Some of the perks of working here at Eve are:
a) getting to talk about sex, periods, stress-reduction and hormones all day; and
b) getting to trial the tests before they’re released… #winning.
So, 4 of us tried the new Eve Stress & Adrenal Test. Most of us felt pretty confident we’d know what our stress & adrenal health would look like, and were dead wrong.
All of us have implemented some changes to our diets, lifestyles or mindsets since receiving our results.
Here’s what went down.
Beatrice - Balanced Cortisol
I had a bout of burnout earlier this year and was pretty confident that my results would reflect this. I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of fatigue and have been sleeping loads, so I was expecting to see low levels of cortisol…
What my results showed me, was that I actually have well balanced cortisol and cortisone!
Initially I was quite surprised by the results. If my adrenal health is pretty good then why am I so tired? But it actually all makes perfect sense. I’ve been working really hard on my adrenal health the past few months and have committed to lots of stress reduction techniques so it’s clear that these have really helped to get me on track which is awesome.
The things I’ve been doing are:
- Using vitamin C and magnesium before bed to support my adrenals and muscles to quieten down to allow melatonin production to ensure good sleep;
- Taking a ‘gently does it’ approach to exercise. I’ve been so fatigued that exercise just hasn’t been working for me, but getting some movement in like yoga, walking or gentle resistance training has been great;
- Drinking lots of water and using electrolytes to ensure I’m hydrated - stress can make you dehydrated and cause electrolyte levels in the body to drop. Hello headaches.
But the real missing piece of the puzzle for me was mindset…
I was so used to feeling tired and burnt out that I’d started expecting and preempting it, waking up every morning thinking ‘I’m so tired’ and telling anyone who would listen how I tired I was, and what a big week it had been. So no wonder I was feeling fatigued!
I decided to change my mental story. My morning mantra became ‘I’m energised and fresh’. I stopped dwelling on every yawn and started focusing on feeling good.
Of course, my body is still rebuilding from burnout and this does take time (although as evidenced by my results, I’m making great gains!). There are still days when I feel a bit sleepier and my energy can be easily knocked by poor sleep, or around the start of my period.
But overall I’m feeling more energised and ‘normal’ than I have done in ages. All thanks to my results showing me that I can change my mindset and feel better.
Lauren - Low Cortisol
To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from the test.
For the past few years I’ve been rolling with the attitude that I’m young and my body can handle the go-go-go lifestyle I subject it to. I was convinced that my cortisol levels would be fine - perhaps a tad high if anything.
When the results came in, they showed that my cortisol ‘curve’ was really a flat line on the floor. It was a complete surprise but the wakeup call I needed to show my poor adrenal glands some love.
From the Stress & Adrenal test I’ve learnt that sometimes our brains are better at coping with stress than our bodies are. I had been charging through my early twenties thinking I was invincible and masking my underlying exhaustion with endorphins, caffeine and a ‘sleep-when-I’m dead’ attitude.
Oh how things have changed.
I have made a few changes to support my stress levels, including:
- Reducing exercise that raises my heart rate and stresses my body. HIIT is an every-so-often thing. Pilates and walks are my new best friends.
- Upped my intake of essential nutrients, particularly those that nourish and restore the adrenal such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and b-vitamins.
- Started actively practising breathing techniques and making time for ‘legs up the wall’ - two small things that help to activate the ‘rest and digest’ nervous system.
- Making sleep a priority. I’m in bed before 9pm most nights and with the help of Magnesium Restore and sleep drops, I’ve been sleeping like a baby.
Declining into cortisol depletion isn't something that happened overnight and I know that restoring my adrenal health won't happen that quickly either.
I am so thankful that I was able to find out exactly what was going on and make the changes I needed to before ending up in a place that's a whole lot more difficult to bounce back from.
Georgia - Balanced Cortisol, High Cortisone
My test results showed that my cortisol is nicely balanced, however my cortisone is consistently high throughout the day. This can mean that my body is making high levels of cortisol but deactivating a good portion of it. This pattern is super common in those who have been through periods of stress in the past; e.g. exams.
If anything I have been pleasantly surprised by this result. I’m currently working 4 days a week at Eve while also completing my masters at university and keeping social and active - it can be pretty full on at times. All things considered, I’m doing okay!
I know that I need to be mindful because with high cortisone, my cortisol could become dysregulated quite easily. For me this means listening to my body and resting when I need it.
If I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed I know that an extra hour of sleep in the morning is going to be much more beneficial to my stress hormones than a morning gym class.
Working in Eve support I understand that ‘normal’ test results can feel frustrating, especially if they don’t reflect how you feel, however I don’t think this is the case. Test results that show an area of your health is functioning well is reassuring and lets you know to focus on and invest in other areas.
If I had assumed my adrenals were struggling under my busy schedule I might have changed my lifestyle, quit my early morning workouts (which I love), and bought supplements I don’t actually need.
Transparency into what’s really happening in your body is an invaluable piece to your health puzzle.
Kylie - Dysregulated Cortisol Pattern
I have had my cortisol pattern tested twice in the past and both times it was on the higher side. I was surprised to find that it is actually below range in the morning at the moment.
What didn’t surprise me is the dysregulated pattern - my cortisol levels are low in the morning and high in the afternoon; the opposite of what they should be.
When I stop to think about it, this is an accurate representation of my lifestyle and how I’ve been feeling recently.
I love to use exercise as a way to unwind after work. But lately this has meant racing to the later gym classes after work, and not eating dinner until 9pm, or falling asleep until around 11pm some nights.
I knew this schedule was no longer serving me as I found myself waking later and later each day with very low energy levels in the morning.
Since discovering my cortisol pattern, I have made the following changes:
- Using Les Mills on Demand so that I can workout from home before work. If I do ever decide to work out in the evenings to unwind, I try to make sure it’s more restorative rather than cardio based now.
- Dedicating time in the evening to self-care more often (i.e. journaling, legs up the wall, breathing techniques etc).
- Taking Adrenal Regenerator again 3x a day and being more diligent with daily Superboost C intake to support my adrenals.
I’m now really enjoying that the “first offering of the day” is now dedicated to me rather than spent rushing to get to work.
I’m looking forward to retesting and seeing if my new morning routine improves my waking and morning cortisol which is below the normal range.
Finding out exactly where you’re at is key
Depending on your cortisol pattern, different types of food, movement, and mindfulness will be best for you. As the Eve team found out when we tested, it’s pretty hard to guess where you might be - even if you’re very in tune with your body. 3 out of 4 Eve team members who tested got their cortisol pattern predictions wrong and have since changed aspects of their diets and routines to better support their bodies.
Testing allows us to know exactly what’s going on, empowering you with knowledge and confidence to make changes that support your health goals, and removing the need for guesswork.