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13 Ways Stress Affects your Hormones and What to do About it

The stress hormone, cortisol, not only causes abdominal fat to accumulate, but it also enlarges individual fat cells, leading to what researchers call “diseased” fat. Abdominal fat is a very telling sign of too many stress hormones and hormone imbalance.

First, lets chat a little about how stress hormones work. Hormones are the messengers of our bodies. They tell the body what to do, when to do it and how to do it. If this message is off, a whole lot of body functions can be off. The master stress controller is the hypothalamus and this controller sends messages to the pituitary glands to produce cortisol, the stress hormone.

This cortisol production message gets passed to the adrenals an then BAM!, the adrenals will then start the production of cortisol. This is the fight or flight hormone. It's what gives you the energy to run from danger.

A large problem with chronic stress, or what our bodies pervceive

to be chronic stress, is that we remain there. Our bodies are frozen. In stress. Constantly fighting or flighting. Many times we don't even know we are stuck in chronic stress or think we don't have chronic stress in our lives. Our bodies see things differently. What can seem like a simple stubbed toe or indigestion or even a street light, can be WW3 to our bodies when our hormones are off.

What are some ways stress affects our bodies?

1. Stress increases cortisol production in the adrenals which wreaks havoc on the entire endocrine system.

2. Raised levels of cortisol in the body can cause excess oil production that contributes to the development of acne breakouts.

3. Stress elevates cortisol and decreases T3 production. This has a negative effect on thyroid health.

4. Significant emotional or psychological stress can cause a physiological imbalance which contributes to hair loss.

5. Elevated cortisol tells the body to stop using fat as energy which can lead to hypothyroidism and weight gain around the waist.

6. Prolonged stress can greatly impact the digestive system by increasing stomach acid, causing indigestion and discomfort, and in some cases contributing to the development of IBS and ulcers.

7. Elevated cortisol lowers white blood cell production making it harder for your immune system to fight.

8. Stress is a common cause of insomnia, which can in turn lead to difficulty concentrating, irritability and a lack of motivation.

9. Chronic stress overworks the adrenal glands which can lead to low DHEA, low progesterone, abnormal estrogen/progesterone ratios, pituitary and thyroid imbalances.

10. Women with high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme linked to stress, had a more difficult time getting pregnant

11. Elevated cortisol decrease the amount of stomach acid produced in the stomach. When this happens the body can’t use the nutrients in your food.

12. Acute and chronic stress can fundamentally alter the body’s hormone balance, which can lead to missed, late or irregular periods.

13. Studies show that when you’re stressed, electrical signals in the brain associated with factual memories weaken while areas in the brain associated with emotions strengthen.

We all have stress in our lives EVERY day. It impacts our health and quality of life. We each have a choice of how to deal with it. Ignoring it is NOT dealing with it. Acknowledgment and working to relieve the stress is your best course of action.

Here are some of my favorite ways to deal with stress:

1. I love to use essential oils on a daily basis to help deal with stress. It’s by-far the easiest and quickest way to help me feel better! Your sense of smell is the only sense that’s directly connected to your emotional brain. When you smell an essential oil, it immediately makes you feel different. If you’d like to dive into exactly how to use oils for stress, message me an I'll be happy to share.

2. Exercise, but not too much. Long walks, Pilates, yoga, swimming, or light weight lifting are all great ways to exercise without putting too much stress on the adrenals.

3. Spend time in nature. Reconnecting to nature, soaking up the earth's energy, taking in sunshine and receiving the healing gifts that have been given to us.

4. Disconnect from electronics. Allowing yourself to be completely present with my family and also helps you to unwind.

5. Spend time with family and friends who encourage and build you up.


If you would like to learn more about how to get essential oils into your life, e-mail me at​ or follow the steps below:

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