What to look for Bags and puffiness under the eyes, which make us look as if we’ve had too many late nights.
“The adrenal glands control the body’s response to stress, so if you are permanently stressed, this will have a knock-on effect on your adrenals,” says Mary-Lou. “A diet high in sugar and caffeine also affects the adrenal glands.
“These bags are usually seen on stressed people who have a blood sugar imbalance. These individuals are so busy, worried or anxious, they turn to sweet food such as chocolate or caffeine for energy and to keep their spirits up, but while they get a temporary lift, they experience a blood sugar crash soon after. This leaves them feeling even more tired and irritated, so they reach for more sugary food or another coffee to pick them up again.”
Symptoms Mood swings, irritability, poor sleep patterns and anxiety are all signs of sugar imbalance and adrenal fatigue.
When we’re stressed we make more cortisol, a fat-storing hormone, which causes us to put on weight around our abdomen. Inflammation (anything that ends in –itis) is linked to high cortisol.
What to do Avoid carbohydrates such as white bread, rice, flour and pasta, and fizzy drinks, because they will trigger the blood sugar roller coaster. Instead, sprinkle cinnamon on your cereal or porridge to stabilise your blood sugar. Eating quality protein such as fish and nuts will keep your blood sugar in check.
“Eggs are a natural tranquilliser,” says Mary-Lou. “So if you have a stressful or busy day ahead, have an egg or two for breakfast.”