Your adrenal glands make cortisol, which impacts blood sugar levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolism. The amount and daily pattern of cortisol production can influence how your body uses or stores fat. Cortisol is also important for controlling levels of inflammation throughout the body. The ideal cortisol pattern is elevated first thing in the morning, decreasing towards night time. Over time, continued stress disrupts the delicate balance of hormones, included how much and when cortisol is made and released.
Cortisol is commonly referred to as the “Stress Hormone”. It plays an important role in glucose metabolism, blood pressure regulation, insulin release, immune function and inflammatory response. Cortisol is designed to help the body respond to a stressful event. When the event passes, cortisol levels decrease. When your body is under constant stress, your nervous system never receives the signal to relax which can lead to other hormones going awry.
Long busy days and short nights of sleep send messages to the body that it is in a state of stress. We may be civilized, but our bodies are still ruled by primitive survival drives. The body begins to store fat as a response to the stress, so there are stores ready for a future event that threatens survival. Over a period of time with constant stress, the adrenal glands produce less and less cortisol. Without enough cortisol the body needs to find energy from somewhere else so our bodies crave sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants to counteract low cortisol levels and temporarily raise energy levels.
Some signs that cortisol and other hormone levels are out of balance might include: sugar cravings, difficulty sleeping, tired but wired, afternoon slump, headaches, or constantly stressed. However, proper hormone balancing can help the people in Minneapolis and St Paul lose weight, reduce moodiness, feeling more energetic, sleep better, and curb cravings. Come visit our One Stop Wellness Clinic in Edina, Minnesota and get your cortisol and other hormones balanced and tested today!