Coffee, Hormones, And Nespresso filled Anxiety
Guest writer and celebrity wellness guru Jennifer Hanway explains how heightened cortisol levels and panic attacks are likely coming from your beloved cup of joe
Hey there CB friends! Today, guest writer Jennifer Hanway focuses on hormones and coffee. I am a major coffee addict. I consume 3 - 5 cups of coffee per day. In the morning I crave it immediately upon waking and throughout the day I use it to stave off snacking. I love the way coffee tastes. I love the way it smells. I’ve tried coffee alternatives but they never stick. Over the last year I have realized it’s wreaking havoc on me. Caffeine disrupts the regular rhythm of cortisol. It distances you from your natural energy cycles. And while coffee has helped me with fasting, it can also cause belly fat. Eventually your adrenal glands get tired and the body can’t bring the cortisol levels back down to normal, which can cause a coffee induced pouch. Oh no. Jennifer shared with me her coffee story. It’s so informative and so very relatable. Relatable all the way down to her own Nespresso fueled anxiety attacks. It’s inspired me to break the habit. Enjoy.
Coffee, Hormones, And Anxiety
By Jennifer Hanway
As a Brit it wasn’t until meeting my American husband that I discovered the buzz-inducing delight of a hot cup of joe. I had dalliances with varying forms of coffee in my twenties. But they bore little or no resemblance to the black-as-hell morning elixir that became the lifeblood of my thirties.
Every night my husband would set up his Mr. Coffee machine (a device that was totally foreign to me) with a mixture of ground coffee beans and espresso. And every morning he would wake up to freshly brewed, ridiculously strong coffee, whilst I sipped on my cup of English Breakfast Tea with almond milk.
My tumultuous love affair with coffee began.
It didn’t take me long to adopt his coffee drinking habits. I began to love the energy-boosting buzz the jolt of caffeine gave me. I’ve always been a morning person and relish early starts, so even when I enforced a caffeine curfew of 12 or 1 p.m., I still had seven hours to consume my new drug of choice.
As a Holistic Nutritionist I’m passionate about the quality of what goes into my body, and over the years we switched to a low-acid, organic brand that we both loved. I justified my coffee addiction by listing all the antioxidant- and polyphenol-boosting qualities of the black stuff. I could point to numerous studies that showed that coffee drinkers lived longer, and since it was my only real vice, I could validate the three or four large cups I was drinking a day. Until I couldn't.
I started experiencing health issues.
After an extreme work schedule, punctuated by numerous cups of Nespresso (I was living in a hotel while working on location), I lost my period. My lab work showed that my thyroid was still in what conventional medicine considers the "normal" range. But it wasn’t functioning optimally. (I always look at blood work through a lens of thriving, not surviving.) This was causing cortisol dysregulation, adrenal fatigue, lack of periods, low energy, no sex drive, and hair loss.
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