• Cortisol- Friend or Foe – Hormones For Health (part 1)

    Cortisol- Friend or Foe – Hormones For Health

    Let's talk about cortisol.
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    Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone (a class of steroid hormones). In us, it is one of the most important hormones we have, and it's not all bad like some people make it out to be. It is produced by the adrenal cortex and plays a critical role in the body's stress response and staying at homeostasis. You may have heard of adrenal fatique and how cortisol plays a huge role in that and that is a big reason it gets thrown under the bus.
     
    Our cortisol follows a circadian rythm but not like we do with just light and dark but more with the periods of the transition periods of dark to light and to a lesser degree light to dark.
     
    The circadian ryhthm is supposed to elevate in the morning 30 to 60 minutes after awakening.
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    The glucocorticoid levels synthesized by the adrenals across a 24-hour period are under control of 2 systems: one is governed by the hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the other is controlled by the autonomic nervous system through the adrenal medulla.
     
    Night time light (blue & artificial light) stimulates the suprachiasmatic nucleus (our main circadian oscillator located behind the retina in the hypothalamus), and this sends the neural signal to the autonomic nervous system to increase cortisol production. This is when cortisol production should be very low or turned off. It appears that the intensity of light is critical. Artificial light has a ton of blue and green frequencies of light that very intense frequencies.
     
    The most common cause of elevated cortisol is obesity. However, rarely is cortisol hormone by itself the problem. It usually is in conjunction with other hormone faults. So the best treatment is correcting most of the other hormone issues that influence the biochemical pathways used by the adrenal glands while also readjusting back to your natural circadian cycle (read that again night owls and 3rd shift workers 😉
     
    The best hormones to focus on are the anabolic and sex steroid hormones: testosterone, DHEA, dihydrotestosterone, and estrogen. When more of the distal sex steroid hormones are IN ADEQUATE supply then there is very little shunting of the substrate hormone, pregnenolone, that would be taken away from the adrenal cortisol production pathway. When cortisol is high then pregnenolone production will be shut down and sex steroid hormones will not be produced properly. This is known as pregnenolone steal syndrome.
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    Your cortisiol awakening response will be increased by:
    -waking up for work day vs. weekend day (especially with alarm clock)
    -have chronic mental stress
    -Emotional worry
    -Overloaded with tasks
    -suffering from acute stress of any kind.
    -Worn down by burout.
     
    Stay tuned for part 2 on Cortisol! And the webinar!
    #HormonesWithYun #ImprovementWarrior

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