“Every now and then 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 extra pounds, as if I had won a cheeseburger eating contest in my dreams. Not only do I look bloated, I also feel bloated. I have a flare-up of allergies, extreme fatigue, a brain fog that won’t leave me, and fibromyalgia pain that won’t go away. ”
Fibromyalgia pain may be related to cortisol levels.
This is a frustrating start to the day for many women today living with fibromyalgia. Many women argue that they used to think, early in their illness, that these episodes could be random until they found out about cortisol, nicknamed “the stress hormone”, a hormone that is involved in various 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 practically be the culprit in the most painful episodes of fibromyalgia.
What does cortisol do?
Cortisol has many functions, check out some of its most important:
- Manage how the body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- It keeps the inflammation down.
- Regulates blood pressure.
- Increases blood sugar (glucose).
- Control the sleep/wake cycle.
- Increase energy so you can handle stress, and restore balance afterward.
As can be seen from the broad scope of the list, people prone to fibromyalgia pain should pay close attention to cortisol levels as many of these are areas that are struggled 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 which are 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 ache and pain.
- Frequent urination.
- Excessive thirst.
Low cortisol levels.
- Stop in the menstrual cycle.
- Sensitive skin.
- Salty food cravings.
- Muscular weakness.
- Pain in the scalp.
- IBS symptoms.
- Dark circles under the eyes.
- Heart palpitation.
How to keep your cortisol levels in balance?
An important factor that can help you keep your cortisol levels balanced is planning your day. That can help reduce fibromyalgia pain among all the symptoms that this disease has.
Just as we learn to think ahead about pain management by taking vitamins, getting vaccinations, and scheduling acupuncture appointments, creating a plan to control our cortisol will save us from more fibromyalgia or other pain, frustration, and additional chronic conditions.
We can learn to anticipate and prevent a percentage of the triggers by adding adaptation mechanisms to 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. Enjoy a ten-minute sleep, sit by a window or escape outside.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol for most of the day, or eliminate them entirely.
- Listen to relaxing music of your liking.
- 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 is 15 minutes each. This will allow your muscles to relax and stress to regulate.
- 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 great 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 most green leafy vegetables, eat meat and use only organics that do not contain hormones; eliminate 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 and so increase the time in your schedule so that you have flexibility when things don’t go according to plan.
Plus, learning ways to deal with daily stress and frustration will go a long way in keeping your levels balanced.
Sure, you are allowed a meltdown, but don’t let the hard time drag you down all day as once you’ve locked yourself in super stressed mode, it’s harder to see your way out in pains.
If you commit to half of these suggestions, before you know it, you’ll wake up, look in the mirror, and see your beautiful reflection looking at you peacefully.