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It's no surprise that when we are feeling stressed the hormone cortisol is released, but how much do we know about this hormone and how it affects our health?
Now almost halfway through 2023, the past few years have seen a huge rise is chronic stress, this is the stress which is constant that leads to us having trouble sleeping, lowers our sex drive, leads to over or under-eating, IBS, bloating and eventually burn out.
It feels to me that recently we see that being busy, constantly on the go and burning out are a badge of honour, if we only knew what this does to us physically and mentally I am sure you would happily throw that badge in the bin!
So what does cortisol do when it is produced frequently? Being the ultimate stress hormone when its produced in greater amounts our body produces more glucose into our bloodstream to send extra energy to our muscles to aid our fight or flight response.
A risen level of cortisol creating a rise in glucose levels means that our rest, repair, and renew function is paralysed and therefore the creation of new tissue isn’t possible.
If we are constantly in fight or flight and never in rest and digestion then food is never digested well, weight is gained around our middle AND cortisol leads to a leaky gut.
With cortisol on the rise, your production of testosterone decreases so lack of sexual desire, impotence, erectile dysfunction and lack of get up and go occurs. It doesn’t stop there high level of cortisol decreases both oestrogen and progesterone so we feel extreme fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, headaches and brain fog. A lot of the symptoms of menopause can be hugely exasperated because of stress and cortisol.
A few things you can do to start reducing your cortisol levels would be;
Excessive sugar increases cortisol levels over time, so reduce your sugary food intake.
- practice muscle relaxation, slowly tense and relax muscle groups across the body
- a few foods that reduce cortisol levels are natural yoghurt, green bananas, and sweet potatoes.
Book a free discovery call to truly deal with stress and heal your stressed gut.