Two BIG Hormones to Get Balanced First


Hi beauties, welcome to Hormone Breakthrough Wednesday. This is Robin Nielsen and I’m so excited to be here with you today. I love Hormone Breakthrough Wednesdays because they give us an opportunity just to take a quick break and kind of refocus on what’s important. We’re all about becoming the CEO, the chief executive officer of our own health. It’s really, really important that we once in a while show up to take that next step on behalf of ourselves so we can really learn more and more about our bodies. So today I want to share a little bit about two big hormones. And you know, we pay a lot of attention to our sex hormones. You know, when we talk about hormones in general, we’re thinking about estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, we’re thinking about the, the, um, the sex hormones and actually they are considered minor hormones.

They are our minor hormones and they are very downstream. If you’ve listened to any of my trainings that I’ve done, you’ll learn that a lot of them are downstream from the big hormones. Let’s talk about hormones in general. I’ll sort of give you an overview of which hormones are your two biggies. And once you get those balanced, how your sex hormones can easily come into balance. It’s really amazing. So your big hormones are cortisol, which is your daytime hormone. I just want you to remember this because it’s really, really important. So your daytime hormone is cortisol and that’s what actually sets your circadian rhythm. So let me just write that down so you have a sense of what that word looks like.

Cortisol is your daytime hormone. Your daytime hormone, what that means, is that it sets your circadian rhythm. It sets your 24 hour rhythm for the day and the night cycles of every 24 hour period. When your cortisol is balanced during the day, then your melatonin is balanced at night and you can sleep well and you can wake up feeling refreshed and you actually bound out of bed, right? You get up feeling energized and awake and you don’t need that cup of coffee to get going in the morning. Cortisol is a hormone that is put out by your adrenal glands and your adrenal glands are these two small kind of walnut shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They’re responsible for producing over 52 different hormones in your body. They regulate everything from blood sugar to sex hormone balance, to electrolyte balance, to blood pressure balance.

They regulate so many different things including digestion. They play a really key role in digestion. If your adrenals aren’t happy, nobody’s happy. They really have a big impact on your thyroid function. Cortisol is one of your major hormones. That’s one of the two hormones I’m going to talk about today. And it has a rhythm. Cortisol has a rhythm. The rhythm is supposed to start out kind of at its highest point right here. Its highest point when you wake up in the morning or if you know, I don’t know, 30 minutes to an hour after you wake up in the morning and then it kind of goes downhill like this throughout the day.

You know that your energy kind of wanes as the day goes on, right? As the sun starts to go down and it starts to set and the moon starts to come up, our cortisol is actually getting to its lowest point and that’s when melatonin comes up here. Okay. So cortisol is our, it’s our day time hormone. It’s what gives us great energy and that’s why it’s our daytime hormone and that’s why getting sunlight in our eyes first thing in the morning is so critically important. That’s why eating breakfast within an hour of waking is so critically important because these two things tell us to get cortisol going, right? Those are the signals that our body is waiting for, for us to have energy. Cortisol is our daytime energy. It’s what gives us our get up and go to make our day happen. It’s pretty crazy awesome.

Without that sunlight in our eyes for at least 20 minutes every morning, um, it’s hard for that to happen without a high protein breakfast within an hour of waking. It’s hard for us to get going. So we can’t really expect a lot if we’re not taking care of ourselves in a way that supports hormone balance. So with cortisol, with a good cortisol rhythm, you’re going to be feeling so much better. So the bad news is, is that a lot of us have, so this is like the normal cortisol rhythm high in the morning, low at night. Okay. But what is it having for a lot of us if we’ve not felt well for a long time, is that we actually have low cortisol in the morning.

So our cortisol is down here. We have a really hard time getting out of bed, we’re super tired. And then as the day goes on, you know our cortisol kind of comes up a little bit, right? It doesn’t come up a lot, but it comes up a little bit. But so much though, that when it’s time to go to bed, we get a second wind or we feel like we’re night owls. So then we stay up late and then unfortunately in the morning we wake up and we’re tired again. Okay, we’re tired. So a lot of us have a reverse cortisol rhythm where it’s low in the morning and high at night or too high at night. So we have a hard time falling asleep. So another issue with cortisol, our daytime energy hormone, is that if we’re too stressed out during the day, so if you have a busy day, you have a busy night, it’s kind of weird how that works.

If you’re too stressed out and your cortisol is elevated too much during the day, then what happens is your insulin is also too elevated during the day. So insulin is your other big hormone. So those are the two, cortisol and insulin, and insulin is actually a hormone that your pancreas produces and your pancreas is that amazing organ that sits near your liver and it actually makes two different very important hormones. It makes insulin and it makes a lot of your digestive enzymes. So it’s a really, really important organ to help us with a lot of different functions. Insulin is actually made by the pancreas, but it works in tandem with cortisol. So now we’re starting to get like a sense of the two big hormones to pay attention to, cortisol and insulin. So insulin acts like it’s a hormone, but it acts like the key that unlocks the cell to get sugar into your cell, to burn for fuel.

It unlocks the cell door basically so that the sugar in your bloodstream can get into the cell and can be burned for fuel so that you have good energy. A lot of times if we’ve been stressed for too long and our insulin has been elevated for too long, we become insulin resistant, which means we’re no longer getting blood sugar into our cells because it’s unable to unlock the door, so we store it as fat. That’s when we start packing fat around the middle. If our cortisol is chronically elevated, our influence is going to be chronically elevated and that causes inflammation. The root cause of all of our health issues really is inflammation. Inflammation is normally not a bad thing because we need some inflammation to heal, but chronic inflammation is what causes the chronic diseases that we experience, like the hirsutism and the hair loss and the acne and the fatigue and the kind of the weird things like receding gums and skin conditions and you know, all sorts of things that happen for us.

When cortisol is chronically elevated, because we’re always stressed out and insulin is chronically elevated because we’re constantly stressed out, then we’re not making our sex hormones. Your body’s steals them to make more cortisol because your body’s primary function is to keep you alive at all costs. Your body’s primary function is to keep you alive at all costs. So what it will do is it will elevate cortisol when you’re stressed out, so it’s using the hormones above it, cholesterol and pregnenolone to make cortisol your stress hormone instead of making progesterone. Okay? That’s how we can become so progesterone imbalanced is that we’re so busy making our stress hormones that we’re not able to make our sex hormones. When we’re chronically inflamed or when insulin is chronically elevated, then what happens is we also metabolize our testosterone down the more potent androgenic pathway, the five alpha reductase and the manic pathway, or also the DHT pathways, the same pathway.

So that’s when we get the, the acne, the hirsutism or hair falling out is because our testosterone levels are being metabolized down that really potent androgenic pathway. We need testosterone, we need estrogen, we need progesterone. But unfortunately, if cortisol and insulin are elevated too much, we just are not making our sex hormones or enough of them and we’re metabolizing all of them down the more inflammatory pathway. So the reason that cortisol and insulin work together is because cortisol is trying to save your life, right? It’s trying to make sure that you have what you need to be saved from the tiger. The tiger maybe was an issue for our relatives thousands of years ago, but today there is no tiger for most, for most of us. And so what happens is it could be that we just lost our car keys.

It could be that we are in a bad relationship that’s very stressful, that will raise cortisol. It could be that you’re stuck in traffic and you’re just really pissed off about it. It could be that you have not eaten for hormone balance and it’s stressing your body out and raising cortisol. It could be that you’re eating really funky foods, right? Really chemically latent foods that you’re not eating whole real foods. That’s a chronic stressor. It’s going to suppress your sex hormone production and make more cortisol. It could be that you didn’t get enough sleep last night. That’s a huge stressor. All of these stressors start to add up, elevate cortisol chronically and elevate insulin chronically so that we become fat, tired, anxious, depressed with all these other weird symptoms that come into play. I hope that this is starting to make sense for you.

I would love to hear like what you’re noticing when I talk about this. Like what are some of the stressors that are coming up for you that you know that you could fix right now? What’s one stressor that you could change right now that could help to lower cortisol so that it gets back to its normal, beautiful daily rhythm. Maybe it’s that you eat more regularly. Maybe it’s that you focus on eating those whole, real foods. Maybe it’s that you get better sleep. That one stressor that you could eliminate could really have a powerful impact on your beautiful cortisol rhythms throughout the day so that it is not chronically elevated.

From my talk today, the hormones that are the biggies to pay attention to are cortisol and the second one is insulin. Insulin is going to be really, really influenced by cortisol. If you’re always stressed out then your insulin is going to be elevated. That can mean that you’re eating too much sugar. It could mean that you’re drinking too much caffeine or taking in too much caffeine. It can mean you know a lot of things raise insulin. It could be that you did not get a good night’s sleep last night.

Once you balance those two big hormones, now you’re going to make more of your sex hormones, your mid-range hormones, your thyroid is a mid-rate hormone and your other adrenal hormones are mid ranging hormones. Those are going to start coming into balance. Your sex hormones are going to come into balance and you’re going to feel so much more energy. You’re going to be able to release weight so much better. Your menstrual cycles going to become more regular. Your hot flashes are going to stop, your night sweats are going to stop, you name it, your facial hair is going to get thinner. Right? That dark course, hirsutism hair is going to become lighter and finer. Your hair is going to start growing back in. All these crazy, amazing things are going to happen.

I would just love to hear from you what you’ve learned today from this talk. It’s a little bit technical, about two major hormones, but I noticed that we’re really good at talking about estrogen and progesterone and testosterone and FSH and LH and prolactin and all these other hormones that are so influenced by cortisol and insulin. I just want to see and hear from you about what you’ve learned. Alright, beautiful ladies sending you so much love. Bye for now.

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