Stress Steals Hormones

Stress Steals Hormones

You may have heard people say, “Stress Kills” and that stress related issues are the reason for over 70 percent of doctor visits.

But did you realize that in addition to being a killer, stress is also a thief?

Stress is literally stealing your hormones and is one reason that we become unbalanced.   You may blame bad genetics or bad luck, but the real culprit is stress – and I want to show you how to catch that sneaky hormone burglar red-handed.

We are all under some degree of stress (unless, of course you live in a bubble).  Some of us have more than others.  Stress can come from obvious places such as your job, finances, and family.

It can also creep into your life in the form of environmental toxins, negative self-talk, food sensitivities, and over exertion.

While stress does get a bad rap (I just called it a killer and a theif), it does serve a pretty important purpose biologically.

Our stress response is looking out for our survival.  Back in the Paleolithic times stress gave us the energy and drive to run – likely from a tiger or bear.

That used to happen once in a while and the rest of the time we weren’t under much stress.

Times have changed.  No, instead of lions and bears, we are constantly “running” from bills, deadlines, emails and text notifications, and toxins.  We are literally experiencing stress on some level ALL of the time.

You know the feeling – anxiousness, restlessness, racing heart, trouble focusing, upset stomach, and of course, hormonal imbalance.


When we are stressed – whether it be emotional, physical or chemical, our body activates the adrenal glands and pumps out adrenaline and cortisol.  Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and it helps us to be alert and deal with that lion or tiger.

The problem is that cortisol is made from the same raw materials as your other hormones (estrogen, progesterone, aldosterone, DHEA and testosterone).   This master hormone from which cortisol and your sex hormones are made of is called Pregnenolone.

When your body is under stress it diverts your limited Pregnenolone supply to make cortisol – so you can survive (run from that tiger or bear).  As a result, you make less of the hormones that help you look and feel young and energized, have healthy body composition, think clearly, and have healthy reproduction systems and sex drive.

In other words, Cortisol is STEALING that Pregnenolone from your hormones.  As a result those hormones that make you look and feel great drop off and cortisol stays high.

Now it’s also important to note that after cortisol is high for a really long time, your adrenal glands (where cortisol is produced) start to get tired.  This is what is commonly referred to as Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue can lead to Thyroid dysfunction and Hormone Imbalance.  That’s why it so important to listen to your body and not ignore the warning signs.

If you are noticeably stressed, anxious, or moody, if you have low energy and/or a low sex drive, if you are depressed, have trouble sleeping, experience PMS or just not feeling like yourself – chances are you are dealing with a hormone imbalance – and cortisol is stealing your hormones – and your health!

It’s a good idea to measure your cortisol and find out where it’s at – you’ll want to bring it down if it is too high or bring it up if it is too low in order to feel your best.

My Top 5 Tips for Reducing Cortisol and Getting Your Hormones Back in Balance

If you suspect that cortisol is stealing your hormones, here my top 5 tips

  1. Sleep 7-9 hours a night.  Sleeping properly is super important for recharging your adrenal glands
  2. Eat whole real food every 3-4 hours – skipping meals is stressful on the body and further raises cortisol. (While I am a fan of intermittent fasting, it is not a good idea for anyone experiencing cortisol issues)
  3. Get moving – exercise is a great stress reliever.  Walking leisurely is one of the best ways to lower cortisol
  4. Practice Gratitude – pick 3 things that you are thankful for each day and focus on the positive. This literally rewires your brain to balance mood and reduce stress

Test, don’t guess. Measure those cortisol levels and your hormones to find out and treat what’s really going on with you. The sooner you address it, the easier it will be balance you out.

Let's Make Sense of Your Symptoms!

Hormones are complex, but they do not need to be complicated.

Because of the interconnectivity of these hormones, deficiencies and imbalances can result in stress-related symptoms. If not properly addressed, these symptoms can have short- and long-term effects. This can seem confusing and even scary, but it doesn’t have to be.

Take a 3 minute hormone quiz and find out whether it's an imbalance in one or more of your sex hormones, thyroid, adrenals, or anything in between. You can take the quiz here and we'll spell it all out for you to know exactly what your next step should be.

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