High cortisol: symptoms and causes. Useful tips against stress!
The action of cortisol is vital for normal body functions: it regulates the metabolism of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, keeps blood sugar levels, blood pressure under control, modulates the activity of the heart and all those substances that they intervene in inflammatory processes. It should also be emphasized that it mainly participates in the regulation of the immune system.
High cortisol, causes
What happens when the cortisol level rises? A high cortisol level can have devastating consequences for the body. The increase in cortisol can be triggered by various factors. Stress, hypertension, digestive problems, physical exertion, obesity, irritability, difficulty sleeping, hyperthyroidism, high blood glucose levels, pregnancy, can be some of the causes of elevated cortisol. Other causes can be represented by: Cushing's syndrome, adrenal tumor, infection, myocardial infarction, liver cirrhosis.
Normal values of cortisol
Average cortisol values are measured by taking blood and / or analyzing a urine sample. Cortisol levels vary throughout the day with peaks occurring in the morning and minimum values in the evening. For this reason, it is good to consider the time at which the blood sample was taken for the examination. The reference values for the sample taken in the morning, at 8, are: from 6 to 23 micrograms per deciliter of blood (mcg / dL)
Only in the event that the value of the tests exceeds the indicated ranges, we can speak of an excess of cortisol.
High cortisol, what to do
The next step is to determine the causes that triggered the increase in cortisol. Tiredness and tensions from work, unbalanced nutrition, little sleep at night and hectic rhythms during the day, inevitably lead to an increase in cortisol. In case of high cortisol it is good to consult your doctor who will prescribe the most appropriate therapy. In the meantime, we suggest some healthy habits to improve the quality of your life.
- Keep yourself well hydrated. Do not forget that the body needs a certain amount of water a day
- Treat sleep. It is necessary to sleep between 6 and 8 consecutive hours a night. In herbal medicine there are many products to help you sleep
- Avoid heavy meals and excessive quantities
- Avoid the intake of caffeine-based products (carbonated, energy drinks and coffee). According to experts, drinking 4 cups of coffee a day increases Cortisol by about 14%.
- Do not let more than five hours pass between one meal and the next
- Consume green leafy vegetables: they help reduce cortisol levels
- Avoid alcohol
- Practice physical activity, but don't overdo it
- Avoid processed foods, those that contain refined sugar and carbohydrates
- Avoid stressful situations. In herbal medicine you will find the best herbs against stress, in the formula that suits you best: capsules, herbal teas, etc.
To lower cortisol you can take specific supplements; they can be found in herbalist's shops or online.
What to do against stress
If you don't want stress to take over day after day, here are some recommendations
- Practice breathing techniques. It will benefit you not only mentally, but also biologically
- Meditate every evening, or opt for any other relaxation technique
- Walking and stroking your pet every day. If you don't have one, consider responsibly the possibility of adopting a dog or cat.
- Find time for recreation. It can be listening to music, watching a funny movie, reading a good book
- Hang out with people you love (friends or family)
- To laugh! Laughter has a real therapeutic action
- If necessary, consider some psychotherapy sessions
For further information, I refer you to reading the article "How to manage stress"
In short, doing some work that makes your mind and body forget that they are stressed, and this is perhaps the best therapy for letting go of tension and anxiety.