Cortisol: The Link Between Stress & Poor Health

We all know how worn out our bodies can feel when we are stressed. No matter the cause, stress can lead to extreme fatigue, headaches, breakouts, poor digestion, sleep issues, and more.

Stress is the body’s natural response to a certain demand from the environment, and sometimes this response can be helpful. Stress can be a positive response, like when we are in a dangerous situation, but overtime constant exposure to stressful situations can leave us drained.

Increased periods of stress & poor health both have one thing in common: a hormone imbalance. And to be more specific, the hormone cortisol. This hormone is generally known as the “fight or flight” response, but it is more than just a chemical released during times of stress. Cortisol also influences blood sugar, blood pressure, energy levels, mood, sleep cycles, inflammation, and metabolism. So, when you are feeling overly stressed your body responds by releasing too much cortisol, which can lead to a wide range of health issues.

Irregular levels of cortisol in the body can lead to high blood pressure, fatigue, irritability or anxiety, significant weight gain, disturbed sleep, and more. However, there are natural ways to balance your cortisol levels and ensure that your body is properly functioning.

1. Lower Stress Levels

Perhaps one of the most obvious solutions to lowering your cortisol levels. But, decreasing your stress levels is always easier said than done. It’s all about finding the right solution that works best for you and setting aside time each day. Some people enjoy reading while others enjoy yoga or going to the gym.

2. Diet

Eating the proper nutrients can help fuel your body, even during periods of high stress. Diet plays a significant role in regulating hormone levels, and certain foods like dark chocolate or greek yogurt can combat the side effects of stress such as weight gain. Drinking plenty of water helps too.

3. Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been proven to help people achieve an optimal level of functioning. Not only can certain HRT programs regulate cortisol levels, but they can also target other key chemicals in the body. Many people report life-changing results and overall better health with HRT.

Too much of anything is a bad thing, and too much stress can cause extreme wear and tear on the body. It’s important to find the right solution to help combat high-cortisol levels, because your health depends on it.

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