Under stress, our adrenal glands produce the hormone cortisol to prepare us for fight or flight. Cortisol helps control mood, motivation, and anxiety, control metabolism, regulate blood pressure, control the sleep / wake cycle, and keep inflammation in check.
During periods of prolonged stress, overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost all processes in our body, putting us at increased risk for many health problems, including: anxiety, depression, headaches, irritability, heart disease and sleep disorders; impaired digestion, mental function (brain fog) and metabolism; Weight gain (especially around the midsection and upper back), rounding of the face; Memory and concentration disorders; Fatigue, low sex drive, muscle weakness, and severe fatigue; impaired healing and cell regeneration; weakened ability to fight infections; Thyroid imbalances; Acne, thinning skin, easy bruising and flushed face. Excessive exposure to cortisol can also lead to decreased bone density and strength of the bone attachments of the ligaments, as well as hair loss. Telomeres also shorten, which makes cells and immune systems age and vulnerable to damage.
How do we naturally lower cortisol levels? Give yourself eight hours of good sleep. Do sports regularly. Eat healthy foods (avoid sugar; consume dark chocolate, fruits, black and green tea, prebiotics and probiotics, and plenty of water). Vitamin B complex helps lower cortisol levels, and vitamin C is believed to buffers high levels of cortisol. Because of its influence on bone density, vitamin D is also beneficial for people with persistent stress and elevated Coritsol levels. Fish oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and ashwaganda have also been shown to lower cortisol levels. Identify and develop strategies to address stressful thinking and increased physical tension, and use relaxation techniques when you spot signs of increased stress. Participate in activities that increase life satisfaction. Maintain healthy relationships and practice spirituality.
More information is available at www.advancedweight.com/blog-Cortisol