LET’S TALK ABOUT CORTISOL: THE HIGHS, THE LOWS, THE ADRENAL FATIGUE

  • Balanced cortisol affects nearly every system of the body and is vital for healthy functioning.
  • Temporary stress is a normal part of life; prolonged, chronic stress is the “bad” type that causes your cortisol levels to fluctuate.
  • High cortisol can result in inflammation and cause problems including swelling, weight gain, anxiety, depression, and skin issues.
  • If your chronic stress lasts too long, your cortisol can plummet, resulting in a condition popularly known as adrenal fatigue in which you may experience exhaustion, sleep issues, low blood pressure, and other health problems.
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Skin coloration changes
  • Mood changes
  • Low blood sugar
  • Swollen face, chest, and abdomen
  • Rapid wight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Unexplainable bruises
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stretch marks
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability
  • Muscle weakness
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • For high cortisol: Focus on eliminating stress through activities like yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, light exercise, and including adaptogens (like holy basil, ashwagandha, maca, and reishi mushrooms) in your diet and skincare.
  • For low cortisol: Explore supplementing your diet with vitamins, eat balanced meals to improve your blood sugar levels, prioritize sleep and develop a healthy sleep routine, and begin to exercise regularly.

Leah Campbell has a degree in developmental psychology and has written extensively on topics relating to infertility, women’s health, adoption and parenting. Leah is also author of the books “Single Infertile Female” and “The Story of My Open Adoption.” November 2, 2021

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