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Cortisol: Reason For The Squeaky Wheels In Your Life

When you have a squeaky wheel, how do you solve the problem?

“The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Do you complain about it? Do you grease it up? Do you take it apart to find out why it started squeaking in the first place? Or simply ignore it and keep pushing the cart along?

What’s worth more to you — a temporary patch or a permanent fix? Sure, putting grease on the wheel might temporarily stop it from squeaking. But it doesn’t solve anything long-term.

How many squeaky wheels do you have in your life right now? And lastly, how long have your squeaky wheels been squeaking?

Although may you experience naturally high levels of cortisol from time to time throughout your life, long term excessive levels of cortisol hormone floating throughout your body may cause serious health problems. Every squeak is a symptom which needs to be addressed, if you want to lead a reasonably healthy life.

Cushing’s syndrom is caused by long term excessive levels of cortisol hormone floating throughout your body due abnormal function of adrenal and pituitary glands. This condition may also cause adrenal fatigue.

Although many people experience at least somewhat high levels of cortisol at one time or another, true Cushing’s disease is rare compared to other endocrine disorders. This can make it hard for patients to get an accurate diagnosis.

Especially woman of ages between 25–40 years (about 70 percent of all Cushing's patients) may be dealing with myriad symptoms that just won’t go away no matter what they try or what their doctor prescribes. There’s a high probability that such folks may have Cushing’s disease. Even if you aren’t in that demographic, you can’t rule this condition out, as it can affect anyone.

People suffering from Cushing’s disease are often misdiagnosed without identifying what’s causing their symptoms. They might be brushed off by simply being told to “diet and lose weight.” Yet, misunderstandings about Cushing’s disease can further increase anxiety, self-blame and chronic stress, which only worsens the underlying issue.

  • persistent weight gain (especially in the abdominal area, lower back, upper body or near the neck, which is sometimes called a “buffalo hump“)

  • a puffy, rounded face

  • skin problems, including redness, dryness and acne

  • slow healing

  • stretch marks

  • fatigue, muscle weakness

  • high blood pressure

  • high blood glucose (sugar) levels

  • changes in mood, including depression and anxiety

  • irregular periods, fertility problem, slow sex drive

  • abnormal hair growth on the body and face (especially noticeable in women)

  • weakened bones, higher risk for fractures or osteoporosis

  • digestive problems, constipation

  • bloating/water retention

  • kidney stones

  • trouble sleeping

The good news is through diet and lifestyle changes, you can naturally treat this adrenal condition. Foods to add to your diet in order to overcome adrenal fatigue (because they’re nutrient-dense, low in sugar and have healthy fat and fiber):

  • Coconut

  • Olives

  • Avocado and other healthy fats

  • Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.)

  • Fatty fish (e.g., wild-caught salmon)

  • Free-range chicken and turkey

  • Bone broth

  • Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds

  • Seeds, such as pumpkin, chia and flax

  • Kelp and seaweed

  • Himalayan sea salt

  • Fermented foods rich in probiotics

  • Chaga and cordyceps medicinal mushrooms

Other Natural Ways of Lowering Cortisol Levels

Essential oils such as lavender, myrrh, frankincense and bergamot are also helpful for fighting stress. These are capable of lowering cortisol, reducing inflammation, improving immunity, balancing hormones, and helping with sleep and digestion.

Natural adaptogen herbs help tremendously with lowering cortisol levels. They boost your ability to deal with stress. They also have energizing qualities, antioxidant effects, antidepressant effects, and can help naturally lower fatigue, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

If you’re dealing with Cushing’s disease, it’s best to talk to your doctor before using any herbal treatments, especially if you’re taking medications, but in general these plants have been used safely for thousands of years with little side effects.

There are many different proven adaptogenic herbs that can help lower cortisol, including:

  • ashwaganda

  • astragalus

  • ginseng

  • licorice root

  • holy basil

  • medicinal mushrooms, including reishi and cordyceps

  • rhodiola

Read more about Cushing's Syndrome here.

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