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The importance of optimal cortisol levels for the immune system

  • Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, hormone made by the adrenal glands.
  • We can’t live without cortisol and we will cannibalize other hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, and progesterone to make cortisol if necessary.
  • With low levels, your stress management abilities are poor as cortisol helps the body respond rapidly and productively to stress.
  • Increases appetite, increases energy levels, improves digestion, improves joint health, addresses inflammation and pain.
  • Regulates glucose, protein, and lipid metabolism
  • Mitigates allergies and fever, and strengthens the immune system.
  • Important for joint health
  • When you are under a great deal of stress, cortisol will make the heart beat faster, increase blood pressure, and augment blood sugar levels to provide strength and energy.
  • According to Charles Poliquin, an optimal DHEA to cortisol ratio is a strong indicator of anabolism.

Signs of high cortisol levels

  • Sick often from a weakened immune system
  • Excess stomach fat
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to relax
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low sex drive and function
  • Stressed easily
  • Anger issues

Signs of low cortisol levels

  • Hair loss
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Joint pain
  • Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, hyperpigmentation
  • Flu-like fatigue
  • Intense cravings for sugar and salt
  • Inability to handle stress
  • loss of appetite
  • A feeling of being dazed and confused
  • nausea
  • gut issues
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Quality sleep is crucial for cortisol production and an optimal cortisol curve (higher in the morning lower in the evening)

Addressing high cortisol levels

  • Quit a job you can’t stand and have no passion for
  • Get out of toxic relationships
  • Pomegranate lowers cortisol by a third Pomegranate and cortisol
  • Eating quality nutrition every four hours so the body has a steady supply of fuel to operate optimally
  • Vitamin C at one gram post workout
  • Phosphatidylserine at 600-800mg post workout or before bedtime reduces cortisol production
  • Theanine at 500mg to 2 grams reduces cortisol and helps with relaxation
  • Magnesium 400-800mg post workout and or before bedtime Recovery oil
  • Systemic Enzymes lower the need for inflammation and in turn lower the subsequent cortisol response. 2-5 caps 3x per day of Restorezyme
  • Adaptogens such as Rhodiola Rosea, Ashwagandha, Maca, Siberian Ginseng, increase stress reserves and reduce the need for cortisol 
  • Progesterone cream at 10mg 3x per day. Cortisol is made from progesterone.
  • Mediation 30 minutes per day. I use the Holosync program
  • 7-9 hours of deep sleep
  • Massages
  • Relaxing in a sauna and or jacuzzi
  • Intense training kept under forty-five minutes increases anabolic hormones and reduces adrenaline and in turn cortisol.

Addressing low cortisol levels

Reference Ranges

Men and women

7am to 10am 6.2 to 19.4ug/dl optimal number 12.8ug/dl

4pm to 8pm 2.3 to 12.3ug/dl median 7.4 ug/dl


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