected into your outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTO BUTTOCK OR INTRAVENOUSLY. If you accidentally inject Auvi-Q into any other part of your body, seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.

 

If you take certain medicines, you may develop serious life-threatening side effects from epinephrine. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. Side effects may be increased in patients with certain medical conditions, or who take certain medicines. These include asthma, allergies, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

 

The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness or shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness, or anxiety. These side effects go away quickly, especially if you rest.

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs.

In the US, contact the FDA by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information.

 

About Sanofi US

Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

 

Sanofi is the holding company of a consolidated group of subsidiaries and operates in the United States as Sanofi US. For more information on Sanofi US, please visithttp://www.sanofi.us and http://www.news.sanofi.us/social-media or call 1-800-981-2491.

 

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans” and similar expressions. Although Sanofi’s management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sanofi, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labelling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such product candidates, the absence of guarantee that the product candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, the Group’s ability to benefit from external growth opportunities, trends in exchange rates and prevailing interest rates, the impact of cost containment policies and subsequent changes thereto, the average number of shares outstanding as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by Sanofi, including those listed under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Sanofi’s annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2014. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.

 

From http://community.kidswithfoodallergies.org/blog/important-recall-notice-all-auvi-q-epinephrine-auto-injectors-1

Does Coffee Trigger Cortisol Release?

coffee-prescription

 

Cortisol is the infamous hormone you release when you’re stressed. In high doses it inhibits brain function, slows metabolism, breaks down muscle, and increases blood pressure. Have you ever felt panicked before a public speech and forgotten everything you were going to say? That’s what a big bump in cortisol feels like. And if you’re looking for stress relief, lowering cortisol helps.

Cortisol isn’t all bad, though. In fact, it’s necessary for you to function. Cortisol peaks in the morning, helping to wake you up, and it can be a useful as an indicator of strain, letting you know when to slow down or stop something that’s stressing you out. Cortisol also decreases inflammation – that’s part of the reason your body releases it in response to, for example, a workout that tears your muscle tissue.

Low cortisol is an issue, too. Insufficient cortisol can leave you feeling tired, emotional, and anxious. As long as you avoid chronically elevated or depleted cortisol you can make the little hormone work to your advantage.

A common argument against drinking coffee is that it triggers cortisol release, but (forgive us for getting nitpicky) that may not be true. Caffeine definitely triggers cortisol release. In fact, the increase in cortisol is part of the reason caffeine makes you feel more alert.

Remember a few paragraphs ago, when we were talking about how you build a tolerance to some of caffeine’s effects but not others? Cortisol release is one of the effects to which you build tolerance. If you only take caffeine now and then, it causes a big boost in cortisol. But if you get caffeine daily (by drinking coffee every morning, for example) your body tempers the cortisol response. You still release cortisol, but not enough to worry about unless your cortisol is already out of whack.

Does coffee itself (separate from caffeine) cause cortisol release? Mycotoxins do, at least in mice, and they cause inflammation (a common trigger of cortisol release) in humans. It’s difficult to say whether mold-free coffee increases cortisol.

Regardless, studies suggest that cortisol release from caffeine is mild if you drink it daily. For most of us, that little bump shouldn’t be a problem.

From https://www.yahoo.com/health/caffeine-and-cortisol-does-coffee-1276507994071094.html

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