Cortisol is an important hormone produced by the body. Among other things, it keeps us awake and alert and regulates all kinds of things in the metabolism. Useful stuff therefore. But if you have too much of it, it turns against you. Complaints such as weight gain, increased blood pressure, restlessness and sleeplessness appear. You want to get rid of them.
We give you seven tips to actively lower your cortisol yourself.
Too high cortisol: how do you get it?
Cortisol - also known as stress hormone - is produced by the adrenal glands when under stress. This was useful in prehistoric times. A shot of cortisol made you alert and enabled you to flee or fight quickly. Nowadays, stress comes not from a sabre-toothed tiger but from work, financial worries, raising your children and so on. And that stress is not just there for a moment, but constantly. The result: a structurally increased cortisol level.
Increased cortisol levels can also be caused by medication use, inflammations in the body or an abnormality of the adrenal gland. Therefore, if cortisol levels are elevated, always have a doctor diagnose the problem.
More importantly, how do you get rid of it?
The good news is: you can do a lot yourself to lower your cortisol. Here are the seven most important tips.
- Eat healthy
Avoid processed foods, especially those high in simple carbohydrates and sugars. Choose fresh and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Fry a nice fatty fish for the Omega 3. Do not drink too much caffeine and drink enough water. For a snack, choose a handful of (walnut) nuts or extra dark chocolate.
Move 30 - 60 minutes a day. Walk, bike, swim or run. Do something. Sitting still is the new smoking. But be careful. Too much is not good. Intensive endurance training actually increases cortisol levels. So take it easy.
That's easier said than done when you're bouncing off the cortisol. Try it anyway. For instance through yoga, breathing exercises, meditation or mindfulness. If that is not for you, look for something that relaxes you. Take a walk in the woods or dream away to your favourite music.
- Get enough sleep
If you are awake too much, the 'awake' hormone cortisol will also remain elevated. So make sure you get enough sleep. About seven to nine hours a night is ideal. Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Then limit your screen use in the evening. Get rid of that phone or tablet and turn off that television. Bet you'll find it easier to fall asleep.
- Hug more
Yes, really! When you hug, you produce oxytocin. That hormone lowers your cortisol levels. A hug of at least 20 seconds to a minute is best. And then several times a day. Now that's a doctor's prescription for loving.
- Take herbs and nutritional supplements
Step into a health food store. Take rhodiola, glutamine or a ginseng. Vitamin B5 and folic acid can also help. Or choose a herbal preparation such as tulsi (holy basil) or magnolia.
Laughing is healthy. It lowers all kinds of stress hormones, including cortisol. Take a good sitcom or watch the New Year's Eve show again. But not late at night, because then you will not be able to sleep.
Do you experience complaints like sudden weight gain, restlessness or sleeplessness? Then test if your cortisol level is increased.
Cortisol blood test €29,-cortisol stress hormone adrenal glands
Cortisol day curve saliva test €195,-burnout saliva test burnout or depression
Measure your cortisol as part of the "tired? "test for €139.
Download here the example results and the explanation of the results of the test "tired?
|Time of day||Normal||Increased|
|in the morning||138 - 635 nmol/L||greater than 800 nmol/L|
|in the afternoon||83 - 442 nmol/L||more than 500 nmol/L|
|in the evening||83 - 276 nmol/L||more than 300 nmol/L|
The cortisol level in blood is highest in the early morning immediately after waking up and low in the evening. In people who work irregular shifts and also at night the cortisol pattern is often disrupted.
Our laboratory uses the following result: if you have your blood taken between 6 and 10 o'clock in the morning, the result must be between 171 and 497 nmol/l. Between 16.00 and 20.00 the result must be between 75 and 287 nmol/l.
Sylvanaat 20 Aug 2017
Sylvanaat 20 Aug 2017