Stress and hormones are two problems that get blamed for a laundry list of health issues, usually as a way to “blow off” symptoms. They have far more in common than that, though.
If stress and hormones were actors, the result would be as dramatic as any daytime soap opera. Stress aggravates your hormones, your hormones aggravate your stress, and it becomes a whirling tornado with you at the center feeling anxious and unwell. Let’s dig into the specifics.
You might notice that you’re more prone to stress at certain points in your menstrual cycle, and that isn’t by accident. Studies have linked low levels of the estrogen estradiol to higher stress levels in women. Estrogen is known to reduce feelings of fear in women, so it’s likely that low levels of estrogen make you more prone to stress.
Your thyroid hormones could be to blame, too. When you have high thyroid hormones, multiple aspects of your body are thrown into hyperdrive. That includes your anxiety and stress levels.
As much as your hormones impact your stress levels, the opposite may be even more true. That’s because our bodies are designed with a natural stress response that uses a variety of hormones.
When our ancestors felt stress, it was usually because of a physical threat like a dangerous animal. For that reason, our stress response uses hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to produce the surge of energy our ancestors needed to fight or run from the threat.
In our ancestors’ lives, danger would appear and they would feel the stress for a matter of minutes, hours at most. That’s the circumstance that works well with our stress hormones.
In a modern lifestyle, though, we feel more continuous stress rather than short bursts. As a result, this keeps those stress hormones in our system long-term. Extended exposure to cortisol and adrenaline raises your heart rate, blood pressure, weight gain, and other concerning numbers. Over time, this raises your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.
The stress hormones have a direct impact on your health, but they also cause a domino effect. When cortisol hangs around in your system too long, it can trigger and disrupt a variety of other hormones, too. Cortisol affects every hormone in your body, from thyroid hormones to sex hormones.
Every hormone can lead to different symptoms when it’s unbalanced. When cortisol makes all your hormones go haywire, the potential results are endless. This could be the ultimate cause of your headaches, fatigue, urinary incontinence, brain fog, and a litany of other symptoms.
Managing your stress is a key part of keeping your hormones in check, but remember that hormonal imbalances can cause added stress, too. That’s why the trick is a two-pronged approach: finding healthy ways to reduce stress while also using natural, biological healthy habits to regain your hormone balance.
How do you know what healthy habits to use? Start with our course in balancing your hormones the natural way.
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