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Discover Your Hormonal Blueprint: The Power of the DUTCH Test

Have you ever had a DUTCH test? If not, it’s time. It’s an extensive hormone test offering a profile of sex and adrenal hormones and melatonin, along with their metabolites, to identify symptoms of hormonal imbalances. This test is the best jumping-off point to start making informed changes to your diet, sleep routine, stress-coping strategies, and supplements to feel & look your best at any age.

I recently had a DUTCH test to learn more about my hormone levels and met with the amazing Dr. Elizabeth Miller at Sequence Wellness to review the results. She helped me fully understand what the results meant and suggested supplements to work on a couple of imbalances that showed up. It was so empowering to have the scientific data to guide my choices when it comes to my health. 

The most surprising result was my cortisol levels. Before we get to that, here's a quick background on cortisol, and why it’s important to manage when it comes to your health & hormones: 

Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. While it plays a crucial role in the body's fight-or-flight response, chronically elevated cortisol levels can have detrimental effects on health and weight management. High cortisol levels can disrupt the balance of other hormones involved in metabolism, such as insulin, thyroid hormones, and leptin, leading to increased appetite, cravings for unhealthy foods (ever find yourself reaching for kettle chips or chocolate when you’re stress?), insulin resistance, and abdominal fat deposition.

Maintaining balanced cortisol levels is essential for weight management and overall health because:

  1. Metabolism Regulation: Cortisol influences the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to increased glucose production, which, if not utilized, can be stored as fat, especially in the abdominal region.

  2. Appetite Control: High cortisol levels can disrupt the regulation of hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin, leading to increased appetite and cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods, which can contribute to weight gain.

  3. Fat Distribution: Cortisol promotes the storage of fat, particularly visceral fat around the abdomen, which is associated with an increased risk of metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  4. Muscle Loss: Prolonged elevation of cortisol levels can lead to muscle breakdown and hinder muscle growth, which can further impact metabolism and weight management.

  5. Stress Management: Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels can negatively impact mental health, sleep quality, and immune function, which are all important factors for overall well-being and weight management.

Lately, my husband and I are always saying that this feels like the busiest stage of our lives - working full time at multiple jobs while raising two energetic amazing young boys who have a busy school & extracurricular schedule, playdates, travel, etc. With everything going on, I expected my cortisol to be through the roof. It wasn’t. Dr. Miller said it was perfect. 

When it comes to coping with stress there are two strategies that I’m very disciplined about - daily exercise (even when I travel and when it’s inconvenient) and my sleep routine. Physical movement and getting at least 7 hours of sleep (8 is ideal) every night is one of the most efficient ways to lower cortisol (1). I’m sharing this with you because if exercise and good quality sleep aren’t priorities for you - now is the time to get disciplined in those areas - your body will thank you, and you’ll start to notice a change in your energy levels, cravings, appetite, and body composition.

In addition to daily exercise, and adequate sleep, other ways you can manage cortisol levels are with stress reduction techniques (like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises), a balanced diet rich in whole foods, and avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol intake.

Click on the link below to book with a member of the Sequence Wellness team (myself included!) to order a DUTCH test, meet with an amazing naturopath, and get my help with diet, and developing healthy habits.


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