2

votes

Dark circles under the eyes and cortisol

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 21, 2013 at 9:05 AM

I've had dark circles under my eyes since I was a child, which made me conclude that it's probably a genetic thing and that there isn't much that I can do about it. However, they are not constantly there, I notice it changes a lot. For example: When I wake up in the morning and get out of bed right away and look in the mirror they are not there and I look very "fresh", but if I wait after about 30 minutes they slowly start to appear and stay with me for the rest of the day and get even worse when I get tired or when I drink alcohol. Also, I've had insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night was not my problem) for as long as I can remember, which has improved a lot, almost completely, after following a paleo diet. But the fact that I've had insomnia for almost all my life might indicate that I've been having cortisol problems since I was very young. These things, plus the fact that I have many of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, have made me realise that the dark circles under my eyes might be related to cortisol problems or adrenal fatigue.

Is there anyone knowledgable about the relation between cortisol levels in the body and dark circles under the eyes? Or does anyone have similar experiences/advice to share?

E66417f145cfabce1278fde58e8bdd46

on May 21, 2013
at 06:42 PM

Thanks for your answer. I basically try to follow the perfect health diet. I've already eliminated grains, legumes, vegetable oils, alcohol, caffeine, and limited fructose to whole foods like fruit and berries. The dark circles remain however. I think addressing my adrenal fatigue symptoms by following your advice of going to bed before 10PM, reducing stress, not exercising too much, etc. would be a good thing to try.

E66417f145cfabce1278fde58e8bdd46

on May 21, 2013
at 09:57 AM

Thanks for mentioning that paleot. It's interesting because I've always been extremely sensitive to alcohol, and I do have symptoms of fungal infections (eczema on my back and chest, dandruff, rhinitis, and digestive problems from fructose). I'll look into it.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 21, 2013
at 09:20 AM

This is total speculation. But, the alcohol issue makes me think acetaldehyde sensitivity. This can be caused by frequent drinking, or, yeast. The insomnia also is a clue.. and the dark eyes. I dunno, might be worth looking into. I'm not sure how credible this article is, but, check it out - http://mindbodyandsoleonline.com/health-nutrition/taming-the-yeastie-beasties/

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1 Answers

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91119f53c3827f5c7fc90b98cab85b04

(799)

on May 21, 2013
at 03:52 PM

I will second this by adding that I had dark circles my entire life until I gave up alcohol, and then got onto paleo. Also changing my lifestyle so I get to bed early and ensure a minimum of 8 hours sleep per night. This took a couple of years but im there now and its sustainable. Getting to bed earlier will also help blunt rising cortisol which will begin to creep back up the later you stay up at night, especially after 10PM. Waking up naturally without an alarm clock will also help from having a big cortisol spike from the shock of the alarm first thing in the am.

The dark circles have been described to me as an "overly yin" condition, and taking a lot of things out of the diet that create that overly yin environment - eliminating, or cutting way back on grains, alcohol, dairy, and sweets may help a lot with this. You need to sustain these changes over time, really make it a part of your lifestyle. Its not a quick fix.

If you can conquer the tough work of giving up alcohol and caffeine, this will likely decrease sleep disruption and provide you with a better basis to assess sleep problems. Both these substances disrupt sleep patterns when present in the bloodstream, for caffeine sensitive individuals even a cup of coffee taken early in the day could cause sleep disruption.

E66417f145cfabce1278fde58e8bdd46

on May 21, 2013
at 06:42 PM

Thanks for your answer. I basically try to follow the perfect health diet. I've already eliminated grains, legumes, vegetable oils, alcohol, caffeine, and limited fructose to whole foods like fruit and berries. The dark circles remain however. I think addressing my adrenal fatigue symptoms by following your advice of going to bed before 10PM, reducing stress, not exercising too much, etc. would be a good thing to try.

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