The Health Guru

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Cortisol: The ‘stress’ hormone

Posted on | April 30, 2010 | No Comments

Are you having trouble sleeping?  Finding it hard to lose weight? Putting on weight, especially in your stomach? Feeling stressed?  Have increased Blood Pressure and Cholesterol?  YES?  You could have a cortisol imbalance.

Cortisol is a type of hormone produced by the body. It is referred to as the “stress” hormone since people produce greater levels of Cortisol under significant stress and especially during a “fight or flight” reaction.

Where is it produced?:  The adrenal gland (located on top of the kidneys) is responsible for producing cortisol.  The levels vary throughout the day – most is produced in the morning and it decreases as the day progresses to enable sleep to occur at night.

What are the benefits of cortisol?

  • It helps to reduce inflammation
  • Helps the body retain sodium
  • Helpful in increasing short-term memory.
  • Help the liver remove toxins from the body.

What are the problems with cortisol?

  • Can raise blood pressure, lower bone density, reduce immune response and effect blood glucose levels.
  • Highly stressed individuals have extra cortisol – which reduces serotonin and affects sleep.
  • Impaired cognitive performance  (memory)
  • Suppressed thyroid function
  • Blood sugar imbalances (hyperglycemia)
  •  Decreased bone density
  •  Decrease in muscle tissue
  •  Higher blood pressure
  •  Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body i.e. slowed wound healing
  •  Increased abdominal fat (visceral fat) due to the stimulation of glucose
  • Abnormally high cortisol levels (Hypercortisolism) can cause Cushing’s syndrome which results in ultra-rapid weight buy drugs online without prescription gain, excess perspiration, easy bruising and may cause psychological disorders.
  • Abnormally low levels (Hypocortisolism) causes Addison’s disease, which can result in major weight loss, significant muscle pains, mood instability and fatigue.

How to reduce cortisol levels?

Try to reduce stress, Avoid high stress situations when you can and exercise regularly.


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