Have you seen the self-help books on how to reduce stress? So which one has the real answer? Two reasons that spring to mind as instigators are: finances and romances. But that’s not all; there’s often a kaleidoscope of trouble brewing internally. The hypothalamus located in your brain starts to ring the alarm. Then the adrenal glands rev up production of cortisol – which is known as the stress hormone.
In today’s video we’ll take an in-depth look at this steroid hormone and learn more about its function.
Helps keep insulin in check
Helps us remain in control as we respond to stress
Helps regulate blood pressure
Aids the immune system’s health
It sounds like a good hormone, but a continuously high level of cortisol can lead to Cushing’s syndrome.
Some of the causes of Cushing’s syndrome
Adrenal gland problems
Consuming too much alcohol
Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
Not your typical moody blue days – but days on end when you can’t seem to enjoy anything.
When cortisol levels are too high, energy is diverted away from the gastrointestinal tract. This rerouting process reduces enzyme production, which hampers digestion.
Heart disease and High Blood Pressure
When too much stress in your life triggers an over-abundance of cortisol, it may elevate your blood pressure. This can place you at a higher risk of heart disease.
When we awaken in the morning, cortisol is in full production mode to help us make the transition from sleep to life in the real world. Those who suffer from chronic stress have unstable cortisol concentrations, and they won’t have that extra burst of morning cortisol.
The next time you feel a craving for carb-laden foods and sweets, you may be able to blame it on cortisol. Having a high amount for an extended period can stimulate an appetite for food you wouldn’t ordinarily want to eat.
Leave it to this pesky hormone to make a visible statement on our faces. High cortisol levels can dehydrate our skin, leaving it prone to premature wrinkles.
Other symptoms include:
Aches and pains, especially backaches
More susceptive to infections, as cortisol may weaken the immune system
Growth of facial hair in women
Development of pinkish/purple stretch marks on non-pregnant women
These symptoms develop gradually, at least in most cases. Therefore, it may take time before a problem is clearly recognized.
But if you suspect you may have too much cortisol, you can make lifestyle changes to reduce it.
How to lower your cortisol production
1. Eliminate caffeine
It’s worth a try to eliminate it from you diet for 2 weeks. Reports indicate that 200mg of caffeine can elevate blood cortisol by 30% in only 1 hour.
2. Sleep deeper and longer
Sleep deprivation can create a host of health issues. Perhaps you could try a natural substance, Inositol. It’s a branch of the vitamin B family and is naturally present in certain foods.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise is a stress buster. It not only builds muscle mass but it also causes your brain to produce serotonin and dopamine. These two brain chemicals reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
4. Keep your blood sugar stable
That includes banning donuts and cookies from your plate. Consuming excess refined sugar and simple carbs can cause your insulin production to soar.
5. Drink more water
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will also keep cortisol from spiking. Drink a glass of water when you go to bed and when you first awaken.
6. Take anti-stress supplements
These can be found naturally in calcium, vitamins B and C, magnesium, zinc and CoQ 10
7. Meditate or listen to relaxation tapes
Much of the music today can break the sound barrier. If you want to relax and lower your cortisol, turn on some soft music. Or try meditation.
We have enough bad stuff on our plate – and that can get us tangled in knots. Take control and lower your cortisol. You’ll be glad you did.
Disclaimer: The materials and the information contained on Natural Cures channel are provided for general and educational purposes only and do not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.