Sunday, September 24, 2023

Symptoms Of High Cortisol In Females

Phosphatidylserine As A Cortisol Supplement

How to determine if you have high cortisol levels

The supplement phosphatidylserine has a positive effect on your mind and memory and can help reduce cortisol production.

One small study found that phosphatidylserine supplements of 600 mg a day can lower cortisol levels after intensive exercising. This can be an effective way for athletes or people who enjoy regular intensive exercise to avoid the effects of too much cortisol.

Ashwagandha: An Incredible Natural Cortisol Regulator

Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in the traditional Indian Ayurvedic medical practice for thousands of years. Also known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, the name ashwagandha literally translates to smell of horse, due to the plants distinctive aroma.

This medicinal herb is classified in Western medicine as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are compounds that help an organism adapt to stress, normalizing the physiological imbalances that stress triggers in the body. Ashwagandha is a particularly effective and safe adaptogen that reduces stress-induced damage and doesnt have negative side-effects nor withdrawal symptoms.

Scientists at the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry at Asha Hospital in India conducted a study, the title of which effectively communicates the subject and high-quality methodology of the research: A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults.12

After 60 days, the same assessments were performed. Here are the results, as published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine:

These are remarkably clear and definitive results that only build on both a long history of Ashwagandha use, and other scientific research confirming the stress-reducing, cortisol-lowering benefits of Ashwagandha extracts.

Treatment Of Cushing’s Syndrome

Treatment of Cushings syndrome depends on the underlying cause of excess cortisol but may perhaps include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or the use of cortisol-inhibiting drugs. If the cause is iatrogenic, from long-term use of glucocorticoid hormones to treat another disorder, the physician will gradually reduce the dose of the externally administered steroid to the lowest dose adequate for control of that disorder. Once control is established, the dose of glucocorticoid hormones may be given on alternate days to lessen side effects for the patient.

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Causes For Cortisol Changes

Blood levels of cortisol will naturally vary throughout the day. Generally, cortisol is higher in the morning , and then falls throughout the day . Appropriately nicknamed the stress hormone, cortisol is responsible for what scientists call the fight or flight response.

When cortisol levels spike, your body quickly increases blood sugar and blood pressure so your body has the energy to help you perform – maybe thats running or jumping very fast. For thousands of years this hormone has been critical to helping protect humans from life-threatening situations.

A common example given is if you are being chased by a tiger. As you see the tiger your body senses danger and will release extra cortisol. This fight or flight response helps you to increase your focus, run faster, or leap further than you normally could in order to save yourself.

Even when we arent in the jungle being chased by an animal, we can experience an increase in cortisol levels due to perceived stress. This might be due to concerns at work, traffic, or worries about family events. Cortisol can also increase as a result of the stress of dealing with menopause symptoms.

While we all have high cortisol from time to time, having high cortisol over a long period of time can have lasting effects on your health. During menopause, women are under more stress than ever due to menopause symptoms like weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, poor sleep and so many more.

Natural Ways To Lower Cortisol

14 Signs That Indicate High Cortisol Levels Learn to clearly identify ...

In many cases, the brain and adrenal glands can regulate cortisol on their own. When stress has gone away, the body will stop making cortisol and the levels will return to normal.

However, people with chronic stress, certain medical conditions, or who take certain medications can have cortisol levels that are higher than usual. They may want to try some techniques for lowering cortisol, such as:

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What Do The Results Mean

A cortisol test alone can’t diagnose the cause of abnormal cortisol levels. If your cortisol level isn’t normal, you will usually have more tests to find out what is causing the problem.

High levels of cortisol may be a sign that you have Cushing’s syndrome. It may be caused by:

  • Taking high doses of certain steroid medicines for a long time to treat conditions, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus
  • Tumors in your pituitary gland or other parts of your body that make too much of the hormone that tells your adrenal glands to make cortisol
  • Tumors in your adrenal glands that make extra cortisol

Low levels of cortisol may mean you have Addison disease or secondary adrenal insufficiency:

  • Common causes of Addison’s disease include damage to the adrenal glands from conditions, such as:
  • Certain infections, such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS
  • Common causes of secondary adrenal insufficiency include:
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • The most common cause of low cortisol levels is suddenly stopping steroid medicines after using them for a long time.

    If your cortisol results aren’t normal, it doesn’t always mean you have a medical condition that needs treatment. Cortisol levels can be affected by:

    • Certain medicines, such as birth control pills

    To learn what your test results mean, talk with your health care provider.

    Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

    How Are Neuroendocrine Tumors Treated

    Surgery is the most common treatment for NET. If your tumors are large or have spread, other treatments might be:

    • Somatostatin analogs: Somatostatin analogs are a type of treatment that may stop your body from making too many hormones. This may slow down the growth of the tumor when cancer cells have spread to other part of the body.
    • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs that target certain genes or proteins to kill cancer cells.
    • Chemotherapy: This treatment uses several types of drugs to kill cancer cells.

    What are these treatments complications?

    Treatments have different side effects or complications. Just as important, treatments can affect people in different ways. Ask your healthcare provider about treatment side effects. They’ll recommend steps you can take to manage side effects.

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    S To Get Your Cortisol Levels Under Control & Turn Down The Stress

    Do you find yourself overly stressed, tired and even notice weight gain despite not changing your diet or workout frequency? Your cortisol levels may be out of whack. More specifically, they may be too high.

    Cortisol is often called the primary stress hormone because its one of the main hormones we release when were under any sort of pressure and our evolutionary-based fight or flight response kicks into gear. Although most think of cortisol as a bad thing such as contributing to acne, weight gain or high blood pressure theres actually a lot more to cortisol levels than just our stress response and its unwanted symptoms. We need it to live.

    While producing cortisol is a necessity for life and helps keep us motivated, awake and responsive to our environment, maintaining abnormally high circulating cortisol levels can become dangerous and contribute to long-term problems. Long-term use of corticosteroids and chronic stress are two of the biggest contributors to high cortisol. Chronic, high cortisol production is tied to symptoms and ailments including weight gain, anxiety, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances and fertility problems, in addition to many other problems.

    The good news is there are many natural ways to get your cortisol levels in check. For instance, adaptogen herbs are known to lower cortisol, and thats just the tip of the iceberg. Read on for more ways to lower high cortisol levels naturally.

    Why Is The Cardiovascular System Important

    Low vs. High Cortisol Levels Symptoms Explained By Dr.Berg

    Your heart and blood vessels, the parts of the cardiovascular system, are important because they bring oxygen, nutrients and other good things to every cell in your body. They also take away carbon dioxide and waste. This supply of nutrients and the removal of waste is the main function of the cardiovascular system.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Abnormal Cortisol Levels

    Symptoms of cortisol imbalance in women are similar to those typified by other irregularities in hormone levels, such as perimenopause and menopause, and often include the following:

    • Weight gain and increased belly fat
    • Bone and muscle loss
    • Foggy thinking and memory loss
    • High blood sugar
    • Irregular or absent menstrual periods
    • Dizziness when standing up

    Many of these detrimental symptoms fall under the scope of Cushings syndrome and Addisons disease .

    Final Thoughts On Elevated Prolactin Levels

    Elevated prolactin levels can be caused by stress, hypothyroidism, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. The most common cause of high prolactin levels is a benign tumor on the pituitary gland called a prolactinoma.

    If you have elevated prolactin levels, there are things you can do to support your body. Supplements like vitex, magnesium, vitamin B6, and zinc can all help lower prolactin levels. You can also try lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep, managing stress, and reducing alcohol consumption.

    If you have any of the above symptoms or concerns about your prolactin levels, make sure to have a conversation with your healthcare provider.

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    Understand Your Cortisol Levels With Home Testing

    You can easily check your cortisol levels from the convenience of home with our Sleep & Stress Test kit. This test will tell you how your cortisol levels change over a 24-hour period, which can help you understand if youâre experiencing chronic stress and what parts of the day are especially stress-inducing for you. The test also measures melatonin, the âsleep hormone,â so you can get a better picture of your overall sleep-wake cycle.

    If you do have chronically elevated cortisol levels, you can easily share your cortisol test results with your healthcare provider through our secure, online platformâso you can then learn what next steps they recommend for you.

    What Is The Normal Cortisol Level For A Woman

    High Cortisol And Hair Loss : Pin by chrissiemleoaa on Health for women ...

    Normal values for a blood sample taken at 8 in the morning are 5 to 25 mcg/dL or 140 to 690 nmol/L.

    Higher-than-normal cortisol levels may also be an indicator of:

    • Tumor or excess growth of the pituitary gland
    • Tumor in your adrenal gland
    • Tumors elsewhere in your body that are involved in cortisol production

    Lower-than-normal cortisol levels may indicate that:

    • Addisons disease

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    What Causes High Cortisol Levels

    Many things can cause high cortisol levels, including:

    • physical and emotional stress your body can’t gauge the seriousness of a stressful situation, so something simple like a traffic jam can kick-start your stress response system, as can being ill with a cold
    • medication certain medications like corticosteroids and oral contraceptives might increase your cortisol levels
    • oestrogen high oestrogen levels in women, for example, in pregnancy, is linked to raised cortisol levels
    • an adrenal gland tumour your adrenal glands produce cortisol, so any issues with them can affect your cortisol levels
    • a pituitary gland issue an overactive pituitary gland stimulates your adrenal glands to make too much cortisol
    • malnutrition for example, if you suffer from an eating disorder

    Conditions like depression, diabetes, PCOS, and alcoholism are also linked to high cortisol levels.

    Treatment For Abnormal Cortisol Levels

    Studies have revealed that women who eat balanced meals and partake in physical activity 3-5 times a week live longer, healthier lives because of it. If the long-term stress persists, over time, the adrenal glands can become overworked, which can present a whole new set of problems. Therefore, it is important to find ways to control chronic stress and arrest elevated cortisol levels before adrenal fatigue has a chance to develop and lead to adrenal exhaustion. Stress reduction techniques, consistent exercise, and dietary changes can assist in managing cortisol.

    Yet, there may be times when this process cannot be arrested with diet and lifestyle changes alone. When imbalanced hormone levels need to be fully evaluated and corrected at their source, the highly trained bioidentical hormone doctors at BodyLogicMD can help. BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioners use state-of-the-art diagnostic testing to identify hormonal imbalances and use a combination of natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in conjunction with customized nutrition and fitness programs that meet the needs of each patient. Salivary cortisol testing and urine cortisol testing are both quick and easy and may very well provide the solution youve been looking for to overcome chronic stress and symptoms of cortisol imbalance.

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    What Are Normal Cortisol Levels

    The level of cortisol in your blood, urine and saliva normally peaks in the early morning and declines throughout the day, reaching its lowest level around midnight. This pattern can change if you work a night shift and sleep at different times of the day.

    For most tests that measure cortisol levels in your blood, the normal ranges are:

    • 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.: 10 to 20 micrograms per deciliter .
    • Around 4 p.m.: 3 to 10 mcg/dL.

    Normal ranges can vary from lab to lab, time to time and person to person. If you need to get a cortisol level test, your healthcare provider will interpret your results and let you know if you need to get further testing.

    Inability To Build Muscle

    High Cortisol Levels, What Female Symptoms Indicate This?

    If youve experienced muscle weakness, and a seeming inability to gain strength, cortisol could be the culprit. Studies have shown that cortisol decreases the uptake of amino acids by muscle, inhibiting protein synthesis.5 The end result? There is no construction of new muscle.

    As if that wasnt bad enough, cortisol also breaks down muscle, as well as the important connective tissue collagen. Collagen is also an integral component of bone and cartilage. As Savers know, building new muscle is essential, since the stress that muscles place on bone directly stimulates bone formation, per Wolffs Law.

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    Symptoms Of High Cortisol Levels

    According to research done by the Genetics Learning Science Center, the long-term danger of having high cortisol is that it activates the fight-or-flight response, which temporarily shuts down normal reproductive, digestive and immune functions. The body targets these systems for shutdown because it doesnt need them for immediate survival.

    Sensory nerve cells pass the perception of a threat, or stress, from the environment to the hypothalamus in the brain. This signals the pituitary and primary adrenal glands to produce more cortisol. If this cycle goes on for too long, someone becomes more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses, infections and hormonal problems.

    Some clues that may signal youre living with high cortisol levels include:

    • weight gain, especially around the abdomen/stomach
    • a puffy, flushed face
    • higher susceptibility to infections

    Risk Factors For Cushings Syndrome

    A few inherited endocrine tumor syndromes increase a persons risk for pituitary and adrenal tumors, which can produce cortisol. The most common one is MEN1. Any patient with confirmed macronodular hyperplasia also should be tested. Genetic testing and counseling are recommended for people with more than one hormone-producing tumor. It should also be considered for patients who have multiple family members with these tumors.

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    Does Cortisol Increase During Periods

    The level of cortisol usually increases during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Cortisol might not increase during periods, but an increase in cortisol could result in anovulation and longer cycles.

    High cortisol levels over a prolonged time can also cause a lack of sex drive and, periods can become irregular, less frequent, or stop altogether.

    What Is The Treatment For Overactive Adrenal Glands

    High Cortisol Levels the Stress Hormone Negative Effects

    Treatment of overactive adrenal glands depends on the cause of the disease and source of the overproduction of cortisol.

    Treatment may include surgical removal of growths or the adrenal gland itself. If external steroid use is determined to be the cause, gradual tapering and removal of the steroid may be recommended. Certain drugs that block the excessive production of certain hormones may also be administered.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of High Cortisol

    Following are some of the symptoms of high cortisol levels

    Abnormal Blood Sugar

    Cortisol infuses glucose into the body in case of stressful conditions. However, an increased level of cortisol continuously produces glucose. This results in an increased level of glucose in the blood. A high level of cortisol also reduces the sensitivity of cells towards insulin leading to a further increase in glucose levels.

    Weight Gain

    A high level of cortisol causes weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. This may probably be due to two reasons. First, the fat cells present in the abdominal area have a high number of cortisol receptors as compared to fat cells in other areas. Further, glucose does not reach the cells and the body gets exhausted due to lack of energy. This may lead to increased hunger and sugar cravings.

    Cardiovascular Problems

    High levels of cortisol narrow down the arteries. This leads to increased blood pressure and increased risk of plaque build-up. This may also cause damage to arteries.

    Digestive Disorders

    When the body is under stress and cortisol is released, the digestive functions come to a halt until the stress gets over. However, prolonged high levels of cortisol may have a negative effect on the digestive disorder.

    Compromised Immunity


    Various other symptoms of high cortisol levels include muscle weakness, slow healing, irritability, headache, thinning skin, irritability, acne, poor concentration, and fatigue.

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