The Two Hormones You Need to Know About (that are even more important than thyroid)!

chronic stress hormone imbalance hormone specialist hormone therapy hypothyroidism north texas texas thyroid symptoms Feb 16, 2024

Hello Y'all! Dr. Dana Gibbs here, and today, we're shaking things up a bit with the start of a four-part series on Cortisol and Insulin. Originally, I thought this would be a quick topic, but it turns out we're diving deep into a wealth of information. So, welcome to part one of a series that explores two hormones that might just be more crucial than the thyroid.

Before we begin, a quick disclaimer: While I'm an integrated physician helping folks with exhaustion, weight gain, and hormonal imbalances, this discussion isn't medical advice. Always consult your physician for personalized medical guidance.

Now, let's rewind a bit to my story. Health struggles nearly derailed my dreams of becoming a doctor and a pilot. However, despite facing poor health and stamina, I embarked on med school. During this journey, I experienced symptoms mirroring low thyroid function, yet no diagnosis. Little did I know, it was a hormone tale that I now specialist in correcting in my North Texas medical practice, Consultants in Metabolism.

Later in my career I finally learned what I wish I had known back then, and I regained health, energy, and all around vitality. Like I said, it was largely a tale of two hormones, Cortisol and Insulin, so let's look at these a bit.

Alright, let's delve into the basics. Hormones, the chemical messengers from endocrine glands, steer our metabolism and various bodily processes. While testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone hog the limelight, insulin and cortisol quietly rule the realm, often overshadowing the thyroid.

Insulin, essential for energy utilization, and cortisol, the master hormone, take center stage. The intriguing part? Our lifestyle choices wield considerable influence over these hormonal powerhouses.

Let's zero in on cortisol. Originating from adrenal glands, cortisol, besides being the stress hormone, boasts numerous benefits. It keeps us alert, aids focus, regulates sleep, and tackles inflammation, aiding healing. But stress, oh stress, can hijack our cortisol production, leading to a hormonal rollercoaster.

So, what triggers stress? Anything our primitive brain perceives as a survival threat. Cue the classic example of a tiger on the prowl. Acute stress reactions release adrenaline and cortisol, prepping us for fight or flight. Yet, prolonged stress can derail our hormonal balance.

Modern stress isn't just sporadic. It's a daily grind, disrupting the production line of our hormones. Picture your brain as a factory issuing orders to adrenal glands. Increased stress signals prioritize cortisol, neglecting other vital hormones. It's a survival tactic gone haywire.

The stressors? They can be external, physical, or situational. Interestingly, our thoughts about situations cause stress reactions. We, unique humans, worry about the uncontrollable or the imagined, unleashing cortisol and adrenaline as if faced with real threats.

Chronic stress can be oddly addictive, providing a quick energy boost. Our brains manufacture stress, setting deadlines, over-scheduling, or fostering habitual lateness. This constant hormone release has a cascading effect on various hormones, leading to a chain reaction in the body.

But here's the kicker. Beyond the immediate effects, chronic stress disrupts the hormonal assembly line, affecting thyroid, growth hormone, gonadotropins, and even aldosterone. It's a delicate balance, and stress tips the scales.

Stay tuned for part two, where we'll unravel the downstream effects of chronic cortisol elevation. Oh, and before you go, exciting news! In March, I'll kick off a four-week program experimenting with continuous glucose monitors. Curious minds, sign up at, your go-to North Texas Thyroid Specialist and Hormone Expert.

Thanks for tuning in, and I'll catch you next week!


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