Cortisol is a very useful hormone for our body, but we must pay attention to the level it reaches in the body
Cortisol, also known as stress hormone, can cause numerous negative effects for the body if it is produced in excessive quantities. On Tipsforwomens you can find out what are the symptoms of high cortisol and useful tips to bring it back to normal levels.
High cortisol: a symptom of stress
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands. If it is produced in the right quantities, cortisol is useful to our body as:
- helps keep blood sugar levels in check;
- helps to keep blood pressure low;
- helps regulate heart activity.
When you find yourself in stressful conditions, or there is an abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands produce more cortisol than you should, creating imbalances that cause physical discomfort.
High cortisol symptoms
High cortisol can cause several symptoms that put our health at serious risk, such as:
- sleep disorders;
- water retention;
- hyperinsulinemia (excessive production of insulin);
- loss of muscle mass;
- memory disorders;
- chronic fatigue.
To verify that the cortisol levels present in our body are not too high, a simple blood or urine test is sufficient.
5 tips to lower high cortisol
Fortunately, lowering high cortisol, bringing it back to normal levels, is not that difficult. Here are 5 tips to follow to lower cortisol levels in our body, suggested by Dr. Nicola Sacchi:
1. Maintain regular sleep patterns
Sleeping poorly is bad for your health, especially if your blood cortisol levels are too high. To bring them back to acceptable levels, you need to regain regular sleep patterns, and sleep at least 8 hours a night. If possible, you should also take a nap for no more than half an hour in the afternoon.
2. Have good habits
If you find yourself suffering from high cortisol it is good to adopt a healthier and more balanced lifestyle, but above all follow a few good habits that can improve the situation. It is very important to reduce the frenetic pace, which can cause anxiety or agitation, and also avoid the consumption of exciting drinks, such as coffee, drugs and alcohol.
3. Follow a balanced diet
An unbalanced diet, rich in over-processed foods, risks not only worsening the overweight caused by excessive cortisol production, but also stimulating the adrenal glands to produce even more.
To lower blood cortisol levels, you should make small, frequent meals (about every 3 hours), never skip breakfast, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. The action of the Omega 3 and Omega 6 contained in the fish is also fundamental, to be included in the diet at least 2 or 3 times a week. Instead, avoid sweets and carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.
4. Drink lots of water
It may seem a trivial indication, but drinking lots of water (at least 2 liters a day) helps eliminate toxins and reduce cortisol levels in the blood.
5. Practice the right physical activity
Exercising is useful when you have high cortisol, as long as you choose the right sport and practice it in moderation, since excessive physical efforts increase the production of cortisol: yoga and pilates, for example, are ideal activities. Reading a good book, watching a movie, relaxing in front of a cup of black tea are other good habits that help lower cortisol.