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Stress & Your Hormones: 4 Signs of A Cortisol Imbalance & What to Do About It

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Are you feeling sluggish and tired? Do you suffer from frequent headaches, mood swings, and irritability? Are you experiencing menstrual problems, weight issues, or brain fog?

These are all signs of stress and the effect it has on the way you feel. Stress is one of the most common factors for health issues yet it's become commonplace for us to navigate our way through life dealing with stress and coping with the symptoms it contributes to in our bodies.

Due to our faced paced lifestyles, our adrenals (which were designed to help us cope with physical stress) are often forced to produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol to help us function. Since our bodies can only produce so much adrenaline at a time, the adrenals are forced then to produce more cortisol to help support our bodies.

Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone and it affects so many functions in our bodies from sleep, weight, mood, energy levels, blood sugar regulation, immune system and so much more. It's a crucial hormone and too much or too little can impact our health and wellbeing.

Now cortisol often gets a bad wrap but it’s actually produced in response to perceived stressor to help support our bodies. The problem is when we are under chronic stress from relationships, work, dieting, lack of sleep, over-exercising, etc. it can end up remaining elevated and interfere with the production of other hormones and can lead to fatigue, weight gain, headaches, PMS and so much more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

cortisol effects on body

Some common signs that your cortisol may be out of balance are:

  • You rely on coffee to get through the day and often feel fatigued

  • You feel wired and tired. You are tired, low on energy but can't seem to wind down and get some rest

  • You are struggling with either weight gain or weight that just won't come off no matter what you do. Especially stubborn weight in your midsection.

  • You feel irritable, moody, struggle with headaches, and are having difficulty with sleep

Here are a few strategies to help support yourself during times of stress:

  • Develop a lifestyle that helps you combat stress. This may include counseling, including some light restorative exercise, learning to say no, and taking more time for you.

  • Ensure you are getting enough sleep.⠀Create a sleep routine where you go to bed and rise at the same time every day. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Eat plenty of whole foods and limit the number of processed foods. Although when stressed we generally crave more sugary, processed foods your body will be better supported if you stick with lots of whole foods. Focus on including foods rich in B, C, and E which may all become depleted when stressed.

Grab my FREE Happy Hormone Guide and I'll share 6 steps that you can implement right now to support your hormones naturally, increase your energy and feel good in your body.


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