What You Don’t Know About Stress May Kill You… (Or At Least Cause Your Fatigue)

You’re stressed. I’m stressed. We’re all stressed.

But it’s the chronic stress that’s the real KILLER.

When we’re under chronic stress, our cortisol levels get WAY out of balance.

Cortisol is the Big Dog…the Captain of your ship…and directly impacts how the rest of your hormones behave – thyroid, insulin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA.

(Remember, everything in your body is connected.)

Cortisol is secreted by your adrenal glands during times of chronic stress.

Imagine a car being driven clear across the country with the pedal to the metal.

Eventually, something’s got to give, right?

That’s what happens next – the domino effect from cortisol begins.

Cortisol impacts twelve different body systems, including:

  • your immune system,
  • hormones,
  • digestive tract,
  • brain,
  • thyroid,
  • metabolism,
  • really, nearly every bodily process.

Cortisol imbalance is the most common cause of fatigue.

I place it third on my list of Fatigue Factors since anemia and thyroid should always be checked first and second.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Aside from fatigue, symptoms of cortisol imbalance include:

  • not sleeping well;
  • waking up tired, even after a full night’s sleep;
  • craving sweet and/or salty foods;
  • feeling run-down;
  • a surge of energy in the evening;
  • weight gain around the waist;
  • feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with stress;
  • getting colds and infections easily;
  • poor stamina;
  • slow to recover from injury or illness;
  • low blood pressure; and
  • difficulty concentrating.

Normally, cortisol is highest in the morning – this is the natural trigger for you to wake up. If your cortisol is too low in the morning, you will have a hard time getting out of bed. You will want to hit that snooze button over and over again!

Conversely, cortisol is normally lowest at night, allowing you to rest soundly. A disruption in this natural rhythm will leave you exhausted, tired in the morning and unable to sleep at night.

Here’s the bad news about chronic stress…

Even after the stressor leaves…

Your cortisol doesn’t just go back to normal.

Your body’s hormonal mechanisms have been damaged…

And the vicious cycle of cortisol imbalance just continues on…

And on…

And on…

And on.

And you feel lousy…rotten…awful…crummy…miserable…terrible…crappy.

Until you…

Find a good Functional Medicine doctor to help you get to the root cause of your fatigue.

Like I always say:

Find the cause.

Fix the cause.

Feel normal again!


Dr. Carri Drzyzga, DC, ND – The Functional Medicine Doc

Find the Cause. Fix the Cause. Feel Normal Again!


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