Stress Counseling Alexandria LA

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Dyer Becky Msw Lcsw/Psycholgst
(318) 443-2338
1938 Jackson
Alexandria, LA
Christus Cabrini Sleep Center
(318) 448-4999
1804 Macarthur
Alexandria, LA
Steven Cook Counseling
(318) 448-0082
360o Jackson St. Ext.
Alexandria, LA
Louisiana Psychological & Counseling
(318) 442-0001
5615 Jackson
Alexandria, LA
Consulting Psychologists Inc
(318) 641-0800
2631 Donahue
Pineville, LA
Quillin James W PhD MP
(318) 442-7355
1016 Calais
Alexandria, LA
Milton S Rhea PhD
(318) 442-3368
1232 Maryland
Alexandria, LA
Gilbert James P Phd Lpc Lmft
(318) 449-4793
5501 John Eskew
Alexandria, LA
Parvin, Mr. E. Charles
(318) 641-7414
115 Sweetwater
Pineville, LA
Benjamin D Arnold PhD
(318) 442-7812
300 Edgewood Drive
Pineville, LA

Poisoned Apples

When extra pounds and excess fat accumulate in your abdomen, it not only gives
you an unsightly tummy bulge but it also increases your risk of heart disease,
stroke and other serious health problems. The best ways to pare down that unhealthy
apple that is misshaping your middle? Intelligent eating, consistent exercise...
and effective stress relief.

By Lisa James

January 2007

Spare tire, love handles, beer belly: Whatever the nickname, an abdomen enlarged by excess fat used to be a mostly masculine phenomenon, just as a large derriere and heavy thighs were something mostly seen on women. But in a world that’s now experiencing an unsettling rise in obesity rates, one can see more and more women who carry most of their extra weight in the middle. And it’s that growth in mushrooming midsections—what’s now generally known as an apple shape, as opposed to the bottom-heavy pear shape—which is the most worrisome: Excess abdominal fat has been linked to a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart woes, cancer and diabetes. In fact, the rapid increase in diabetes “is one good indicator” of the increase in abdominal fat deposits, according to British nutrition expert Marilyn Glenville, PhD, author of Mastering Cortisol (Ulysses Press). “The other major worry is that people do not have to be overweight to have fat around the middle—we see youngsters with a ‘muffin top’ over the waistbands of their jeans.”

High-calorie diets coupled with low rates of physical activity have fueled the escalation in all kinds of obesity. But bulging bellies are also partly caused by high stress levels, and the link is a hormone known as cortisol.

How Stress Packs on the Pounds

Any potential hazard—a man-eating tiger, an aggressive oaf on the highway—can activate the stress response. The pituitary, the body’s master hormone controller, releases ACTH that travels to the adrenals, two glands atop the kidneys, which in turn pump cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. Adrenaline creates the short-term effects of rapid heartbeat and expanded blood vessels, which lets you dodge either the tiger or the oaf. Cortisol, though, hangs in there for the long haul, affecting blood sugar, fat and protein metabolism to support a more extended fight-or-flight reaction.

If all sources of stress were straightforward, cortisol wouldn’t pose a problem—the threat would end and cortisol levels would return to normal. But because modern-day stressors are never-ending (the job, the house, the bills. . .you get the drift), cortisol can remain elevated for long periods of time. Because cortisol affects glucose levels, it can cause the carbohydrate cravings that draw you to candy, cake and cookies like a magnet. What’s more, cortisol tries to keep extra energy on hand (for response to the “threat”) by storing fat in an easily accessed spot—and your midsection, close to all your vital organs, will do quite nicely. This “toxic fat,” as Glenville calls it, spits out ...

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