Why Is High Cortisol Bad
If youre healthy and not going through a stressful event, your cortisol levels will be:
- High in the morning
But if youre constantly stressed, then your cortisol will always be high.
Now, why is this bad?
For one, cortisol can disrupt your sex hormones. If youre a male, your testosterone can plummet while estrogen shoots up. This manifests as man boobs, belly fat, and lack of sex drive.
High cortisol also often leads to high blood sugar. Which can cause you to gain harmful fat around the belly and organs.
Whats more, chronically elevated cortisol causes inflammation. Many experts agree that chronic inflammation is one of the root causes of many common ailments.
Not only can inflammation lead to serious physical ailments such as cancer and heart disease, but can also disrupt your mood and memory.
Thats due to the fact that when your body is in the state of inflammation, it uses l-tryptophan to create more anti-inflammatory bodies, instead of using it for creating serotonin the brain chemical that regulates mood.
Adrenaline, on the other hand, can elevate your blood pressure and cause anxiety.
In combination, cortisol and adrenaline can cause a lot of damage to your body in the long-run. Including symptoms such as:
- Weight issues
Dont Forget Your Coffee
In other articles, Ive written about the many therapeutic effects of coffee. Ive noted many ways it helps to improve thyroid function and metabolism.
Yet, this is one therapeutic benefit Ive yet to discuss.
As Dr. Raymond Peat points out, coffee helps to inactivate serotonin. And this is the reason behind some of coffees mood lifting effects.
coffee stimulates the uptake of serotonin, increases metabolic energy, and tends to improve mood. In animal studies, it reverses the state of helplessness or despair, often more effectively than so-called antidepressants.
Caffeine also helps inhibit serotonins actions at the cell receptors in the brain. This helps to weaken the effects of serotonin on the brain.
Get Up And Get Moving
Whether its a brisk morning walk or a visit to your local gym, physical activity is one of the best ways to lift your mood in the morning. If you find yourself dealing with an excessive amount of worry in those early hours, try to exercise at least five days a week for about 30 minutes each session.
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Distinguish Productive Worry From Unproductive Worry
Anxiety can be either productive or unproductive. Unproductive anxiety usually amounts to worrying about things that are out of your control and may lead to an anxiety attack. If you cant do anything to change the situation, you might be wasting your time and energy by worrying about it.
On the contrary, productive anxiety generally amounts to worry about things you do have the power to change. If you are worried about a presentation you have to give to your boss, you can acknowledge your anxiety and take the steps necessary to help you be best prepared for the presentation.
How To Reduce Cortisol Naturally
Dr. Lin stresses that a big-picture approach is key to maintaining healthy cortisol levels and feeling less stressed. These go-to strategies are good for the body and the mind.
Exercise benefits health from head to toe. So its no surprise that it helps with stress relief, too, possibly by reducing cortisol levels. Studies show, for instance, that exercise can bring down cortisol levels in the elderly and in people with major depressive disorder.
Almost nothing beats a good nights sleep. When youre not sleeping well, you tend to be more anxious, irritable and stressed, Dr. Lin says. Like exercise, sleep is important for health in all sorts of ways including managing stress and keeping cortisol in check.
Sleep deprivation may increase cortisol levels. The increased cortisol can impair memory, contribute to weight gain and even accelerate the aging process. In other words: Dont skimp on shut-eye.
Spending time in the great outdoors is a great way to lower cortisol and calm your brain. The practice of forest bathing essentially, hanging out in the woods and breathing the forest air can reduce cortisol levels and lower stress.
When it comes to de-stressing, cortisol is just one piece of the puzzle, Dr. Lin adds. No one food or pill can deliver you to blissful calm. But healthy choices can set your body up for low-stress success.
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How To Reduce Cortisol The Stress Hormone
Chronic stress can lead to an elevated cortisol level, resulting in mental, emotional, and physical health issues. Learn how to reduce cortisol naturally.
If its been awhile since youve felt truly relaxed and happy, you may be suffering from a common modern malady an excess of cortisol.
Cortisol is a major stress hormone that contributes to mental health disorders and a wide range of physical illnesses.
In this article, we review the many proven ways to decrease cortisol naturally.
The Link Between Anxiety And Your Menstrual Period
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, between the ages of 14 to 50, women are at double the risk of anxiety compared with men. Part of the reason may be the hormonal flux of the menstrual cycle, says Yael Nillni, PhD, an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and a clinical research psychologist at the National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston Health Care System.
Right before your period starts, estradiol and progesterone are declining rapidly,” Dr. Nillni explains. “Researchers have speculated that rapid hormonal withdrawal might underlie those symptoms. However, reactions to these normal hormone changes are unique some women experience mood changes across their menstrual cycles, while some experience minimal changes in their mood related to their menstrual cycle.
Is Feeling Anxious During Your Cycle Normal?
For some women, anxiety is par for the course, says Nillni. A large portion of women will feel some sort of mood or affect change before their period. Its not necessarily anxiety it could also be feeling more irritable, sad, or having mood swings. Or you could feel no different at all. Only a small minority of women, about 3 to 8 percent, will experience mood changes around the menstrual cycle that cause significant disruption in their daily lives.
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Restore Your Liver Glycogen
A healthy liver stores plenty of glycogen necessary to keep your blood sugar stable.
A hypothyroid liver does not store glycogen efficiently.
When your blood sugar drops, or your cells become deprived of glucose, your body secretes adrenaline to stimulate your liver to release glycogen.
In the case of hypothyroidism, where your liver doesnt store glycogen very well, this can lead to very high levels of adrenaline.
This increase in adrenaline alone can quickly drive your anxiety very high.
There are many foods that we can use to help your liver store more glycogen, but theres another overlooked problem that we need to correct too.
Your liver requires thyroid hormone to store glycogen.
In many cases we have to use thyroid hormone to help break this cycle and help the liver to do its job.
In turn, glycogen storage increases, blood sugar handling improves, and both adrenaline and anxiety often improve.
very slowly to determine the optimal dosage. Too much thyroid hormone at one time can sometimes increase your sensitivity to adrenaline.)
Amino Acids Before Medications
Most of my clients prefer more natural solutions to their health problems and prefer to avoid medications when possible.
With that being said, there are safer anxiety medications, but thats beyond the scope of this article.
So, we typically first opt to try some amino acid supplements that work well for some, but not all.
When it comes to anxiety, there are two that I generally recommend starting with.
The first is l-theanine, which studies show to be very effective at stopping the stress response and improving anxiety.
Protective effect of l-theanine on chronic restraint stress-induced cognitive impairments in mice
However, not only did l-theanine treatment exhibit a reversal of the cognitive impairments and oxidative damage induced by CRS, but also reversed the abnormal level of corticosterone in the serum as well as the abnormal levels of catecholamines in the brain and the serum.
The second amino acid is l-lysine, which does not act directly on adrenaline. Instead, it acts by blocking the effects of serotonin.
L-Lysine acts like a partial serotonin receptor 4 antagonist and inhibits serotonin-mediated intestinal pathologies and anxiety in rats.
An increase in nutritional load of l-lysine might be a useful tool in treating stress-induced anxiety and 5-HT-related diarrhea-type intestinal dysfunctions.
Anxiety is a serious health issue that can literally take over your life.
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What Caused The Adrenaline Addiction In The First Place
Only you know what lead to the addiction in the first place. Was it drugs? Was it some uncontrollable event? Was it a bunch of consecutive stressors? Sometimes self-analysis is helpful for closure. When you have finally overcome this addiction, raw emotion will come back that you may not be prepared to deal with. You will start feeling more natural, and initially you may feel a little depressed.
The adrenaline was like a drug for you, getting you through the day and making your life more exciting. When you take this away, you may notice that your motivation subsides, your energy lessens, your thought process is less organized, and you feel mentally slower. This is all normal the whole key is to just let it pass and know that you are on the right track to becoming a healthier human being.
The adrenaline is there to help protect you in dangerous situations. I know if I dealt with this powerful addiction, there are others out there that have gone through the same craziness. Coming down from my adrenaline spike, hypomania, high or whatever you want to call it was very rocky and hellish. Unless you are prepared to take on the challenge and the pain you may experience from the comedown I would be careful. For some people the extra boost that they get from this addiction may actually be helpful.
Autoregulation Exercise And Stress Relief
Regular physical activity keeps you healthy as it reduces stress. But another special sort of exercise known as autoregulation exercises can also reduce stress.
Stress comes in many forms and produces many symptoms. Mental symptoms range from worry and irritability to restlessness and insomnia, anger and hostility, or sensations of dread, foreboding, and even panic.
Mental stress can also produce physical symptoms. Muscles are tense, resulting in fidgetiness, taut facial expressions, headaches, or neck and back pain. The mouth is dry, producing unquenchable thirst or perhaps the sensation of a lump in the throat that makes swallowing difficult. Clenched jaw muscles can produce jaw pain and headaches. The skin can be pale, sweaty, and clammy. Intestinal symptoms range from “butterflies” to heartburn, cramps, or diarrhea. Frequent urination may be a bother. A pounding pulse is common, as is chest tightness. Rapid breathing is also typical, and may be accompanied by sighing or repetitive coughing. In extreme cases, hyperventilation can lead to tingling of the face and fingers, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
The physical symptoms of stress are themselves distressing. In fact, the body’s response to stress can feel so bad that it produces additional mental stress. During the stress response, then, mind and body can amplify each other’s distress signals, creating a vicious cycle of tension and anxiety.
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The Physical Side Of Anxiety
The brain is a powerful organ. So much that the anxiety, the depression, and the fear can turn mental fears into actual physical pains.
Most people actually experience anxiety as a physical problem, said Jason Conover, social worker for Intermountain Healthcares Utah Valley Hospital. It often doesnt get recognized because the physical symptoms are so apparent and quite troubling that they might think they are experiencing something else for instance, a heart attack.
Anxiety builds tension throughout the body. Conover said in the brain can react to thoughts of fear and turn to the muscles to brace for a moment that is not happening. Much like if you were about to get in an accident or protecting your body to get punched. The action never happens but chemically you just experienced it just from a random fear thought that crept in.
Treating anxiety is important for better mental health and physical health as well. Inflammation builds up from the stress, and inflammation is a culprit in numerous chronic conditions such as heart and gastrointestinal conditions.
Here are several ways that anxiety manifests in physical problems.
Breathing Due to the tension, your breathing can change, Conover said. Breathing can become shorter, shallower, or even holding your breath too long. The lungs do not fully exhale due to the tension. Relaxation and breathing techniques can help.
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Signs That You Are Overcoming Adrenaline Addiction
1. Automatically drift off to sleep Perhaps the easiest way to know that youve overcome this addiction is by your sleep pattern at night. When you are truly done with this addiction, you will lie down and not really be able to control when you fall asleep. Your brain will automatically switch gears and the subconscious will take over as you drift to sleep. In other words, your brainwaves will shift on their own and you will NOT be able to stay awake at will.
2. More relaxed You will feel less anxious and more relaxed in all situations. This relaxation may initially feel uncomfortable because you have been so sensitized to the adrenaline.
3. Carefree Less things will bother you and you may not be afraid of anything.
4. Natural feeling You will feel more natural in your thinking and physical abilities. You will feel less hyped up and more like a normal human being should feel.
5. Emotions The increased production of adrenaline will have numbed you to the point where you forgot what it was like to experience natural human emotions. These emotions will slowly start to come back as your body slowly returns to homeostasis.
7. Relaxed body Before your brain slows down, a month or two in advance your body will feel relaxed. Your brain will still be stimulated, but you will feel very comfortable. I enjoyed this state of awareness a lot because the body feels great.
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What Is Adrenaline And What Happens During An Adrenaline Rush
The hormone adrenaline is secreted by the adrenal glands which are situated above each kidney. The adrenal glands are regulated by the pituitary gland. They are categorized into two areas, i.e., inner glands and outer glands. Adrenaline is released by the inner glands.
When confronted with a situation that is stressful or unsafe such perceived information is sent to that section of the brain which deals with the processing of emotions, namely, the amygdala. When this part of the brain receives the information about danger it activates signals in the brains command centre known as the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus uses the sympathetic nervous system to communicate with the entire body.
When it gets information about a perceived danger, it uses the autonomic nerves to send signals about the threat to the adrenal medulla. Subsequently, upon receiving such signals, the adrenal glands respond by producing adrenaline and releasing it into the bloodstream.
Upon release into the blood, adrenaline binds to the muscle cells receptors in the lungs leading to rapid breathing binds to liver cells receptors causing breakdown of glycogen into glucose and resulting in energy boost to the muscles activates cardiac cells to pump quicker triggers perspiration by contracting the muscle cells present below the skin surface causes contraction of blood vessels and increased flow of blood to key muscle groups and binds to pancreatic receptors to suppress insulin generation.
Why Do I Wake Up With Anxiety
Feeling anxious in the morning is common for people with and without anxiety disorders, says Mayra Mendez, PhD, a licensed psychotherapist.
Although there’s not a lot of research specific to morning anxiety, many mental health practitioners see it in their practice. Oftentimes, putting a name to the condition is helpful.
“Many people are comforted to know there is a syndrome, and that what they are experiencing is not unique to them,” says Moe Gelbart, PhD, the director of Behavioral Health at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
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Ways To Support Balanced Hormones And Reduce Anxiety
Hormones imbalances can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to support balanced hormones to reduce feelings of hormone-related anxiety.
Learn how to manage stress: We now know that stress can cause the production of more stress hormones, creating a vicious cycle. Relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga have been shown to help some individuals manage their stress and anxiety levels.
Improve your diet:Research shows that filling your diet with fiber-rich foods, fermented foods, and omega-3s can reduce levels of stress/anxiety and potentially improve mental health.
Get enough sleep:Poor sleep has been linked to imbalances of many hormones. If youâre suffering from anxiety, take a look at your sleep routine and see where you might be able to make improvements.
If you suspect you may have a hormonal imbalance, consider testing your hormone levels. This can give you and your primary healthcare provide clarity on whether your anxiety is a symptom of a hormonal imbalance. Anxiety can be debilitating, so be sure to seek guidance from a mental health professional and/or call this national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP .