The Not So Delicious Side of Coffee
The negative impact coffee could be having on your adrenals and overall health
I am the first to say I am a coffee-holic. All throughout undergrad and grad school If I didn’t have my Starbucks espresso and there was no way for me to be expected to function the rest of the day. It got to the point where I was that bad mood, don’t talk to me until I have my coffee kind of person. But why?! What is my body telling me that I’m just choosing to ignore? Why have I become so reliant on something that seems to have a major impact on my daily life? How many of you really stop to question, yes I love my coffee but why do I need it? Is there a possible imbalance happening that I’m choosing to ignore? Like me and I’m sure most of use, I liked my addiction to coffee and wasn't going to give it up for the world. The smell the taste and the wide awake alive feeling were all totally worth the addiction. Until years later when I started my Integrative medicine certification did I truly stop to listen to what my body was telling me through my addiction to coffee.
Due to the constant stimulation and stress on our adrenal glands our cortisol output begins to diminish despite any perceived threat or stimulant.
80% of Americans have adrenal fatigue syndrome and over half of them probably have no idea they have it! And because running on coffee in order to function normally is a widely accepted norm of our society it is also one of the major reasons we are suffering from adrenal fatigue. For a quick background to what adrenal fatigue actually is to understand why your daily cup of coffee could be your biggest culprit to autoimmune disease, weight gain, brain fog, inflammation, chronic disease, depression, hormone imbalance, and mood swings. Your Adrenals are your primary source for making your stress hormone cortisol and your primary sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone). When a stressful situation arrises your fight or flight response kicks in, think of a zebra being chased by a lion, and your adrenal glands jump into action to produce a large amount of cortisol in order for you to be able to survive the lion on your tail. It may be hard to think of our beloved cup of warm and comforting coffee as a lion chasing us but that is in fact the response it is causing in or bodies. When we drink a stimulant like our coffee we are increasing our energy levels by increasing our cortisol levels. We obviously weren't built to run from a lion forever so eventually our adrenal glands begin to burnout.
Due to the constant stimulation and stress on our adrenal glands our cortisol output begins to diminish despite any perceived threat or stimulant. This is when we start to need 2, then 3, then 4 cups of coffee per-day to function at a somewhat optimum level. Eventually, your adrenals will burning out completely due to the amount of stress from constant stimulation which leads to our hormonal imbalances. These imbalances may not be felt at first but you will start to feel completely exhausted, out of balance, moody, difficulty sleeping, low libido, and weight gain. These issues can then turn into something much worse like cancer, autoimmune disease, arthritis, Alztimers, and diabetes. When we are diagnosed with these chronic diseases they don't occur “all of the sudden” they are the culmination of living a life in constant dis-ease, inflammation, and stress. That said, your daily cup of coffee could ultimately be a major factor in your diagnosis of a chronic disease 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now. Now I ask you, is this something you are willing to accept or is your cup of coffee not worth risking your health and vitality lateran in life? The power is in your hands, literally, to change the course of your health.
I know this seems like a very in depth explanation of the effect a simple cup of coffee has on our bodies, but after I learned about the vicious catabolic cycle that dirking coffee had on my wellbeing and vitality I knew I had to set my Starbucks addiction aside and turn to holistic alternatives that not only supported my cortisol production but aid in my body’s adaptation to any fight or flight stressors. Monetary costs aside, how much is drinking your coffee worth to you? Are you willing to give up your health and vitality for your cup of Joe in the morning or are you ready to take the responsibility for your health in your own hands and take a stand against being diagnosed with chronic dis-ease in the future? In the end, the choice is up to you and you have the power to change your overall health by simply putting down the coffee cup.