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May 25, 2023
One of the newest health trends is all about “lowering your cortisol levels”. What exactly is cortisol? And why is it important to keep those levels low? Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress. (Yikes!)
Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, with the highest levels typically occurring in the morning and the lowest levels in the evening. Cortisol is an important hormone that helps the body to respond to stress by increasing blood sugar levels, suppressing the immune system, and increasing blood pressure. In healthy individuals, cortisol levels are tightly regulated, but in people with certain medical conditions or chronic stress, cortisol levels may be abnormally high or low, which can lead to a range of symptoms and health problems. Everyone has cortisol and it’s an important hormone that plays a role in the body's stress response, but consistent high levels of cortisol can have negative effects on the body. Here are some reasons why it's important to keep cortisol levels in check:
High levels of cortisol can suppress the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections and illnesses. Super important during cold and flu season!
Cortisol can promote the storage of fat in the body, which can lead to weight gain.
High cortisol levels have been linked to anxiety, depression, and irritability.
Cortisol can cause blood vessels to constrict, which can increase blood pressure.
High cortisol levels can interfere with sleep, making it more difficult to get that beauty sleep we all want!
Lowering your cortisol levels doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are some ways to help lower your levels and keep them in check.
1. Try practicing ways to unwind and chill out: yoga, meditation, relaxing music, and self care all will help.
2. It is also important to get enough sleep and exercise regularly, typically low impact exercise is best for lowering cortisol.
3. Diet is also important, healthy fats like avocado, salmon, nuts are linked to help lower cortisol in the body.
4. Did you know that socializing also helps? Surround yourself around people that you enjoy and your cortisol levels will go down, just another reason to mingle!
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