The Mystery of Cortisol

Hello, Dr. Jill Wohlfeil here with Thursdays from Reneu.

Don’t forget Mother’s Day is just around the corner – May 8, and hopefully some warmer weather is as well. We have some wonderful specials running this month – great for Mothers, well great for anyone, so give us a call, check out our facebook page, or website. Just DON’T FORGET MOM!!

I’m going to switch gears a bit with this Thursdays news from Reneu as we have been concentrating a lot on the wonderful aesthetic procedures we offer at Reneu, but don’t forget we concentrate on full body wellness.

Today I want to talk about Cortisol – whew – that’s a biggie. Well not really, did you know that your adrenal glands are about the size of a nacho chip sitting on the top of each kidney? Crazy how such a tiny, often forgotten gland is so very important. You can’t live a single day without Cortisol.

So we hear about it all the time – too much, too little, cortisol belly, adrenal fatigue – what is this all about and how would you even go about checking yours?

Cortisol really is a problem in our typical Western lifestyle. We work too much, sleep too little, eat imbalanced diets and ignore the stress in our lives – often self-medicating with activities that make it even harder on our adrenal glands.

You see Cortisol is our fight or flight hormone and is released when we are under stress – but this ancient hormone was designed to get us out of ancient stresses – like running from a saber tooth tiger. So when we are under stress high levels of cortisol are released. This causes stored calories to be released into our system, defers blood flow from our gut to our muscles, increase our blood pressure, make epinephrine rather than serotonin (the list goes on) because those things help us run faster from that saber tooth tiger!! But if we are not running away from some danger, and perhaps dealing with an demanding boss or an unruly teenager – those things cause us to gain weight, bloat when eating, give us high blood pressure, low moods and focus – just to name a few!

So how do you figure out if your adrenal gland is stressed out?

Testing for the two main adrenal hormones – cortisol and DHEAS is a good start. Cortisol needs to be tested over a 24 hour period with 4 levels – this can be done with saliva or spit (because who wants to get their blood drawn 4 times in 24 hours?) DHEAS is a simple blood test. We like to also include a more complete symptom survey as often times it gives us clues into other things that may be affecting your hormonal pathways.

So if feel like you adrenal gland is running away from a saber tooth tiger give us a call and we can help you slow down and start sorting things out. Because at Reneu we want to make you the best you possible. Both inside and out!
Until next time!