What is Cortisol?
Cortisol is a steroidal hormone our bodies release as a biological response to stress, danger, or fear.
If you’re in flight or fight mode, your adrenal glands produce cortisol. Cortisol is referred to as the “stress hormone.” This hormone attaches to its receptors in your body where it performs other functions that are not stress-related.
Other functions of cortisol include;
- It regulates your blood glucose.
- It stops inflammation of your body’s cells.
- It regulates your metabolism.
- It enhances your cognitive functions.
When your adrenal glands secrete cortisol, it causes blood sugar to supply energy to the large muscles of your body. Furthermore, it slows down insulin production so the blood sugar can be used immediately by your body.
The stress hormone plays a pivotal role in improving our health, but as with any other thing, too much cortisol is unhealthy and can leave undesirable symptoms. If your body accumulates too much cortisol over time, it may result in cortisol poisoning.
What is Cortisol poisoning?
Cortisol poisoning occurs when there is a high level of cortisol in your body. As humans, our bodies produce normal levels of cortisol throughout the day. When we wake in the mornings, cortisol levels are higher and it falls gradually till we go to bed at night.
However, when our stress levels are off the charts, our bodies produce more of the hormone, and this results in cortisol overload.
What are the symptoms of cortisol poisoning?
You’ll notice these tell-tale signs if your system has been poisoned with cortisol.
- Increased weight gain mainly in areas such as your face, abdomen, and chest.
- High blood pressure
- Roundness of your facial structure
- Slow healing of injuries
- Elevated blood sugar levels
- Disruption of sleep circles
- Appearance of purple-colored stretch marks on your skin
- Mood swings and irritability
- Muscle weakness and fatigue
- Low sex drive
- Irregular periods
- Cushing’s syndrome
What causes cortisol poisoning?
The factors responsible for high levels of cortisol are:
- Increased Stress
- Medications e.g. corticosteroids
- Hormonal imbalance (high estrogen)
- Oral contraceptives
- Malignant growth of the adrenal glands
- Malfunctioning of the pituitary gland e.g pituitary tumor
What happens if I don’t address cortisol poisoning?
If you do not address this condition on time, it may result in health concerns such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, mental disorders, metabolic syndromes, and osteoporosis.
How can I manage cortisol poisoning naturally?
You can address cortisol poisoning naturally by adopting the following lifestyle modification habits;
- Avoid processed foods, oily foods, and foods with high sugar.
- Consume a wholesome diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, and probiotics.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Practice moderate exercises such as walking.
- Take supplements that contain natural cortisol blockers. Examples of herbs that are proven to block cortisol naturally include lemon balm and chamomile.