Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
The Real Reason Why You’ve Lost Your Butt and Gained a Belly

In this article, we’ll discuss the real reason why you’ve lost your butt but gained a belly.


Understanding cortisol

Excessive cortisol can break down the quadriceps muscles and the gluteus maximus.

Here’s a disclaimer, I’m not trying to diagnose you with any cortisol-related condition (Cushing’s syndrome) because no one just wakes up one day with Cushing’s syndrome. Note that Cushing’s syndrome is basically a high level of cortisol, and it happens gradually. A person can have a slight version of Cushing’s syndrome but not the full-blown condition just because of high cortisol.

Note that cortisol is a stress and survival hormone, so what it tends to do is keep your sugar levels available, and you can use it as quick energy.

Cortisol also technically robs Peter to pay Paul by taking extra nutrients or resources from your body that you might not need and using them in another part.

Photo by Darren Lawrence on Unsplash

For instance, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, so apparently, it has extra amino acids to convert into glucose. There is also the thigh muscle — the quadriceps. Both muscles are broken down, which is a catabolic effect.

Catabolic means breaking down something from protein to amino acid and then from amino acid to glucose. In the process, there will be atrophy of the muscles, which could have the resemblance of cellulite, but it is really not. It is just a loss of muscle fiber. The glucose is converted to fat with the help of insulin.

What you need to know about calcified arteries

What causes high cortisol?

Several factors can elevate the cortisol levels in the blood.

Prednisone oral tablet

Prednisone is usually taken when a person has some kind of inflammatory condition. You should know that prednisone is basically a synthetic version of cortisol, and one of the side effects is Cushing’s syndrome.


When a woman goes through menopause, they will lose ovary function. Of course, not 100 percent but to some degree. However, it is essential to note that there is a backup organ called the adrenals.

So, if you go into menopause with adrenal weakness or adrenal stress, then you can develop a higher level of cortisol because the adrenals are now coping with that extra function.

This can affect many things, including the loss of collagen in your joints. You can also have bone loss because there is a loss of protein in the bone itself, but also this is probably why you see a lot of women after menopause that lose the butt in the quads.

High stress

When stressed, your body releases a mix of hormones and nerve signals. These stimulate your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cortisol.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

When your body experiences the fight-or-flight response, your heart rate will increase, and you’ll have more energy. This is your body’s way of preparing for potentially harmful situations.

In addition to preparing your body for a fight-or-flight situation, cortisol also suppresses unnecessary functions. Your hormone levels will return to normal once the threat subsides. Overall, this process can be beneficial and even lifesaving.

When you’re under constant stress, though, this mechanism doesn’t always turn off.

Long-term cortisol and other stress hormones can wreak havoc on almost every body function, raising the risk of a slew of physical problems, from heart disease and obesity to anxiety and depression.

Adrenal gland tumors

Your adrenal glands are situated above each kidney and comprise two sections. Benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumors may grow in size. Both types can secrete many hormones, including cortisol, and can cause Cushing syndrome.

If the tumor is large enough to press on vital organs, you may experience discomfort or fullness in your stomach.

Approximately 1 in 10 people with an imaging test of the adrenal gland will find a benign tumor. However, adrenal cancers are much rarer.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Birth control pills

This is an interesting one. Birth control pills have many side effects. One of these side effects is Pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome. Here’s the thing — Pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome does not necessarily come from the same mechanism. It is characterized by an increase in cortical steroid-binding globulin.

What this means is that when there is an increase of cortical binding globulin in your liver (usually caused by birth control pills), cortisol is also increased.

The same mechanism also applies in pregnancy and if you are on some type of estrogen therapy as in hormone replacement therapy or if you’re estrogen dominant.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Pituitary gland issues

The pituitary gland is a tiny gland located at the base of the brain that regulates the release of numerous hormones.

The pituitary gland can produce too much or insufficient adrenocorticotropic hormone, which can cause it to over-or under-produce other hormones, including cortisol.

This is the hormone that tells your adrenal glands to release cortisol.

Pituitary conditions that can cause high cortisol levels to include:

· hyperpituitarism (overactive pituitary gland)

· benign pituitary tumors, including adenomas

· cancerous pituitary tumors

What to do

1. Talk to your doctor about a natural alternative to prednisone

2. Reduce your stress (do physical work or exercise and avoid overtraining)

3. Do the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting

4. Get plenty of key nutrients (potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B1)

5. Get plenty of sleep

6. Limit things that stimulate the adrenals and limit your exposure to EMF.


Excessive cortisol is the main reason why we lose our butt but gain belly. High cortisol levels may be caused by factors such as:

· Taking prednisone oral tablets

· Pituitary gland issues

· Birth control pills

· Adrenal gland tumors

· High stress

· Menopause

You can arrest this condition by:

1. Talking to your doctor about a natural alternative to prednisone

2. Reducing your stress (do physical work or exercise and avoid overtraining)

3. Doing the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting

4. Getting plenty of key nutrients (potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B1)

5. Getting plenty of sleep

6. Limiting things that stimulate the adrenals and limit your exposure to EMF.

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

What Our Patients Say About Us


We’re here for you when you need us.

Created by DearDoc

All Rights Reserved Foundation Chiropractic