Have you ever experienced days like you feel better than usual? Days that you feel more beautiful than usual, you are relaxed and calm, and then all of a sudden everything changes and all the good feelings are gone?
You don’t even know why it happened, but dark clouds suddenly seemed to be hovering over you and you feel all the stress physically, emotionally and mentally.
Well, don’t blame it on anything or anyone else because it might be the cortisol in your body that is behind all these stressful moments of your life.
What is Cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone in your body which is released in times of stress by your adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys. It is also called as the body’s “stress hormone.”
It also plays many important roles and functions in the body. For example, it controls your blood pressure and reduces inflammations in the body.
When your body is releasing too much of this hormone for long periods of time, it could bring harmful effects to your body. Typically, it involves negatively affecting the immunity, gain weight and development of chronic diseases.
So what are the signs that your body’s stress hormone production is too much?
Here are some of the signs that you have too much cortisol in your body:
You experience anxiousness, anxieties, nervousness and panic like out of the blue or without any reason because of too much cortisol in your body. That is your body’s “fight or flight” response as triggered by the stress hormone without you realizing what for.
You don’t feel like having sex with your partner. When this hormone is up, the other hormones go down, such as the testosterone hormone. For many romantic relationships which see sex as integral to a strong relationship, having fewer steamy moments in bed might spell trouble between couples.
Your immune system is weak, and you easily catch colds and other infections. It is because cortisol is like a war freak ninja that shuts down the body’s natural system from healing itself.
In a world full of pathogens which try to invade our system, having a compromised immune system spells disaster for the whole body. Without the right mechanism in place to defend our bodies from disease-causing micro-organisms, we succumb to sickness that might just aggravate.
Ever gone through something bad lately which caused you to eat more than you normally would? You might be stressed.
If you’re becoming fat all of a sudden, even without you noticing, you could be consuming more foods than you are aware of.
According to science, our bodies tend to stimulate the release insulin which cause our glucose to plummet. In response, the body generates a craving towards fatty and sweet to compensate. As a result, you might be consuming more foods from the sweet and fatty sources.
Vulnerable to Pains
When your body is with a presence of cortisol in it, you are more susceptible to all kinds of pain. These include discomforts like headaches, backaches and muscle aches. As it appears, this is because this hormone affects the way your brain reacts to pain.
Ever wonder why people suddenly experienced sufferings related to pain when they are having a bad day?
Your sleep is in a mess, you can’t have deep sleep and you can’t get enough rest that your body needs. Culprit: too much cortisol!
Our minds and bodies are at an excitatory phase when there is a presence of cortisol in the body. This explains why your eyes are still wide open and you just can’t sleep despite how tired you are the whole day.
Intuitively, by learning to relax yourself, you are paving way for the pleasure hormones to kick in which induce comfort and sleep. One secret to a comfortable sleep is having a sound mind and a body free from cortisol.
Your energy levels are not at its best when your body is suffering from stress hormones. High levels of this hormone could make you feel fatigued and tired even if you have enough rest and sleep. So, you may be sleeping 8 hours or so. But if you are stressed, you will immediately feel the bad effect of waking with cortisol in yourself.
By choosing to relax yourself, you are giving your body the rest it needs to sort things out from within. This is because, when you choose to chill, you are replacing the body off of unwanted stress hormone in favor of pleasure hormones.
You Crave Unhealthy Foods
Corollary to the idea of gaining weight through overeating, you also crave bad foods when under stress. You crave on the bad stuffs so bad, you just can’t help but desire to eat unhealthy foods like sweets, fast foods, pizzas, etc.
Too much cortisol in the body makes you crave these kinds of food which put your body at risk for diabetes.
But, like many other cravings, the body tend to content itself after a while of giving into it. But in order to offset another bout of uncontrollable urge towards certain bad foods, learn how to manage your stress without resorting to eating.
Susceptible to Digestive Problems
You might not be aware of it. But your stomach typically grumbles if you are under stress. For the most part, this is uncontrollable and may range from a random spasm or too much secretion of juice. This is quite uncomfortable to say the least and often do not subside until you relax yourself.
If you are experiencing digestive issues like abdominal cramps, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, etc., there could be too much cortisol in your body.
You know you are having your good days when you feel good about yourself and is upbeat. Typically, this is an indication of good health. But the opposite is also true.
If you are having a bad mood due to chemical imbalance. This is due to the like bad combo of high cortisol and low serotonin. These are the stress and pleasure hormones, respectively.