Sunday, February 25, 2024

How Do I Reduce Cortisol

When Not To Lower Your Bodys Cortisol Reserves


High cortisol levels arenât necessarily ruinous for you. As you can see from the previous section, a pre-dawn cortisol hike coincides with the usual hours for waking up. Without the alertness-boosting effects of this hormone, it becomes that much more difficult to push through your morning sleep inertia and feel like youâve had a full night of invigorating sleep.

Cortisol is also vital to your overall health throughout the day as it helps:

  • Mediate your stress response
  • Regulate your metabolism rate for energy production
  • Fight inflammation to boost your bodyâs rest-and-repair mechanism
  • Develop and maintain a functioning immune system

On a medical note, too-low cortisol levels lead to a health issue known as Addisonâs disease. Itâs a manifestation of adrenal gland disorder commonly accompanied by symptoms like low blood pressure and low blood sugar levels.

Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol

One mug of coffee has the potential of increasing your cortisol levels by thirty percent in a one hour period! Furthermore, it keeps up this effect for eighteen hours. This is why coffee is the favorite of so many writers it keeps them awake and functioning.

As to alcohol, research showed a high correlation in men and women with regards to alcohol intake and higher cortisol levels in the body. The chronic intake of alcohol stimulates the HPA axis and results in overproduction of cortisol.

Some Of The Signs Of High Cortisol Levels Can Include:

  • Tension headaches, chronic fatigue, and struggling to recover from physical activity
  • Mood problems, such as irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Digestive issues, including constipation, diarrhea, or bloating
  • Weight gain, particularly in the abdomen, face, and chest
  • Diminished libido
  • High blood pressure

In rare cases, high cortisol can be related to underlying health issues like Cushings Disease. So, its important to see a physician if unusually high levels of cortisol are indicated from blood, urine, or saliva samples.

Knowing how to naturally lower cortisol levels is extremely useful for improving overall wellbeing and living a happier life.

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Fight Or Flight Response And Cortisol

Once the body senses stress, the sympathetic nervous system is activated and stimulates the release of catecholamines leading to an increased heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, muscle strength , and increase in alertness.

Cortisol is continuously released to keep the body in this alert state to respond to stressful stimuli. However, this heightened response comes with a higher energy cost, so the metabolic systems will be affected to keep a steady supply of energy coming to the brain .

So How Do You Know If Your Cortisol Levels Are High

Get Your Cortisol Levels Under Control Naturally

Underlying physical issues can also result in high cortisol levels, such as: hormonal imbalances, gut bacterial dysbiosis , thyroid dysfunction, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food sensitivities.

The nice thing is that with modern science, there are tests that you can take to determine if this is the root cause. You can simply go to a naturopathic or functional medical doctor and ask for a health panel, or if you want to work with me, the same lab test is included in my Sleep Like a Boss program.

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What Are The Symptoms Of High Cortisol Levels

Regular and prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels can wreak havoc on your body. Over time this can cause Cushings syndrome. Some of the most common signs of high cortisol levels include:

  • weight gain particularly around your stomach, upper back, and face
  • bruising and slow wound healing
  • difficulty concentrating

Over time, high cortisol can put you at risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and poor mental health.

Is Cortisol Good Or Bad

Because of its reputation and connections with stress, cortisol is often seen as the bad hormone. But thats not strictly fair.

Thing is, it plays that many roles, some of which we are still learning about and researching, that cortisol has its work cut out in terms of popularity.

But put it this way, without cortisol you would be slower to react to stressful situation, we may not recognise fearful or dangerous situations in the same way without it.

So, its probably unfair to say its bad. Its probably more the managing of your levels that can cause the problem.

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While Were On The Subject How Does Screen

After your bath, make sure you’re avoiding screens for at least an hour. The reason? Blue and green light from the screens send the signal to our brains that it’s morning and then our bodies produce cortisol instead of melatonin.

I know that theres technology today that has the blue and green light blocker, but that still doesn’t give you an excuse to use technology because technology engages our brain and makes us wire. I would avoid it altogether at least for an hour.

Instead, what you can do is: read, do some meditation, do some stretching, have a little hanky-panky ). Whatever its going to take in order for you to relax. It’s worth it and you deserve that hour to unwind.

Cortisol And Blood Glucose

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Cortisol acts as a catabolic hormone to increase glucose availability to the brain. This occurs via several pathways. High cortisol levels induce gluconeogenesis in the liver which will then be delivered into the bloodstream. The body must use amino acids to complete this process and the bodys most readily available supply of protein is skeletal muscle.Therefore, muscle tissue is broken down, glycogen stores are emptied, and the muscles decrease glucose uptake. Additionally, cortisol instructs the pancreas to decrease insulin production to keep the circulating levels of glucose higher .

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How To Reduce Cortisol In Blood

Cortisol is an important hormone that affects many functions in the body. Cortisol is commonly known as the stress hormone because it is released in response to stress. Cortisol is released into the bloodstream. The normal range of cortisol in the blood is between 6 and 23 mcg/dl. If the amount of cortisol in the blood is greater than 23 mcg/dl, it is considered to be high. High cortisol levels have a number of adverse effects. First, high cortisol levels cause a decrease in the amount of insulin in the blood. This results in a state of insulin resistance.

Foods That Hinder Magnesium Absorption

  • High oxalates foods, e.g. leafy green vegetables, caffeine, cacao, tea, and nuts
  • High phytate foods, e.g. whole flour, bran, soy, grains, soy, beans
  • Fibers that are not fermentable or non-soluble, e.g. bran, seeds, and whole grain

When eating food high in magnesium, the absorption rate of magnesium is also higher.

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Conduct A Relaxing Bedtime Routine On A Nightly Basis

Bedtime routines aren’t just for babies. They can really help us prepare our bodies for sleep and allow us to relax and for those cortisol levels to lower.I love starting a bedtime routine with a bath for both children and adults alike. The reason why is that it’s relaxing, but also it helps to lower your body temperature. . Learn more about how your body temperature affects sleep from Tuck

So What Exactly Is Cortisol And How Does It Affect Sleep

11 Natural Ways to Lower Your Cortisol Levels

Now, Im sure youre well aware of what cortisol is its the stress hormone. It does get a bad rap and I don’t want to perpetuate that, because cortisol is actually essential for life and it is very helpful.

Cortisol is meant to help us regulate our blood pressure, metabolize glucose, and keep us alert. Also, its very helpful in stressful situations because when we experience stress, our cortisol levels spike and we are able to respond quickly.

The problem is that, in today’s modern society, we are constantly stressing our bodies so our cortisol levels are through the roof for a prolonged period of time. And because cortisol is a key component to our circadian rhythm, it affects our sleep.

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Limit Your Alcohol Intake

  • Set limits Set a limit on how much alcohol you will drink. You can ask a doctor to help you determine your recommended limit.
  • Dont keep alcohol in your house Avoid having alcohol at home so you wont be tempted every time you feel the urge to drink.
  • Stay away from temptation Avoid people and places that make you want to drink.
  • Keep a drinking diary Keep track of each time you drink and note information about what, where and how much you drank. Compare this with the limits that you set.

What Is Cortisol How Is It Related To Chronic Stress

Cortisol is the bodys primary stress hormone. It is produced by the adrenal glands, then released when the body is dealing with stressful situations or imminent danger .

It is important to keep stress levels under control because the prolonged presence of psychological stressors can lead to an overproduction of cortisol. While the body needs cortisol to manage stress, too much cortisol can lead to a chronic stress response. This can impact various organ systems in the body and have negative effects on the immune system, digestive system, mental status, metabolism, and overall health.

Studies have shown that moderate to high levels of cortisol can increase the risk of chronic disease, including heart disease and diabetes. It can also lead to weight gain and obesity, interfere with sleep, cause brain fog, and impaired immune responses against infection.

Besides external stressors, a rare but serious disease called Cushings syndrome can result in very high cortisol levels in the body.

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The Benefits Of Phosphatidylserine Supplements

Phosphatidylserine supplements are of benefit in many areas, in addition to those mentioned above. Phosphatidylserine:

  • Aids in weight loss where weight gain is associated with high cholesterol levels.
  • Helps combat different psychological issues such as depression, stress, ADHD, and OCD.
  • Helps improve brain performance.
  • Slows down the aging process.
  • Helps metabolize glucose.
  • Increases the fluidity of a cells membrane and enhances a cells ability to send or receive chemical communications.

Is There A Pill To Reduce Cortisol

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Cushings syndrome is a condition in which there are very high cortisol levels in the body. Doctors may perform surgery to remove a tumor of the adrenal glands or radiation therapy to treat a pituitary tumor in the brain causing high cortisol. They may also prescribe a medication that manages excessive cortisol production, such as metyrapone , mitotane , or ketoconazole. Mifepristone is approved for Cushing syndrome patients with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance.

The injection Signifor and the oral pill Isturisa are newer medications for Cushings syndrome.

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But Don’t Hit The Gym Too Often

By contrast, that same study from The Journal of Endocrinological Investigation showed that moderate- to high-intensity exercise provokes increases in circulating cortisol levels. In other words, when it comes to exercise, more may not be better. A separate 2012 study confirmed that long-term cortisol exposure was significantly higher in endurance athletes.

As clinical psychologist Candice Seti, PsyDa.k.a. The Weight Loss Therapistput it, “Skipping the second trip to the gym and taking it easy can also be good for reducing cortisol levels. that over-exercising can actually lead to an increase in the hormone. This, in turn, can lead to slower weight loss.”

Try Ashwagandha Or Phosphatidylserine

Next, Id suggest starting with either the traditional Ayurvedic remedy ashwagandha or phosphatidylserine, depending on which symptoms of stress youre experiencing.

Ashwagandha excels at stress reduction and decreases cortisol significantly more than many other supplements.

Its a good choice if you have anxiety, insomnia, or depression caused by stress.

Phosphatidylserine is another proven cortisol reducer.

Its also an excellent brain supplement that improves memory and protects against mental decline, while enhancing physical performance.

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Watch Now: 5 Ways Stress Can Cause Weight Gain

These negative effects also often come with their own consequences. For example, increased abdominal fat is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat include an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, metabolic syndrome, higher levels of bad cholesterol , and lower levels of good cholesterol .

Cortisol is important for your body to function normally, but too much cortisol can be bad for your health.

Chronic high cortisol levels can also lead to a condition known as Cushing syndrome. Causes can include adrenal tumors or the prolonged use of glucocorticoids. Symptoms of Cushing syndrome can also include high blood sugars with increased thirst and urination, osteoporosis, depression, and more frequent infections.

How These Methods For Lowering Cortisol Are Working For Me

4 Proven Supplements to Reduce High Cortisol Levels

Ive noticed a huge improvement from adding sea salt to all my meals in just 2 days. I felt like I had a lot more energy from it. The magnesium flake foot baths have also been helping a lot! I feel an immediate difference after doing it each time.

Have you ever had high cortisol? Do you have any other tips that have helped you reduce cortisol?

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What Is Phosphatidylserine

Pronounced faws-fa-tidal-serene, phosphatidylserine is a negatively charged aminophospholipid supplement that promotes brain function while actively suppressing the production of cortisol.

A phospholipid present in all cell membranes within the body, phosphatidylserine plays a role in many bodily functions. One of its vital roles is cellular communication, as well as intracellular transfer.

Tend To Your Spirituality

If you consider yourself spiritual, developing your faith can also help improve cortisol levels.

Studies show that adults who expressed spiritual faith experienced lower cortisol levels in the face of life stressors such as illness (

69 ).

If you do not consider yourself spiritual, these benefits may also be available through meditation, developing a social support group, and performing acts of kindness .


For those with spiritual inclinations, developing faith and participating in prayer can help manage cortisol. Whether youre spiritual or not, performing acts of kindness can also improve your cortisol levels.

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Are There Foods That Reduce Cortisol

Yes, no and maybe. Some research suggests that foods like tea, chocolate and fish oils might lower cortisol. But such studies tend to be small and not very conclusive, Dr. Lin says.

Youre unlikely to balance cortisol levels by adding anchovies to your pizza or scarfing a block of chocolate, she says. But good nutrition can make a difference.

Cortisol interacts with neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that send signals in the brain. Neurotransmitters play an important role in mood. And cortisol isnt the only compound that influences them. To make those neurotransmitters, you need all the raw ingredients: vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, Dr. Lin says.

The best way to get them is with a balanced, plant-heavy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, she adds. A healthy diet is the underpinning of stress management.

A balanced meal plan can ensure youre getting the nutrients your body needs. And talk to your doctor about taking a basic multivitamin. Its a good insurance policy to make sure youre not deficient in any vitamins, Dr. Lin says.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Lipid Transport (pt. 1)

You should avoid foods that have been heavily processed and pumped full of added chemicals and sugars if you’re looking for how to lower your cortisol levels. “One way to combat high cortisol levels, stress, and weight gain is to reduce simple sugars,” says Balk. The main foods that fall under this high-sugar category include:

While these sugary goodies might give you a temporary jolt of energy Balk suggests focusing on other sources of energy. “As your body still needs to receive sugar to fuel itself, focus on having complex carbohydrates rather than simple sugars.” Jim White RD, ACSM, and the owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios adds that fiber-rich foods, protein, and healthy fats will also help keep your cortisol levels within the normal range.

Foods to combat stress and lower cortisol include:

  • starchy vegetables

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How Does My Body Control Cortisol Levels

Your body has an elaborate system to regulate your cortisol levels.

Your hypothalamus, a small area of your brain involved in hormonal regulation, and your pituitary gland, a tiny gland located below your brain, regulate the production of cortisol in your adrenal glands. When the levels of cortisol in your blood fall, your hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone , which directs your pituitary gland to produce adrenocorticotropic hormone . ACTH then stimulates your adrenal glands to produce and release cortisol.

In order to have optimal levels of cortisol in your body, your hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands must all be functioning properly.

Should I See A Doctor

If you think you might have high cortisol, its important to see a doctor for a blood test. High cortisol causes common signs and symptoms that can be caused by many other diseases, so its important to confirm whats causing your symptoms.

If youre experiencing symptoms that may be caused by high cortisol levels, your doctor may recommend the following tests:

  • Cortisol urine and blood tests. These tests measure the levels of cortisol in your blood and urine. The blood test uses a sample of blood drawn from your vein. A test called the 24-hours urinary free cortisol excretion test is used to check your urine. This entails collecting urine over a 24-hour period. Blood and urine samples are then analyzed in a laboratory for cortisol levels.
  • Cortisol saliva test. This test is used to check for Cushing syndrome. A sample of saliva collected at night is analyzed to see if your cortisol levels are high. Cortisol levels rise and fall throughout the day and drop significantly at night in people without Cushing syndrome. High cortisol levels at night would indicate you may have Cushing syndrome.
  • Imaging tests. CT scans or an MRI may be used to obtain images of your pituitary gland and adrenal glands to check for tumors or other abnormalities.

Unmanaged high cortisol levels can have serious consequences on your health. Left untreated, high cortisol can your risk of serious health conditions, including:

  • cardiovascular disease

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