Let’s face it, at any given moment we all either know someone dealing with a health crisis or are dealing with one of our own. Now and days it seems like people are defined by their health issues more than their personality. It is not hard to find a label or box to check when dealing with the sea of illnesses and diseases out there. More and more seem to crop up everyday. With illness seeming to consume every aspect of our lives it can be difficult to figure out where to start.
Life is Full of Surprises
Most of us have to deal with a lot of stress in our daily routines. From the worry of not making rent to a looming deadline hanging over head. It seems like we are always in the on position when it comes to stress. But what happens to our bodies when we experience stress? The hormone Cortisol is released by our adrenal glands (located just above our kidneys). This then leads to a number of both physical and physiological responses. Cortisol’s main function is to prepare your body for a fight or flight response to the present stressor. Once activated you become hyper aware of your environment, which is great if you find yourself in a fight or flight situation.
Watch Out For…
However, prolonged exposure to this hormone or even an excess in short periods can have devastating effects on your body. How do you know if your Cortisol levels are too high? Great question. Here are some signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for: feeling wired yet exhausted, difficulty falling or staying asleep, anxiety, easily irritated, memory lapse, easily distracted, sugar cravings, weight gain (mainly around midsection), indigestion, GERD, and even skin issues. By this point I am sure you have found yourself saying yes to at least one or two of these symptoms.
What Can You Do?
What do you do when these levels are off? Luckily, Mother nature has our backs and has provided us with a number of different all natural alternatives. For some of us it may be easier to add in different foods or even herbs into our daily routine. While there are those of us who prefer to have a quick pill they can take in an attempt to combat Cortisol levels throughout their day. Instead of asking your doctor to prescribe something more difficult for your body to process that comes with a laundry list of side effects, why not try these all natural supplements? Just like with any new addition to your supplements you should discuss them with your primary doctor to insure that they will not interact with any of your other medications.
Supplements to help reduce your Cortisol levels:
Ashwagandha seems to be popping up everywhere as of late. With all this recent popularity you would think it just showed up on the scene. However, Ashwagandha has been used for its medicinal purposes for over 2,500 years. Ashwagandha is a staple supplement found in Ayurvedic medicine due to its array of uses. Some of which include: stress and anxiety reduction, improved fertility in men, improves heart health, reduces brain cell degeneration, strengthens the immune system, increases stamina and endurance, regulation of blood sugar levels, and so much more. Ashwagandha is a great addition to anyone’s vitamin routine. Finding the therapeutic dosage can be difficult which is why it is suggested to start on the lower end and work your way up gradually. Most benefits are linked to a dosage of 500-600mg per day over a period of at least one month.
L-glycine is one of the most widespread amino acids found in human enzymes and proteins, making vital to every part of the body. It helps promote muscle growth. Glycine is used during the biosynthesis of creatine, which acts as a fuel source needed to repair damage and build muscle that is even stronger. It aids in the repair and protection of joints and cartilage. In fact, approximately one-third of collagen is composed of glycine. Glycine can also aid in digestion given that it makes up the bulk of collagen and gelatin (which are the main components of all gut lining). L-glycine makes an amazing addition to anyone’s daily supplement routine.
L-Theanine is a non-protein amino acid typically found in Green tea leaves. It can help improve memory and concentration. L-Theanine has also been shown to aid in the reduction of stress and increasing energy levels. It has even been shown to aid in the lowering of side effects such as jitteriness and anxiety associated with excessive caffeine. When purchased as a supplement L-Theanine is combined with a small amount of caffeine which improves its capability of stabilizing mood while retaining a subtle sense of alertness.
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 is needed for all cells. It helps to naturally produce energy within the cell. This powerhouse vitamin helps increase skin moisture (great for the winter weather), fights acne and even inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide also helps to firm and tighten skin making it ideal for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its natural ability to slow down the transfer of melanin into skin cells which helps even out skin tone. Unlike the other supplements listed Niacinamide focus less on the stress reduction and more on dealing with some of its more common side effects. When it comes to skin care Niacinamide is a must have. You can also obtain it naturally in berries and other foods rich in vitamin Bs.
Gamma Amino-Butyric Acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps regulate the over-stimulation in the brain. GABA can be used to calm nerves prior to a performance or any other high stress situation. It has been shown to reduce PMS and even the pain associated with your cycle and cramping. GABA helps increase human growth hormone production which can aid in slowing down the signs of aging. It positive effects on concentration and focus have also been shown to be beneficial in attention-deficit syndromes and even restless leg syndrome.
Finding The Perfect Fit
Balancing out your hormone levels is a science. Just like all forms of science you will need to test things out to determine which one works best with you and your body’s chemistry. If you feel like there may be something off in regards to your hormone levels request a hormone test from your primary doctor. Your doctor is there to help you at every stage of your health. When it comes to your health it is the best investment you can make. Your health is the one thing that can dictate what you can do both in the future and present. If you neglect your health it has a way of catching up to you and in the worst way. The end result is that it will take even longer to fix.
Need a Hand?
Are you ready to start taking back control of your health? Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. I love hearing from you guys and I have an open door policy. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at DrDeeandMe@gmail.com or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!