If you're under a lot of stress, you may have high cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone that your adrenal glands produce to help your body fight off the stress that it's under. Unfortunately, high levels of cortisol can wreak havoc on your body. An at-home cortisol test will help you identify your cortisol levels. If your doctor identifies medical issues such as Cushing's Disease, they'll start you on a treatment plan to get your medical condition—and your cortisol levels—under control. If your test results confirm elevated cortisol levels, but no underlying medical condition, stress may be causing the increased cortisol production. Here are four steps you can take to get your cortisol levels under control.
Change the Way You Eat
If you've been diagnosed with elevated cortisol levels, you need to change the way you eat. This is particularly true if your current diet consists of high fat, low fiber foods, or processed foods. To get your blood sugar back to normal, and to reduce your cortisol levels, add more whole foods to your diet. Add fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, fish, and grass-fed beef to your daily diet, and forego the high fat, high sugar, processed foods.
Learn How to Manage Your Stress
If you lead a stressful life, it's important that you learn how to successfully manage that stress. Stress can affect virtually every aspect of your life, including your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, stress can also be the cause the your elevated cortisol levels. If your cortisol home test kit determined that you have elevated cortisol levels, it's important that you incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily life. Some effective relaxation techniques include meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and deep breathing exercises. Getting out into nature has also been found to be an effective, natural way to reduce stress.
Add Exercise to Your Daily Routine
If you're not exercising at least several times a week, it's time to add some physical activity to your normal routine. Exercise releases endorphin's, which are the body's natural feel-good hormones. You can reduce your cortisol levels, and release your own feel good hormones, by exercising several times a week. For maximum benefit, it's a good idea to exercise each day.
Make Sure Your Body Is Well-Rested
If your home cortisol test showed elevated levels, take a look at the way you sleep. If you're not getting a good night's rest each night, your body doesn't have time to recover and repair from the days activities. Unfortunately, that lack of restorative sleep can cause your adrenal glands to produce more cortisol than your body can process. To help reduce those numbers, make sure you get plenty of sleep and that your body is well-rested.