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Cortisol vs thyroid

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    Few crew on a ray peat forum were recommending to be weary of raising temps using any old food as temperature can raise via cortisol..

    I imagine this to be true, but how does one differentiate as to weather or not it’s cortisol or thyroid doing the job? Pulse?


    To answer your question, cortisol assists in shuttling t3 into the cells. Without cortisol, thyroid will not function properly. Thyroid is responsible for the “heat” we feel.

    From my experience, most of us in the “low temp” category have been under a chronic stress for sometime. The stress may have come from extreme dieting, overtraining, work and/or family stress or a combination of a few. I have taken cortisol personally without success. IMO, if you do not fix the underlying issue, recovery will not happen. Matt breaks it down pretty simple. Stop exercise for a month at least (physical stress), eat a surplus of calories (minimize starvation stress), and relax. By sleeping adequate amounts the adrenals are able to repair in a calorie surplus environment. Once the they are recovered, a sufficient amount of cortisol will be produced which will assist t4/t3 in raising the body temperature. Without sufficient cortisol or thyroid, optimal temp will not be reached. IMO, shutting down the adrenals through RRARFing and sleep, while minimizing all stress is the best approach. Pretty simple.


    Ok yeah that makes sense. Just the way they make it sound is as if from eating too much, or certain junk foods etc cortisol can be doing too much of the job and its a negative thing..

    Ive been doing everything else and my temps are coming up, Im nice and fat, and sleeping better etc

    I just wanted to bring it up into discussion as its something these peatards seem to have and issue with the overfeeding route to raising metabolism..

    Thanks for your feedback @adjjrob1


    I seem to have super high cortisol in the evenings causing anxiety and a pounding heart and chills. I have been a Weston Price diet for many years with few restrictions other than milk, cream or ice cream as they really make me mucousy and upset my stomach. My biggest issue is insomnia. I wake up to urinate several times during the night and I always wake between 2-3AM with adrenaline surges. The sugar/salt mixture is not touching it. I have surges from the familiar sound of the radiator and every noise I hear. I am usually awake for at least 1.5-3hours. I am now 17 weeks pregnant and I think the physical stress of the pregnancy sent my already insufficient adrenals into a tailspin. I don’t seem to have low cortisol as I have the energy to make it through the day without fatigue despite less than 2 hours of sleep per night. I have tried paleo, gluten free, everything under the sun for adrenal support including GABA, 5HTP, melatonin, desiccated adrenal, adaptagenic herbs and much more. I do get very cold feet many nights, but not all. The thought of overfeeding and gaining a ton of weight with this pregnancy at 37 is not appealing, but I don’t know how else to get my cortisol levels into balance. How do I turn off the stress response when one of the biggest stresses is the fact that I am pregnant??? (I want the baby, its just the physical stress on my body)

    Any thoughts on this? Also, I don’t know how to handle the little or no water issue as the body’s needs must be different during pregnancy. No matter how much I drink or how many good fats I eat my skin is dry for the first time in years and so are my lips.


    I think food raising your cortisol is a temporary symptom until you get your metabolism up to par. I honestly don’t think it matters in the beginning how you are raising your temps if you’re eating the right foods and getting enough calories. Studying every detail is dangerous because you can really stress yourself out over it. Very unpleasant symptoms can follow a low carb diet when you are reintroducing carbs – cortisol and blood sugar issues are very common. Going through all the details and researching them all will only stress you out more. It takes awhile to adjust.

    Also, Most people ARE drinking too much water, but be aware you may be pushing yourself into dehydration especially in the winter. I have been finding that I DO need water, otherwise I will get low temps from the stress of dehydration, and unusual cortisol spikes at night. We are in winter up here so humidity is nonexistent. I tracked my temps every 5 min for the last four hours this morning as I’ve been working. The biggest rise in temp was AFTER I drank a couple cups of water with a pinch of salt. I’m at 98.8, but only a little while after the water. My waking temp was 97.1. I’ve also had some orange juice and coffee this morning about 4 hours ago (which got it up to about 98.5 at it’s highest). Water pushed me up to 98.8.

    If anyone else has a comment on this, I would be interested.


    I am currently experiencing the first elevated cortisol episode in my life and it is torture: If I succeed in falling asleep, my pulse starts racing, then I wake up and cannot fall asleep. I also find it difficult to breathe. I have had a hypothyroid since age 27 and have always been slim with zero stomach fat. Some fat crept on at 45 and I suspect it was an underlying cortisol imbalance that reared its ugly head when I did a low carb experiment – for just a week! T3/T4 conversion shut off and my body reacted with great stress. Even though I stopped and started to compensate with a lot of carbs it still continues. First of all I
    suggest taking the 24 hour cortisol saliva test. It will show if Cortisol levels are high/low or mixed… Secondly, in addition to eating alot of food and carb/sugar turn off the stress hormones…there are many herbal “adaptogens” that help to balance cortisol levels – it doesn’t matter if they are high or low…
    Good brands are Adaptocrine and Gaia Herbs “Eleuthero Root”. Ashwaganda and Rhodiola are excellent not to mention Panax Ginseng. Also Supplement with Mega Vitamin C doses, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E. I have been taking these for about a week and I am still having bad nights. If you know your night Cortisol levels are in fact elevated (and not low) there is a natural supplement called “Seriphos” also known as Phosphorylated Serine – Seriphos is non soy. Some people have excellent results with it. For more info the Thyroid-Adrenal Group on Yahoo provides more support. Most conventional docs no nothing about this stuff unfortunately. They would also probably put you on a low carb diet to “control sugar” due to the elevated cortisol, which is the opposite of what you need… good luck!


    the peat folks are right, and it is the framework for matt stone’s diet…. you can do rrarf diet in a peatish way….if you dig a little deeper, you will see that all the principles that matt recommends align with the peat diet….the only difference is that peat recommends a lot of liquids, matt recommends to dense foods that are low in liquids…but if you focus on the following ideas, you can rrarf and do it in a smarter way and follow a “diet” that doesn’t just have to be temporary

    -avoid wheat, eat rice (make gluten free pancakes with syrup)
    -avoid pufas (eat french fries fried in butter/coconut oil as opposed to vegetable oils)
    -avoid non-ruminant meats (eat a grass-fed cheese burger)
    -focus on dairy (make a milkshake with haagan dazs ice cream)
    -eat sugar (eat gummy bears which have gelatin)
    -eat fruit when thirsty
    -use gatorade to keep sodium high and cells hydrated


    i know water helps, but i wouldnt recommend it when you could be drinking something like gatorade which helps replenish sodium levels lost from drinking plain water


    keithandbrandee, it sounds like you have reactive hypoglycemia. Your blood sugar is surging high, then dipping low, then your body is releasing adrenaline in order to bring up your blood sugar. Very common with this condition to wake up between 2-4am with adrenaline surges and this is when blood sugar is the lowest.


    I agree with hawksfan regarding the reactive hypoglycemia issue in keithandbrandee. I wonder if this is common when eating beef? I have recently started eating grass-fed beef at dinner and I seem to wake up after midnight, sometimes a bit later, with elevated pulse. Drinking a glass of juice helps and I can go back to sleep. Never had this when I was a veg but I feel better overall eating meat. Is beef particularly stimulating?
    Recall Peat saying something about meat and needing sugar to help it break down…

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