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Cortisol control

Posted by wolfpack 
Cortisol control
July 21, 2017 04:41PM
Is it a smart thing for me to try? If so, what are the best supplements for doing the job?

I'm a 43-year old male, everyday runner, occasional resistance weight trainer (nothing too extreme). I also tend to fast during the day due to my dreadfully slow metabolism. Each of these things could cause elevated cortisol levels. Does it make sense to try to control them? Could it relate to my chronic problems with easy (VERY easy) weight gain and insomnia?

Any thoughts are appreciated. I am, as are we all, about a 50,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and this is only piece #3,489 (or somewhere thereabouts)!
Re: Cortisol control
July 23, 2017 10:54AM
Wolfpack - you probably read Shannon's response in this post, but if not, this is a good start for your inquiry on cortisol control. [www.afibbers.org]

Along with the cortisol issue, comes the effect of stress on the adrenal glands. Eventually, ongoing stress leads to adrenal fatigue or burnout. I've shared my history with that issue and can report that with nutritional support and some dietary changes, adrenals can be restored to healthy function.

My supervising doctor is a functional medicine, Board Certified, Family Practice physician. Along with the nutritional supplements she recommended for adrenal support, she prescribed as ' my homework' the book by Diana Schwarzbein, MD, The Schwarzbein Principle II. I was to follow that for my daily program which I did. She also gave me the 2002 paper I referenced in the following response on the Afib side of this forum. It's worth reading. Start with the highlighted sections and also scroll to the last page and read the summary which provides an overview of the stress dysfunction.

There is also a good book that's easy to read and although it was first published in 2000, it contains useful information on this topic. Adrenal Fatigue - The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson, ND, DC, PhD. Dr. Wilson is one of the few people to hold three doctorate degrees and two master's degrees, all from different disciplines. Page x lists his study focus.

He reviews the various herbals that help support adrenal function and they are similar to what I used back then and also what I continue use even now... just to be sure that my stress load doesn't over-burden my adrenals.

Below is my response from the Afib forum as well.

Re: What could it be?
July 13, 2017
Posts: 17,648
Wolfpack and Catherine -

Stress comes in many forms and the “process” of stress has no age limits.

For example, stress can be physiological, psychological, chemical, nutritional, hormonal, systemic, chronic and acute… plus there are sub-categories.

Determining the impact of one’s own individual stress load and how that affects your personal health requires specific test evaluations by a professional knowledgeable in this field. That can be an evasive process although many more practitioners are studying beyond the basics of medical school and are becoming much more available than in the past. Depending on your results, specific “renewal” or metabolic healing programs help restore and maintain health and slow the aging process.

With stress issues, adrenal system function is a core issue and involves the Central Nervous System where it “acts as an ‘antenna’ that translates stressors into biochemical signals filtered through the HPA axis.”
Source: [www.metadocs.com]

This 2002 report on the function of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis was considered a classic when practitioners were becoming involved in managing stress-induced dysfunction. An Internet search today will produce many related reports.

Here’s another quote from this report and you can see the various connections that may relate or contribute to setting the stage for arrhythmia.

Chronic activation of the HPA axis brought on by repeated expo-
sure to stressors can cause organ systems to functionally deteri-
orate as they constantly attempt to re-establish the internal bal-
ance that has been perturbed by the stress response. In addition,
hyperactivation of the HPA axis can lead to a net excess of cor-
tisol, causing hypercortisolemia. Over time, hypercortisolemia
promotes catabolism (e.g., neuronal atrophy, loss of bone den-
sity) and negatively influences system function at multiple lev-
els. 3,5

Research also suggests that aging is associated with changes
in the regulation of the HPA system, which result in its
hyperactivation and excess GC release. 2,6

Stress-induced hyper-cortisolemia, as well as the excessive release
of catecholamines, may curtail life expectancy by several years via
their downstream effects on physiology and organ/system function.

Natural medicine practices help support the whole HPAA system and in the long run, help us cope more easily with life's many stressors both large and small....once we have the internal, automatic mechanisms nutritionally supported and optimally functional. Managing cortisol is extremely important.

This is an extensive topic and I've merely given a couple of nuggets to stimulate your personal research due to my own time constraints but if I can help you find other resources, please send me a PM and I'll be glad to help.

Be well,
Re: Cortisol control
July 26, 2017 09:11PM
Thanks for the in depth response!

Based on what I've read, I've decided to supplement with the Holy Basil and Ashwaghanda. Here's what I found at the local vitamin store:

Solaray Holy Basil 900mg ocimum tenuflorum aerial extract, 22.5 mg (2.5%) ursolic acid
Store brand ashwagandha 470mg Withania somnifera std. to 1.5% Withanolides 7mg

I hope these are good choices, 'cause they ain't cheap! Perhaps iherb will offer better deals but k wanted to try first before ordering in bulk.
Re: Cortisol control
July 27, 2017 03:00PM
Wolfpack - Okay.. I'll be interested in what you notice in the way of improvement. There are some others that help take "the edge" off if you are physically feeling the stress....so let me know.

Re: Cortisol control
July 27, 2017 08:38PM
Will do.

My long term goal is to correct what I believe to be subclincal hypothyroidism. I've been big my whole life. After college I ballooned to 310 lbs! I finally corrected that at age 38, getting down to as low as 170. But that required me to essentially fast 6 days a week, plus run 7 miles every morning and bike 10 or so in the evenings. I was probably on 800 cals/day at the time. I hurt my back really bad one week and had to lay in bed. I also resumed normal eating to deal with the muscle relaxers and pain meds. I gained 20 lbs in one week.

I went back to my regimen and got to "normal" weight again. I could keep that up for another year or two, then - AF.

It's high time to fix this metabolism or it's going to shorten my life. It seems I can choose between obesity or arrhythmia. Crazy!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2017 08:41PM by wolfpack.
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