Cortisol Illness. If you want to know why cortisol makes you sick, then this article can help.
Welcome back to my blog! Today, I’m going to talk all about your cortisol and why it may make you feel sick and what you can do about it. First of all, we will talk about what cortisol is supposed to look like. Cortisol is produced by your adrenal glands, they are right on top of your kidneys. And cortisol is the second fight or flight hormone after your adrenal glands produce adrenaline. Cortisol’s job is to release sugar to fuel that fight or flight.
I have talked about this before in my videos about the adrenals. The thing about cortisol is that it has a natural circadian, or day and night, cycle.
It should look like a hilled slope, where the cortisol is high in the morning, has a little dip in the afternoon, then another little bump after your siesta and finally it falls down at night. That is the normal cortisol production. If by chance, you have a back roots cortisol production, what is called a dis-circadian cortisol cycle, you tend to have high levels in the morning, really high when you wake up. It then bottoms out all day long until it gets high at night again.
Your cortisol should be the highest between 8:00 and 2:00 in the afternoon and then it kind of slumps a little bit. It should be the lowest at night. So, when your cortisol is high at night, you are not sleeping very well. You are waking up feeling anxious, and you’ve got the monkey mind going on. And when it is high in the morning time, what will happen is, you are going to feel like you have an acidic stomach. It is the same thing that happens when you get really stressed out and you feel like you just cannot eat very well or your stomach is kind of upset. That is because of all the stomach acid being produced by the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is going to make you feel that way in the morning, kind of sick to your stomach and kind of anxious, so it is a nervous sickness.
Hormone Healing Tip 1: Calm Nighttime Cortisol
So, what are you going to do about that? Well number one, you have got to calm your nighttime cortisol. You have got to calm down this high level, this is not correct. It should be low at night. So how do you do that? Well the first thing that you can do, is to make sure that you sleep in the complete dark. Any light at all is going to stimulate cortisol production. Make sure that your room is nice and cool, anywhere between about 65 and 70 degrees. Anything over 70 degrees is too hot and it will wake you up and you will get a cortisol reaction.
You want to make as much melatonin as possible.
Try to maybe meditate before you go to bed, some deep breathing exercises to reduce that cortisol. You want to really try and work on bringing the cortisol level down. You can also use certain supplements like ashwagandha, which actually has an adaptogenic effect, bringing nighttime cortisol down and daytime cortisol up. So it is a good thing to use at night. Another thing that is really helpful, is just a little magnesium. It has a calming effect and that will help to reduce your cortisol.
Hormone Healing Tip 2: Retain Daytime Cortisol
Number two, retrain your daytime cortisol. You want normal daytime cortisol. Otherwise if it is too low during the day, you are just kind of pooped out, you have no energy. You feel fatigued and exhausted all day. You have no get up and go. So you want high daytime cortisol and low nighttime cortisol. So you have got to retrain that daytime cortisol.
The first thing that should happen when you wake up with the normal low, that is going to actually rise up by 8:00 in the morning, is that you should wake up with a low blood sugar and be hungry, okay?
That low blood sugar stimulates your hypothalamus to tell your adrenals, “Make some cortisol, come on, I need some sugar here!” Remember, cortisol releases sugar from your storage. So if you wake up hungry, that is kind of a good sign that your blood sugar is low enough and your cortisol is going to start to flux up. So you do not want to be eating too late at night. You want to make sure that you wake up with a little bit of hunger so that your cortisol can start fluxing up.
Make sure you eat breakfast, right afterward, as soon as you break your fast. That helps to stimulate cortisol production.
Eat regularly during the day and also make sure you exercise early in the morning because that helps to boost your cortisol production. Another thing that I use in my patients, is an adrenal cortisol extract that is homeopathic. It comes from the adrenal cortex of animals, usually lambs and it is used as a homeopathic. It comes in a drop form, but if you take it in the morning, it can help to re-trigger your adrenal cortex to release some cortisol. If my patients are really slumping in the afternoon and they just cannot get their stuff done, then they might take a little bit more of this adrenal cortex extract in the afternoon, but never take it after dark because we do not want a cortisol flux at night. We are retraining that daytime cortisol.
Hormone Healing Tip 3: Reprogram your HPA Axis
Number three, you want to reprogram your hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. Remember the hypothalamus is the master, the maestro of all your hormones. It tells the pituitary gland, which is the middle manager, what to do. In the case of the adrenals, the hypothalamus produces that big hormone, proopiomelanocortin, which then becomes a cortico releasing factor, which then tells the pituitary gland to release ACTH, which tells the adrenals to release cortisol.
It is a negative feedback system so that if the cortisol levels are low, your ACTH levels are high and vice versa. So what you want to do is retrain that HPA axis, and calming the nighttime cortisol. Retraining your daytime cortisol is part of it, but if you do not support your hypothalamus through this process, you are going to keep yo-yo-ing back with this adrenal dysfunction and cortisol all over the place, making you sick. Balance out your hypothalamus, support it with Genesis Gold®, and that will allow your body to start to get into balance and your cortisol levels to stay nice and even.