Fight or Flight... the rise in cortisol and what it's doing to both parent and child

Fight or Flight...

When your body gets stressed out, internally you feel it more than you show. It effects your emotions, your digestion, your mental abilities and then it starts to work on your hormonal systems. That response, you know the "fight or flight", that is what you are feeling when you get stressed. This sends a signal from the brain through the nerves to the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol. We've seen this rise in stress-induced obesity that is directly linked to our rise in cortisol and what it does to our bodies.

Fight or Flight Cortisol Response I Barbara Christensen I Paleo Vegeo
So let's talk first about what symptoms you may have if your are dealing with too much or chronic stess, or even chronically elevated cortisol. There is muscle pain and tension, fatigue, low sex drive, sleeping problems, upset stomach, chest pains and headaches. You may overeat and withdraw socially. Feel angry, restless, irritable, sad, depressed and have a lack of motivation and focus. You may even have outbursts of emotion and turn to chemical abuse of many different types. (Soda, Drugs, Alcohol, Sugar, Tobacco) This stress hormone group triggers your liver to produce more blood sugar, but the problems is that with chronic stimulation that elevated glucose could turn you into a type 2 diabetic.

I had severely high stress levels during my pregnancy because I had suffered from a miscarriage two months before I was pregnant again. They were worried about the hole in my heart, my asthma, how this all was going to affect my IBD, and I started eating like crap. I didn't know that these high levels of stress make bacterial vaginosis more likely. This during your pregnanc may increase the chance of your baby's developing asthma or allergies later in life. And my baby did. Had I know I would have started doing prenatal yoga and meditation, but I didn't. I also would have been making sure I was givng my child a toxic-free body to grow in, and I think that it's only that we live that way now that she has been able to overcome so much of what her epigenics started out as.

Cortisol has a well-defined circadian rhythm. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is an increase of about 50% in cortisol levels occurring 20–30 minutes after awakening in the morning in some people. So think about what it's doing to you, and what about your children.

I found a study that they did in daycares on children very reflective of what happens to us when our cortisol levels are out of whack the the HPA axis activity which I've talked about before.

"We examined the increase in salivary cortisol from mid-morning to mid-afternoon in 151 children (3.0-4.5 yrs) in full-time home-based daycare. Compared to cortisol levels at home, increases were noted in the majority of children (63%) at daycare, with 40% classified as a stress response. Observations at daycare revealed that intrusive, over-controlling care was associated with the cortisol rise. For girls, the cortisol rise was associated with anxious, vigilant behavior, while for boys the rise was associated with angry, aggressive behavior. Child behavior did not mediate or moderate relations between care quality and the cortisol rise, except for evidence that boys scoring low on angry-aggressive behavior were more sensitive to variations in warm-supportive care than boys scoring high on this behavior."
There was no significant associations between any of the structural measures of care quality and the rise in cortisol at daycare, and so this was completely child based.

Someone like myself and my daughter can easily sucomb to allergies and infections if we don't watch how we eat, how we supplement and how we react to this world around us. When your adrenals crash, which mine have done many times even though I am healing, I feel just constantly drained and exhausted. It comes after even just a few short days of not getting to bed on time, eating something outside of my regular healthy diet for a number of days - although that is often a trigger from not enough sleep. Then if I am working out too much, like this last weekend, I hit the low. I need to know that I cannot do two P90X3 workouts just because I missed one if I'm going to stay up until midnight and wake up at 6am and start it all over again.

Many of you that have gone through this know how that low blood sugar and blood pressure feeling goes. Did you know that our asthma sprays contain adrenal-like hormones that mimic cortisol in the body. It's how it works to keep you breathing. And adrenal fatigue goes hand in hand skipping through the court yard with chronic fatigue. And unfortunately then thyroid problems overlap adrenal problems. YIKES.

So what are we setting our children up for?

How can we heal our own bodies from this cortisol issues as well? 

Astragalus is both a tonic and an adrenal support herb. I noticed that when I use a supplement with this in it, I feel better. The Astralagus root extract is also helpful in boosting immune system function, influencing the killer T Cells, and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Dr. Axe has talked about a number of herbs to support our systems and lower our cortisol levels. That includes the astralagus root and cordyceps. We also know what ginko, and turmeric root extract (95% curcuminoids) and resveratrol are going to do to squelch that inflammation that the cortisol creates. In several experiments, ginkgo components showed activity against arthritis, skin inflammation, eye inflammation, and colitis in laboratory rats. You've read tons on my blog about turmeric. Also resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, appears to suppress inflammation and may fight aging, according to a new study on professional basketball players.

Another study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. It investigated the effects of resveratrol extract on oxidative stress and inflammation. The University suggests that resveratrol may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation through increased expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines and a reduction in the pro-inflammatory molecules.

Now, the real secret is to find something that actually works on all of this, is organic, healthy?? Well, I'll try to share more as I do more research, but just know that I am looking at products and foods every day because there is nothing more important to me than my health, and the health for my family.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product nor anything written about on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This blog is a purely entertainment practice. 



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