“Its not the load that breaks you down; it’s how you carry it.” -Lou Holtz

At STAT Wellness, we check cortisol levels on a regular basis and it has been mind blowing how many cortisol levels are coming back elevated in people that perceive the level of stress in their life as “normal”.

Ladies and gentleman, we are in a STRESS epidemic which is causing our adrenals to not function optimally.

Signs of adrenal dysfunction include but are not limited to weight gain or loss, fatigue, brain fog, infertility, worsening PMS, amenorrhea (or no cycle), thyroid imbalances, anxiety, and depression.

Our adrenal glands, which sit on top of our kidneys, produce two primary hormones: cortisol and DHEA. Cortisol is our “stress” hormone which signals our sympathetic nervous system to go into a “fight or flight” response.

It is important to remember that not all cortisol is bad, but too much cortisol at inappropriate times can cause havoc on our body.

Cortisol should be highest in the morning and gradually decline as the day goes on (as shown below).

Image result for ZRT Saliva adrenal test

Too much cortisol can cause a number of symptoms including:

  • Increased appetite (after all cortisol is a steroid)
  • Weight gain (especially around the abdomen)
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations or racing heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling tired but wired
  • Brain fog or poor concentration
  • Low progesterone
  • Thyroid imbalances

Too little cortisol isn’t good either and can cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Brain fog or poor concentration
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite

Here are 7 quick tips to start improving adrenal function today:

  1. Prioritize sleep: aim for 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep
  2. Add deep breathing to your day. I love 4-4-4 breathing where you inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and slowly exhale for 4 seconds
  3. Keep blood sugar stable throughout the day by limiting processed carbs and sugar and pairing each meal with protein and healthy fat. When blood sugar is low it can put stress on your body, which increases cortisol
  4. Switch from coffee to Four Stigmatic coffee with less caffeine + medicinal mushrooms to help with adrenal function or organic green tea
  5. Add adaptogens such as ashwagandha 1 capsule 2-3x per day (caution with nightshade allergies or sensitivities) which helps your body naturally find balance or homeostasis
  6. Find an outlet to relieve stress whether it is meeting a friend for tea, working with a therapist, working out, or taking an epsom salt bath. Our body has to perceive something as stressful to cause the physical symptoms of stress. Remember at the end of the day, you are in control of how you respond to life events.
  7. Take time to disconnect from social media- I can’t stress this one enough!!

Want to check your adrenal function throughout the day? We are so excited to offer an adrenal health BUNDLE because who doesn’t like a good deal.

Our Adrenal Health BUNDLE includes a saliva hormone test looking at cortisol at 4 points during the day and a DHEA level + a 1 hour consult with our health coach Sarah Bristow. Sarah is a certified yoga teacher and health coach that is passionate about meditation + mindfulness!

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