The Stress Hormone
Is stress running your life? Do you have blood sugar issues? Do you sleep for several hours but still wake up tired?
If you answered “Yes” to any or all of these questions then your cortisol circadian rhythm may be imbalanced. BUT.. this article is not about your adrenal glands!!
I always tell patients, “if you want me to support your adrenal glands, by all means I will because I have plenty of student loans that still need to be paid back.” In other words, you will dump your entire life savings before any adrenal supplement will help you get ahead. So let’s get a head of the problem and not just manage your ongoing issues.
Normal Circadian Rhythm:
Cortisol has been termed a stress hormone due to its physiological nature in terms of raising blood sugar and heightening your bodies immune response through cytokine signaling. In a normal healthy individual starting at midnight (12 A.M.) cortisol is at its lowest point and continues to raise throughout the early morning and peaks approximately seven A.M. and diminishes throughout the day.
Items that disrupt circadian rhythm?
- Blood sugar
- Chronic immune issues
- Food allergies
- Emotional stress
- Taking Melatonin orally (supplement)
- Environmental toxins (i.e. mold, pesticides, parabens, phthalates)
- Cytokine storms (IL-1, IL-6, TNF-a)
These 8 categories are only a few of several that can disrupt circadian rhythm. The most common factor that we see that has a dramatic impact is blood sugar.
High cortisol individuals often fatigue after a heavy carb meal. When I was going through school, I could always tell who had an elevated blood sugar issue because they would pass out after lunch. Same thing for family members after a holiday meal.
For people with high blood sugar, they increase their own bodily stress due to a weakened immune system, leaky gut issues (increase potential for food sensitivities) and neural issues (i.e. neuropathy). The only way to provide beneficial care for diabetics is to balance their circadian rhythm through diet, exercise, and supplementation to regain insulin sensitivity in their insulin receptor sites.
Low blood sugar issues can really be very detrimental to cortisol circadian rhythms. These individuals are easy to spot because their signs and symptoms typically include:
- Cannot stay asleep through the night
- Have a hard time getting out of bed
- Must rely on coffee or caffeine to get motivated in the morning
- Afternoon headaches
- Trouble shutting your mind off at night
These patients often feel worse than someone with type II diabetes due to the fact that their neuro-endocrine system is constantly secreting cortisol to raise blood sugar, this is absolutely exhausting to the body. Constant release of cortisol results in the following:
- Advanced aging process due to elevated IL-6
- Increased insulin release
- Poor mucosal lining rejuvenation of the GI tract resulting in increased food reactivity
- Poor hormone receptor site attachment (decrease mood, libido, erectile dysfunction, painful menstruation, etc.)
- Liver congestion –> biliary stasis (problems with fats)
- Increased risk for osteoporosis
- Increased risk for dementia
- Breakdown of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis resulting in poor cellular metabolism
- So much more…
Many of these blood sugar issues can be easily balanced with proper diet and change of eating habits along with patient’s strong desire to get better.
So many people these days are trying to lose weight, get in shape, eat healthier but they are focusing on the wrong things. Food is the most important aspect when it comes to revitalizing your health. You have to eat right.
Eating healthy will in and of itself help you lose weight regardless of exercising. Food is what helps your recover and repair. Sugar and vegetable oils are poisons and we should all eliminate them from our meals. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine AND sugar is more dangerous than cocaine because it kills you slower.
We at Quantum Chiropractic are here to help you. So please do what you can to be healthier, if you need help whether it be SOT Chiropractic or nutritional laboratory analysis, contact our office.
We love to improve the quality of life for those around us.