» Every once in a while, when I’m getting ready in the morning, I see a version of myself in the mirror that makes me want to crawl back to bed. Overnight, my face has gained ten pounds, as if I had won a cheeseburger-eating contest in my dreams. Not only do I look bloated, but I also feel bloated. I have an allergy outbreak, extreme fatigue, a mental fog that won’t leave me, and some fibromyalgia pain that they can’t stand »
Fibromyalgia pain may be related to cortisol levels
This is a frustrating start to the day for many women living with fibromyalgia today.
Many women argue that they used to think, at the beginning of their disease, that these episodes could be random until they learned about cortisol, nicknamed “the stress hormone”, a hormone that intervenes in several metabolic processes, which has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties and whose blood levels can rise in response to physical or psychological stress.
Those symptoms mentioned above are signs of high cortisol levels. If you don’t learn to control them, cortisol can be practically to blame for the most painful episodes of fibromyalgia.
what does cortisol do
Cortisol has many functions, review some of its most important:
- It manages how the body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Keeps inflammation down.
- Regulates blood pressure.
- Increases blood sugar (glucose).
- Controls the sleep/wake cycle.
- Boost energy so you can handle stress and restore balance afterwards.
As can be seen from the broad scope of the list, people prone to fibromyalgia pain You should pay close attention to your cortisol levels as many of these are areas that you struggle with on a daily basis.
To manage cortisol if you suffer from fibromyalgia pain, first recognize what can lower cortisol levels:
- The diet
- our state of mind
Symptoms of cortisol levels
Depending on your cortisol levels, you may experience different symptoms listed below. You should consult with your doctor about how your cortisol levels may be affecting your fibromyalgia symptoms.
high cortisol levels
- Unexplained weight gain
- Humor changes
- skin irritations
- Simultaneously feeling fatigued and connected
- low sex drive
- irregular menstrual cycle
- swelling in the face
- high blood pressure
- Muscle pain and soreness
- frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
low cortisol levels
- Stop in the menstrual cycle
- Sensitive skin
- Salty food cravings
- Muscular weakness
- scalp pain
- IBS symptoms
- Dark circles under the eyes
- heart palpitations
How to keep your cortisol levels in balance
An important factor that can help you keep your cortisol levels in balance is planning your day. This can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia among all the symptoms that this disease has.
Just as we learn to think ahead about pain management by taking vitamins, getting shots, and scheduling acupuncture appointments, creating a plan for controlling our cortisol will save us from more fibromyalgia pain or others, frustration and additional chronic conditions.
We can learn to anticipate and prevent a percentage of triggers by adding coping mechanisms into our schedules.
Here is a list of little things we can do to keep cortisol and fibromyalgia symptoms under control. Reading the list is the first step, setting reminders or adding them to your calendar is the second step.
- Take sun baths. Take a ten-minute sleep, sit by a window, or escape outside.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol for most of the day, or eliminate them altogether.
- Listen to relaxing music of your choice.
- Meditate. Take your heating pad and a timer. Even just five minutes a day like this can keep stress away.
- Take as many naps as you can during the day. Even if it’s 15 minutes each. This will allow your muscles to relax and regulate stress.
- Acupuncture. Once a week or once a month, for body and mind relief.
- Do exercise. Nothing too intense. Work with light weights and a slow pace. Swimming is excellent for you.
- Eat healthy. The more you do it, the better you will feel. Your body will thank you for not having to work so hard. Eat light using mostly green leafy vegetables, cut back on meats and use only organic that does not contain hormones; eliminates the processed, sweet and refined. Take a liter and a half of water with a tablespoon of baking soda mixed in it and drink it throughout the day one glass at a time.
- Have a consistent sleep schedule.
- Slow down. Don’t rush yourself and therefore increase the time in your schedule so that you have flexibility when things don’t go as planned.
Also, learning ways to deal with daily stress and frustration will go a long way toward keeping your levels balanced.
Sure, you’re allowed a meltdown, but don’t let it drag you down all day because, once you’ve locked yourself into super-stressed mode, it’s harder to see the way out of pain.
If you commit to half of these suggestions, before you know it, you’ll be up, looking in the mirror, and seeing your beautiful reflection looking back at you peacefully.