Tips for Managing Cortisol
Do you wake up tired and feel little change throughout the day, even after coffee?
Do you feel frazzled and wired in your mind but physically exhausted?
Are you tired during the day then unable to sleep at night?
Do you feel noticeably anxious or argumentative but you’re not sure why?
If any of these symptoms sound familiar you may have a cortisol imbalance.
Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands which triggers the body to spring into action as part of the “fight or flight” response. The battle-tested chemical highjacks the metabolism by inhibiting insulin. As a result, blood glucose floods large muscles for a boost of fuel. Cortisol triggers epinephrine which constricts the arteries, making the heart pump faster and harder. The desired effects are designed for quick action and ideally last for a short period of time.
While we may not be fleeing predators on a daily basis, modern life is fraught with stressors. Professional and emotional challenges, poor diet, over-exercise, too much caffeine, inadequate sleep, and use of smart devices constantly trigger cortisol output. As a result, the body can’t maintain a balance to keep up with demand or stop the activation once it starts.
The long term effects of cortisol imbalance are far-reaching and are associated with poor health outcomes such as insulin resistance, weight gain, insomnia, depression, digestive dysfunction, irregular menstruation, cardiovascular disease, weakened immunity, thyroid disorders, and chronic fatigue.
The good news is that you don’t have to go off the grid to heal your hormone balance! Nutrition support and can help restore appropriate cortisol levels. Here are some tips for managing your cortisol that can put into action today.
B vitamins - Support Energy & Avoid Burning out.
During times of acute stress, sure up your nutritional reserves to maintain function and protect against vulnerabilities. B vitamins are involved in the creation of adrenal hormones and sex hormones, they support the conversion of food into energy and are essential to the formation of red blood cell which delivers oxygen throughout the body. Together these functions support steady energy and avoid burnout.
Phosphatidylserine - Improve Your Mood & Cognitive Function.
PS is essential fat found in tissues where high metabolic action take place such as the brain, skeletal muscle, heart, lungs, and liver. PS helps to regulate and downgrade the overproduction of cortisol in conditions of physical stress and emotional stress. Studies suggest PS supplementation can help also improve mood and cognitive function.
Adaptogens - Reduce Fatigue & Stress.
Used for centuries in natural medicine, adaptogens support the pituitary and adrenal response helping them to function normally and restore cortisol to appropriate levels. When stress hits, adaptogens reduce the symptoms of fatigue and improve the body’s resistance to stress:
Maca - improves energy and stamina, as well as reducing anxiety.
Ashwagandha - regulates insulin and cortisol, reduces stress and anxiety.
Rhodiola Rosea - decreases fatigue and improves mental function.