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Cortisol Overload: What is it, do you have it, and what can be done?

Written by Rosewellness

Cortisol is a hormone that responds to the body's stress. Thus, it is considered as the body's built-in alert device. It regulates your mood, motivation, and anxiety by interacting with specific parts of your brain.

Cortisol is produced by triangle-shaped organs called adrenal glands lying at the top of your kidneys. Moreover, cortisol receptors are present in nearly every cell, and they play a vital part in different body functions. For example

  • controlling blood sugar,
  • regulating metabolism,
  • reducing inflammation, and
  • formulating memory.

Cortisol is essential for good health, but too much can create havoc in the body.

The Signs and Symptoms of Cortisol Overload

Overloaded Cortisol can cause a variety of symptoms in the entire body. The symptoms differ based on what's causing the cortisol levels to rise. You may experience all or just a few of the signs and symptoms. 

Signs & Symptoms

  • Irregular Periods
    overwhelmed woman
  • Estrogen Dominance
  • Long Follicular Phase
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Unusual Hair Growth 
  • Blood Sugar Irregulation
  • Weight Gain
  • Mental fogginess
  • Muscle weakness

If you have a lot of corresponding signs and symptoms of cortisol overload, you can take the information to your provider, who can help you determine what tests and treatment might be effective for you.

Hormone Interaction

Hormones throughout our body interact with each other through the endocrine system, and cortisol is no different! High cortisol can cause (or in some cases be caused by) excess estrogen. If using Fertility Awareness to chart your cycle, this can be apparent as a long follicular phase, excess cervical mucus, or even anovulation.

How to Lower Cortisol Naturally in the Body

If your cortisol levels are high, the only way to lower them is to figure out what's causing it. Is it due to a problem with the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, drugs, or persistent stress? 

As with any condition, you need to speak to your doctor and make specific changes in your lifestyle to control it. Here are some simple suggestions you can make for your everyday:

Women practicing yoga and mindfulness
  • Take time out for yourself:  Do something that gives you pleasure every day.
  • Exercise Mindfulness: Practice regular yoga, meditation or keep a journal for mindfulness.
  • Create a Strong Social Circle: Keep yourself connected to your family & friends to maintain robust mental health. 
  • Sleep: Make sure to sleep properly for at least 7 hours each night.
  • Work up a Sweat: Take time out to exercise each week.
  • Eat well: Consume a nutritious diet rich in fruits, berries, whole grains, almonds, beans, and oily fish.
  • Consider Taking Supplements: It is good to use some supplements to lower your cortisol level, for example, vitamin B-complex, L-theanine, valerian root, omega-3, magnesium, lemon balm, ashwagandha, etc. (Always check with your practitioner if you are unsure)

While cortisol overload is a big deal, it’s important to remember there are ways to treat it - even through simple lifestyle changes. Managing stress and taking care of the rest of your health will naturally help to decrease cortisol. The best way to start is to just pick one thing and do it!

 

Rosewellness is an integrative medicine center, that helps to balance your hormones, rediscover yourself and lead a meaningful and authentic life. Our mission is to help our patients feel better about their life - to work together to make it much healthier and stronger. Our practitioners believe in providing our patients with an integrative wellness approach by combining the best of conventional and alternative medicine methods. At Rose Wellness Center, we believe in restoring and maintaining better health by awakening the body's own healing power to avoid disease, stress and overcome chronic health problems.

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