Stress Hormones

Norepinephrine and Cortisol are chemicals released from the sympathetic nervous system in response to stress. They are neurotransmitters, chemicals that are released from neurons that affect other organs of the body. Norepinephrine and Cortisol are stress hormones.

The sympathetic nervous system triggers a response that's referred to as our "fight or flight response". When we perceive a situation as potentially dangerous or stressful Norepinephrine or Cortisol is released to help us think quickly and act within the situation. Our heart rate increases, blood pressure increases, breath-rate increases, blood flows away from the digestive system and to the skeletal muscles and brain, blood sugar levels increase and pupils dilate.

Norepinephrine and Cortisol are similar however Norepinephrine is released as needed and dissipates quickly after the perceived danger or stressful situation is over. Excess Cortisol on the other hand causes the most upset as it lingers and accumulates within the body and contributes to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

When stress is experienced for extended periods the excess stress hormones in our body system can upset the quality of sleep, increase appetite, flatten motivation, cause brain fog, lethargy, addictive behaviour, mood swings and memory loss and can lead to depression or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Excess Norepinephrine and Cortisol is clearly linked to fast paced and stressful lifestyles. It's important to keep our stress levels in check to maintain ultimate health and wellbeing. Making space for regular rest and relaxation is priority, it's important to remember that we need more than just sleep to recharge and rejuvenate. Quiet time doing creative hobbies, listening to soothing music, reading a book, a gentle stroll in nature, taking a nap, having a massage, practicing yoga, qi gong, meditation etc are all great ways to achieve hormonal balance.

We can also look at what we're eating as excess Norepinephrine and Cortisol is linked to low serotonin and dopamine. The amino acids Tyrosine and Tryptophan convert to serotonin and dopamine, it's important that we eat foods containing these regularly to achieve balance.

Here are some foods that are quality sources:
All animal products
Tofu
Beans and Legumes
Oatmeal
Green leafy vegetables
Green tea
Almonds
Sesame and Pumpkin seeds
Turmeric
Apples
Beets
Dark Chocolate
Bananas
Watermelon
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and kimchi

Ultimate health and wellbeing are achieved through looking at every area of our lives and more often about working smarter than working harder.

Love, Inner Peace and Namaste!

Kate