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Old 12-17-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
Brian Naylor
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High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

Hey all, fairly new to CF. 2 months in and enjoying the workouts and intensity, but totally stunted in progress.

I recently had a blood work-up done and found out I have high cortisol levels, adrenal fatigue, likely brought on by stress. I was completely oblivious to it as it has built up over the past 6 months slowly, but I am now aware that my nervous system is in constant fight-or-flight, even when I am resting.

The result is that despite eating clean (90%) of the time, completely cutting out alcohol, and sleeping 8 hours every night, I am struggling to put on muscle and can't get rid of visceral fat around my waist (even though I would be considered skinny by most peoples standards).

My doctor offered to prescribe me something to reduce my stress levels, but I would prefer to tackle the problem not the symptoms. I work in a hectic environment, which is the root of the stress - and this will change in 2 months - so I just need to get by (which isn't too hard, as I have taken a month of work, so I'm half way there).

My question is: has anyone else dealt with high cortisol or have any experience in treating it naturally?

I am at least aware of what triggers my stress now, but not sure how to convert that into not letting my cortisol levels spike, sabatoging all the work I do working out, and living a healthy lifestyle.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

What is your training like? If you're working out too frequently and doing a lot of long metcons it's not surprising that your cortisol levels are jacked up.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:52 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

The answer is:

1. Cut down on your training (less long metcons, more light aerobic activity runs). In fact, if it's particularly bad you should just do 3-4 aerobic steady state runs per week and that's it for training.
2. More sleep
3. More food
4. More massages, foam rolling, mobility work, etc.

I would do all of this stuff before you even consider any type of medication
Posts are NOT medical, training, nutrition info
Bodyweight Article, Overcoming Gravity Book
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
Anja Sundali
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Re: High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

I too suffer from high cortisol levels which lead to depression and numerous other problems. Medication is certainly an option but only truly works about 25% of the time. Exercise is key but over working can stress your body out as well.

Do you get enough sunlight and vitamin D? If not I suggest a vitamin supplement or a special SAD lamp. Also, Omega-3s are proven to help with depression and may regulate cortisol levels.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
Brittany Miller
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Re: High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

Do a little research on Rhodiola Rosea. I take it when I first wake up. It's natural and helps regulate my cortisol levels. I've been taking it about 4 months now, and have seen a major difference.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
Steven Braden
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Re: High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

Vitamin D aka sunlight!
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #7
Andres Francisco Carvajal V.
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Re: High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

Whats good for stress> or antistress management?\
1. proper breathing(conscious breathing, relaxation, meditation)
2. in my experience, when i eat 5-6 meals a day, my metabolism goes too fast, so i prefer to take 4 big meals. no sugar, no refined carbs nothingthat causes hypoglicemia or low blood pressure, because that equals a triggure of adrenaline from ur glands. u need to avoid the hypoglicemic rush that triggers the secretion of adrenaline. eat healthy> fruits, honey, avocados, almonds, white meat
3. sex, healthy relationship
4. big movements workouts, 3050min
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:38 AM   #8
Chris DeCarlo
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Re: High Cortisol / Stress - Help!

please tell me how your cortisol levels were checked?

needs to be done over a full 24 hour period, 4 times thru out the day with saliva and sent to a lab, there are lots of rules and limitations on the day , on what you can eat, take as meds and drink..if not done like this test is not true in any way..but still take all the advice since it is great but dont get freaked out if test was not done like this...
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