All About Cortisol, The Body’s Stress Hormone

All About Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.

Introduction to Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone that is produced in the body by the adrenal glands. It is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because it is released in response to stress or fear. It is also involved in regulating blood sugar levels, metabolism, and immune system function. Cortisol is essential for life, but when it is produced in excess, it can have negative effects on the body.

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands. It is released in response to stress or fear and helps the body to respond to the situation. It increases blood sugar levels, which provides the body with energy, and it also helps to regulate metabolism, immune system function, and blood pressure. Cortisol also helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the body’s internal clock.

How Does Cortisol Affect the Body?

When cortisol is released in response to stress, it can have both positive and negative effects on the body. In the short term, cortisol can help the body to respond to a stressful situation by providing energy and helping to regulate blood pressure. However, when cortisol is produced in excess, and for a prolonged period of time, it can have negative effects on the body. Excess cortisol can cause other hormones such as Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, insulin, and sex hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to deplete. This may subsequently lead to a whole array of physical and symptoms including weight gain, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. It can also lead to mood swings, insomnia, and fatigue.

How to Manage Cortisol Levels

Managing cortisol levels is important for overall health and well-being. There are several things that can be done to help manage cortisol levels and behavioural habits which can be adopted include:

Exercise; especially resistance training.

A good sleep hygiene including at least 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep.

A fresh unprocessed, high protein, low carbohydrate diet with good fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and oily fish.

Reducing alcohol consumption.

Stopping smoking.

Minimising stress and including practices such as spending time in nature, yoga, and meditation.

Additionally, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B vitamins can help to regulate cortisol levels.

Conclusion

Cortisol is an important hormone that is produced in the body in response to stress or fear. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism, and immune system function. However, when cortisol is produced in excess, it can have negative effects on the body. It is important to manage cortisol levels by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and managing stress. Additionally, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B vitamins can help to regulate cortisol levels.

If you think you may have a hormone imbalance, book an appointment for an assessment.

We were delighted to contribute to the important publication about cortisol imbalance in Vogue Singapore.

Please click on the link below to read the full article

https://vogue.sg/cortisol-imbalance/