Cortisol

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cortisol

Cortisol

One of the worst consequences of silent inflammation is the chronic increase in cortisol levels it causes.

There’s no way you can be in a state of wellness if your cortisol levels are too high.

Silent inflammation is a direct result of excess production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids.

When your body tries to shut down these eicosanoids, its main hormonal defense mechanism is to secrete more cortisol.

Unfortunately, cortisol is too powerful for its own good.

It not only shuts down “bad” pro-inflammatory eicosanoids but also the “good” anti-inflammatory ones as well.

That might be okay if the damage stopped there, but it’s only the beginning of the collateral damage caused by excess cortisol.

Cortisol is produced by your body in response to long-term stress.

When you’re under any type of stress, either physical or emotional, your body pumps out cortisol to try to shut off the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids.

Stress is defined as disruption to your body’s normal equilibrium.

It might be due to an acute injury, chronic disease, excess exercise, change in temperature or humidity, lack of sleep, or chronic anxiety.

Whatever the cause, at the molecular level the end result is an increase in silent inflammation.

Usually we think of cortisol as a stress hormone, but in reality it’s an anti-stress hormone.

Its job is to deal with the inflammatory responses that chronic stress generates in your body.

It’s meant to be a short-term response to stress, and it works quite well this way.

The hormonal mechanism for cortisol was never meant to handle long-term stress coming from silent inflammation.

Cortisol was meant to shut down your immune system to recover from a short-term infectious disease or a fear of being attacked by a wild animal.

But what happens if you have high levels of silent inflammation on a long-term basis?

In an attempt to shut down this silent inflammation, your body pumps out more and more cortisol, keeping its levels chronically high.

Chronically high cortisol leads to lots of health ills, from insulin resistance, to nerve cell death, to a depressed immune system.

As a result, you gain weight, lose your intellectual potential, and become predisposed to illness.

While it’s true we have far fewer threats to our lives today, we tend to have more lifelong problems, like stressful jobs, chronic health problems, and mood disorders.

The result is a hormonal mess.

Cortisol output is usually governed by our circadian rhythms.

Levels are at their lowest between midnight and 2 a.m. and slowly begin to rise to awaken us out of sleep.

They peak between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. and then gradually decrease throughout the day, dropping off to their lowest point during sleep.

That’s, of course, if you have no extra stress to mess things up.

Many times, though, you have a stressful blip disturbing this cycle.

Usually, cortisol production shifts back in gear after you get past the blip.

But if you have certain bad habits in your lifestyle on a permanent basis, you might have chronically high cortisol levels.

These bad habits include:

*Prolonged or intense exercise

*Stuffing yourself with large meals

*Skipping meals

*Excess intake of stimulants, like caffeine

*Being overweight

*Low blood sugar from a very low-carbohydrate diet.

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

(Based on Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”)

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.


 

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