Do You Have a Cortisol Imbalance?

Cortisol has many roles: from helping to control your mood, motivation, and fear to boosting your immune system and metabolism. However, when you are constantly undergoing chronic stress, it can take a toll on your physical and mental health leading to a cortisol imbalance.

The result?

It may lead to a whole array of physical and mental symptoms such as bloating, low mood, anxiety, irritability, brain fog, poor memory, night sweats, hot flushes, headaches, hair loss, dry hair and skin, accelerated ageing, reduced libido, aching joints, among others.

Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” is essential to several bodily functions. It helps you respond to stress as well as helps with fighting infection, maintaining blood pressure, and regulating blood sugar and metabolism. Metabolism is how your body processes food to create energy.

What negatively impacts your cortisol levels?
Cortisol levels can be affected by:
Serious illness
Hot and cold temperatures
Certain thyroid diseases
Certain medicines, such as birth control pills

Cortisol is produced by your adrenal glands, two small glands above your kidneys. The pituitary gland, a gland in your brain, tells your adrenal glands to produce cortisol and instructs how much is needed. Cortisol reduces inflammation by turning it into cortisone—a natural steroid hormone your body makes to eliminate inflammation. High cortisol levels can also occur if you take a lot of steroid medicines, such as prednisone, for a long time.

The body cannot differentiate between the different types of stress. Instead, your body sees stress as stress, whether it’s physical or emotional. When you hurt yourself, your body will use cortisol to manage the inflammation and help reduce the pain. When someone experiences too much stress, they can get stuck in ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. Being stuck in a constant high-stress state interrupts the body’s ability to heal. Health problems develop when you’re stuck in stress mode because the body spends too much time managing stress that it cannot fix those health issues. Stress becomes the most dominant factor in the body, and it’s destructive.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s best to test your cortisol levels.
Symptoms when you have too much cortisol:
Weight gain
Thin arms and legs
Increased fat around the neck
Increased fat between the shoulder blades
Round face
Easy bruising
Muscle weakness
Purple lines on the stomach, breasts, hips, or under the arms

Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency (not enough cortisol) may include:
Long-lasting fatigue
Muscle weakness
Loss of appetite
Weight loss
Abdominal (belly) pain

This is how cortisol balance should work; cortisol is the highest in the morning and slowly decreases throughout the day, hitting its low point late in the evening to fall asleep quickly.

Why do I prefer saliva testing over blood testing for cortisol? A saliva cortisol test involves testing four times daily for the stress hormone or lack of rhythm. Saliva testing better indicates what is happening inside the cells than blood work. When you get tested for blood cortisol markers, you will only gain insight into the amount for that moment. In addition, if you do not enjoy getting jabbed with a needle to take your blood, that experience will immediately alter the stress hormone level. Furthermore, a blood lab test will focus on the liquid carrying the cell around, while a saliva lab test focuses on looking inside the cells.

Why get your cortisol tested?
People whose bodies are managing high levels of stress all of the time write off symptoms but remember these health feelings you are experiencing are not just life, work is stressful, or raising kids is hard, or it’s your age, genetics, or life. There’s an imbalance going on, so get treated to get to the root of the issue.

Adults tend to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, or they constantly worry, which means that the person has always been stuck in stress mode. If you are a worrier, do you bite your nails, grind your teeth, or pick at your cuticles? If yes, this indicates that you are in stress mode and your cortisol is imbalanced. Be mindful of these behaviors and symptoms because you do not want to let this go on too long, as your total wellness can only survive for so long.

Many medicines children and adults are prescribed to deal with stress and attention issues can be problematic. It’s better to get tested, address the imbalances in the body, support the adrenal system, and deal with stress.

Testing is so convenient as the cortisol saliva test is done at home with a kit to collect four saliva samples throughout the day.

Benefits of Analyzing These Hormone Markers Through Saliva
Testing through saliva is easy, non-invasive, and an accurate way to provide a good “snapshot” of your hormone production throughout the day. You want to run a comprehensive saliva hormone test where you collect your saliva 4X throughout the day to gain insight into what is happening with your Corsitol levels. Most doctors measure cortisol by utilizing a blood test at one time of the day and not throughout the day. The hormone in the saliva is the active hormone available for bodily use. This saliva test will be beneficial for you to gain insight into your hormone functioning and have a strategy for an optimal hormone-balancing plan.

Order your hormone test profile, which includes a 40-minute session to review your test results and discuss a hormone-balancing strategy.

Watch the video to learn more about the importance of knowing your cortisol levels.

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