Boosting Stress Resilience: Nurturing the HPA Axis

Tired and stressed? Losing your ability to cope? Let me help you boost your stress resilience so that you can get the work done that you need to do. and anxiety have a HUGE impact on hormonal health. When we are stressed or anxious we are telling our bodies to be in a fight or flight state. This causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands and the re-direction of blood flow and nutrients to our stress responses, rather than to regular body processes such as digestion, reproduction, sleep, etc.

The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis is a crucial component in the delicate balance of hormonal regulation. Governed by the brain, this axis starts with the hypothalamus, communicating with the pituitary gland, which, in turn, signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol in response to various stimuli. When resetting the cortisol response, we address the adrenal glands’ function and the re-balancing of the hypothalamus’ stimulation.

Learn more about the cortisol curve

In a healthy individual, cortisol secretion follows a natural curve, peaking at 6 am and gradually declining throughout the day. This results in good morning energy, sustained productivity, and tiredness at bedtime for restful sleep.

However, a dysfunctional cortisol curve may manifest in three ways:

  1. Inverted Curve:
    • Cortisol secretion is highest in the evening. Individuals experience low morning energy, a surge in the evening, and may struggle with insomnia, often waking at 2-4 am.
  2. Hyperstimulated Adrenals:
    • Excessive cortisol secretion throughout the day leads to symptoms like stress, anxiety, heart palpitations, restlessness, and digestive concerns. While individuals may feel energized, this state is not sustainable, eventually damaging the thyroid and leading to burnout.
  3. Burnout:
    • The culmination of prolonged stress. Adrenal glands, overtaxed for an extended period, lose their ability to respond to high demands, resulting in exhaustion. Burnout may impact other hormones, leading to thyroid issues or female hormone imbalances.

Tools we can use to treat BURNOUT

Step 1 is lab testing. We need to rule out any other causes of your symptoms, so a review of your typical laboratory testing is crucial (blood sugar, thyroid panel, iron, etc).

Step 2 is possibility doing more in-depth hormone testing such as salivary hormone testing or DUTCH testing.

Step 3 may use nutriceuticals, herbs, lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, gentle exercise, meditation, physical medicine, bioidentical hormones, etc. Step 3 varies greatly between patients as you are all unique and have unique health requirements and goals. The good news is that the cortisol curve recovers beautifully and often quickly!

Let’s catch you before you get to burnout!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: How does Naturopathic medicine address adrenal dysfunction?

A: Naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach, focusing on supporting adrenal function through nutrients, lifestyle changes, and stress management techniques.

Q: Can stress resilience be improved naturally?

A: Yes, natural interventions such as adaptogenic herbs, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle modifications can enhance stress resilience and support a healthier cortisol response.

Q: Can Naturopathic medicine help with symptoms of stress and anxiety?

A: Yes, Naturopathic medicine offers personalized approaches to manage symptoms of stress and anxiety, incorporating natural interventions, lifestyle adjustments, and stress-reducing techniques to promote overall well-being.

Ready to boost your stress resilience? Book an appointment with me today.

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It’s possible to feel well again. To feel calm, balanced, energized and in control. It’s possible to present yourself at home, at work and in your community the way you feel you are underneath the fatigue, irritability, brain fog, disconnect. Let’s sort this out.