You have probably seen commercials or heard your friends or family talking about cortisol and the stress hormones. What is cortisol and how can you lower cortisol naturally to improve your weight loss efforts? Here are some useful tips.

Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone and is key to a number of bodily functions. When you experience chronic stress, the adrenal glands continually produce and release cortisol which aids in:

  • Regulating your sleep and wake cyclesFibromyalgia treatment in Northern Virginia
  • Managing how your body uses proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
  • Reducing systemic inflammation
  • Controlling your blood pressure

Three different glands control the amount of cortisol released into the body – the adrenal gland, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary gland. These work together to determine how much cortisol needs to be produced. In addition to stress, cortisol levels can also become elevated with a tumor on the adrenal gland or due to certain medications.

Symptoms of High Cortisol

When cortisol levels are imbalanced for a long period of time, the immune system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, and digestive system become compromised. Furthermore, systemic inflammation, belly fat, and weight can increase exponentially.

  • Belly Fat – Cortisol affects where you store weight and can contribute to weight gain. With elevated levels, a person is more tempted to overeat and crave foods that are high in calories, sugar, and fat.
  • Cardiovascular Disease – When the body is constantly on alert and the flight or fight response is activated, heart rate increases and blood pressure spikes. This chronic stress cycle can eventually take its toll on the heart and increase the risk of heart disease.metabolic syndrome treatment
  • Decreased Sex Drive – Elevated cortisol levels in men cause testosterone levels to decline and prevent the testicles from properly reacting to testosterone. In women, high levels cause hormonal imbalances, resulting in an irregular menstrual cycle and low libido.
  • Digestive Disorders – You may experience a number of digestive issues including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, abdominal bloating, pain, and gas.
  • Insomnia – Cortisol is naturally high in the morning and declines throughout the day. With chronic stress, the levels may remain high throughout the evening and night as well resulting in insomnia.
  • Reduced Immunity – When cortisol levels are high, you body loses its ability to regulate the immune system. it leads to systemic inflammation and the body’s ability to fight off illness and disease declines.

How to Lower Your Stress Hormones Naturally?

There are several ways you can help rebalance your cortisol levels.

  • Nutritious Diet – Nutrition is critical to your health and can affect how much cortisol is produced by the body. Eating a diet filled with nutritious vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low glycemic eggs can help nourish your body. Add foods like fish, beans, fruits, sunflower seeds, and whole grain that rich in folic acid and vitamin B5 to help balance cortisol levels. Avoid processed foods, sugar, and white flour. It may help to seek help from a certified nutritionist who can help you with customized meal plans tailored to your needs.leaky gut syndrome
  • Regular Exercise – Regular exercise helps lower cortisol levels and helps you lose weight. When you exercise, your body produces feel good hormones, called endorphins. As these hormones are released, they combat the effects of stress and anxiety on the body, including the adrenal glands. Regular exercise also increases metabolism and help with weight loss.
  • Reduce Caffeine – Many individuals think they need coffee and other caffeinated beverages throughout the day to keep them going; however, studies have shown that caffeine stimulates the production of cortisol and increases blood pressure. It will help to replace your caffeinated beverages with water or a healthy cup of juice.
  • Stress Relief – Stress relief techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help reduce stress. As you lower stress levels, you are able to better relax and get good sleep.
  • Stay Hydrated – We recommend drinking one half of an ounce of fluids (preferably water) for every pound you weigh to avoid dehydration and improve your weight loss efforts.

 

Our team of integrative specialists can help you lower cortisol naturally, improve your overall health, and also guide you to healthy and sustainable weight loss. Learning how to lower your stress levels along with making simple lifestyle modifications can help restore your health.