Cortisol Rebalancing: A Personalized Approach

Dr. Jeannie Achuff, ND 

A major player in insulin resistance is stress which, in physiological terms, means elevated cortisol levels or adrenal imbalance. Our modern lifestyles impose a higher than desirable level of constant/ baseline stress on our systems. Even if we have not been through one of the recognized top life stressors recently (marriage, childbirth, divorce, buying/ selling a home, etc), most of us maintain a high cortisol burden. When we live in a city, drive in cars, raise kids with busy schedules and have to keep on top of our own careers, it can be quite difficult to reduce our stress burden.

The next best thing to moving to a cabin in the woods and forgetting all our burdens is to mitigate the effects of elevated cortisol. As a self employed, single mother (whose father was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes!) I reach to these tools regularly to keep my endocrine system on track:

  • Healthy proteins for breakfast everyday
  • Adrenal support herbs as soon as I notice my sugar/ carb cravings kick in
    • Withania (Ashwaganda) is an excellent herb for the “tired and wired”
    • Ribes nigrum gemmotherapy for nourishing the adrenals
    • Rhodiola root for gentle adrenal support
  • B complex and magnesium supplementation
  • Getting to sleep early (yes, when I put my son down at 8pm some days!)
  • Orgasm – oxytocin release lowers cortisol levels. Note: you can have an oxytocin release even if you are having an orgasm without a partner
  • Cuddling with humans or pets – again, oxytocin release
  • High Interval Intensity Training (HIIT) – a muscle building, metabolism boosting form of exercise
  • Sleep support
    • Dark bedroom, eye mask, earplugs
    • No electronics 1 hour before bed
    • Biotone EFA
    • Cortisol Manager Formula
    • Regular and consistent sleep schedule (awake and to bed within the same hour everyday)

Remember, to create a full treatment plan that will specifically meet your lifestyle and genetic needs, consult your local ND!