Over the top Cortisol Levels

Today things came to a head. For the last two months I've been working like an insane person, long hours and incredible stress.  I don't know why I take it so seriously, I have to stop that.

My heart has been giving me problems for a few weeks and today I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  I decided to bite the bullet and go to the doctors.  I don't tell new doctors that I have a funny heart.  They tend to get somewhat obsessed.  They see "heart problem" in my file then that's all they concentrate on, even if my complaint is a broken toe (true story !).  And I really like this doctor, so I didn't want to tell him that I was having issues.  But things were not good.  He took some blood and hooked me up to an ECG machine, the likes of which I haven't seen since the '80's.  He couldn't get it working, and I wasn't going to offer any advice.  I was trying so hard not to laugh whilst making deals with my heart to behave for the duration of the test.  I have some condition (which I forget the name for) where I have two spots on my heart that send out the signal to beat.  Sometimes they argue and get out of sync.  It's annoying but not life threatening.  But my current issue was not that.  Irrespective of what doctors think I know my body better than they do.  I've been living with its little quirks for many years and I know what's normal for me and what isn't.

The doctor put a rush on my results and I got them back this evening.  It isn't my heart.  It's stress causing some reflux. I also have high triglycerides and high blood sugar.  I'm apparently insulin resistant, which is why I can't move the fat around my belly. 

When you're stressed your body produces a hormone called Cortisol.  It's left over from when we had to run away from tigers and store enough fat to get us through famines.  Very handy, unless of course you live in a Western society with way too much food, and a distinct absence of tigers from which to run.  I can't remember the last time I ran.  I'm not a fan.

I need to reduce my Cortisol levels and pretty quickly.  I've done some googling and now have a list.

1. Exercise (like I couldn't see that one coming !) But not too much as that raises Cortisol levels ! Apparently running from tigers is stressful.  That's a catch-22 !

2. Plenty of fresh fruits and vege's

3. 20mins of meditation or alone time per day

4. Listen to music - soothing I'm assumin. Listening to something like the bag-pipes or worse, Rap, would send my Cortisol levels skyrocketing !

5. No Caffeine (Huh ?)

6. Plenty of sleep.  This will be something of a challenge for a long time insomniac.  For instance it's now 1am. I should be in bed tossing and turning... ummm, I mean sleeping.

7. Plenty of Vitamin C, B5, Folic Acid and other vitamins

I thought I'd make it an experiment and blog my progress.  This will hopefully keep me going and maybe help someone else who is going through the same thing.

Any suggestions, tips or comments of any description would be welcome.  That way I'd know I wasn't talking to myself.  It wouldn't be the first time though !


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