How to Fix High Cortisol
When we experience stress, whether this is an emotional stress, like a busy work life, or a physical one, or like a spike in our blood sugar – our adrenals release the hormone cortisol.
This response is a part of what’s called your HPA axis. Your brain perceives some form of stress; your hypothalamus communicates to your pituitary which communicates to your adrenals, and your adrenals respond by sending out cortisol.
In a truly stressful situation, this is a good thing. Cortisol works to enhance your stress response and directs your body to respond appropriately. But what happens when that stress is chronic? When cortisol is sent out multiple times a day for an extended period of time?
High cortisol and a depleted body…
Cortisol, left unchecked, has the potential to damage your microbiome, which is home to your immune system. When it is released, it alerts these chemical messengers in your body called cytokines that can literally break down the lining of your small intestine.
So, how do you realistically stop the stress and calm inflammation?
This is going to look differently for each person, but can you take some time to honestly evaluate the things in your life that increase stress?
Maybe you reduce time on your phone or put on a time limit on your exposure to the news and social media. Even prioritizing your nutrition to avoid blood sugar drops and spikes is avoiding stressful triggers.
This, too, looks differently for everyone, but we are less concerned about the specifics. Instead, focus on whole foods: foods in their unrefined form.
Eat first thing in the morning. Don’t be afraid of protein, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, and even the foods you love. Look to nutrition to act as your first defense. It really is medicine and has the potential to nourish you from the inside out.
At night, your brain goes into a detoxing cycle. Rest is essential for regrowth and repair, but sometimes it seems that no matter what you try, you just can’t turn your brain off.
In these cases, you may be deficient in an essential mineral: magnesium. Try our Good Night Lotion to calm anxious thoughts, soothe sore muscles, and promote a deep, restful sleep.
While nutrition is your first thing of defense, a stressed body has deficiencies and may benefit from specific supplements.
In times of increased stress, we reach for adaptogens. These are herbs that have the ability to increase or decrease cortisol and strengthen your adrenal response based on what you need at that exact moment.
Some of our top recommendations..
Want to read more?
With your choice of a simple and quickstart guide or a Full, heavy researched guide, dig into the research with us on stress and learn :
- A simple, doable plan to help your mental wellness
- Stress, anxiety, and what the difference is
- The purpose of stress
- How to support the body to handle stress – naturally
- and more
Need more product recommendations?
Read more about stress and more of our favorite related products here!