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Cortisol: the Stress Hormone

In the midst of the holiday season we feel excitement and joy as we look forward to gathering with families and friends. But for so many of us these happy feelings are accompanied by stress as we prepare to make our gatherings special and memorable. So, how do our bodies feel about the holiday season? When we are stressed, a small region at the back of our brain known as the hypothalamus, sends a message to our nerves, which in turn send a message to our adrenal glands, located on top of our kidneys. This message of stress causes the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and the main stress hormone, cortisol.

Cortisol increases our heart rate and blood pressure as well as the amount of sugars in our bloodstream. It also hinders our digestive, reproductive, growth and immune processes. Stress is a normal, momentary reaction that we all experience. However, when we find ourselves under constant stress, our bodies are then faced with an overabundance of cortisol. This in turn can lead to significant health problems:
– anxiety – depression – mood swings
– digestive troubles – high blood pressure – heart disease
– sleep issues – irregular periods in women -decreased immune function
– weight gain (face & midsection) – difficulties with memory and concentration

There are ways in which we can reduce our stress, thus reducing the amount of cortisol released throughout our bodies:
– aerobic activity – yoga – meditation – melatonin supplement
– licorice root – laughter – music – limit intake of processed foods

In addition to the above suggestions, Balanced Health and PetMedella can energetically scan for ALL hormone levels, including cortisol. If a high amount of cortisol resonates in your body, we can suggested a protocol that fits best for you.