Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland (the hat-shaped gland on top of your kidneys) that regulates sleep-wake cycles and helps you respond to stress. It raises blood sugar and blood pressure in fight or flight situations and suppresses the immune system to modulate inflammation.
Symptoms of Imbalance: If you are constantly in fight-or-flight mode your cortisol may become chronically elevated and you can end up with:
· Elevated blood sugar and abdominal weight gain
· Elevated insulin, insulin resistance, eventually perhaps diabetes
· High blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain
· Low thyroid, low estrogen
· Frequent infection
· Anxiety, depression, memory loss.
· Premature aging
· Infertility and PCOS
· Bone loss in menopausal women
How to restore cortisol balance? Cortisol, high or low, responds to stress reduction.
· yoga, especially inversions and Savasana (corpse pose)
· meditation, breath practice, mindfulness practice
· see a counselor, life coach, wellness coach
· take a vacation
· practice saying no
· reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
· reducerefined carbohydrates
· high-quality proteinfrom plants and organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, wild-caught animal protein
· healthy fats from cold-water fish, walnuts, avocado, hemp, chia seed, flaxseed, olive oil
· get massage
Want to get your cortisol levels tested? Curious about how cortisol relates to aging and weight gain? Make an appointment with Dr. Claire Graser at SenSpa 415-441-1777