James L. Wilson D.C., N.D., Ph.D. will present “Adrenal Fatigue and Its Relationship with Metabolic Syndrome & Hypothyroidism” at the Nutrisearch Seminar Series in New Zealand, August 10-13, 2009.
Adrenal fatigue and metabolic syndrome are two different faces of a patient’s underlying stress disorder, according to Dr. James Wilson. “Both adrenal fatigue and metabolic syndrome are in epidemic proportions in the US and in most industrialized nations, including New Zealand. These conditions can arise as stress maladaptations and are intimately related, yet are often slow to be recognized, if at all, by conventional medicine,” said Dr. Wilson.
Recent figures ranking New Zealand as the third fattest nation in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) emphasize the need to understand why Kiwis are gaining so much weight. Stress tends to make people overeat to bolster their lagging energy levels and, Dr. Wilson explains, high cortisol levels caused by stress combined with high blood sugar and other related factors can lead to metabolic syndrome.
Symptoms of metabolic syndrome include high cortisol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, fatigue, and a “spare tire” of weight around the middle. Metabolic syndrome often causes a fairly rapid fat gain, especially around the belly, and left unchecked, predisposes a person to diabetes and heart disease. Recent surveys estimate that 32% of Maori, 39% of Pacific People and 16 - 40+% of New Zealanders of European descent suffer from the condition.
Adrenal fatigue (adrenalfatigue.org) generally produces low cortisol levels, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, and fatigue that leaves people feeling chronically below par and limping through life. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often overeat because they try to drive themselves with salty or sweet foods.
According to Dr. Wilson, many people going through adrenal fatigue experience some form of decreased thyroid function as well. Often when low thyroid is unresponsive to thyroid therapy, adrenal fatigue is a contributing factor. If this is the case, both the adrenals and the thyroid need support for optimal thyroid function.
An expert on endocrine imbalances and their impact on health, including the effects of stress on adrenal function, Dr. Wilson will review and expand upon the toll stress takes on the body. This presentation is designed to help healthcare professionals understand the relationship, progress and treatment of metabolic syndrome and adrenal fatigue, how they can both develop in a single person, the effects of cortisol on the thyroid gland, and the connection between adrenal and thyroid function.
Dr. Wilson believes metabolic syndrome can be reversed with a program of lifestyle changes including a balanced diet, stress management, adrenal support and regular relaxation. “There is a tremendous amount we can do to naturally balance the effects of stress on our bodies and compensate for stressful life events and stressful lifestyles. In the years I’ve spent treating patients, and researching, writing and speaking about adrenal fatigue and stress, I’ve seen that if the physiological and biochemical mechanisms that deal with stress are properly supported, people can withstand quite a bit of stress – yet maintain their health, their ability to function, and their optimism,” Dr. Wilson said.
One of New Zealand’s leading naturopathic physicians, Eric Bakker, says that most people blame weight gain on junk foods, carbohydrates and a lack of exercise rather than their fatigued, stressed and hurried lifestyle. “We need to focus on health and wellness and not on weight, and this means looking at the behaviors, habits and the stresses in our lives.”
Mr. Bakker highlighted a recent two-year New Zealand study of 225 overweight or obese Kiwi women involving non-dieting but including relaxation techniques. According to Caroline Horwath, senior lecturer in the University of Otago’s Department of Human Nutrition, the study revealed that the women lost an average of 2.5 kilograms and suffered a lot less from depression, back pain, stomach upsets, insomnia and bowel problems like diarrhea or constipation.
A scientist as well as a physician, Dr. Wilson holds three doctorate degrees and two master's degrees, all from different health disciplines. He is listed in The International Who's Who in Medicine (Cambridge, England), and was one of the founding fathers of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto, Ontario.