Stress: A Culprit Behind Weight Gain, Belly Fat, and Chronic Disease

2. Increases the amount of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream (hyperglycemia). 

Prolonged elevations in blood sugar can trigger insulin resistance, a condition in which the body doesn’t properly respond to the blood glucose lowering effects of insulin. Hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are classic risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

3. Promotes visceral (belly) fat accumulation.

Cortisol-induced insulin resistance is a major underlying cause of belly fat. When insulin isn’t properly regulated it converts excess blood sugar into fat for primary storage in the visceral area. Visceral fat accumulation itself is an independent risk factor for numerous chronic diseases.

4. Elevates LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream.

Increases in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (fat in the blood) promote the development of high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Furthermore, buildup of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to plaque formations in your arteries (atherosclerosis) that cause heart attacks and strokes.

5. Causes the body to retain sodium and water.

Sodium (salt) and water retention can lead to unnecessary weight gain and high blood pressure (hypertension), due to extra fluid in the blood vessels. Hypertension greatly increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

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