Fatigue and Exhaustion and Cortisol Levels
Did you know that there is a link between your cortisol levels and fatigue and exhaustion? You might not have heard of cortisol, but it might be one of the most important factors in your life, whether you realize it or not. Cortisol is a stress hormone that your body produces when you are under either physical or emotional stress. In pre-civilization days, the stress hormones were used to give us the burst of energy and focus that was needed to escape a mountain lion. Today, those same stress hormones, like cortisol, come into play when you are stuck in a line at a stressful store or are confronted with a barking dog or mother-in-law.
The Impact on Your Body
What does cortisol do to your body? If you have too much cortisol in your bloodstream for too long a period of time, negative consequences begin to stack up. Prolonged exposure to cortisol can lead to inflammation throughout the body. This is a very significant fact, as inflammation is a key aspect of many diseases including cancer.
Inflammation, of course, serves to make your feel tired and achy. After all, will you really feel like working out for two-hours if you are aching all over? Of course not, and this is exactly how elevated cortisol levels can and do impact your health.
Cortisol levels can become elevated due to a lack of sleep as well. So if you have ever been achy after not getting enough sleep for a couple of days, you can thank, at least in part, cortisol.
What Steps Should You Take
What can you do to address cortisol? Of course, the first step is to try and reduce your stress level. Now that may not be easy or possible for you due to your particular life situation. However, meditation has been known to assist a great deal with reducing stress levels.
If it is possible to get more sleep that is another way to help reduce the impact of cortisol. Another step you can take is in the form of supplements. The right kind of supplements can reduce the inflammation that accompanies cortisol. Omega-3 supplements such as purified fish oil, like krill oil, is one way of dealing with the impact of cortisol.
An overlooked way of dealing with cortisol and the fatigue and exhaustion that comes with it is massage. Studies have shown that massage helps release the cortisol from the body and thus helps cultivate an overall state of relaxation.
Poor food choices, such as fast food and processed foods, also contribute to inflammation in the body, and this can contribute to stress in a vicious cycle. Thus, if you want to reduce the impact of cortisol in your life, you will want to embrace a healthier lifestyle as well.