A New Year: Get a jump start on better self care and wellness!

Another year is passing by and like many people, I am thinking of my resolutions for the new year.  Surely we all think about how to be healthier, eat better, stress less, make more time for those we love, be more organized, exercise more, etc.  Whatever you choose to prioritize, it’s hard to ignore that many people will be flocking to the gym in January!  As many of us come to realize, better nutrition is at the center of many of your health goals.  I struggle to make healthy food choices, especially during the holidays. After all, the smell of fresh baked holiday cookies and pies basically throw my healthy choices out the window! How about you?

Blame it on the busy holiday schedule:
Yes, stress makes you eat more!  Here’s my professional input, don’t be so hard on yourself.  Enjoy the season and once things slows down, your stress level should too.  You see, stress has a direct effect on your hormones, especially cortisol, your main stress hormone.  Whether your source of stress is physical, mental or environmental, it has the same effect on your adrenal glands.  For example, being on-the-go is stressful to your body, as well as being sick with a cold/flu or mentally stressing over a hundred things you have on your to-do list. Once the adrenal glands receive the signal from your brain to make cortisol hormones, those little glands go to work overtime.  It’s called fight or flight response.  As long as stress is there, your adrenal glands will continue to pump out cortisol to help you keep going until you are no longer in a stressful situation.  It’s the way our bodies are designed to work. 

Support your adrenals:
Depending on your body’s needs, you can crave sweet treats or salty snacks.  Regardless of what you feast on, cortisol has a direct correlation with weight gain around the waistline.  Imagine the workload of your adrenals after days or weeks on continual stress.  When we work overtime, getting a bonus helps make it better, right?  Your adrenals need the bonus just like us.  So during prolonged stress, give them the support and take care of your adrenal glands.  There are many adrenal support supplements out there to choose from.  My favorites are L-Theanine, ashwagandha, and relora to be taken along with your daily multi-vitamin.  There are also combination products for adrenal support.  Check with your functionally trained healthcare experts for the recommendations of what’s right for you.  Click here to complete a questionnaire for a recommendation from our wellness pharmacist.

Be well!

Your functional pharmacist, Dr. Megan Pasookhush, PharmD, FAAMFM