Cortisol and Fibromyalgia...
Many people might wonder, "What is the correlation between high levels of Cortisol and Fibromyalgia?"
This is a very valid question because at first glance they don't appear to have anything in common. As a matter of fact, most people haven't even heard of Cortisol!
What is Cortisol? Cortisol is one of the main stress hormones that is released by the Adrenal Glands when we are under stress. And not just the "fight or flight" type of stress, but also the everyday, chronic levels of stress that we are all under these days. More and more, our lives are filled with stress and sometimes seem to spin out of control. That is the main complaint that most people seem to have: everything is too fast nowadays and there never seems to be enough time to do everything we have to do!
So how does Cortisol and Fibromyalgia come into the picture? Surprisingly enough, high levels of Cortisol and Fibromyalgia have a lot in common ... both conditions have a lot to do with inflammation levels in the body.
And yes, there are ways to reduce Cortisol and Fibromyalgia by learning how to reduce stress levels naturally ... keep reading and check out this NEW stress relief organizer just released!
There are many relaxation techniques for stress that are available to help us to cope with stress and reduce it to a level that is manageable. And yes, there are even fun ways to relieve stress, like playing with pets or children, listening to music or watching a funny movie. (The e-books that come with the Organizer outline many different stress relief tips and focus on fun ways to relieve stress.)
So what does this Stress Relief Organizer Kit do? It's main purpose is to help you to organize your life and set out your goals as well as the clear and actionable steps required to achieve these goals. This is a fantastic (and fun) way to reduce your stress levels and start controlling your life instead of having your life control you!
And as well as the planners and trackers that come with the organizer*, there are also lots of fun adult coloring templates included for those quiet stress-reducing "me-times"! (And there is a lovely report that focuses on the stress healing powers of relaxing baths that gives you some wonderful bath recipes plus another one focusing on the stress busting power of aromatherapy with more essential oil recipes!)
*Note: The Stress Relief Organizer Kit is a downloadable digital set of printable planner pages, tracker pages and journals. There is no physical product, it is instantly downloaded to your PC and you can print out the pages, either on your own printer, or take it to your local print shop. The pages can be printed in full page format, and there are some pages that are in half-page format.
Cortisol is a glucocorticoid, which means that it effects the concentration of glucose in the blood, which in turn affects fat metabolism. During times of stress, cortisol triggers the glucose production in the liver. This is because in ancient times, stress usually meant you would have to run or fight off some threat. Nowadays, however, most of our daily stress is not the “fight or flight” type, but rather the on-going stress of daily living and working.
What this means physiologically is that as cortisol levels are kept in artificially high levels due to our lifestyle, the increased amounts of glucose travelling around our body end up being deposited into our tissues as fat deposits, especially in the abdominal area, since fat in this area can be accessed the fastest by our bodies in times of need. Ongoing elevated levels of glucose also predispose us to insulin resistance and diabetes, which again triggers fat to be stored rather than burnt off. This is because cortisol has the opposite effect of insulin: insulin’s job is to facilitate the entry of glucose into our cells and cortisol’s is to stop glucose entering our cells. This keeps our blood sugar levels high and when it doesn’t get burned up, it is then converted into fat for future use.
On top of that, stress and cortisol shuts down other bodily functions that would interfere with the “fight or flight” response, in particular, it triggers the breakdown of protein (catabolism), which means your body does not engage in its normal activities of cell growth or repair. When this goes on for too long, many different health conditions and symptoms, including pain and inflammation occur.
When you are under a lot of stress your body produces high levels of cortisol which trigger pain and inflammation and fibromyalgia is a condition that is mainly known for it's high pain levels.
Now, interestingly enough, cortisol does have a very positive job in all this and that is as an anti-inflammatory agent. This is very important, because cortisol is the main way our body tries to counteract the effects of inflammation and reduce inflammation.
The problem however, happens when inflammation becomes chronic (as in Leaky Gut Syndrome), because this chronic inflammation is a physical stress on our body and it continually triggers the release of cortisol.
Cortisol also causes stress to the digestive system by diverting blood away from digestion, because blood would be needed in a “fight or flight” situation. The intestinal wall continually replaces itself every 24 hours. This means that it uses more blood than any other organ, however, when the cortisol diverts blood away, then the intestinal wall will be starved for blood and will not be able to renew or repair itself properly and will be impaired.
It is interesting that the medical community is finally acknowledging the importance of chronic systemic inflammation and more and more doctors are now testing for it.
So what are the main causes of inflammation?
Leaky Gut Syndrome would be one of the most prevalent causes, and this includes factors that may cause Leaky Gut Syndrome like NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs), aspirin, antibiotics, the birth control pill, food intolerances, candida, poor nutritional diets of junk food that is full of preservatives and chemicals and trans-fats.
Mainly this is caused by the immune system targeting the toxins and partially digested food particles as foreign substances (or antigens) and attacking them, which as time goes on often triggers auto-immune diseases where the body is attacking its own tissues. It is also complicated by the fact that high cortisol levels suppress the immune system and makes it harder to do its job.
On top of that, the body’s detoxification organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, etc.) can’t keep up with the increased levels of toxins travelling around the body, which means these toxins get deposited in tissues, accelerating inflammation. This increased amount of inflammation triggers more cortisol to try to decrease inflammation.
Higher levels of cortisol, especially at night, triggers insomnia, which means your body can’t repair itself during sleep as it should be. (The high cortisol usually causes you to wake up around 2:00 to 3:00 in the morning, while it can take you anything from one hour to several hours to fall back to sleep because your mind just won’t shut down.)
The cortisol also triggers food cravings, especially for sweets due to insulin impairment, as well as salty foods, due to interfering with sodium / potassium levels controlled by the adrenal glands. This causes you to eat uncontrollably, which of course, causes weight gain. And let’s not forget that you can’t comfortably exercise because of the high levels of pain and inflammation you have, which of course again makes it harder and harder to control your weight!
And we haven’t even looked at vicious cycles caused by Candida, Estrogen Dominance and hormonal imbalances, and much, much more.
So what symptoms do high levels of cortisol and fibromyalgia have in common?
There are actually many symptoms that high levels of cortisol and fibromyalgia have in common including inflammation, food intolerances, chronic fatigue, insomnia, foggy brain, digestive problems, Hypoglycemia symptoms, high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and diabetes, increased thirst, impaired liver function and much more.
Now, the flipside to high cortisol levels is adrenal exhaustion, as we will cover next…
What is Adrenal Exhaustion?
Adrenal Exhaustion typically happens after an extended period of time of continual stress and high cortisol levels, where the adrenal glands become overworked and exhausted.
The first stage is where cortisol levels are high and DHEA is usually normal. The next stage is where the DHEA levels drop too low, but the cortisol still remains high. The final stage is where the adrenal glands are worn out and both cortisol levels and DHEA will drop too low.
Is there a link between the adrenal glands, which produce cortisol and fibromyalgia?
When your adrenal glands become exhausted and produce less cortisol, you will suffer from fatigue, sugar cravings, irritability, muscle weakness, difficulty exercising, suppressed immune system, increased susceptibility to infections and viruses and much, much more. (All of these symptoms and more are symptoms of low cortisol and fibromyalgia.)
You will also find it very difficult coping with everyday stresses and become overwhelmed very easily. On top of that, you will also feel depressed and have feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
The relationship between low levels of cortisol and fibromyalgia is inflammation. Cortisol is known as a natural anti-inflammatory. When you get to the point of adrenal exhaustion, cortisol levels drop to a very low level. This in turn triggers inflammation.
Detoxifying your Liver Helps to Manage Fibromyalgia Symptoms!
You will find this new "Detox Diet For Fibromyalgia" Program so easy to follow because it is based on healthy nutritious foods that are not only healthy, but very delicious as well. And unlike unhealthy weight loss diets, this program encourages you to eat healthy, natural food including healthy essential fatty acids ... yes, that's right ... this program encourages you to eat healthy fat because healthy fat actually helps to reduce pain and inflammation!
**NEW Launch! Check out these cool Fibromyalgia Coffee Mugs! On Sale for the Launch!
So What is A Detox Program ... and why do it?...
Years of poor diets as well as environmental toxins can overload your liver and cause many health problems, including weight gain, inflammation and water retention. Check out these programs to see which one is best for you ...
**NEW Launch! Check out this cool Stress Organizer Planner Kit!