Tired. Exhausted. Spent. Worn out. If you can relate to any of these words you may very well be experiencing cortisol insufficiency. The good news? You’re not alone, and there are things you can do to help combat this increasingly common health issue.
Why is cortisol so important?
You may have read about the effects excessive cortisol can have on your physical, mental and emotional well-being. On the flip side of that coin, too little cortisol can also have a detrimental impact on how you are able to function in your daily life.
What is cortisol insufficiency?
Cortisol insufficiency isn’t a single, isolated issue; it has far-reaching effects that can impact your daily life. Essentially, when you’re experiencing cortisol insufficiency it means your adrenal system (the system responsible for producing cortisol and other stress hormones such as adrenaline) is overtaxed, leading to what is called “adrenal fatigue.” This makes it difficult — if not impossible — for your body to produce enough cortisol (and other stress hormones) to function properly. It can eventually have an impact on other organs, too, as they struggle to make up or even just function properly without enough cortisol.
What can be done about cortisol insufficiency?
If you’re suffering from cortisol insufficiency, the good news is it can be turned around. You don’t have to spend your life exhausted and worn out. There are a number of things you can do to help reverse the ravages of adrenal fatigue and get your life back on track.
1. Get a proper diagnosis. To be sure you’re suffering from cortisol insufficiency it’s necessary to have your cortisol levels checked. This can be done through a simple morning blood draw and testing. Another option is the newer DUTCH method that uses dried urine to determine cortisol levels.
2. Change your diet. If you consume a lot of caffeine you may be setting yourself up for adrenal fatigue. While coffee or other caffeinated drinks can give you a short-term boost, they can also put stress on your adrenal system, stimulating it to work overtime to keep up with the caffeine’s demands. Additionally, refined sugars, processed foods, and fried foods can put a lot of stress on your body as it works harder to metabolize what you’ve just introduced into it.
3. Back off of strenuous exercise. You read that right. Strenuous exercise can increase the demands on your adrenal system. Instead, consider yoga or pilates to maintain strength and keep your muscles toned, all while providing a means to calm your mind and stress responses.
4. Add supplements. Consider supporting and supplementing your adrenal system with adaptogens – these include things such as ashwagandha and ginseng. If you are suffering from severe adrenal fatigue, a supplement containing dehydrated porcine adrenal gland can help naturally replace the hormones that have been lost.
Adrenal fatigue doesn’t have to rule your life. You can take steps to help bring your body back to center and allow your entire being to thrive. All it takes is working with an expert in treating your cortisol insufficiency. You owe it to yourself to get back to the real you.
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