Stress is notorious for making us feel anxious, experience sleep issues, and suffer from digestive issues. Plus, stress can impact our hormone balance and increase our body’s inflammation levels.
Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone that gets released in response to stressful events, such as work or relationships, or body stress such as chronic pain or food allergies. Although cortisol is needed to manage stress, when it is released for a prolonged period of time, things can get out of balance. At high levels, cortisol wreaks havoc on our digestive tract, breaking the tissues down and leading to heartburn or leaky gut. Plus, high cortisol interrupts our circadian rhythm, which is our sleep-wake cycle. Over time, cortisol levels can drop after they are high for prolonged periods of time. When this happens, it is called adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can cause fatigue, low blood sugar, difficulty managing stress, and poor digestion. Plus, inflammation is left unchecked, which furthers the problems in endometriosis.
Assessing cortisol levels and balancing the stress response is a key component in endometriosis. A balanced cortisol response is needed to restore optimal nutrient absorption, hormone balance, and sled-wake cycles.