Stress & IBS – A health check with Cerascreen
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted on here and part of the reason for taking a step back was after taking the Stress Hormone Test from Cerascreen.
I have finally come to terms with the fact that my stress levels and mental health are affecting my IBS much more than I think. I’ve spent many years focusing on diet to assist my IBS and have not paid enough attention to my mental health and stress levels. I’ve continued to push through, ignoring my stress and anxiety levels and never considered the impact they might have. I have been reading up on the many ways in which stress can affect your body, the gut being one of them.
Our cortisol levels can vary throughout the day and with the Cerascreen test kit you take 7 samples throughout the day. They samples are taken from your saliva so it is a simple process to do. You simply take the samples at the times specified throughout the day, keep in the fridge, activate your kit and post it off. You will receive your results by email soon after.
According to Cerascreen cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, has a wide spectrum of functions. It aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates (increases sugar), fat and protein. Furthermore, it inhibits inflammations and weakens the activity of the immune system (immunosuppressant). Under stress, cortisol levels increase considerably. Stress hormone regulation happens via the so-called endocrine stress axis, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. During this process, the hormone levels are balanced by an antagonist as soon as fluctuations occur. If this reaction mechanism is impaired in one of the organs involved or disturbed by long-term stress, the physiological cortisol levels go out of control. In the event of burnout syndrome, the cortisol level is below the normal range, whereas it is heightened in case of acute and long-term stress.
My results are shown below:
My IBS is usually worse in the morning and I often feel quite worked up before leaving the house so I was expecting my morning value to be a lot higher but it seems my cortisol levels actually increase throughout the day. Later at night was when it was at its worst, when it really should be when you’re starting to wind down. This has encouraged me to make some changes, one of them being switching off from social media by 8pm. I’ve never really been very good at reading books but I’ve started to read more and have found it great for switching off and I have also been using the Headspace app more and have set up a reminder on my phone to do this. I know that long term chronic stress can have detrimental affects on your body long term and carrying out this test has encouraged me to make some changes. I’m becoming more away of when my body feels stressed and working on methods to try and reduce this.
Cerascreen have suggested some of the below options to help reduce stress levels:
Successful therapy or healing of the underlying disease can restore a physiological stress regulation.
Apart from these, there are further possibilities to reduce the cortisol levels back to normal:
- Give your body the possibility to regenerate! Sufficient high-quality sleep helps to reduce stress.
- Do sports!
Sport helps to relieve stress and can normalize the cortisol level.
- Allow time for relaxation!
For example, use stress management techniques or take the signs of a high cortisol level as a chance to discover your personal techniques.
- Ensure to take time for intimacy and social contacts on a regular basis!
You hereby activate the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin. This is released as a result of physical contact and social support and lets your cortisol level recover.
Below are a list of some of the tests that are available in the UK, to find out more about the individual tests, click on the links below:
Vitamin D Test £39
Vitamin B12 Test £39
If you’d like to order any of the tests, you can get a 10% discount as a reader of my blog, just quote SARAH10 when you order.
Disclosure: I am not being compensated by cerascreen for this article.